Connections

Musings

List of 33 news stories.

  • Image Credit: Onbeing.org

    Lent as the Season of Stillness

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty before your God.
    Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent. Be still.
    Let your God look upon you. That is all.
    God knows. God understands.
    God loves you with an enormous love,
    And only wants to look upon you with that love.
     
    Quiet. Still. Be. Let your God love you.
     
    -Edwina Gately
     
    Yesterday I joined the young men who are students in the Senior School of the Sacred Heart School of Halifax. This assembly begins with a prayer, part of which was this poem by Edwina Gately. Watching the students’ expressions as their school mates read the words, "Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty before your God" remined me of the absolutely necessity of silence in our lives if we wish to attain some type of balance. Without stopping, without being still how can we sense the Mystery that lies within us in our deepest core and around us in the midst of creation?
     
     
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  • Can We Cultivate Compassion?

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    I enjoy listening to On Being with Krista Tippett each Sunday morning. A couple of weeks ago Richard Davidson spoke on "Love and Learning". There were several important topics covered during the interview, but I have continued to think about Davidson’s response to Tippett’s question: "Can we cultivate compassion?"
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  • Hybrid Skills Are the Future?

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    There has been lots of discussion over the last couple of weeks about the “hybrid skills” that will be required by us in the work place. Hybrid skills are those capacities that require the engagement of both the left and right hemispheres of our brains so that we may be both logical and creative. For example, Lauren Weber wrote about this phenomenon in an article for the Wall Street Journal in January, "The ‘Hybrid’ Skills That Tomorrow’s Jobs Will Require"  and CBS News published the article, "Hybrid Jobs: How to Make Yourself an Appealing Candidate", which outlined how one might develop the skills needed to be an appealing candidate for the job market.
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  • Called to a Mission of Love

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    This past Sunday was the final day of the World Youth Day in Panama City. Pope Francis celebrated an open-air Holy Mass at the capital’s Metro Park to conclude the World Youth Day. It is well worth reading this homily.
     
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  • Catholic Schools Week

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    In the United States, Catholic Schools Week Begins this Sunday, the very day Pope Francis will address youth gathered from across the globe in Panama for World Youth Day. This year’s theme for Catholic Schools Week is Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. How might we prepare ourselves to celebrate this week? I think Francis offers us some important things to consider in his homily offered at the closing liturgy at the Synod on Youth held in Rome this past October.
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  • The Beloved Community

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved
    community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into
    friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love;
    not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is
    understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.
    It is the love of God working in the lives of people. This is the love that may well be the
    salvation of our civilization.
     
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  • Advent: Let's Attend to the Children

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Advent comes alive for me when I spend time with children. Just look into the face of any child during these weeks of waiting for Christmas and what do you see? A sense of wonder, a sense of expectancy, a sense of excitement, and a sense of confident joy. Considering all that a child’s eyes communicates, we can see the veracity of the saying, “Our eyes are the windows into our souls.” What about the children struggling with poverty, homelessness, being on the move across borders? As their faces cross our screens daily, what do we see in their eyes? Politics aside, the death of Jakelin Caal, the seven-year-old who died at our border, disturbs and challenges all of us. Were her dreams, aspirations and sources of joy less important than those of a child whom we personally know and love? I don’t have answers, only more questions.
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  • The Prophetic Power of Love

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    This week we celebrated two anniversaries: the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 50th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton. What do these moments have to offer us during Advent?

    During Advent we listen to prophets who are beckoning us to trust in the fidelity of God’s promise. We hear stories of Christ demonstrating the depth of the Father’s love. The words of the Scripture consistently challenge us to see the light of Christ being revealed through acts of justice, acts that build peace, acts that inspire hope.

