To: All the Sisters of the Congregation
Subject: Greetings for the 29th September
Paris, 27th September 2019
My dear Sisters
Let us always keep alive in our hearts the memory of the heritage that we share and may we never cease to be amazed at how the Spirit is at work.
191 years ago, on the feast of St Michael, in the presence of a good number of priests and parishioners from the neighbouring parishes, six young women took the religious habit and made their religious profession in St Jacut. The community was thus officially established on the 29th September 1828, after 12 years of living together and sharing in a mission to the children and the sick, with great enthusiasm and zeal.
Angélique Le Sourd (Sr Saint-Jacut) became the local superior- she was 60 years old. Angélique Pédron (Sr Saint-Michel), her goddaughter, 38 years of age, was her assistant. Jeanne Hallier (Sr Sainte-Marie), 34 years of age, after teaching in the school for some time, became the novice mistress. The oldest member of the group, Julienne Monnier (Sr Saint-Joseph), 71 years of age, looked after the house. Her sister, Jeanne Monnier (Sr Sainte-Anne), 64 years of age, who had become blind, spent many hours praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The niece of the Monnier sisters, Thérèse Duval (Sr Saint-Jean), devoted herself to teaching young girls. The only one missing from this list is Françoise Richard. She was part of the original foundation of 1816 but died in 1820, at 46 years of age.
Recalling this event of 29th September draws us once more into the origins of our Congregation and helps us to rediscover the source of our vocation: Guyot reminds us that this first community, characterised by work, prayer and mutual aid (p.47) was like a ‘blessing for the region’.
The mission at the beginning was limited: ‘The needy sick of the parish of Saint-Jacut’ and ‘the poor children of this parish’ (p.42). Only later, impelled by the Spirit, would it expand into other areas.
Today the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in their inimitable way of humility and simplicity, are close to every vulnerable person. It is with this charism of tenderness and merciful love that we begin the Extraordinary Month of Mission of October 2019, declared by Pope Francis. Let us begin this month of October with renewed zeal to ‘revive faith and restore morals’, according to our means, in whatever way we can, but being as creative as possible.
One new initiative for this Extraordinary Month of Mission is the song composed and sung by Sr Joanna Sava, from Papua New Guinea, on the theme of the Month of Mission: ‘Baptised and Sent’ has been chosen by the Church of Papua New Guinea to celebrate the theme of Mission.
You can find the words and listen to the recording on the website of the Congregation.
I take this opportunity to announce the launch of our new website on 29th September 2019. The address is soeursdusacrecoeurdejesus.org
I want to say a huge thank you to Sr Béatrice Brocard from France (for the French section) and Sr Cynthia Johnston from the USA (for the English section). It is a massive project, still under development, and it needs the contribution of us all to make it work and come alive. Please don’t hesitate to send in all the events happening in your entity- big and small. They all testify to the vitality of our Institute.
The new Generalate team are working as a ‘remote team’ for the moment (thanks to modern means of communication). The opening session to start our year will take place at the beginning of November at the ‘Abbaye de la Coudre,’ in Laval, France. As of now, we ask for your prayers for this session.
I hope you will all have beautiful celebrations for the 29th September and a fruitful Missionary Month under the guidance of the Spirit. May Angélique accompany us and inspire us to give of ourselves completely in everything we do.
United in Christ,
With the General councillors