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Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, receives 2018 Haggarty Award

  • Head of Schools Nat Wilburn and Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, PhD ASH'55
  • The recipient of the Sr. Catherine I. Seiker, RSCJ Award,Carol Rae Culliton-Metzger, PhD ASH'68, and Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, PhD ASH’55

About the Award

Since 2017, the Sister Carol A. Haggarty, RSCJ Leadership Award has been given to an RSCJ, a Sheridan Road alumna/us, or a former Sacred Heart School faculty or staff member who best exemplifies the leadership and commitment to Sacred Heart education, as demonstrated by the late Sister Haggarty.

Sister Haggarty served Sacred Heart Schools as a faculty member, principal of the Academy and a member of the Board of Trustees. Recipients of the Haggarty Award embody the call from St. John's Gospel – beloved by Sister Haggarty – to "love another as I have loved you."

2018 Haggarty Award Winner, Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, PhD ASH'55

Remarks delivered upon receipt of award on October 21, 2018

I am grateful and feel honored to receive the Carol Haggarty award, today.

For me, this has particular significance because of my long history and friendship with the Haggarty family. In the summer of 1956, Joan, Carol’s sister who was in my class at Sheridan Road, Carol and I had gone swimming. Afterwards, we returned to their home for ice cream. While there, we were talking about sophomore year at college and I said, to their great surprise, that I was going to be a nun. Carol, who just finished eighth grade said, "Can I have the pink Bermuda short outfit you are wearing?" Carol got the pink Bermuda outfit, and today, I receive the Carol Haggarty award ... I think I got the better deal.

I don’t intend to do one of those Oscar lists of thank you’s to all those who have helped me become the person I am today. But in receiving this award, I do want to remember the men and women I have worked with for over 43 years; men and women who have lived with mental illness, who became educators for me. To educate means to draw out. For they drew out parts of myself I was never aware of. Because of them and with them, I learned to listen to the deepest part of who they were. I learned how deeply they lived out spiritual values like compassion, resilience, generosity and courage. I learned how people with mental illness are more than their diagnosis and, because of this, I was motivated to educate others about the spiritual lives of those who live with mental illness.

Only years after leading groups on spirituality in psychiatric day treatment programs, did I realize that I had become a pioneer—unlike Philippine I had set off on this journey unwittingly and unknowingly—to bridge the gap between religion/spirituality and mental illness and that has made all the difference.

Thank you.

Text and photo courtesy of Sacred Heart Schools, Chicago