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World Association of Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart
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2014 XV AMASC World Congress
6-9 November 2014
Every four years AMASC holds a World Congress which provides a unique opportunity for alumna/i of the Sacred Heart from all over the world to meet and learn from one another, reflect, address issues, exchange points of views, plan and enjoy the Congress and have fun.
XV AMASCWorld Congress
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Sympathies and Prayers
Dear Niny, Anne, Elizabeth, Silvia, Jacqueline, Sheila, Viki, Maria Elena and Alice,
The AMASC Administrative Officers wish to offer you, the Presidents of AMASC Member Associations of The Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines and USA our sincere sympathy on the loss of your citizens in the plane crash in Ukraine.
Please extend our sincere sympathy and prayers to the members of your associations as well.
This is truly a painful experience for all your nations...the deaths of so many in such terrible tragedy. Our only immediate response can be to pray for those who have died,for their families and for peace. Long term we must re-double our efforts for dialogue.
I am sure that some of you have friends amongst those who lost their lives on Malaysian Airline Flight, MH17, so it is especially poignant for you. May the happy memories of those you have lost be a source of solace for you.
The death of Sr. Philomene Tiernan in the crash is a tragic loss for the Society and especially for the Society of Australia New Zealand. A number of the English alumnae, Claudia Nicolaije and I were with Sr Philomene as together we attended Mass in honor of the Feast of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton a few weeks ago. During the conference that followed, in honor of the centenary of the death of Mother Stuart, Claudia sat at the same table with Sr. Phil and I exchanged greetings with her. Sr Phil had such a lovely manner, gracious words and a kind smile...that is my vivid recollection of her.
Anne de Broglio has posted a number of articles, writings and images and links on the AMASC website and on the NSW one too. Included among them are the reflections of Anne Wachter, Headmistress of the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Halifax, who attended the JES Conference, and my own reflection on St. Phil's death.
Last November, 2013, speaking at the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, Pope Francis cited those Feasts as "days of hope". He continued that the virtue of hope is like a bit of leaven that enlarges your soul. There are difficult moments in life but with hope you go forward and keep your eyes on what awaits us...when we enter into the presence of God.
It is not a paradox to speak of hope in the face of so many tragic deaths. Walking forward fortified by hope, is the only way to face the future undefeated.
On behalf of the AMASC Administrative Officers,
With affection and in prayer,
President AMASC, 2010-2014
Sr Philomene Tiernan rscj - MT17 plane disaster - 18 July 2014
All day long I've thought about Sr. Philomene Tiernan's Profession Cross, cast onto a Ukrainian field. I am able to think about the cross there in the field, because I have faith that gentle Phil herself is in the presence of God.
Thinking about Phil's cross brings back the memory of being in the presence of Philippine Duchesne's cross... the missionary cross, worn also by Mother Stuart, which Margaret Phelan brought to the JES Conference. There in England, we spent time with that treasure of the Society... that missionary cross which witnessed the beautiful moments, dark hours and the many natural perils experienced by its wearers.
Now there is another treasure of the Society... we glimpse it in the photo which Hilary sent: Phil Tiernan's cross. We know that after the JES events, Phil Tiernan went on to France, where she visited Joigny and St. Francis Xavier Church in Paris where Sophie rests, and then to the Netherlands. And so Phil's cross went with her on what would be her final pilgrim visits to family and the Society.
Sadly we don't know, can't know, if Phil's cross will ever be seen again. Was it destroyed in the crash? If it survived, is it being treated with respect, or was it picked up by a looter? We may never learn. Unlike the Duchesne/Stuart missionary cross... Phil's cross will likely never have a special niche in the Society's archives.
But just like the missionary cross, we know that its value lies not in what it is made of nor its artistic merits. The value of Phil's cross is what the wearer made of it, and the Society she represented. .
May Sr. Tiernan rest in peace and may we all be enriched by her life and mission.
AMASC World President 2010-2014
From Sister Elisabeth le Jariel, rscj who spent time with Sr Phil Tiernan on her last day in Francel
I am sure that Phil was wearing her cross because when we were at the "Gare du Nord", I told her to hide it in order to protect her from very active pickpockets in that area.
Today I like to imagine that her cross lies among the bodies and objects which recover the ground, in the middle of total chaos. What a great symbol!
Dear Sacred Heart Family,
I write to you on this beautiful summer evening to share some very sad news. A Religious of the Sacred Heart named Philomene (Phil) Tiernan, RSCJ was on Flight MH17. This violent tragedy draws our world together - please pray for the Canadian onboard (Andrei Anghel, age 24 of Ont.), Sr. Tiernan, and all of the victims and their families. I was with Sr. Phil Tiernan at the Sacred Heart conference in England a couple of weeks ago; she had the same joy, depth, warmth, wisdom and compassion that made a deep impression on me when we first met in 1994. Some people are just that way.
Our School theme for the coming year is Cor Unum (One Heart). It speaks to our reality of being one family - not simply among our three school divisions here in Halifax, but also one Heart and one Sacred Heart family throughout the world. "Cor Unum" is written into the logo for Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, in Sydney Australia where Sr. Tiernan was a teacher and spiritual director in the boarding school. The words are also in the logo of Stuartholme School of the Sacred Heart in Queensland, Australia - Phil's alma mater.
Today, my thoughts repeatedly returned to: we have work to do. Our world needs to grow more peaceful and tolerant; education plays an important role in this. We want a close-knit global Sacred Heart family to be part of educating our future leaders. We have work to do. Please honour Sr. Tiernan and the other victims by courageously and compassionately living our theme, Cor Unum. Rather than becoming numb to pain through constant media exposure, we are meant to realize that all of life is connected, and love is far more powerful than hate. As one of the participants of our conference said inher blog: The enduring power of love, not hate, is what we need to remember.
There are many troubled areas of our world. At the least, in our own spheres of influence we can practice peace, pray for peace, teach peace ... starting with our own humble hearts, our own families, our own neighbourhoods ... and in this way we will expand and experience Cor Unum.
My favorite prayer was penned by Mother Stuart... the last lines speak to us about such a tragedy.
... and through the crash of falling worlds, thou holdest me, for all is thine eternally.
With Love, Anne
Anne Wachter, RSCJ, Headmistress
Sacred Heart School of Halifax
5820 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1X8
902.422.4459 | email@example.com