Society of the Sacred Heart – Sacré Coeur (RSCJ)
Barat Saint Magdalene Sophia’s favorite quotation from the Gospel of John
The international congregation with papal authority conducting apostolic ministering of education to the glory of the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in Paris on 21 November 1800. The first sisters answered the demands of the time with the foundation of boarding schools. The order quickly spread throughout France and other countries in Europe thanks to its high standard of teaching and spirituality infused with love. In 1818, Philippine Duchesne began her missionary activities in North America and she became the founder of the Sacré Coeur convents in North and South America. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988. Today, nearly 2000 Sacré Coeur sisters live and work in 41 countries on five continents. The order is based in Rome. In Hungary, the first school, the Philippineum, was founded in 1883, and the second, the Sophianum, in 1917. The dissolution of the monastic orders put an end to their operation. In 1989, a few nuns returned to Hungary from Austria to restart the life of the Society.
Motto of our congregation: ‘Cor Unum et Anima Una in Corde Jesu’ – ‘One Heart and One Mind in the Heart of Jesus’. The origin of our Society is the wounded Heart of Jesus, which gave all for love. Our charisma educates us to the glorification of the Sacred Heart: we answer to His call, to discover and demonstrate His love, we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, in order to live united in Him and become like Him, we radiate the love of His Heart through our love and service. (Constitution, Article 4.§) Our order belongs to the spiritual family of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
‘Courage and trust’ – this was the motto of our founder, Madeleine Sophie Barat, and it determines our monastic life as well. It is important for us to say yes to life despite all uncertainties living within us and all around us. We place our faith in the Sacred Heart; the true life of Jesus accepting of all and His crucifixion give encouragement for our lives. We believe in a loving, healing God who will deliver us. Congregation life represents both support and a challenge. Its basis is respect for ourselves and others. The internationality of our monastic order makes it possible to see beyond the boundaries of our own country and culture and also for us to be committed internationally. We have conviction that God is a person-loving God, which is why the everyday lives of the members of our congregations are determined by that endeavour to experience this love and have others also experience it. For this reason, we always find time for individual and communal prayer, while we also strive to meet the challenges of our apostolic ministering: we do everything we can in different cultures for peace, for justice and for the protection of creation in order that during our apostolic endeavours the presence of God should be felt in the most varied of circumstances. This is why we work to be open to the Holy Spirit and the word of the times. Our mission is particularly directed towards the education of young people in order to help them in the development of a full and independent life. Prayer and contemplation form the bases of our spiritual life. The monastic vows help us in the deepening of our life. The vows of poverty, purity and obedience are tools along the path on which – heeding the Diving Will – we wish to travel and become a sign, embodied in simplicity, love and the word of the congregation.
The Society of the Sacred Heart is an international congregation. The centre of the order is located in Rome. The American Barbara Dawson RSCJ is our Superior General. Currently, approximately 2000 Sacré Coeur sisters live and work in 43 countries on five continents.
The two congregations in Hungary are part of the Central European Province. In addition to Hungary, this province also includes Austria and Germany. The Provincial Superior Body is located in Vienna; our provincial superior is Laura Moosbrugger, Austrian Sacré Coeur sister.
Every sister of Sacré Coeur lives in a community. Those young women who feel the religious call to be close to their hearts, and who would like to join us, first go through the necessary application process and then move into our community so that we can begin to get to know each other. Sisters returning home from the novitiate in Lyon make the first vow and the Provincial despatches them to one of the communities. Currently, we have two communities in Hungary.
In the past few years the house has been the base for dealing with the calling of our order and the receiving community for candidates wishing to learn about our life.
Budapest, Zugligeti út 87.
Superior: Berecz Rita RSCJ
Mese Street community
We established the ‘Forrás’ Spiritual Centre here in 2009, the programmes of which are run by the members of our congregation.
Budapest, Mese utca 11-13.
Superior: Pető Éva RSCJ