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Who is Flat Philippine?
On the first day of school, our students were greeted by one of our founding members of the Sacred Heart community—Flat Philippine. Soon after, they were each given their own small cut-outs of Flat Philippine, and now, she is making a splash on social media (#FlatPhilippine) by traveling with our students and other members of the Sacred Heart community, both here at the Rosary and at our Network schools across the globe. Flat Philippine is a representation of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, one of our founding mothers who brought Sacred Heart education to the New World. She makes her debut this school year to kick off a yearlong celebration of the 200th anniversary of Sacred Heart education in North America. She symbolizes Philippine's pioneer spirit and helps us remember her journey to the New World as she planted the seeds of Sacred Heart education.
As a religious of the Sacred Heart educating children in France in the early 1800s, Philippine felt a strong calling to serve as a missionary to Native Americans in the New World. At the age of 49, she endured a treacherous 11-week journey across the Atlantic aboard the sailing vessel, The Rebecca. When she landed in New Orleans on the Feast of the Sacred Heart in 1818, she famously kissed the ground in gratitude and was offered hospitality by the Ursuline nuns for the next few months.
Philippine made her way up the Mississippi River and founded the first Sacred Heart school, Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, MO, in 1818. It wasn't until many years later that she was able to work with Native Americans, the Potawatomi tribe, at the age of 71. She became widely known for spending long periods in prayer and was named "Quahkahkanumad" by the children, meaning "the woman who prays always."
A Growing Network
Philippine was a pioneer who dared to go where few had gone before. She endured incredible hardships—being told "no" many times, living in poor conditions, battling yellow fever, dealing with language barriers, having difficulties creating organization in a new place, and constantly feeling as though she was failing. But despite everything, she never gave up. Because of her faith and perseverance, the Society of the Sacred Heart spread, and two hundred years later, there are 24 Sacred Heart schools in North America.
Above left: Flat Philippine traveled to Nicaragua with Kate Ellis '19, Mary Catherine Triche '18, and other students and faculty who aended the annual service trip through Amigos for Christ this past summer.
Above Right: Flat Philippine sits in on a meeting with Janice Foulks, Sr. Melanie Guste, RSCJ, Jana Fogleman, and other members of the ASH Bicentennial Committee as they plan details for the upcoming celebration on November 18.
Below: The ASH Fathers' Club welcomed Flat Philippine to their first meeting of the school year.
JOIN US in celebrating St. Philippine Duchesne's landing in New Orleans and 200 years of Sacred Heart education in the New World. All are invited.
Saturday, November 18
2:30 p.m. Bicentennial Mass at St. Louis Cathedral
Reception to follow at Old Ursuline Convent
- Heartbeat, October 2017