Life at Sacred Heart
“You are a student of the Sacred Heart. This name reminds you that you are part of a network of schools and are linked to Sacred Heart students on all Continents.”
Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, once said, “for the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society”. In a true sense, you are that one.
Coming to a Sacred Heart School, you have become part of a family. Accept with gratitude all those in your school community. From them and with them you can learn what love is. Through giving and receiving, you will foster the caring atmosphere that permeates your Sacred Heart School. Be grateful for all – the staff, your classmates and student leaders. Be thankful and show your gratitude by being attentive to all with whom you share life daily. Let God speak to you in people and events.
Faith in God is the foundation of your education. In faith you will recognise God in your life – your joys, your sorrows, your struggles, your decisions and your choices. With faith you will be convinced that the meaning of your life and of our world is most fully given in the person of Jesus. Through faith you will communicate hope and confidence, for you know that nothing can separate you from God’s love. The symbol of this love, which is openness, invitation, and unlimited space for others, is the Heart of Christ.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the month of June is a day of renewal for everyone in the school community. In union with our sister schools everywhere you acknowledge how deeply you are loved by God and consecrate yourselves anew to making that love known in the world. Several days in the school year are marked by commemorations of people special in Sacred Heart history
The Feast of Saint Madeleine Sophie is cause to remember and rejoice in her vision, the heritage that is yours today: an education that is strong in its studies, serious in its principles and rich in the spirit of life and of love.
The Feast of Saint Phillipine Duchesne celebrates the courage of this pioneer missionary who first brought Sacred Heart Schools to North America.
The Feast of Mater Admirabilis commemorates the place that Mary has in your life. Prayer will be essential to your life. You will come to know God through scripture, through liturgies, in your classes and in your service to others. You will discover ways to pray through a variety of prayer experiences. You will learn to listen to the Word of God spoken in your life and be led “to walk humbly with your God”. Centred in God your response will be to act in justice and love.
Genuine love always takes the form of service. In a world plagued by injustice, torn by violence and fear, you must stand by the most wounded and needy. At a school of the Sacred Heart, you will learn to take little steps and big steps in order to set God’s kingdom right. You will learn to extend to all you meet in our multicultural society the respect and sensitive kindness you have received yourself.
Social justice issues are studied at every level as part of your curriculum. Your studies will help you to attain knowledge about social and moral issues but knowledge of injustices is not enough. You will be given opportunities to reach out to the needy. Sacred Heart education aspires to make you open-eyed, alert to the needs of others, generous and courageous in service. “If anyone asks you to walk a mile, walk two”, Jesus told his disciples. This attitude of generosity is the aim of your education.
The schools of the Sacred Heart emphasise studies which nurture the desire for truth. You will be challenged by the intellectual dimension of your education. Emphasis is placed upon your capability for critical thinking and reasoning. Recognising the distinction between what you do and why you do it as an essential element in your education. You will grow in your appreciation of various modes of thought and ways of thinking.
Your imagination and creativity will be stretched because without these, you cannot become a well-informed, thinking, sensitive person. Your learning takes place not only in the classroom but also in all your relationships and all your experiences.
You will have the opportunity to be members of a student council, join activities of your interest and participate in sports teams and cultural activities. These opportunities will be a source for you to discover and develop your own talents, to learn to share your gifts, and thus build your school community.
Helped by adults and peers to be truthful and honest with yourself, you will grow in self-confidence by dealing realistically with your gifts and limitations:
- Not all are leaders
- Not all are athletes
- Not all are artists
- Do not grieve what talents God did not give you but recognise and rejoice in the worth of others.
- Discover your particular gifts and develop your unique potential.
- If you are sensitive to people; care for them.
- If you are a scholar, share your love for learning.
- If you can create with your hands, give the world beauty.
- When you find humour and laughter in your life, give others your joy.
- “The gifts you have received, give as a gift”.
The intention of Sacred Heart education is to address the whole person. You come as you are and are cared for with great love. The hope is to implant in you a sacred love for yourself, to challenge you to be more honest, to lead you along the road of integrity.
Through growth in self-discipline, you will learn how to accept the consequences of your choices and actions. At times you will have to refuse yourself what you like; at other times you will have to act independently of what others think or say of you; in all your actions become free to live face to face with yourself under the eyes of God.
Life in a Sacred Heart School is rooted in Christian love. The spirit is one of courage and generosity. The educational philosophy of the Sacred Heart is rooted in the message of Jesus Christ and the vision of Saint Madeleine Sophie. “ By the love you have for one another everyone will know you are my disciples”.
Composed by Sr. Jan Dunn rscj, Houston, Texas USA
Adapted by Sr. Elizabeth Snedden rscj, New Zealand
And again by Sr. Lorraine Pratt rscj, England