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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

St. Philippine Duchesne

At times the picture chooses me and I do not even know why.
Now I cannot even make a capital "S" for sometimes. Why? 
I need patience with my computer as we do not always understand each other. Still, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to write on a computer that the strange things mine seems to do, are a small price to pay to be able to reach out to so many people through my blog. I just change to "at times" instead of sometimes to begin since I still cannot get a capital "S" to begin!
I have been praying for a theme to pick for at least some days each week; I am inclined to revisit the life of St. Philippine Duchesne as we are celebrating this year her arrival at St. Charles 200 years ago. I always learn new things when I begin to read different sources on Philippine. Of course, I learned to know her well when at school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. She arrived there on September 7 and had opened the free school just a week later and by October also had three boarders who were given a completely different curriculum so she was running two schools with her four companions. The house had more doors than windows and was not in good repair. Philippine did not want to go to St. Charles but the Bishop assured her that it was going to be a large and influential place and there was no place available in St. Louis. It would be 1827 before Philippine could begin a foundation in St. Louis.
Let us spend some time during the next weeks getting to know this remarkable saint who arrived in America with a great desire to work with the Indians. She established the Society of the Sacred Heart in America and kept us united to all the houses of the Society in France and we are still one body with houses now in over 41 countries. We owe much to Philippine so let us begin by reviewing her life.
Their is a new book coming out in French with all of her letters and journals. Much of this material has never been published before and I cannot wait to read it. However, I fear only libraries and maybe one for large communities can afford it. It is a two volume work and costs around $200 but about $173 for Religious of the Sacred Heart and Network schools, Associates,...I think I have that information from the first announcement that the publication will be in November. Actually, my work during the months before my final profession in Rome was to copy the letters of Mother Duchesne - I only had to type the French as many were preserved in very old notebooks and were all handwritten in French. I was to type them so Reverend Mother Benziger could give them to Reverend Mother Bulto to send to Spain for a new life of Philippine to be written in Spanish. Mother Callan could never get hold of the original letters and that bothered her historical background; I read the unedited letters and it was a way of getting to know Philippine at a deeper level.

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