St Madeleine Sophie would have approved of Sorry Day being so close to her Feast Day, but it does mean that we gather for two significant liturgies on consecutive days at Stuartholme. On Thursday we gathered in the Chapel for a prayerful Mass in honour of Sophie followed by celebrations on the Oval. The following day, we gathered again in a more solemn mood for our annual National Sorry Day Liturgy. Our Liturgy was introduced by reminding us of its special significance this year. “In 2017, we reflect on two significant anniversaries in Australia’s reconciliation journey – 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.
Feast of St Madeleine Sophie Barat “Madeleine Sophie wanted each person to become aware of truth, of love and of freedom. Educating for compassion, awakening compassion in children, adolescents and adults: this is our duty and our mission.” Helen McLaughlan, RSCJ
One hundred years ago the first RSCJ arrived in Brisbane at the invitation of Archbishop Duhig. They spent the first three years in the suburb of Annerley where the Archbishop had asked them to open a Primary School while they looked for a site for their future Boarding School. One of the foundresses, Mother Kathleen O’Donovan, had a great devotion to Sophie whom she had come to love in the year she spent teaching English in Marseilles where memories of Sophie were really alive. Each month from the 15th to the 25th Mother O’Donovan made a novena to Sophie, who she said, granted her many favours. After her arrival at
When we experience union with the Heart of Jesus, we want whatever he wants. – have you ever had the kind of experience that St Madeleine Sophie Barat describes? – where and when have you had a strong sense of God’s goodness? – what helps you to be free enough to want whatever God wants?
St Madeleine Sophie Barat encouraged gratitude to God long before gratitude journal and gratitude posts became a social media trend. – have you ever kept a gratitude journal or accepted a gratitude post challenge? – what do you feel grateful to God for today? – in your experience, how does gratitude increase love?
Growing closer to God is at the center of prayer for St Madeleine Sophie Barat. – What do you believe ‘growing holy’ means? – What might St Madeleine Sophie Barat have meant by these words? – When you find prayer difficult, what helps you to persist?
Our hearts must grow deep and wide in order to express the depth and breadth of the love of God. – how might humility add depth to our capacity to love? – does charity extend the scope of our love or does the scope of our love extend our charity – or both? – what does it feel like to know that God delights in us?
Our culture tends to value having and doing over being. It is not surprising then that we may fall into valuing ourselves according to what we do. Jesus, however, shows us another way. – does this saying from St Madeleine Sophie Barat feel like an unhelpful suggestion that you ‘offer up’ your sufferings? – how might less action help you to be closer to Jesus? – what feeling arise when you can do very little?
We tend to think of ourselves as the protagonists in our lives. However St Madeleine Sophie Barat invites us to a life that is so Jesus-centred that there is nothing but Jesus. – who or what takes centre stage in your life? – how can you be the Heart of God in the heart of the world? – when do you feel the most in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus?