Book Reviews

Review of books written by or about RSCJs and Alumna

Welcome to Sister Carolyn Osiek, rscj who wil suggest books for the AMASC website limiting them to those by or about the RSCJs as well as those by or about Sacred Heart Alumnae.

Sister Osiek, rscj is the Archivist for the Society of the Sacred Heart, U.S. Province as well as Scripture Scholar and Author who lives in St. Louis. Sister Osiek is also Charles Fischer Professor of New Testament Emerita, Brite Divinity School.



AGAINST ALL ODDS by Betty Ogiel Rubanga
Betty is a graduate and alumna of RSCJ's Kangole and Kalunga High School in Uganda.
Betty Ogiel Rubanga writes about the challenges she faced as a girl child growing up in Africa.

This is a true story about an orphaned girl-child from Karamoja, a neglected rural area of northern Uganda. Her greatest dream was to get an education but she had to go against many heartbreaking obstacles to achieve that dream. In a culture where education for girls is not a priority, she was fortunate to meet the RSCJ who gave her personal support as well as financial aid. Her resilience and determination enabled her to complete secondary school and university.
The book is available from


Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ, Louise Callan, RSCJ (1893-1966): Biographer of Philippine Duchesne.
Louise Callan, RSCJ (1893-1966): Biographer of Philippine Duchesne
Louise Callan, RSCJ, was Professor of History and Sacred Scripture at Maryville College in St. Louis until her death in 1966, greatly loved by her many Maryville students. Overcoming severe obstacles of time and limitations of resources available to her, she produced a major biography, of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ (1769-1852), pioneer missionary from France to America in 1818, a biography that is widely known and has yet to be superseded. Her work, which was met with critical acclaim, was accomplished during years in which she suffered courageously from cancer and worse from the treatments available at the time. A teacher to the end, she died an hour after finishing her last class. This biography is a tribute to her as we approach the bicentennial of the arrival of Philippine and her companions in 1818.
The book is available for $11.95 plus shipping or $3.49 ebook from various online vendors, including iUniverse, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Seeking the one whom we love.
“What difference does it make how you pray
provided your heart is seeking the One whom you love?”

—Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
“Prayer is a profound mystery.  It is utterly mysterious that we can be in relationship with God, that we can be drawn into the very life of God. It is beyond imagining that God has planted this desire for intimacy in our hearts. It is a mystery that this yearning for union is a mutual love and longing, God’s and ours, a mutual thirst and desire, every bit as much on God’s part as on ours. And because prayer is essentially about relationship, there are as many ways of praying as there are human hearts turned to the divine.” 
With these words, the editors introduce Seeking the One Whom We Love, a collection of fifty-five reflections on prayer by Religious of the Sacred Heart.  These are not reflections on what we think about prayer or what we have read about prayer.  They are, rather, glimpses of the way each one has nurtured and sustained her relationship with God.  While the essays differ in almost every way, there are a few striking commonalities. For one thing, they illustrate that deep longing for God and a contemplative way of life that was also St. Madeleine Sophie’s passion. They also illustrate a commitment to a life of prayer, in times of struggle every bit as much as times of consolation and delight. Above all, the bedrock of these essays is what binds Religious of the Sacred Heart together: a common search for the One whom we love, a struggle with the tension of being wholly contemplative and wholly apostolic, and a longing to make God’s love visible in the heart of the world.
The book is currently available on Amazon and will be available for distribution more broadly in the near future at Ingram Spark.

Santa Magdalena Sofía Barat nos habla de Vida Interior. Una colección de la Madre Barat sobre esta tema en francés, español, y inglés. Se pide a Ha Rosa Carbonell en España ( 5 euros más el transporte.

Sainte Madeleine Sophie nous parle de la vie intérieure. Recueil de Sainte Madeleine Sophie sur ce theme en français, español, et anglais. Demandez de S. Rosa Carbonell en Espagne (
5 euros et le prix postal.

Saint Madeleine Sophie speaks to us on the interior life. A collection of her sayings on this theme in French, Spanish, and English. Order from Sr. Rosa Carbonell in Spain ( 5 euros plus postage.





Zoe M. Keithley (a third-generation alumna),
The Calling of Mother Adelli
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014).
A historical novel set in the Sacred Heart boarding school at Lake Forest, Illinois in the 1940s.
Available through Amazon and Kindle.



Esther Kandó Odescalchi (Manhattanville '60), My Escape: Memoirs of a Hungarian Teenage Freedom Fighter. Account of her 1956 escape from her native Hungary to Austria. Written in Hungarian in 1956, now translated into English.
Available from the author ( or Merritt Bookstore ( and through Amazon


Maria Cimperman, RSCJ: Social Analysis: Linking Faith and Justice.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2015. 978-1-62698-143-0.

