Dear Members of the Sacred Heart Community,
Streetcars along St. Charles Avenue announce it. Lawn signs declare it. Recent articles in the Clarion Herald discuss it. Tweets populate it. "Our girls change the world!" Many could assume that our audacious claim describes what happens after our students graduate. Many could assume that "changing the world" denotes some substantial contribution, or at least a notable one. Yesterday, Sacred Heart students, along with their families, faculty and staff members, challenged these assumptions with evidence of something other, even paradoxical.
How can something so big, so important, so significant seem so small? Almost "hidden"? Such is the paradox of servant leadership, of putting one's faith into grounded action. Such is the legacy of our pioneer boundary-crossing missionary, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.
On September 15, 300 members of the Sacred Heart family enacted her enduring story through real-time servant leadership in 11 specific sites - from the beaches of Bay St. Louis to the homes of St. Bernard Parish. United with Sacred Heart families across the world, Sacred Heart communities honored the living legacy of our pioneer missionary St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. Putting faith into action, they committed to making small differences in their community through simple acts of service.
About Philippine's unique spirituality, T. Gavan Duffy S.J. observed: "What have we learned from her? The value of steadfast purpose, the success of failure and the unimportance of our standards of success; the power of grace released by deep, divine desires and simple duties daily done."
What a grace-filled way to celebrate Philippine! My hope is that each of you who participated in Global Service Day experienced the true blessing that accompanies service and that we continue to find ways to be in service together in the days, months, and years ahead.
In Cor unum et anima una in Corde Jesu,
Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ, Ph.D.