HAMDEN – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrated Mass for the annual Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Oct. 3 in the chapel at Sacred Heart Academy.
For nearly 60 years, the school community has gathered to enthrone Jesus as the king and center of their hearts and lives, and to make an Act of Consecration to his Sacred Heart – reaffirming the commitment of their baptismal vows.
As more than 500 students, faculty members, parents and friends looked on, an honor guard of seniors processed up the center aisle with candles and red roses that were placed on the altar. Lennix Cuffy, a senior and graduate of the Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, was chosen by her classmates to crown the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Blair said in his homily, “I am very happy to be here on this occasion to celebrate this enthronement to the Sacred Heart … this great mystery of our faith.”
Drawing upon the Gospel story of the lost sheep, he observed that it is in the very nature of God to be a shepherd, and the nature of people to be sheep. Noting that each person is free to follow his or her own ideologies, he challenged, “Who or what is shepherding me? Who or what is leading or misleading me?
“At this enthronement, may we the sheep allow ourselves to be led by Christ,” he urged.
Following the enthronement, Archbishop Blair met with students and faculty at a reception, toured the school, visited classrooms and announced a day off for students.
“We are delighted to have Archbishop Blair here for this longstanding tradition,” said Sister Sheila O’Neill of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, president of the academy, who expressed her pride in the students and appreciation for the “outstanding” support of their parents.
She noted that earlier in the week, Sacred Heart Academy held a joint prayer service with its sister school, Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, Mo., in preparation for the enthronement. Students gathered in their school gymnasiums and met online via Skype to pray and sing together.
Sacred Heart Academy is a Catholic college preparatory school founded in 1946 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Its students are young women in grades nine through 12 who come from five counties in Connecticut