In Social Analysis: Linking Faith and Justice, Maria Cimperman addresses the ongoing need for the tools of social analysis in every area of Christian life and pastoral care. Cimperman revisits the famous “pastoral circle” approach of see/judge/act, but with updated language and areas of concern. Reproducible worksheets are included for collaborative work and discussion.
The list of international distributors can be found at:
Maria Cimperman, RSCJ, is associate professor of theological ethics and director of the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.


Rosa Carbonell, rscj (coordinadora), Semblanzas: Magdalena Sofía Barat 1779-1865 (Provincia de España: Kit-books, 2015).
En la Provincia de España se ofrece a los profesores de los colegios del Sagrado Corazón la posibilidad de hacer un curso on-line de formación sobre la Sociedad. Este librito recoge algunos de sus trabajos, en los que expresan sus ideas y sentimientos sobre Magdalena Sofía Barat, en el 150 aniversario de su muerte.

Rosa Carbonell, rscj (editor), Semblanzas: Magdalena Sofía Barat 1779-1865 (Province of Spain: Kit-books, 2015).
The province of Spain offers to teachers in Sacred Heart secondary schools an online course on formation to the spirit of the Society. This little book collects some of the essays of the teachers that express their ideas and responses about St. Madeleine Sophie Barat on the 150th anniversary of her death.



Judith Ann Brown, RSCJ and Frances Gimber, RSCJ, Mary Catherine McKay, RSCJ, 1929-2001. A short biography of a religious who touched many people's lives, as member of the Central Council of the Society in Rome, Director of Novices, worker for social justice in Nicaragua and Harlem, and resource for spiritual leadership until her sudden death in Japan. Available from the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 W. Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108, U.S.A.


A Child’s Life of St. Madeleine Sophie

By Dacia Van Antwerp, ASH, 1948 Illustrations by Carla Maria Melendez Relli, ASH, 2020
Published by Denton Publications
2121 Clawson Avenue, Apt. 101
Royal Oak, Michigan 48073
Cost $14, MI residents add 6% MI sales tax = $14.84

All net proceeds from the sale of this little book\will go to  the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA.

Sophie's Fire

By Constance Solari (CreateSpace, 2012). A historical novel based on the life of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. See its website with much information about St. Madeleine Sophie's life and historical context, and
Available at


Barat College: A Legacy, a Spirit, and a Name

By Martha Curry, RSCJ.. A new book published by an RSCJ about the history of Barat College, Lake Forest, IL, founded by the Society. It has many alumnae who will be interested.
Chicago, Illinois: Loyola Press, 2012.
$20.00 plus shipping. ISBN 3734-8.
The book can be ordered from Loyola Press, 1-800-621-1008,
or by mail to: Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657.
It is not available online. More information at

The Society of the Sacred Heart in Nineteenth-Century France, 1800-1865.

By Phil Kilroy, RSCJ. Cork University Press; available April 30, 2012. ISBN 1859184995.


Madeleine Simon RSCJ: Born Contemplative.
New Edition
- Introducing Children to Christain Meditation: Edited by - Penelope Sturrock
Madeleine Simon RSCJ had an intuitive understanding that children are 'born contemplative'. This book helps adults who care for children to share in their openness and longing for God in the silence, stillness and simplicity of Christian meditation. This new edition brings an experiential dimension to her enduring message. An invitation at the end of each chapter encourages the reader to respond not only to the content but, more importantly, to the experience of sharing the prayer of silence with children. The book will help practicing meditators who are looking for a way to introduce meditation to children. It will also encourage those who have not practiced meditation to begin in the interest of children.

La Société du Sacré-Coeur dans le monde de son temps 1865-2000

de Monique Luirard et Clare Pratt. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion (30 décembre 1995)


Les Années pionnières 1818-1823

de Chantal Paisant. Le Cerf, 2001. Correspondence of St. Philippine Duchesne and her four companions on their journey to America.


A Trail of Light: The Very Full Life of Anita Figueredo

Bloomington, IN: Wordclay, 2009. Anita Figueredo Doyle was a prominent alumna of Manhattanville and board member at University of San Diego. She was a surgeon who practiced many years in San Diego. Sarita Eastman is Anita's daughter. The book is available in English and Spanish from

Madeleine Chi, Shanghai Sacred Heart: Risk in Faith, 1926-1952.

Published by the Society of the Sacred Heart, 2001; order from Society of the Sacred Heart Archives, U.S. Province.
This one is not new, but important for your international

Sister Karuna Mary Braganza rscj.

Read more on the Book and Journal Review


Kathryn Sullivan, RSCJ (1905-2006): Teacher of the Word

Southward, Ho!The Society of the Sacred Heart Enters "Land of the Spanish Sea"

Check the Flyer of the introductory books available in English

In French:

La mission au féminin : Témoignages de religieuses missionnaires au fil d'un siècle (XIXe-début XXe siècle)

Chantal Paisant (Auteur), Collectif (Auteur)
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DISCLAIMER: Please note: books that are reported in this section are not endorsed by AMASC nor are we resposible for factual content. This section serves only as information for our members.