Year Of Gailhac
Joyful greetings to all who will be part of the Year of Jean Gailhac: all Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sacred Heart of Mary Extended Family, our collaborators, and our families and friends all over the world. The Year of Jean Gailhac, to mark the 220th anniversary of our founder’s birth, will be observed throughout the whole Institute. It will begin on the 13th of November, 2022 and close on the 13th of November, 2023.
Many events are being planned, many people will be involved and a special website has been set up. RSHM young and old, SHM Extended Family members, staff and students of our Global Network of RSHM Schools and Social Works, our friends and family members, all of us are invited to be part of this year and to contribute to making it, not just a memorable event, but a time of spiritual renewal, a time of re-commitment to our mission of making God known and loved in today’s world.
It is significant that the Year of Jean Gailhac comes in the wake of our recent ‘Exodus’ experience of handing over our Mother House in Béziers to the diocese of Montpellier and transferring the bodies of Fr Gailhac and Mère St. Jean to the public cemetery. Just as the Exodus of the Israelites opened them to a new future, we believe that our Exodus experience, the painful letting-go of part of our heritage, has generated seeds of new life, new possibilities for mission. In this Year of Jean Gailhac we want to nurture the growth of those seeds.
We are deeply grateful for the legacy of Jean Gailhac, which has sustained us in the past and continues to sustain us today. We thank God too for the increasing number of lay collaborators, who share our mission. Together, let us dream again the dream of Jean Gailhac, allowing ourselves be captured anew by the call of Jesus Christ, confident that the charism and mission given to Jean Gailhac is as relevant and needed in our world and Church today, as it was in the 19th century. During this year let us ask for the grace to continue to put our gifts and resources at the service of our sisters and brothers who are most in need and to the care of our common home. Let us do so with the same love, the same spirit of faith and zeal, the same fidelity and the same courage as marked our founder, Jean Gailhac, and our first Sisters.
We go forward as members of today’s Church, the Church that Fr. Gailhac loved and served in his day, walking the synodal journey with all God’s people, confident in the One who calls us forward – and who is faithful.
A very happy Year of Jean Gailhac to all of us!
Sr. Margaret Fielding