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  • Advent: A Time for Deliberate Action

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Watching President Bush’s funeral provided a welcome rest from the constancy of acrimonious rhetoric.  As I listened to the music, the prayers and the eulogies, I remembered a quote about Advent from a Conference St. Madeleine Sophie gave in 1855:
     
    Prepare for His coming into your hearts,
    for that is why He came on earth: to be born,
    to develop in your souls, and when the beautiful day
    of Christmas arrives you will taste that peace
    the Angels announced to persons of good will.
     
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  • An Invitation to See the World Differently

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
     
    Advent begins this Sunday. It enjoys a two-fold character. We prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered and we prepare our minds and hearts for His Second Coming. Thus, the spirit of Advent is the spirit of preparation.
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  • In Anticipation of Advent

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    "No matter our particular job especially in our world today we are all called
    to be ‘Tikkun Olam,’ repairers of creation."
    - Mr. Rogers
     
    Like so many people, I traveled during Thanksgiving. During one of the flights, I watched the documentary about Mr. Rogers called, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Anyone who knows children and values them should see this film.
     
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  • A Thanksgiving Blessing

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Welcome back to Musings, a blog intended to explore insights into how to respond to the challenges to which members of the Sacred Heart Family are called.
    Please forgive my long hiatus. In choosing Thanksgiving as the moment to renew the blog, I feel drawn to inviting all to experience gratitude.  
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  • Pierced Heart - Mother House Chapel

    Feast of the Sacred Heart

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Tomorrow we will celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart. On this day the Religious of the Sacred Heart across the world will renew our vows. Educators of the Sacred Heart will renew our commitment to Sophie’s vision as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. Vow renewal and promise renewal may be seen as an act of love since our spirituality is rooted in the desire to reveal God’s love in the heart of the world. As we pray for renewed energy in our vocations, we will hear these words:
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  • How does Sophie’s Vision Speak to Sacred Heart Educators Today?

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
     
    This Friday, we will join our sister schools across the globe as we all celebrate the Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. It is rather extraordinary to consider that a French woman living in a quiet town in France in the later 1700’s could inspire educators in Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania more than 200 years after the first Sacred Heart School began in Amiens, France. How is it that Sophie’s vision still informs the mission of Sacred Heart education? As we have continued our celebration of Philippine, we know part of the answer lies in Philippine’s fidelity to Sophie’s vision, but we all can see that the mission of Sacred Heart education remains vibrant today because so many before us remained faithful to Sophie’s desire to reveal the love of God in the heart of the world through education.
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  • A Novena for the Feast of the Ascension

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
     
    This week we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension. Traditionally, this day is celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter. However, in some parts of the world, the observance has been moved to the following Sunday. The Feast is one of the ecumenical feasts (i.e., universally celebrated), ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost.
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  • Echoes from Rebecca

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    I am always shocked by the arrival of May. What about you? It may be that as a former Head of School, I still operate within the framework of the academic year. Once May arrives, I am acutely aware of what still needs to be accomplished by June.
     
     
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  • Advice to Young People

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    I don’t know about you, but in spite of a packed weekend full of meetings, I did stop long enough to watch some of Barbara Bush’s funeral. I have always admired her tenacity, her straightforwardness and her fidelity to relationships.
     
    No matter which commentator I heard, all referred to Mrs. Bush’s 1990 Wellesley Commencement Address.
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  • Witnessing to Hope: A Reflection on the Global Health Equity Symposium

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Sacred Heart Educators hope to form young people on a path towards transformation and hope by providing an effective education and the formation of character. For Sacred Heart educators this cultivation of virtues is informed by the charism of St. Madeleine Sophie and the values articulated in the Goals and Criteria. We believe that nothing short of excellence will ensure that the members of learning communities develop an informed, active faith, critical thinking and service to others. Excellence is nurtured through curriculum planning that focuses of the dynamic of learning both in and outside the classroom.

