Global Meeting of the Schools of the Institute of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary

Posted July 27, 2021

The experiences we have all lived through these past 18 months or more have cahllenged in so many ways. Some of these have been difficult – not seeing people face to face, not hugging, not traveling – but the pandemic has also challenged us to find different ways to communicate, to get in contact with others.

For the Global Network of Schools, that challenge has just resulted in our first ever VIRTUAL Heads’ Retreat in Paris…well, from the comfort of our own homes and schools!

We have just had a three day retreat with the 19 heads of the Global Network. Our theme was ENCOUNTER and over the three days we reflected on, prayed about and received input on : Encounter with God; Encounter with Self; Encounter with Others.

Margaret Fielding led our first session; Julie Mody the head of spiritual life in Marymount Paris led the second day, and Fr. Aidan Troy a Passionist from Belfast, led the thrid day.  We prayed, we listened, we shared in small groups and we enjoyed just being together in a different way.  It was a time of real joy and support for our heads from 3 continents and strengthened our bonds as RSHM educators.

Our retreat expeience was one of joy, encouragement and unity as we celebrated the rich and wonderful heritage we share as RSHM educators – leaders.  As we, RSHM, transfer leadership more and more to our lay heads I am compelled, as Moses was at the sight of the burning bush, to ‘take off your (my)  shoes for you stand on holy ground’. Our lay leaders are the holy ground on which our RSHM mission and minsitry in education will flourish.


Mary Jo Martin,  RSHM
Global Network Committee Coordinator



This Heads’ Retreat filled me with real joy. I have felt I belong to a very special global network of schools. We are RSHM schools. For me, it was a privilege to be part of the Committee, to be coordinated by Sister Mary Jo and to enjoy the various working meetings that preceded this retreat. The strength of the bonds that unite us allows us to look beyond the immediate and look at each one of us as a miracle of God.

Serafim Assunção e Costa – principal of Colégio Sagrado Coração de Maria – Fátima

The Heads´ retreat meant a lot for me at this moment because it represented a very powerful pause at the end of the particular and stressful school year we had and it was a bright opportunity to reflect upon the message for teachers and staff when we begin next year.

Meeting with other heads and sharing our feelings and reflections becomes always a valuable moment, because we have become friends and we trust each other so it is really wonderful for our mission to feel we are not alone, no matter the distance or the country.

María Angela Torres Soto – principal of Marymount Bogotá

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