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Senior Dwelling: A Sacred Coronary heart woman displays on the previous and current

Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Life Highlights of this author’s faculty days embody a manufacturing of a one-act Molière play….

By Staff , in Senior Living , at June 21, 2021

Highlights of this author’s faculty days embody a manufacturing of a one-act Molière play.

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Often I consider concepts for my column myself. Right now’s, nonetheless, is totally different. It was steered by a good friend, creator Patricia Burns, whose daughter Erin Olizar is a Sacred Coronary heart College graduate from Montreal. She knew that I, too, was a Sacred Coronary heart College graduate from Budapest, Hungary. So she steered I write concerning the Sacred Coronary heart College then and now. So right here goes:

The Sacred Coronary heart College then

In my bed room hangs a portrait of me at 18. I’m smiling and sporting my Sacred Coronary heart uniform, together with a shirt with a necktie. My mother and father introduced the portray with them from Hungary once they joined me in Canada in 1957.

The portrait was performed in 1947, the yr of my commencement from the Sacred Coronary heart College in Budapest (we referred to as it by its French identify Sacré Coeur). I had been attending the college for the ultimate three years of highschool (we referred to as it gymnasium), incomes prime marks at matriculation.

The Sacred Coronary heart College and convent have been housed in a powerful constructing, surrounded by stunning grounds, positioned on the Pest facet of city, on an avenue bordering Metropolis Park. The nuns lived within the constructing and so did the boarders attending highschool. My finest good friend, Marika, and I, nonetheless, made the twice each day journey on foot from our close by properties, she from a lovely villa and me from a extra modest condo.


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My days on the Sacred Coronary heart maintain nice reminiscences. A few of our lecturers have been Sacred Coronary heart nuns (we addressed them as “mère” (mom in French), robed of their black behavior from head to toe, apart from a white band framing the face. The ladies the nuns preferred have been chosen to put on a particular sash, blue for boarders (ruban bleu), and inexperienced for day college students (ruban vert). To my dismay, I by no means earned that honour, maybe not dwelling as much as the nuns’ thought of an ideal scholar.

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Faith, after all, was very a lot evident, culminating in Sunday mass within the stunning chapel. As a choir member, I needed to rush there on Sundays, intoning the stunning chants, a few of whose Latin phrases I keep in mind to this present day.

My favorite reminiscence is an extracurricular exercise, the yr our class placed on a one-act Molière play, Les Précieuses Ridicules (The Pretentious Younger Girls). In it, two foolish women hope to marry “upward” and are fooled by two servants posing as aristocrats. In my function as, respectively, father and uncle of the ladies, I needed to warn the ladies that I might “ship you off to turn out to be nuns.” I can nonetheless hear the following laughter from the viewers, which included Sacred Coronary heart nuns.


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The laughter stopped shortly after our commencement, as Hungary’s Communist rulers closed all denominational colleges and disbanded spiritual orders. By the point we assembled in 1997 for the fiftieth anniversary of our commencement, the Communist period had ended and spiritual life had resumed. However visiting our old skool, we discovered the constructing was now not a convent however used for an additional instructional function. Even the chapel had been partitioned through the years. Nonetheless, it was good to see “the ladies” as soon as extra.

The Sacred Coronary heart College now

The Society of the Sacred Coronary heart was based in 1800 in France within the wake of the French Revolution by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. The tutorial order, devoted to the Sacred Coronary heart of Jesus — to which the entire month of June can also be devoted — was delivered to the USA in 1818 by Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne. Right now it spans a worldwide community of greater than 40 international locations, with 24 colleges in the USA and Canada.

Montreal’s solely all-girls English Catholic highschool, established in 1861, the Sacred Coronary heart College of Montreal has occupied its current house, a castle-like constructing on Atwater Avenue, since 1928. The varsity nonetheless takes boarders and the ladies nonetheless put on their sensible uniforms. However there aren’t any nuns among the many employees nowadays. Whereas the founder’s ideas survive, but (right here comes my highschool Latin), Tempora Mutantur, instances are altering.

From yesteryear’s previous woman, finest needs to immediately’s Sacred Coronary heart college students.

— Alice Lukacs writes the Life within the 90s column




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