On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Marymount observed Founders’ Day, an annual celebration of the school’s Founding Order, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM), and its 170-year history.
The RSHM was founded by Father Jean Gailhac and Mother Saint Jean (formerly Appollonie Cure) in Béziers, France in 1849. The mission of the RSHM is "to know and love God, to make God known and loved, to proclaim that Jesus Christ has come that all may have life." This vision has been implemented in different ways, according to the needs of the times in various cultures. To this day, the RSHM remain especially committed to the empowerment of women and children. Their ministries include social and legal services, pastoral work, justice work, and education. Founded in 1923 by Mother Joseph Butler, Marymount High School in Los Angeles is but one of the 19 schools in the Global Network of RSHM Schools
At our Founders’ Day Assembly, Marymount’s Head of School Jacqueline L. Landry reflected on Marymount’s roots, sharing her hope that the Founders will inspire and enliven the students of today, as they have inspired the thousands of alumnae who came before them.
“You have the opportunity to continue the remarkable legacy of the RSHM,” Ms. Landry said. “It is through each and every one of you that they see their spirit and global vision live on.”
Ms. Landry introduced Director of Spiritual Life & Religious Studies Department Chair, Rebecca Bostic, and Social Studies Department Chair, Justin Baker, both of whom traveled to Béziers last fall for an in-depth exploration of RSHM history. Ms. Bostic and Mr. Baker recounted their experience and how this immersion in the history and foundation of our RSHM roots reinforced their own dedication to Marymount’s lived mission.
“We are part of the RSHM history,” said Mr. Baker. “And now this history is a legacy that we all must continue.”
English teacher Teresa Dickey closed the celebration with the song Fire and Flame, which she composed over a decade ago after having participated in a powerful faculty-staff retreat led by two RSHM Sisters, Sr. Pierre Dullighan and Sr. André Dullighan, who shared a quote from Fr. Gailhac:
“One does not light a flame with ice or start a fire by throwing water. Fire is lit by fire. A dead coal will never burn down a house. So, since you are called to make God loved, you must all be fire and flame.”
Fire and Flame has since been translated into five languages and is sung at RSHM schools worldwide.
At the conclusion of our Founders’ Day Assembly, students were dismissed to the courtyard where they enjoyed cake, another special Marymount tradition!