Caracas, 15 November 2017
Happy feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne!
With the joy of being in union with one another, sharing a common feast and a common dream of a better world, one that we make known each day in each elementary and high school, each university, each formation site, we greet you and share with you how we will celebrate this feast in the Saint Madeleine Sophie School/Secretariado Comercial Santo Domingo Savio de Caracas, Venezuela.
For weeks now we have been preparing to celebrate on November 18th, 2017 the opening of the Bicentennial Year of our Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne and her four travel companions. Our different grade levels have been reading and researching about our indigenous peoples, their houses, different ethnic groups, traditions, ways of living, and ways of relating to their gods as a way of understanding the relationships Philippine could have with the Potawatomi. Our students have built indigenous dwellings using different materials and have made mandalas with images of Philippine and our indigenous people and landscapes. We have also studied the journey of Philippine from her birth to her arrival on American soil and eventually, her death, in order to learn the value of her life in our own history. Perhaps some of you will receive letters that some of our students have written. We will share together all of this preparatory work in school on November 17th, beginning with a celebration of the Word and continuing on with an expo, conversations, and formative celebratory demonstrations/displays. This is how we will gather as a Sacred Heart family!
We commit to having prayer each Monday as a way of journeying together this Bicentennial year. This prayer will be an expression of solidarity and care for our people through justice and peace.
We ask Rose Philippine today for the same courage she had to go where justice and solidarity demands, for her same fidelity to the calls of the God of Love and the call to be present to those in greatest need as Philippine was present to the Potawatomi. We ask for the strength to believe in dreams, to pursue them, to cross frontiers for them—even when age could seem to be an impediment.
This brings our love and thanksgiving for being part of this family.
On behalf of each administrator, staff member, student, and member of the faculty,
Jacquelin Jiménez rscj