Our world is constantly changing. Our founder, Saint Madeleine Sophie, knew only too well the demands of such a world, living as she did during Revolutionary France of the late 1700s. She cultivated, as we must, the personal skills needed to thrive in an environment of near permanent change. Saint Madeleine Sophie’s leadership style emerged through hours at deep and intense prayer. She thought carefully and dreamed of a way to be God’s steward and to help rebuild the world. The characteristics of Sacred Heart leadership have been molded for over 200 years in every generation and are evident today in RSCJ, Sacred Heart alumni and alumnae, Sacred Heart educators and collaborators, and our Associates.
Four Characteristics of Sacred Heart Leadership
Courage and Confidence
Saint Madeleine Sophie wrote let this be our war cry: "courage et confidence." She herself demonstrated the ability to innovate, remain flexible and adapt constantly, set ambitious goals, think globally, move quickly and take risks. Throughout the ages, and in a variety of disciplines, Sacred Heart leaders have discovered new truths, explored new approaches and embraced new ideas and perspectives in a complex and changing world. Leadership happens not when obstructed by the habits and deeply entrenched ways of thinking that are heavily defended, but when we can step out of old life scripts and act with clarity of purpose, courage and compassion.
Hearts of Fire
Inherent in Sacred Heart leadership is a need to satisfy a deeply personal call linked to a positive and constructive change in the outside world. Saint Madeleine Sophie instilled a restless spirit and a critical awareness of the interconnectedness of the whole of creation. As women of compassion, we are challenged to look beyond our own needs and desires, and work together to make the world a better place.
Personal and Active Faith in God
A personal and active faith in God is at the heart of every Sacred Heart leader. We are called to be Wholly Contemplative and Wholly Apostolic, and to surrender to God’s Love. Experiencing God’s desire for friendship unfolds over our lifetime. As the friendship develops, we learn to pay attention and discover God’s creative desire for each one of us. Here we discover who God created us to be.
Rooted in Love
Relationships are the very heart of every Sacred Heart leader. It was clear to Saint Madeleine Sophie that friendship with God cannot be had in isolation from other human beings. We perform our best in supportive, encouraging and positively charged environments. Being rooted in God’s Love changes the way that we look at others and our ability to see each persons’ talent and potential. We enter into direct relationship with another as a uniquely whole person and with deep appreciation of the potential, unique talent and fundamental human dignity.