Sharon Karam, RSCJ, received the Woman of Conscience Award at the 42nd annual AASH (Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart) National Conference, held in New Orleans, April 26–27.
The following remarks, presented by Jan Dunn, RSCJ, illuminate the love and heart Sister Karam so graciously gives to those she encounters.
In 1818, Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne, of the newly-founded Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, left France to participate in the missionary expansion of the Catholic Church in the New World, at the request of Bishop Louis William Dubourg, named bishop of “Louisiana.” This vast area, acquired by the United States from France in 1803, extended over a territory of 530,000,000 acres (828,000 square miles), from New Orleans to Canada, including all the lands drained by the vast river system of the Mississippi and the Missouri, the future Midwest of the United States.
This past March, Irma Dillard, RSCJ, joined the faculty, staff and students at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart for their “Social Action Day.”
Social Action Day focused on examining racism in light of the Chapter Calls, the work that the Society has done to explore and address its past with slavery, and what that means for all of us today.
This past March, the United Nations (U.N.) Headquarters in New York hosted the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), bringing together more than 5,000 delegates from around the world, including several RSCJ from the United States – Canada Province.
Sheila Smith, RSCJ, the international Society of the Sacred Heart’s U.N.-NGO (nongovernmental organization) representative, along with Anne-Marie Conn, RSCJ, and Bridget Bearss, RSCJ, among other RSCJ in the New York metro area, attended the commission, which took place March 11-22, 2019.
Driven by the Sacred Heart mission, at age 82, Rose Quilter, RSCJ, continues to be a lifelong learner who seeks to serve as a conduit of empowerment for those on the margins as she listens to the voices of immigrant families living in Texas on the United States-Mexico border.
“It’s been such an adventure,” said Sister Quilter, reflecting on the journey that led her to the Rio Grande Valley and ARISE (A Resource in Serving Equality).
Duchesne House for Volunteers in New Orleans, Louisiana, a ministry of the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States – Canada Province, will close at the end of August 2019.
Duchesne House opened in 2007 as a response to the needs of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Religious of the Sacred Heart have staffed the Duchesne House since its foundation. Today, Bonnie Kearney, RSCJ; Sergio Vasquez (an Associate); and Maureen Chicoine, RSCJ, are its current staff.
Since 2010, community life director Clare Pratt, RSCJ, has been the backbone of the Oakwood Community in Atherton, California. Oakwood is one of the Society of the Sacred Heart’s eldercare communities.
On March 1, Sister Pratt stepped down as community life director and Sally Rude, RSCJ, took the reins!
Betty Nakato, RSCJ, and Joan Gannon, RSCJ, were among those featured in a social media campaign celebrating the myriad ways women religious and their supporters stand up for social justice in our communities. The “Stand With Sisters” campaign ran during National Catholic Sisters Week (March 8-14) and continued throughout the remainder of the month.