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.

NCEA Appoints Sr. Mary Grace Walsh to Board
Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D.

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recently announced the appointment of Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., a Provincial Councilor for the Mary Queen of Apostles Province of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to its Board of Directors. 

As the largest private professional education association in the world, NCEA works with Catholic educators across the country to support ongoing faith formation and the teaching mission of the Catholic Church.

“I am grateful to Bishop Kicanas and the Board of Directors of NCEA for inviting me to join in supporting the mission of this important organization,” said Sr. Mary Grace. “Our Catholic schools provide vital resources to our communities, and I look forward to working with NCEA to further enhance the opportunities available to students and educators.”

Born and raised in New Haven, Sr. Mary Grace is a 1975 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden. Until July 2020, she served the Archdiocese of Hartford for four years as Provost for Education, Evangelization and Catechesis, and as the President of Saint Thomas Seminary. She is currently President of Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, the sister school of Sacred Heart Academy.

Sr. Mary Grace is a dedicated champion of Catholic education. Prior to her work with the Archdiocese of Hartford, she was Superintendent and Secretary of Catholic Education and Faith Formation in the Diocese of Bridgeport from 2006 to 2015. She has also served as an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator in seven archdioceses/dioceses across the country.  

Sr. Mary Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Albertus Magnus College, a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Saint Louis University, and a Ph.D. in educational administration/church leadership from Fordham University. She was appointed to the NCEA Board of Directors alongside Henry P. Fortier, secretary for education/superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Orlando. 

“NCEA is blessed to have the expertise of Sister Mary Grace and Henry as part of the NCEA Board of Directors. Their insight and contributions will be valuable to the mission of NCEA,” Kathy Mears, NCEA Interim President/CEO, said in a press release. 

Virtual Christmas Eve Mass

Join us virtually at Mount Sacred Heart Chapel to celebrate the birth of our Savior! The live broadcast will begin at 8:50 p.m. (EST) with beautiful prelude music. Our celebrant is Msgr. Gerry Schmitz.

To follow along with Mass, please download the digital worship aid.

Reflections for Advent
Watching and Waiting - Advent reflections from the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Week 4: Trust in God’s Love!
By Sr. Rosemary Buttice, ASCJ

Do not be afraid, Mary. Do not be afraid, Joseph.

Having heard these words in separate angelic manifestations, Mary and Joseph individually uttered their courageous “Yes” to God. Both Mary and Joseph placed themselves in the hands of God to be what He willed. Mary was to become the Mother of God and Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. This “Yes” was the beginning of their arduous journey to Bethlehem. Nothing could prevent them from fulfilling their mission - not the doubt in people’s minds, not the treacherous journey, not finding a decent place to stay, not preparing a humble place for the infant’s birth; nothing could discourage them. What trust, what faith, what obedience, and above all, what love!

We invite you to please read the entirety of Sr. Rosemary's week four Advent reflection.

Week Three: Turn to the Lord
By Sr. Cora Lombardo, ASCJ

These Advent days walk to a different tempo, a different tone. It’s not just that daylight fades earlier or that the number of COVID-19 deaths rise. We are different, forever changed by the long Advent for a vaccine, the long Advent for this reality we’re in to end.

We celebrated Easter and Pentecost, but somehow it still felt like Advent: the wait to see what would happen next, the wait to return to normal. Most of all, the desire to gather, to get through this together, was banned for our safety. The darkness and fear seem to be the only reality: “My only friend is darkness.” (Psalm 88). 

We invite you to please read the entirety of Sr. Cora's week three Advent reflection.

Week Two: Look to Bethlehem
By Sr. Kathryn Press, ASCJ

A year ago, Pope Francis reminded us of the importance of the nativity scene with his apostolic letter Admirabile Signum. The Holy Father encourages us to take time to prepare the manger scene in these days leading up to Christmas. It’s appropriate then that the second candle on our Advent wreath is also known as the Bethlehem candle. Highlighting the insignificance of this tiny village, we recognize the humble beginnings of the Incarnation. Jesus, God in flesh appearing, comes as a baby in the most unlikely of places. Indeed, Jesus comes into our lives at the most unlikely time and in the most unlikely circumstances.

We invite you to please read the entirety of Sr. Kathryn's week two Advent reflection.

Week One: Watch
By Sr. Colleen Therese Smith, ASCJ

Some years, Advent catches me off guard. This year is one of those years, and yet, here we are. Advent 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, following a contentious national election, while an economic crisis unfolds.

I was actually startled as I heard the Gospel of the First Sunday of Advent proclaimed. The last word of the Gospel, spoken by Jesus, was “Watch!”

We invite you to please read the entirety of Sr. Colleen Therese's week one Advent reflection.

Meet Our Vocations Director

Meet Sr. Colleen Mattingly, our new Vocations Director! The role of Vocations Director is one that usually involves a lot of traveling—to college campuses, discernment events and Catholic conferences—to meet women who are discerning religious life. With Covid-19, however, these events have been cancelled or have gone virtual, requiring Sr. Colleen to think outside in her approach to meeting discerners. Watch her meet and greet video below!

A Florida native, Sr. Colleen entered the Apostles in 2005. Throughout the years, she has served in New York, NY; St. Louis, MO; Tallahassee, FL; and most recently, Waterford, Ireland. Sr. Colleen runs on coffee and her hobbies include singing, playing guitar, baking, running, and reading.

New Video Series Highlights Blessed Clelia’s Virtues

Our foundress, Blessed Clelia Merloni, was a woman of many virtues. Her life was anything but easy, yet the trials and suffering she endured only fueled her desire for holiness.

We invite you to get to know Blessed Clelia and her virtues in our newly launched video series called Broken & Blessed on our YouTube channel. Videos in this series will be posted twice a month. 

It is our hope that these video reflections from our Sisters will help you to embrace Blessed Clelia as a model of holiness.