Foundation Day - May 3
A Legacy of Living Jesus
“Live Jesus.” You will see these words all over the school and hear it daily at Visitation Academy. For years the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary have dedicated their lives educating young women, girls and boys and to teach, through example, how to Live Jesus – just as St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal did.
The Visitation Academy legacy is a rich one, filled with special women religious, graduates who have made Visitation proud, lay faculty, staff and administration and of course, our students. The uniforms and hairstyles might have changed throughout the years, but the mission and traditions have remained steadfast.
Foundation Day, May 3, focuses on the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary who originated in France early in the seventeenth century. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, they had established convents in many parts of Europe. A convent had also been established in the United States in an area of Washington, D.C. called Georgetown.
In 1833, the sisters were invited by Bishop Rosati to come to Kaskaskia, Illinois to open a monastery and school for young ladies. Several courageous sisters arrived on May 3 of that year and founded the Kaskaskia Academy of the Visitation. This event marks the beginning of our story. Many changes have occurred since the Academy’s foundation in the Midwest.
Gracious God, we pray in thanksgiving for our Visitation community.
178 years ago, several brave and courageous women left the comfort and security
of their Visitation Monastery in Georgetown to travel over a thousand miles by
stagecoach, steamboat and flatboat to set up a new foundation in “the West.
We are the fruit of their journey. Through their prayers and the intercession
of all the Visitation Sisters and alumnae who have gone before us,
we ask the blessing of the Holy Spirit to come upon our school
and those who study and work here.
May we be guided to a deeper understanding of Your love and care for us
so that we may Live + Jesus in our every thought, word and action.
Be sure to ask your daughters to tell you the connection between the gummy worms they received in celebration of Foundation Day the story of our foundation.