Good News From the Apostles

There are many exciting things happening in our vibrant and growing congregation! We’ve included all the latest news and our most recent publications here. Visit our News page often to stay updated.

Keeping the Faith in Lockdown

Two women practicing social distancingIn the nearly seven years Sr. Barbara Matazzaro has been Superior of Sacred Heart Manor, home to our retired Sisters, she has never experienced anything quite like these past two months in lockdown.

Located on the grounds of our Provincialate in Hamden, Sacred Heart Manor is currently home to 27 Apostles ages 69-98. This time of pandemic has altered life for Manor Sisters and their staff alike. Face masks and daily temperature screenings have become the norm, and Sisters no longer eat or pray together as an entire community. Instead, they gather in small groups for prayers and meals. Perhaps the two greatest changes of all: the loss of both outside visitors and daily Mass celebrations. 

These extra precautions are working, however, as all Manor Sisters are in good health. “We are grateful to all our Sisters, benefactors, and friends for their prayers of protection for each of us,” Sr. Barbara says. 

These unusual times have meant more time for prayer, and the Apostle Adorers have been making good use of this extra time by praying for all the needs of the world, including patients, medical staff, and the Apostles in Italy who have suffered greatly. In addition to their ministry of prayer, all Manor Sisters have taken on a service project in response to the Coronavirus crisis, such as making calls to shut-ins, writing notes to hospital patients, and sewing face masks.

Although these past two months living in lockdown have had their challenges, the Manor Sisters feel they have much still to be grateful: spring weather and the opportunity to go outside, frequent calls and “video visits” from family and friends, daily Communion services, and the company of their community members.

“This experience has deepened the awareness of God’s love and providence in our lives,” says Sr. Barbara. “So blessed are we in all our needs.”

Sharing the Heart of Christ Amidst COVID-19

Two women wearing masks pose with a woman wearing an apronDuring this time of global pandemic, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are finding creative ways to give back and share the Love of the Heart of Christ outside of their day-to-day ministries.

At Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn., Sisters have taken on a special project sewing surgical caps for nurses at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn. 

Sisters of the Provincial community at Mount Sacred Heart in Hamden have been praying each day for the town’s first responders and their families by name. This includes the town’s firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians.

Each week, they also prepare bagged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Sunrise Café in New Haven, which provides free daily breakfast to the city's homeless and hungry.

“Our foundress, Mother Clelia, was deeply devoted to serving the poor and most vulnerable members of society,” said Sr. Estelle Barelli, who initiated the service project. “Participating in the wonderful work of Sunrise Café is one way of carrying on her legacy of love, and it is such an enriching experience.”

making sandwiches

Members of the postulate community have willingly been living in isolation in order to minister to the 27 retired Apostles living at Sacred Heart Manor, which went into lockdown on March 10. Following a 14-day quarantine that began on March 17, Postulant Directress Sr. Angela Gertsema, Sr. Kelsey Shaver, Sr. Reina Praxedes and postulants Clara Johnson, Patricia Young and Allison Zink were cleared to begin work at the Manor. Since then, they’ve been doing whatever they can to help: sewing masks for the Manor’s staff and Sisters, serving meals, spending quality time with the Sisters, and helping Sisters with various projects.

three sisters wearing masksAlthough serving at the Manor has meant isolating themselves from other Sisters living at the Provincialate and not leaving the property, even for groceries, the group is embracing the experience.

“The Manor Sisters are teaching us how to let go, to adapt and the importance of a positive attitude,” said Sr. Angela. “These are lessons that are not often taught by words but by example.

High School Named After Mother Clelia Set To Open

Mother Clelia MerloniA Catholic high school in Pensacola, Florida is set to become the first school in the United States named after our foundress, Mother Clelia Merloni.

The Mother Clelia Morning Star High School will provide a faith-filled Catholic education to students with special needs. The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, where three of our Sisters minister, plans to open the school in August for the 2020–2021 academic year.

Mother Clelia Morning Star High School will be an independent institution located on the grounds of Pensacola Catholic High School, where Sr. Kierstin Martin, ASCJ, is principal. Both schools are working together to ensure students at Mother Clelia Morning Star High School are provided diverse opportunities for inclusion at Pensacola Catholic.

There are currently two schools in Pensacola that offer Morning Star programs for special needs students at the elementary and middle school level. Sr. Margaret Ann Calcutta, ASCJ, is the director of the Morning Star program at St. John the Evangelist School.

2020 Declared “Clelian Missionary Year”
A Sister with four teenagers wearing red aprons

The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are celebrating 2020 as the Clelian Missionary Year. Pondering the graces of the recent beatification of Mother Clelia, we are celebrating her charism alive today in our various missions. Ultimately, to love is our mission! Please pray with us and for us, that as Apostles of His Heart we may bring to everyone “a ray of that holy tenderness that the Heart of Jesus has infallibly communicated to [us].” (Dir Man. Art. 212).

In this Clelian Missionary Year, we look to Blessed Clelia, who teaches us: “When divine love is truly in the heart, it awakens in it a great desire to see God known, loved, and served” (Book 7, Letter 6). 

Having encountered the person of Jesus Christ and utterly convinced of His love for us, we consecrate ourselves to Jesus and to loving Him. Like the first Apostles, we have been sent in mission in order to help others know His love and His tender mercy.

The various missions of the Apostles span 15 countries and include education, healthcare, and pastoral ministry. We bring Christ’s compassionate love to countless children, the elderly, the immigrant, as well as to prisoners, victims of human trafficking and those who are victims of poverty. During this Missionary Year, we invite you to pray with us and for us as together we seek to make known to every person the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.