November 18th is the feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, the Society's first pioneer and missionary.
Born in Grenoble in 1769, Philippine joined a local monastery which was disbanded by the French Revolution. After several years of supporting priests in their clandestine ministry, Philippine tried to re-establish her monastery before joining the recently-founded Society in 1804. She longed to make the love of the Heart of Jesus known in distant lands, and in 1818 she led the first group of RSCJ to cross the Atlantic and establish the Society in the southern states of America, in what was still pioneer territory.
Philippine toiled for many years, often enduring setbacks and difficult circumstances, and spent her final years in prayer and infirmity, before dying in 1852.
Next year the Society will begin to commemorate the bicentenary of her arrival in the United States. In preparation for this the US-Canada Province has created a new website, with reflections, resources and information about commemorative events.
You can also read a reflection on our international website, and reflections on Silvana's blog.