Tuesday, October 19, 2010
St. Philippine Duchesne
This statue was commissioned by the city of St. Charles and placed at the extreme southeast corner of the school property. Philippine established the first convent of the Sacred Heart in America in 1818 in St. Charles and opened the first free school west of the Mississippi. The first year was very difficult and they lacked everything. Although situated almost on the banks of the Missouri river, they lacked water, fuel, and food. They were living in a very small cabin and yet received boarders from St. Louis. Because of the condition of the house and the hardships of that first year, the Bishop moved us to Florissant. However, we returned to St. Charles in 1828 and Mother Duchesne left Mother Lucile Mathevon there as superior.
Lucille and Mary Ann O'Connor were the two who had to be carpenters before the house was ready to receive boarders but they soon had the windows replaces, the doors repaired, and even made some benches to begin the free school as soon as the floor had been repaired. It was the Jesuits who brought us back to St. Charles but they were so concerned with getting their Church finished that they had not done any work on the old cabin. Our first mothers were real pioneers!
I want to include this from a talk by the Holy Father. He is speaking to seminarians in England, but this paragraph would seem to be for all of us:
"That is why it is so important, dear friends, that you learn to live in constant intimacy with God. When the Lord tells us to "pray constantly", he is obviously not asking us to recite endless prayers, but urging us never to lose our inner closeness to God. Praying means growing in this intimacy. So it is important that our day should begin and end with prayer; that we listen to God as the Scriptures are read; that we share with him our desires and our hopes, our joys and our troubles, our failures and our thanks for all his blessings, and thus keep him ever before us as the point of reference for our lives. In this way we grow aware of our failings and learn to improve, but we also come to appreciate all the beauty and goodness which we daily take for granted and so we grow in gratitude. With gratitude comes joy for the fact that God is close to us and that we can serve him."
You can read the entire talk if you look at the blog listed on the right: Whispers in the Loggia.