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By Abbey Hebert '19, Student Columnist
This year, the Academy of the Sacred Heart is celebrating the bicentennial of Sacred Heart education in North America. Though the New Orleans school was established in 1867, it is part of a Network of more than 150 schools across the globe whose roots date back to the early 1800s in France.
Two hundred years ago, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne—a pioneer, discoverer, and educator—brought Sacred Heart education to the New World, a land that was foreign and unknown to her. She landed in New Orleans in 1818, made her way up the Mississippi, and founded the first Sacred Heart school in America in St. Charles, MO. Today, there are 24 Sacred Heart schools in North America.
This year, the Sacred Heart community is celebrating St. Philippine's spirit and her journey through a playful paper cut-out known as "Flat Philippine." The idea is similar to the concept of Flat Stanley; people take photos with Flat Philippine and post them to social media using #FlatPhilippine. As a result, Flat Philippine has traveled to many places, nationally and internationally, and continues to do so every day.
"St. Rose Philippine Duchesne is a model for fidelity and courage," explains Sr. Jan Dunn, RSCJ, who is the Chair of the Bicentennial Committee at Sacred Heart. "Flat Philippine allows us to create conversation about her." Flat Philippine serves as a way for members of the Sacred Heart community to commemorate her spirit and to remember not only St. Philippine herself, but also the mission and history of Sacred Heart.
The Academy of the Sacred Heart will officially celebrate the bicentennial of Sacred Heart education in North America on Saturday, November 18 with mass at St. Louis Cathedral at 2:30 p.m., followed by a reception at Old Ursuline Convent. All are invited to attend.