I often joke that I was born and raised in the Sacred Heart Tradition. My mother and her two sisters went to a Sacred Heart school in Louisiana, and I went to the Sacred Heart school here in Houston from K-12. So what is Sacred Heart you ask??
Where do I begin? I guess the best place to start is the beginning. I’ll try to keep this short. There is an amazing group of women that I affectionately refer to as the RSCJ. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began in 1800, when Madeleine Sophie Barat took her vows with a group of other religious women. St. Madeleine Sophie believed that girls should be educated in a manner that equips them with tools to be leaders in our ever changing world. The tools that were used then, are still used today are: faith in God, respect for intellect, social awareness, building community, and using personal growth to make wise choices. I am sure there might be a few people who read this who might cringe at my brevity and loose interpretation of the tools, which are known as the Goals of the Sacred Heart.
This idea of educating girls in such a manner was a very radical idea in St. Madeline Sophie’s time. The idea of educating women period was a radical idea. There are currently 22 Sacred Heart schools in the US and over 100 additional schools around the globe. So I’d say it safe to say that Madeleine Sophie and the many women who helped her in her mission, were way ahead of their time. Their faith in God and their faith in the importance of their mission carried them through many challenges.
You may be wondering why I have chosen to write a blog post about this. I just finished a project to help raise money for my children’s school. I took individual portraits of each student at their school to be sold at the school’s annual auction. It was a huge undertaking, and there were times when I wondered why I had even taken on the job. No one asked me to do it.
There were times, especially this past week, when I was doubting if I’d ever finish. But I did, I finished, and I did not do it alone. You see, my children go to a Sacred Heart school and I relied on this amazing community to help me get to the finish line. Many times throughout the journey I remembered sitting in a student council meeting as a high school student. Sr. Martha Rowan, RSCJ was our moderator and she would not let us take the easy road when it came to fundraising. We absolutely could not raise money using a method that did not involve our own creativity and hard work. For instance, we were not allowed to sell a product from a sponsoring company. We had to be part of the process from start to finish. She challenged us to use the gifts that God gave us to come up with new and unique ways to raise money.
So when the question would creep up in my mind, “Why are you doing this?”, I would remember Sr. Rowan. I used my gift, my passion, my art to help an institution that has had a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember.
Thank you to all of the amazing people in my Sacred Heart community, who have guided me through multiple journeys thus far. My grandmother, my mom, my aunts, my teachers, fellow classmates, former co-workers, the former and current faculty and staff at my alma mater, and all the faculty and staff at my children’s school . . .Thank you!!
PS Do not judge the grammatical errors in my post as an evaluation of my education. Grammar and writing have never been strong subjects for me, and I am working on very little sleep . . .LOL!!