St Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in France in 1800. Following her family’s custom, we call her Sophie. Sophie dreamed of restoring religious values to post revolutionary France. She wanted young people to know the love of the Heart of Jesus and to make reparation for the sacrileges committed during the Revolution. She saw Christian education as a way of renewing the social order. Years later, she recounted her original vision in this way: “My original idea of our little Society of the Sacred Heart was to gather young girls together and establish a little community which night and day would adore the Heart of
St Rose Philippine Duchesne established the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart outside of France, and she is the second saint of the Society. Philippine, as she was known, had joined the Visitation order before the Revolution of 1791. In 1801, she tried to re-establish the convent at St Marie d’en Haut which had been dispersed by the Revolution. When she came into contact with the Society of the Sacred Heart through Fr Joseph Varin, she readily joined the fledgling foundation. From their first meeting, Philippine and St Madeleine Sophie Barat were firm friends. Philippine had a strong desire to go as a missionary to share the love of
Janet Erskine Stuart was the Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart from 1911 to 1914. She was the first Superior General to travel extensively, visiting the Society in many parts of the world. She is remembered as an outstanding educator and spiritual guide. Janet Erskine Stuart was born in 1857 at the Cottesmore Anglican Rectory in Rutland, England. Her father was an Anglican minister, and her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 21 was difficult for him. In 1881 she entered the Society and spent almost her whole life as an RSCJ as a member of the Roehampton community. Janet is credited with raising the standard of
Sophie's Story - discover how our founder St Madeleine Sophie Barat remains a woman for today... Access the E-book
Reflection quotes from former leaders of the Society of the Sacred Heart and other wisdom figures.
On 19 September, 1893 New Zealand became the first self-governing country to grant the right to vote to all adult women. In 1893 Kate Sheppard and her fellow suffragists gathered the signatures of nearly 32,000 women to demonstrate the groundswell of support for their cause. A 270-m-long petition – then the largest ever presented to Parliament – was unrolled across the chamber of the House with dramatic effect. Despite the opposition of Premier Richard Seddon, the Electoral Act 1893 was passed by both houses of Parliament and became law on 19 September. The news took New Zealand by storm and inspired suffrage movements all over the world. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/kate-sheppard
The Society of the Sacred Heart is involved with the work of raising awareness of Trafficking of Humans. We have members belonging to ANZRATH (Aotearoa New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans). Another excellent, pro-active organisation, Stop the Traffik offers an in depth understanding of the many forms of trafficking existing in every corner of our world. Sexual exploitation, Labour exploitation, domestic servitude, forced marriage, organ harvesting, drug trade, child soldiers… We invite you to visit these websites and learn more about the horrendous activities that are happening close to home. Know how to recognise the insidious signs and how to
Sr Lynette Toohey, Provincial of the Australia – New Zealand Province, will leave on Sept 11 for Joigny, France, the birth place of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, to join eight other RSCJ who have recently been appointed to Provincial Leadership in their respective provinces. Their intensive programme will run for 10 days. “Please keep me in your prayers during this time. I trust that it will be a time rich in learning, relationships and steeped in Sophie’s spirit. Be assured that I will hold each one of you very especially in my prayer and heart as we gather in Sophie’s birthplace and hometown.” – Lynette We farewell Lynette with our