1958 - 2002
The internationality of the Society of the Sacred Heart has always been a living experience for all of us who were educated in Sacred Heart schools, colleges or universities throughout the world. We were aware of the French roots of the Society, of the vision of the Foundress, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, and of the relationship of each country through provinces to a world leadership. We were also aware of each other growing up in various parts of the world, in different cultures, speaking different languagues yet having an experience of living within an additional 'culture' .- . the Sacre Coeur culture with its special focus of love of Christ and its inherent values.
Relationships were important in our educational environment ... with our teachers and with one another. There was great respect for the individual as an individual; the recognition that every person was special in the eyes of God and had particular gifts ... but there was a deep realization of the responsibility to develop these gifts not just for ourselves but for the good of our communities and others.
Women of vision and purpose saw the possibilities of bringing together the alumnae of the world together as a force for good, with great opportunities of sharing experiences, spirituality and skills. This resulted in the establishment of AMASC. They and those who followed have been great role models.
The first World Assembly of alumnae took place in Brussels in 1958 during the Universal Expo at the instigation of Maria van Mierlo of the Netherlands. An invitation was later extended by the then Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Reverend Mother de Valon to all alumnae of the world to meet in Rome in 1960. It was at the next Meeting, an International Congress held in Brussels in 1965 that the concept of forming a World Association was ratified and AMASC finally came into being at the First International Council meeting held in Rome in 1966.
This was the beginning of AMASC - Association Mondiale des Anciennes du Sacré Coeur - and the interlinking of tens of thousands of alumnae in an international sharing of visions, ideas, collaborations ....... A vibrant viable World Association has been forged.
This short outline of significant dates and resolutions has been compiled by Kumiko Oshima with the assistance of our archivist, Maria Franca Migone and provides data on the formation and development of AMASC over the 40 years of its existence. My grateful thanks to them.
The evolution continues and in 2000, AMASC became an independent international association (a non government organization - an NGO). This occurred at a time when the Society of the Sacred Heart determined at its General Chapter in Amiens that they sought 'collaboration with others, with reciprocity' in following their mission of transformational education.
With AMASC' s new legal identity and alumnae willing to enter more fully into · collaboration with the Society of the Sacred Heart, especially in assisting the rscjs with their mission, it could be the beginning of new joint ventures with the Society. The future is ours. Let us move forward together and draw others with us through our visions, our imperatives, to assist with discernment, energy and enthusiasm in helping recreate a more just and safe world for all.
People of hope ... people of justice ... people of reconciliation.
President • AMASC [1998-2002]