    This past week I participated in the Global Health Equity Symposium sponsored by Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and the Network.
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  • Easter Plate by Salvador Dali

    The Hope of Easter

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    During this first week of the Easter season, we hear story after story of Christ’s friends and disciples encountering Him as the Risen One. Can you imagine what it was like to be one of them?
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  • Holy Week: Celebrating Mystery

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    We find ourselves midway in Holy Week. These days have been influenced by the homily I heard on Palm Sunday. Instead of imaging ourselves walking with Christ into Jerusalem during the entrance procession, the homilist invited us to consider entering into our hearts to find Him there.
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  • Lent is the Season of the Heart

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    I think it is a marvelous coincidence that this year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day because Lent is essentially a season of the heart. These days leading up to Easter offer us the time to pause and consider the health of our hearts, that is our capacity to love.
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  • Lent: Time to Address our Dissonant Chords

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Pope Francis sees Lent as a time “to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life.” I have been thinking about this understanding of Lent since Ash Wednesday.
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  • Catholic Schools Week

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    The preamble of the original draft of the Goals and Criteria states that “…Sacred Heart education is deeply concerned for each student’s total development: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical. The essence of a Sacred Heart school emphasizes serious study, educates to social responsibility, and lays the foundation of a strong faith.”
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  • Catholic Education: The Hope of the Church

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    In the Goals and Criteria, the Society of the Sacred Heart defines the mission of the school as part of the Society’s educational mission in the Catholic Church (Foundational Principle 1). These past weeks during Ordinary Time, we have been thinking about Sacred Heart education.
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  • Education as a Work of Grace

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    As I explained last week, we have entered the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.  I want to take advantage of these weeks to reflect on the extraordinary mission of our schools. This mission comes alive in the ordinary day to day dynamic within each learning community that is sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.
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  • Ordinary Isn't Ordinary

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    We have entered Ordinary Time in our Liturgical Calendar. We move through Christmas so quickly that I am not always ready to operate in the “ordinary.”
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  • Following the Light

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Happy New Year! Ideally this Christmas season has brought each of us joy and delight. Now the question remains what impact has the reality of Christmas had on us. In other words, in our day to day life, what influence is the extraordinary gift of Christ’s presence having on us?
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  • God is With Us

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    It was at Christmas that our Lord, as it were, took His first plunge into the heart of our troubles, of our difficulties, of our experiences, into the heart of the life we are leading. And that, not as someone standing at a distance, but as thrown into the stream--feeling the shock, the human astonishment at what took place around Him--feeling the poverty, the pain, the isolation in which He was left. He loves that we should sympathize with Him in it. 
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  • Woundedness Calls for a Response

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Our hope as Sacred Heart Educators is to form young people who contemplate the wounded world through the eyes of Jesus so that the transformation they effect is one that builds the Body of Christ. Watching young people across the country, particularly the survivors of the Parkland shooting reminds us all that youth are our hope, our promise and our responsibility.
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  • Faith As a Way of Knowing

    Suzanne Cookes, RSCJ
    This Sunday we will celebrate “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin. From now through Christmas, we are urged to focus on that spirit of joy that emanates from knowing that Christ is indeed with us, in us and among us.  Embracing this knowledge is fundamentally an act of faith.
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  • A Call to be One

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Prepare for His coming into your hearts,
    for that is why He came on earth: to be born,
    to develop in your souls, and when the beautiful day
    of Christmas arrives you will taste that peace
    the Angels announced to persons of good will.

     - St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, Conference, 1855
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  • Our Humanity Roots Us in Hope

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Today, I realized how short Advent is this year given that Christmas is on Monday.  The final week of Advent will literally be a few hours in length.  Now even Advent seems rushed.  How do we slow down sufficiently to enjoy the opportunity Advent offers us?
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  • Espacio: Responding to the 2016 Chapter Call to Create Silence

    Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
    Welcome to Musings…a blog intended to explore insights into how to respond to the challenges to which members of the Sacred Heart Family are called.  Advent seems the ideal moment to begin this blog as Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year.  I will confess it is a favorite time of the year for me.  I love the music of the Advent; its readings are beautiful.
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Back 2019
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.