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St. Rose Philippine Duschesne's Bicentennial Celebration and Liturgy

The Network of Sacred Heart’s Schools’ theme across the world was -


This event has been celebrated during the Network’s Year of Prayer from November 18, 2017, to November 18, 2018.  On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Bryn Mawr’s Sacred Heart community participated in a beautiful Bicentennial Mass honoring St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.

The Year of Prayer celebrates the missionary journey of Philippine Duchesne and her four companions from France to the New World, thus beginning the internationality of the Society of the Sacred Heart, now in 41 countries.

Reverend Daniel Joyce, S.J. was the celebrant for Bryn Mawr’s all-school Mass which welcomed and included constituents from the Board of Trustees, past & present faculty and staff, alumnae, and current parents. Father Joyce’s exquisite vestments, brought in from St. Charles, were creatively designed and handmade in Belgium. The lovely white vestments were embellished with designs in gold thread. Some of the designs include images of Rose Philippine with the Potawatomi Indians, the boat the Rebecca, teepees and log cabins, and the first school founded in St. Charles. 

As part of the Meditation during Mass, under the direction of Mrs. Lauren Deets, the choir sang O God of Ev’ry Nation which was written about Philippine’s life by Mr. Michael Joncas.  The school then dedicated a sapling which will flourish into a mighty oak symbolic of Philippine’s last name – DUCHESNE meaning “of oak.”  The oak sapling represents Philippine’s strength and dedication to the Sacred Heart mission. In closing, Mrs. Sharon Mitsler, MESH Coordinator, gave her remarks via a “letter” she wrote and dedicated to St. Rose Philippine. 

Excerpts from Mrs. Mitsler “letter” to Philippine include:

“My dear Mother, it is time for us to go forward, as members of the International Sacred Heart Nation, to reach a new frontier where every person understands they are valued and loved by God.”

“We will draw from your 200-year legacy, and draw courage, determination, and zeal from you.” 

“Our faculty, staff, student, and parents will feel your love every day and accept our challenge of being souls trending about respect and solidarity. We will strive to reach a new frontier and go out and make a difference in our world!”

At the conclusion of the Bicentennial Mass, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed a special goûter while invited guests gathered for a reception in the Mansion. 

It was a morning made of wonderful memories honoring our beloved and courageous St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.