27 May, 2020
Suzanne Glover Lindsay, historian and curator at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia where Society of the Holy Child Jesus founder Cornelia Connelly was baptized in 1831, has written a reflection on Cornelia.
“She … accomplished enormously, teaching 20,000 in her first 2 decades, including new teachers who spread her program. Cornelia also reformed women’s education with a unique vision. She shaped a nurturing and stimulating learning world modeled on a loving home. She rejected narrow job skill training for workers and “polished” accomplishments for the privileged to instead provide for all a solid, multi-faceted education, adapting myriad sources (including Jesuit teaching) through her experience as a mother and teacher. She combined the liberal and creative arts and physical, occupational, and religious education for all social classes, customizing for practical needs and individual potential …
A form of incarnational spirituality that adapted Ignatius of Loyola’s “contemplation in action,” her vision fused the secular and sacred, body and soul, the contemplative and the active. She taught that a loving God lives and acts in us, in our world. Action, then, is prayer. The Society’s motto: Actions Not Words. Service of conscience, with respect, hope, and joy.”
Read the entire Friday Reflection: Women of Action here.