Educators of the Sacred Heart (ESCJ's)
On the Friday afternoon of March 18, 2005, a group of concerned Sacred Heart Prep educators called an ad hoc meeting to discuss recently proposed revisions to the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart schools. These revisions had been written by SHCOG, the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals, and all Sacred Heart schools in the U.S. had been asked to respond to the proposed changes. As the meeting progressed, we became increasingly aware of two things.
• First, and perhaps most notably, we felt very strongly our collective passion for the Goals and Criteria, which hold the Sacred Heart Network schools together, which underpin everything we do at Sacred Heart Prep, and on which we rely to justify our work in and out of the classroom.
• Second, we realized that we were operating in a sort of vacuum in terms of how our colleagues at other schools were responding to the revisions. One of our members, for example, had discovered that two other Network schools had responded to SHCOG, but we had no idea what these responses were like. Nor did we know how to go about finding out.
At the end of our meeting, it was clear that we were all participating in something amazing: a grass-roots outpouring of passionate attachment to the philosophy of Sacred Heart education as it was expressed in the 1990 Goals and Criteria.
Our Mission: To affirm our school community in its adherence to the mission of Sacred Heart education, and to help us to learn more about the charism and heritage of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our concerns about the revisions grew out of our collective understanding of this philosophy, based on many years of working at (and in some cases also attending) Sacred Heart schools. As our session ended, everyone agreed that it would be a good idea to create a group of faculty and staff on our campus similar in spirit to both the Sacred Heart Society [our SHP senior student group] and to an idea proposed by the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in the 1980s: the creation of an “ESCJ” [“Educateurs du Sacré Coeur de Jesus,” or “Educators of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”] group, whose purpose would be to promote the heritage, charism and mission of Sacred Heart education at a grass-roots level.
A similar passion was evident during a very thoughtful and insightful follow-up discussion on the revised Criteria wording with faculty and staff from St. Joseph’s School of the Sacred Heart, local area RSCJ, and former Director of Schools, Joseph Ciancaglini. This meeting took place on April 5, 2005, at Oakwood.
Sacred Heart Schools responded to the proposed revisions following these meetings, and most of our concerns were addressed in SHCOG’s final wording of the revised Criteria. By the end of the academic year, we had formed our ESCJ group, whose stated purpose is “to affirm faculty and staff in their adherence to the mission of Sacred Heart education, and to help us to learn more about the charism and heritage of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
- Talk by Sr. Kathleen Hughes Saintes Savantes 2010
- Keynote address by Connie Solari at the Leadership Teams meeting in St Charles (June, 2008)
- Homily by Sr. Kathleen Hughes in celebration of the 2005 U.S. Goals and Criteria
- Address by Sr. Catherine Baxter on The Spirituality of St. Madeleine Sophie and the Educational Mission of the Sacred Heart
- Address by Douglas Lowney on The Spirituality of the Sacred Heart Educator, 2006
- Janet Whitchurch’s article from Journey of the Heart, "Becoming a Sacred Heart Educator"
- Letter from Sr. Clare Pratt, Superior General, to all RSCJs worldwide on the occasion of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 2005
- America article from February, 2006
- Letter from Sr. Clare Pratt, Superior General, to all RSCJs worldwide on the occasion of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 2007
- Address by Sr. Kathy Conan, U.S. Provincial, to the Associated Alumna of the Sacred Heart, 2007
- Address by Sr. Shirley Miller to Sacred Heart, Atherton, high school graduates, 2005
- Letter from Sr. Kathleen Hughes to President Bush