God works in inscrutable ways. As we, the Congregation of Divine Providence, define ourselves in ever deepening terms of internationality, the Sacred Heart School welcomed 27 internationals to its high school division this scholastic year 2013–2014. This exciting and challenging opportunity expanded our student body’s world-vision in countless ways. Teachers, too, were summarily surprised with the addition of each new culture, each new eager student replete with a different mother tongue, a different tradition, enrolling in our long-established New England school. With curriculum changes to the World Religion course, the history department grew with diverse ideas and discussions.
Many of these students ultimately plan to graduate with a Sacred Heart diploma, intent on attending an American University. Four Chinese students graduated this May with honors and college acceptances. Some internationals enroll to spend a semester living in the United States, honing their English skills. In addition, some have courageously begun studying French, German, Spanish, and Latin, reaching out to accept any opportunity available. There are seven countries currently represented: China, Vietnam, South Korea, Ireland, Italy, Finland, and Switzerland. Our cafeteria display of flags proudly acknowledges our involvement. “We are the World,” our multicultural social networking club, which welcomes the whole student body, gathers regularly to share friendship, food, and fun, with music, videos, and conversations.
Our mission at Sacred Heart School, “as a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence, is to strive to inspire minds, define character, and encourage responsible leadership …” In the tradition of our Congregation, we seek to build a community of faith that encourages students to act with compassion, to work for a just society, and to pursue opportunities to develop and share their God-given talents in service to society.
Yes, our Congregation was founded by Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler to educate students in the environs of Mainz, Germany. And through us, God’s Providence reaches out to children everywhere. How privileged we are to be God’s instruments! What new cultures will we welcome this fall?
Submitted by Emma Jean Middendorf, CDP, International Coordinator, Sacred Heart School
A printable version of this article, including photos with captions, is available on this page as a pdf.