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Saturday, June 7, 2008

60 Years since Graduation

My grandmother and my great aunts had been educated at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri. When I was finishing the eighth grade, I went with some of my classmates to take scholarship examinations for Catholic high schools. I went to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles as one of the schools just to see what it was like and I fell in love with it. In one day I knew that I wanted to return and have an experience of boarding school. I felt the atmosphere of love and the special spirit that is there because of St. Philippine Duchesne who had spent the last ten years of her saintly life there after returning from the Indian missions. The Academy at St. Charles was the first school of the Sacred Heart established by Philippine in 1818 when she arrived from France. I remember that I played my first game of cache-cache on that Saturday scholarship day. This is a favorite game of hide and seek played in teams and great fun. My team hid in the loft of the old barn and drew the ladder up afterwards so, even if we were found, no one could reach us to tag a player.
My years at St. Charles were the most formative of my life; we had some marvelous educators and we felt that we were loved and cared for day and night by this really remarkable community of religious of the Sacred Heart. Today, I return to celebrate the graces given to me during those years at the dear "old Academy." In our school song we sang "home of sunny laughter" and it was that for me. Sometimes it is good to go back and relive our formative years and thank for all we received! This year will be especially marked for me because today I assist at the funeral Mass of one of my oldest and best friends who shared my love of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

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