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.
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. Within in the culture of these schools lies the extraordinary work of education which is fundamentally for us an experience of grace.
Our starting point is the vision of St. Madeline Sophie Barat. She lived in a moment of significant complexity, change, and uncertainty – not dissimilar to our own experience today. She responded to these challenges from the depths of her relationship with Jesus Christ whose love was so deep a reality to her that the Spirit remained infused in all she did. It is from this love and spirit that she received and developed her vision of education. Sophie believed that the service of education was the primary means by which the society of the Sacred Heart would carry on its mission of revealing God’s love in the heart of the world. For her education was a means never an end in itself. Within the dynamic of education adults and students come to know and experience God’s love.
Today across the globe, Educators of the Sacred Heart share Sophie’s desire “… to help people become ever more aware of truth, of love and of freedom as they discover the significance of their lives, and devote themselves to others” (1982 Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart).
I describe education as work of grace because within the culture of the Schools of the Sacred Heart the service of education is our way of continuing the work of Christ. Educators of the Sacred Heart hope to awaken in our students a sensibility to the attitudes of Christ’s Heart. True to Sophie’s vision and mindful of the significant challenges young people face today, we recognize the social fragmentation exposes young people to vulnerabilities that put all humanity at risk. Sacred Heart Educators share the conviction of the Religious of the Sacred Heart that we are called to encourage students to be open to truth and love as they discover the meaning of their lives and learn to collaborate creatively in the transformation of the world.
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.