Madeleine Sophie Barat

National Sorry Day in Australia

National Sorry Day in Australia

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.

St Madeleine Sophie Barat’s Feast Day

Stories of Sophie from the early days in Brisbane.

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

2 April Reflection Quote

"How very dear to Our Lord is one who can say from the bottom of her heart; 'Lord,indeed you are good; I love whatever you want.' Such a soul is his beloved." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 18 to Philippine Duchesne, 1807. (background photo of joined hands)

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?

19 March Reflection Quote

"let us keep on praying and especially growing holy; that's what I call the marrow of prayer." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 33 to Anna de Rousier, 1839.

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?

15 March Reflection Quote

"God takes delight in a heart that has grown deep by humility and wide by charity." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Thoughts and Sayings.

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?

5 March Reflection Quote

"You are growing older and suffering; so you can do very little, but this is a means of becoming interior and of unting yourself to Jesus in his self-emptying." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 74 to Adreinne Michel, 1837

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?

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