On June 4th the Sacred Heart Foundation (SHF) in Watertown, NY, celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Foundation was incorporated on the feast of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on May 31st, 1967. There were four incorporating members led by Fr. Pierre Aubin, M.S.C., the inspiration behind the Foundation.
The Foundation was created to raise funds to assist in the cost of educating seminarians studying to become members of the MSC. While it began with seminarians in the USA Province, it soon expanded to scholarships for MSC students throughout the world.
The SHF functions as a Board of Directors from whose number they elect an Executive Committee. Its main fund-raising activities each year are a golf outing in July and an Annual Dinner in September. They also benefit from memorials, wills, and other estate planning gifts. Scholarship grants are awarded each January from the interest gained on their investments. (They are not permitted to deplete the principal in the investments.)
Over the course of the 50 years, 117 lay men and women have served as Directors of the Board. They have awarded grants of almost 1.8 million dollars to MSC seminarians in 18 different countries, with special consideration for students in the USA, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea. This year the scholarships totaled over $80,000.
Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg presided at the anniversary Mass, which was also the 10:30 parish Mass at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. Since it was the feast of Pentecost, the Bishop spoke eloquently about how the Holy Spirit has inspired the faithful laypeople of the SHF to further the mission of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and of the universal Church. He encouraged all parishioners to follow the example of the Board Members and to use their gifts of the Spirit in promoting the Gospel message.
After the Mass, a reception was held in Dostie Hall for all in attendance. The current President of the Board, Jayme St. Croix, expressed his thanks to the Bishop, the MSC, the Board Members, and the parishioners of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. As Provincial, I had the opportunity to express the heartfelt gratitude of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from around the world who have benefited from their vision and generosity. May they continue as successfully over the next 50 years.
To support the Sacred Heart Foundation and the education of seminarians and MSCs around the world, please visit their webpage to make a donation.
Fr. Ray Diesbourg, M.S.C.