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Biography of Janet Erskine Stuart, rscj Mother Stuart – Seeker Mother Stuart – Educator Mother Stuart – Animator..Spiritual Guide.

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Presentation on theme: "Biography of Janet Erskine Stuart, rscj Mother Stuart – Seeker Mother Stuart – Educator Mother Stuart – Animator..Spiritual Guide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biography of Janet Erskine Stuart, rscj Mother Stuart – Seeker Mother Stuart – Educator Mother Stuart – Animator..Spiritual Guide

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4 Born November 11, 1857; youngest of 13 Educated at home..math, philosophy, literature……trained by German and Swiss teachers with whom she learned fluent German and French. At 21 she converted to Catholicism (March 6th 1879) 1882 entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton where she was named Mistress of Novices immediately after her profession 1891 became Superior Vicar in , she was elected 6 th Superior General October 21, 1914 Mother Stuart died.

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6 The Rev Hon. Andrew Godfrey Stuart ( ); Janet’s father Catherine Anne Wingfield m d children Mary Penelope Noel (m d 1859) 5 children – Janet being the youngest

7 Janet’s birthplace and childhood home.... The Rectory at Cottesmore, Rutland

8 Janet aged 6 Janet aged 14

9 Events are sacraments of the will of God. (Mother Stuart)

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11 Education of the WHOLE person character formation; methods of preparing the soil to enable students to become WHOLE persons; training for greatness; inculcating the awareness and love of sincerity as a means of training character; and, finally, the role of the teacher, as a person, in the educational process. Janet Reberdy rscj

12 The Training of the Teacher… No one who has the good of children at heart, and the training of their characters, can leave the subject without some grave thoughts on the formation of their own character, which is first in order of importance, and in order of time must go before, and accompany their work to the very end. Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ

13 ‘…the great and unchanging fact that the formation of heart and will and character is, and must be always, the very root of the education of a child; and it also shows forth the new fact that at no time has that formation been more needed than at the present day. (Introduction)

14 The essence of an Educator …the responsibility lies all the more directly with the teacher who has to live the life, as well as to know the truth, and love both truth and life in order to make them loved. These are qualifications that are never attained, because they must always be in process of attainment, only one who is constantly growing in grace and love and knowledge can give the true appreciation of what that grace and love and knowledge are in their bearing on human life: to be rather than to know is therefore a primary qualification. Inseparably bound up with it is the thinking right thoughts concerning what is to be taught.

15 …Children like to find real people, not anxiously careful to improve them, but able to take life with a certain spontaneity as they like to take it themselves. They are frightened by those who take themselves too seriously, who are too acute, too convincing or too brilliant; they do not like people who appear to be always on the alert, nor those of extreme temperatures, very ardent or very frigid. The people whom they like and trust are usually quiet, simple people, who have not startling ways, and do not manifest those strenuous ideals which destroy all sense of leisure in life.

16 We labour to produce character, we must have it. We look for courage and uprightness, we must bring them with us. We want honest work, we have to give proof of it ourselves. And so with the Christian qualities which we hope to build on these foundations. We care for the faith of the children, it must abound in us. We care for the innocence of their life, we must ourselves be heavenly minded, we want them to be unworldly and ready to make sacrifices for their religion, they must understand that it is more than all the world to us. We want to secure them as they grow up against the spirit of pessimism, our own imperturbable hope in God and confidence in the Church will be more convincing than our arguments. We want them to grow into the fullness of charity, we must make charity the most lovable and lovely thing in the world to them.

17 Plan of Studies Curriculum must be chosen with a view to allowing true instruction, in the etymological sense of the word: in-struere, that which aims not at accumulating knowledge, but at constructing solid foundation in the mind, that is to say, serious intellectual habits, steady and coherent personal thought

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20 Limitless possibilities for sanctity …all our spiritual life is unified into the one desire of union with God and His Will. It is for this union we were made.

21 …We should take our soul as our first and favorite pupil give it every advantage we can;... make it stand on its feet, make it elastic, make it adaptable to circumstances, free in its movements ; that is to say, not held down to a groove, and not holding to anything. Mother Stuart

22 Dependence on God God must lead the soul Himself into this land, we cannot do so. It is His gift, coming sometimes at the end of a life of heroic struggle, sometimes in unspoiled souls at the dawn, but always a free gift... No one can put others on this road, nor know with certainty that they are meant to enter on it. Some who reach the border-land are artist souls, who may mistake it for what God is not offering them; others there are who meant to enter, delay on the border- land, and fearing the pain go no further.

23 The faithful daily preparation of meditation... I advise you to follow the clue ; preparing, yes, you must not risk going unprepared, but if the presence of God takes hold of your soul, or if you can keep thus in His presence, do not force yourself to do anything else.... The best thing for you is to go on quite simply and not ask yourself whether the way is ordinary or extraordinary, there is so much border-land in these things, and really in practice and to you it does not matter much what one would call it. You have only to go on quite simply, preparing faithfully, keeping your head in the dust, for you know whatever grace God gives you is His gift and not your own deserving.

24 Mother Stuart… “We must remember that each one of our children is destined for a mission in life. Neither we nor they can know what it is, but we must know and make them believe that each one has a mission in life and that she is bound to find out what it is, that there is some special work for God which will remain undone unless she does it, some place in life which no one else can fill… We must bring home to our children and to ourselves also, the responsibilities for our gifts. We must put our talents at interest, and not bury them in the earth, and the reason is sufficient, that they are God’s.”

25 Society’s ‘hunger and thirst for God…' I am convinced now, that many of our young nuns could be more contemplative if we initiated them more into the secrets of the interior life. Our Lord calls those in the Society who have an understanding of their vocation to a degree of intimacy and friendship far above any that they can imagine or desire.

26 Final Conference We shall not fully know what it means to have been called to religious life until we get to heaven. God has called us to the fullest spiritual life of which we are capable. The stop will always be put by ourselves.

27 She was a woman of complexity – seemingly simple and yet quite simply profound. She was a shy, retiring person who had a telling impact on individuals in her own community and on the youth of more than a dozen nations. She was a semi-cloistered nun who traveled continents in a pre-World War I ambiance in which “ladies” seldom did such things. She was a traditionalist who, at the same time, looked to the future and became an innovator and a seminally productive thinker for her own and later generations. Janet Erskine Stuart, Educator Par Excellence Janet Reberdy, RSCJ

28 Structures of Relationships …All the system converges to this- to give personal worth to each child, a worth of character, strength, principle, and anchorage in faith. Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ

29 Epochs of transition must keep us on the alert. They ask us to keep our eyes open upon the distant horizons, our minds listening to seize every indication that can enlighten us; reading, reflection, searching, must never stop; the mind must keep flexible in order to lose nothing, to acquire any knowledge that can aid our mission…. Immobility, arrested development bring decadence; a beauty, fully unfolded is ready to perish. So let us not rest on our beautiful past. Letter to the Society of the Sacred Heart, Janet Erskine Stuart, rscj August 13, 1912

30 2013 LAUNCH OF THE CENTENARY YEAR 2014 CONFERENCE TRIDUUM WITH JANET STUART Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. CENTENARY EUCHARIST OFTHANKSGIVING Sunday 19th October 2014 Digby Stuart College From the Society in the UK Network of Sacred Heart Centenary Celebrations


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