Sunday, June 5, saw Ravenhill Academy open its doors once more to the girls who once made it their home away from home. The turnout was great: about 100 alumnae, husbands, children, and even grandchildren, along with quite a few Assumption sisters, celebrated the Eucharist together in the Chapel. Guitarists whod first strummed folk hymns in that same place some 35 or 40 years ago provided a rousing accompaniment to a beautiful liturgy celebrated by Fr. Robert Hagan, OSA. The kindly stained glass faces of Mother Celestine and Mother Therese Emmanuel beamed down on the participants as usual from the east transept, while the female saints on the western side must have also felt restored to life by the occasion. (The stained glass of Mother (now Saint) Marie Eugenie was removed when Ravenhill was sold to Philadelphia University and now occupies a place of honor in our house in Lansdale, PA come visit her there sometime!)
After the Mass, Sr. Mary Ann Azanza, the provincial of the Religious of the Assumption, offered an update on the Assumption today, ending with some ideas and challenges for the assembled alumnae concerning being Assumption Together, a new movement of religious and laypeople in the worldwide Assumption. Members of the Class of 1971 were so struck by her call to action that by the end of the morning they had pledged themselves to sponsor one girl (tuition, room and board) at the brand new Saint Marie Eugenie School for Girls in Chekereni, Tanzania. Asante sana, 1971! (Thanks so much! in Swahili.)
The excellent breakfast that followed the liturgy got a lot of people talking and laughing and remembering, and it was great to see and hear all the action in the parlors of the Mansion. One interesting development making the rounds was the news that Ravenhill has its own Facebook page, where people can gather even in a non-reunion year. You can find it by searching Facebook for: Ravenhill Academy, Philadelphia, PA, USA . Its clear that the capacity for celebration and joy so important to Mother Marie Eugenie and the Assumption Sisters is still a key value for the women who experienced an Assumption education. On to 2013!
Click here to read Sr. Mary Ann's update.