UPDATE: OCTOBER 2018 - Saint Philomena School Accepted as Provisional Member of the Sacred Heart Network and Begins Two Year Journey Towards Full Membership!
St. Philomena School - Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Exciting News for Our Future!
“Have courage and confidence. We must never say, ‘I cannot do that, I am not capable of doing this’. God will not fail to give you the grace to do all that He has asked of you.”
-Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houet, Foundress of the Society Faithful Companions of Jesus
St. Philomena School of Portsmouth, Rhode Island not only has a strategic plan for the future, but also a strategic vision. Leadership of the Catholic independent elementary school is pleased to announce exciting news with regard to the school’s future. “The Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus opened our school in 1953,” said Board of Trustees Chair John Bohan. “Since that time, their support, care, and concern for the school has been unwavering, and they have pursued various partnerships that have paved the way for the school’s success today. The existence of our Board, largely made up of lay people working in collaboration with the Sisters, is an example of this spirit. Today we announce another exciting partnership that is beginning for St. Philomena School. As of September 18, 2018, St. Philomena School will be formally entering the application process to become a member of the Sacred Heart Network of Schools of Canada and the United States.”
The Society Faithful Companions of Jesus is an international order of Roman Catholic Sisters living and ministering in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas with headquarters in England. While the Sisters fcJ operate schools internationally, St. Philomena School is their only educational ministry in the United States. Sister Bonnie Moser, fcJ, is the Provincial Leader for the Sisters in the Americas. She explains, “We recognized that being a part of a Network of schools guided by a strong religious charism similar to our own would not only be a great support to school leadership, but would also provide many benefits to all aspects of school operations. The complementary nature of our Society to that of the Religious of the Sacred Heart is remarkable. Not only were the foundresses of our two Orders contemporaries, but our Orders both had their earliest beginnings in the city of Amiens, France within twenty years of each other. The similarities continue in our values and beliefs, particularly with regard to the importance of Catholic education in today’s world.” The Network of Sacred Heart Schools, reflective of the educational mission of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, consists of 24 Catholic independent schools in the United States and Canada, and additional international Network of schools in 30 countries. Sacred Heart Schools include elementary and high schools, as well as co-educational and single-gender schools, and the range of schools represent a variety of organizational models and structures. Being part of the Network provides access to a wealth of resources as well as various formation and leadership programs for both educators and students. It secures the future of Saint Philomena School as a strong Catholic independent school continuing to serve new generations of young people with courage and confidence.
St. Philomena School will carry forward a tradition of holding a unique status as being the only educational ministry of the Society Faithful Companions of Jesus in the United States and only the second school to enter the Sacred Heart Network of Schools from a different religious community. This pioneering spirit echoes “Courage and Confidence,” a motto of the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus, and qualities revered in the two foundresses, Venerable Marie Madeleine D’Houet and Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. The application process for St. Philomena School to join the Network of Sacred Heart Schools is an approximately two-year, detailed and multi-phased process for application, review, and acceptance into the Network. St. Philomena School Principal Brian Cordeiro will take a leadership role in the application process. He said, “I couldn’t be more excited about the forward thinking of our Sisters fcJ, this strategic vision, and all the opportunities it will bring to St. Philomena School, our students, faculty and families. This partnership will ensure our school is anchored in excellence, committed to our faith and motivated to build upon our rich fcJ traditions for generations to come. The Sisters have our gratitude for securing the future for us. The Sacred Heart Network of Schools is known for its high standards in educating and forming students of character, courage, and confidence. The Network is an exceptional collaborative body of schools dedicated to academic excellence committed to bringing Catholic education into a bright and vibrant future. This is a very exciting time for our school.”
Click on the links below to to learn more about this exciting journey
Picture above: The 1804 meeting of Madeleine Sophie Barat and Philippine Duchesne at the Visitation Convent in Grenoble, France is depicted in this icon created by Anne Davidson rscj. It hangs at the entrance of the 1835 building at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles.