October 21 is the feast of Fr. Jules Chevalier, the founder of both the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Fr. Chevalier spent more than 50 years in the small parish of Issoudun, France. It is where he founded the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart on December 8, 1854, and it is where he died, on October 21 in 1907.
This past July, Br. Jim Miller, M.S.C., our Formation Director, had the opportunity to attend a Cor Novum course for formators in Issoudun. He joined 36 other religious from 14 other countries. Part of the month-long program was to “walk in the footsteps of Jules Chevalier.” Upon returning home, Br. Jim shared his experience, “One of the more memorable experiences about the Cor Novum spirituality course was being in the place where Jules Chevalier founded our order and where his mortal remains rest in the crypt of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel which is attached to Sacred Heart Basilica. This was very special for me.”
During his seminary training, Fr. Chevalier came to a profound and life-changing experience of God’s love that prompted him to found missionary societies. Today, we carry on the mission to lead people to a deeper experience of God’s love for them and to make that love real in the concrete circumstances of their lives. Fr. Chevalier, pray for us as we try to carry out your work!