What is Philippine Duchesne trying to communicate to us today?

Philippine was above all a woman of profound communion. All her life, she built bridges between worlds: between Europe and America, between the worlds of rich and poor, between races: Europeans, Native American Indians, Blacks, and the new people being forged on the American frontier. In a time of war and class division in France, Philippine was peacemaker, nurturer and healer to those who suffered. In America, she offered to young women an education previously available only to young men. She opened free schools for the poor where none before had ever existed. She respected the dignity of native Americans even as their lands were being stolen and their ranks decimated by less caring immigrants. In short, Philippine spent her whole life entering into new worlds: building bridges, striving to understand other people's experience - in a word, creating communion.

Helen McLaughlin rscj  (Conference, 1988)
What does Philippine Duchesne mean for us as Religious of the Sacred Heart? 
I feel it is important for each one of us to take up Philippine’s life and to reflect on her message. She has surprised us now by stirring the surface of our immediate consciousness with extraordinary energy! What is she trying to communicate to us today? 
Who is she for us: a courageous, sensitive woman; a deeply prayerful religious; a lover of poverty and simplicity; a loyal, suffering daughter of the Church; a pioneer into the future who dared to go where few had gone before? She is saying something to us with urgency and insistence....
Personally, what impresses me about Philippine is her ability to respond to difficult events and times; to accept and love a totally different, new country and way of life; to enter wholeheartedly into another culture, language, and system of values and to appreciate these.
Saint Madeleine Sophie loved poverty and prayer, and Philippine followed her example with a boldness and totality that permeated her whole life. This openness to the Spirit and freedom of her whole being to respond to his call did not lead her to great success, but rather to the deep experience that the grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die that the Lord might bring forth the harvest. Trusting in Him, she gave her all.
Her goal in life was not personal holiness, but a spending of her energies to make the Heart of Christ known and loved. Her missionary élan was lived in fidelity to the Constitutions of 1815. This fidelity made her holiness and virtue authentic and real, visible to those who knew her. 
Today, the Constitutions of 1982 hold out to us a call to be strong women, eager to let Christ ‘gather together all things in Himself for the glory of His Father’ (§2), a call to be prayerful and discerning; reaching out to those in need, being with those who are poor – looking always towards the horizon where new worlds wait for us to give concrete expression to the very Love of his Heart.
Our prayer for one another during these days before [her] feast ... can strengthen us. Her example ... can encourage us to believe more surely that ‘the power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine’ (Eph 3:20).
Helen McLaughlin rscj
Superior General's Letter to all the Communities: 
“Canonization of Blessed Philippine” 
1 May 1987
We are now preparing for the bicentennial of Philippine Duchesne's crossing of frontiers
-- a celebration of 200 years of international mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Click here to access the bicentennial website on rscj.org.

A Philippine Duchesne webpage will also be available soon on rscjinternational.