Dear Members of the School Community,
Hopefully, the days of summer have been a time for...
Rest. Reflection. Silence. Journaling. Prayer. (Oh! Yes...and a time for...)
Family. Friends. Followers and unfollowing.
Walking. Cycling. Hiking. Gardening and growing.
Swimming. Sunbathing. Skiing. Sailing and soaring.
Packing and unpacking.
Exploring. Seeing new things and seeing things in a new way.
Taking care of self (we know you take care of others).
I welcome you with joyful expectation to the 2018-2019 school year at the Academy of the Sacred Heart!
This year promises to be an exciting and enriching one. As a Sacred Heart school, we continue our bicentenary year (200th anniversary) in recognition of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ. To echo the "boundary-crossing" spirit of this risk-taking woman-on-a-mission, Sacred Heart students, parents, alumnae, and friends around the world will participate in a Global Service Day on Saturday, September 15th. In our service and spirit, we will be united across the world in our mission to "discover and make known the love of God through the heart of Jesus." Our year of celebration will culminate at a special closing Liturgy on November 16th in the Nims Fine Arts Center on the Mater Campus.
Core to Philippine's spirituality was an enduring faith and hope in God. As the daily challenges of frontier life in the Louisiana territory called her to daily uncertainty and to great risk, Philippine responded with trust and unswerving fidelity. One of our Sisters spoke about this spiritual dimension of mission in this way,
"The higher we want to fly, the greater the risk, but that is the glorious part of it. The great uncertainties in which we trust God, the breathless risks we run, with no assurance but our great trust in God, that seems to me to be of the essence of our life and its beauty. This will grow upon you; you will get your balance in the risk and get to love it." (Mother Janet Erskine Stuart)
At the Rosary, we recognize this Spirit of Life and Beauty, don't we? We have felt the updraft of the wind lifting us to greater heights as a community. We know the breathless risks we run. And, we recognize the need to "get our balance." (Goal 5, Criterion 6) Hopefully, the words "faith and hope" carry us to new heights as our theme for the year, and that we each learn more of the "essence of our life and its beauty."
In preparation for your daughters' return to school, our faculty and staff have participated in five full days of planning and training. With our returning educators, we welcomed new faculty and staff to our community. I cannot wait for you to meet these exceptionally gifted and talented individuals! All of us are excited about welcoming you to the start of the school year.
Looking forward to the coming school year, our strategic priorities include:
- Continued concentration on academic rigor and innovation, especially regarding differentiation
- Development of our global education curriculum, with a special focus on global competencies
- Meaningful integration of technology and promotion of digital citizenship
- Transformation of learning spaces to reflect 21st-century learning skills and methodology
Our Sacred Heart facilities have had a facelift over the summer:
- Repair and painting of fire escapes, skirt boards, columns, iron railings, and shutters, including tuckpointing on the Jena side of the Rosary Campus
- Power washing the Mater Campus buildings
- Newly renovated art rooms on the Rosary Campus and a "Soho Art Room" on the Mater Campus
- New networked recording camera systems on both campuses
- Furniture, furnishings, and fixtures in some classrooms and common spaces
I hope you and your daughters are pleased with these and many other school improvements over the summer.
Beginnings are filled with excitement, as well as some uncertainty related to the unknown ahead. May we each be filled with FAITH and HOPE as we commit to soaring to great heights in the 2018-2019 school year. May we each be filled with the bounty of God's goodness during these final days of summer. Refreshed by the Source and Spirit of Life, may we each come to school with joy to share with others.
Blessings and Peace,
Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ, Ph.D.