ASCJ Tradition in Education

“Humility is the foundation of our spiritual life; without it there can be no true sanctity.”

-Blessed Clelia Merloni, foundress of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Education Infused with the Charism 
of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Drawn by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that flourished in the Church of her time, Clelia Merloni made Jesus the King and Center of her heart. Like the first Apostles, she wanted to express in her own life and in her apostolate the deep faith in and love for Jesus that inflamed her and drew her to love Him, even to the cross.

Mother Clelia's spirituality was rooted in contemplation of the Paschal Mystery, symbolized by the pierced Heart, mystery of life and death, sign of love and salvation. It took form in an ardent search for God and for souls, in a constant desire to transcend self in order to conform to Christ, even to the total sacrifice of self. It manifested itself in an unquenchable fire of love and zeal to make the Heart of Jesus known and loved.

God alone was the motivating force of Mother Clelia's life. She felt drawn to make reparation for the ingratitude Jesus received from so many people. Her loving fidelity, especially through Eucharistic adoration, was the passionate expression of this reparation. Because of her own intimate union with God, she wanted to awaken in all people a deep desire for God and to help bring them to an understanding of His goodness, mercy, and compassion.

To a world torn by hatred and indifference toward God and His Church, a world in which people sought false images of salvation and happiness, Mother Clelia presented the Heart of Christ - "which has so loved us..." - as the fulfillment of all expectations, the fountain of life, the source of happiness and salvation. Mother Clelia entrusted this legacy to her daughters, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, more than 100 years ago.

Through this charism, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus seek to be increasingly what God intends each of us to be in the Church: witnesses of faith, signs of hope, evangelizers through service.

Ministries of the Apostles

Mother Clelia felt drawn to the urban poor who suffered greatly during the time of the Industrial Revolution in northern Italy. Requesting a blessing from the bishop of Como, Italy, Mother Clelia stated that she and the sisters wanted to "dedicate ourselves to the active religious life, gathering orphans and poor, abandoned and underprivileged girls."

Today's challenges are different from those of Clelia's time: the fast pace of life, the lack of supportive extended family, ethical questions in science and technology. Yet, some are strangely the same: bodily and spiritual hunger, the search for meaningful living, the need to be loved and appreciated.

Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus place themselves in the service of the Church and of the people of God. By virtue of their consecration, they are sent in mission. The power and creativity of their missionary zeal flow from the living out of the charism of profound love for God and for others as envisioned by Mother Clelia.

"Sharing the Love of the Heart of Christ"

Monthly Charism Reflection

February 2021

I thought I was being wasteful when I bought an extra pack of toilet paper immediately before vacation. We weren't going to be home for a week so I really didn't need to buy it. But it's not like toilet paper goes bad, I thought, so I bought it anyway and left for Florida on March 11, 2020. As the chaos ensued that week, with videos of mobs rushing grocery stores for toilet paper, all I could think was how God had provided for us when we didn't even know we needed it. In a house with five children under 5 years old and a 6-week postpartum mom, toilet paper is a really big deal, and here we had an extra large unopened pack sitting at home waiting for us.

For me, trusting the Heart of Jesus is about knowing that He has my best interests at heart. I trust that I matter to Him because I'm His daughter and He loves me. I am able to call Him, "Abba, Father with that very Spirit bearing witness that [I am] a child of God" (Romans 8:15-16). I trust that my kids matter to Him because he loves them even more than I do, for he says, "let the little children come to me" (Mt 19:13). I trust that He knows my needs before I even ask, for, "how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him?" (Mt 7:7). He is a good Dad and takes care of all of my needs, even down to the small needs like toilet paper. 

So fear not, our God is faithful! "Whoever is faithful in little is faithful also in much" (Luke 16:10). If God is faithful in such a little matter as toilet paper, how much more faithful will He be in the big moments and decisions in my life that really matter? Do you trust Jesus in those times when you struggle? Do you believe He is big enough to handle your fears? Do you hope in His promises enough to lay your burdens in His hands and allow Him to move in your life? The more I look for his handwork in my life, the more I find and the more I grow in trust with Him. For when we trust Him in the little, we grow in faith that we can trust Him in the great. Then we are able to pray, "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you because Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love for me." 

- Lacey Lee Seiffertt Jones ‘05