Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey
Mary Aloysia Hardey, a central figure in the expansion of the Society of the Sacred Heart in North America, was born in Piscataway, Maryland, December 8, 1809. As a child Mary moved with her family to Opelousas, Louisiana and in 1822 enrolled as a student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in nearby Grand Coteau.
Upon completing her studies Mary entered the novitiate of the Society of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau and took the name Aloysia. A young religious of many talents, she was put in charge of a school in St. Michael's, LA and soon after making final vows was named Superior.
In 1840 Aloysia Hardey moved to New York City and opened the first school and convent of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the eastern United States. She was named Provincial Superior (this title was later changed to Superior Vicar) for the houses in eastern North America in 1844. During her 27 years as Superior, Aloysia Hardey opened 16 houses of the Sacred Heart from Canada to Cuba and throughout the eastern United States. To this end she traveled extensively and made 19 transatlantic voyages for Society meetings and retreats. To accommodate the expansion of the Society, she moved the center for the vicariate from Manhattanville in New York City to Kenwood, in Albany, New York where she established a new novitiate for vicariate in 1864.
In 1871 Aloysia Hardey was appointed an Assistant General for the central government of the Society of the Sacred Heart based in Paris. During her 15 years in this position she was an advisor for the founding and rebuilding of European convents. She also helped revise the Sacred Heart curriculum to incorporate advanced studies and contributed to the discussion of the Society's role in advancing the higher education for women.
Aloysia Hardey died in Paris June 17, 1886 and is buried at Kenwood in Albany, NY.
Mary Aloysia Hardey with Fran Gimber, RSCj (2011)
Books by or about Mother Hardey
Google Books: Mary Aloysia Hardey by Mary Garvey
Mary Aloysia Hardey: Religious of the Sacred Heart, 1809-1886 (1901, American Press)
Quotes from Mother Aloysia Hardey
Let the Mistress of Class seek first to strengthen her pupils in solid piety, for science, human science, is only a secondary aim.
Let your spiritual exercises ever hold the first place in your esteem; give to their faithful accomplishment your first and principal attention. Consider your other daily duties as secondary.
Under no circumstances should three words be spoken, when two will suffice.
Make your preparation for Christmas an active prayer, a prayer of fidelity, of silence, of mortification. Exercise your zeal in the performance of your daily duties, whether it be to sweep a room, to wash dishes, or to accomplish some task in harmony with your natural inclinations.
Fervor, like sanctity, is not measured by time. Though you must give to prayer the time prescribed by rule it is not the minutes that God counts, but the amount of love that you put into your prayers.
In Bethlehem, all was provided for the accommodation of the rich and the great, but no one thought of Joseph, of Mary, of the Incarnate Word. There was no room for them. No room in His own city for the expected Messiah. Our hearts are moved with sorrow and indignation as we read these words; yet how often may they be applied to us. Jesus presents Himself at the door of our hearts, and our actions give answer, 'there is no room.'
Our pride, selfishness, tepidity, jealousy, low aims and natural motives cry out, ' there is no room ! ' No room for the meek and humble Babe of Bethlehem! Yet the soul of a Religious of the Sacred Heart should be the glorious city, the sure refuge, the peaceful dwelling of her Divine Spouse. And such would be the case, if we had the true spirit of our sublime vocation.
You may do more good to a child by one kind word, than by a whole day of scolding.
...with humility one can do all things for the Glory of God, while without it, they can do nothing. We may then be confident that we should practice this virtue, and I am certain, that if Mother Barat were able to speak in her last moments, her recommendation to the entire Society, would have been an exhortation to humility.
What would it be like if Our Lord were as exacting with you as you are with the children?
Our loving-kindness with ourselves is the source of our loving-kindness to others. When we develop this consciousness within our self and toward our self, then we can offer genuine, Christ-like love, tolerance and compassion to others. This is the true work (and reward) of our life.