Marymount was established 63 years ago by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM). Today, the RSHM values and traditions remain the enduring foundation of the university.
On March 12, the Marymount community celebrated Founders Day and honored the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. President Matthew D. Shank explains, “It’s an opportunity to reflect on our history and ways that we can continue to incorporate RSHM values in our lives and work.”
Following the noon celebration of Mass in the Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel, Sister Teresita Fay, RSHM, gave the luncheon address. She examined the charism of the RSHM community in relation to three Conciliar documents of Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes (Hope and Joy); Lumen Gentium (Light of Nations); and Perfectae Caritatis (Perfect Charity), to which she gave particular attention.
Sister Teresita noted that the 50th anniversary of Vatican II is an excellent time to reflect on the call “to embrace our shared humanity with all people” and to “partner with Christ and the apostles for the life of the world.” She pointed out the shift after Vatican II from a monastic to an apostolic orientation and the call to serve the poor and those most in need of justice. “The passion of Christ for the world was to be our passion,” Sister Teresita explained.
She outlined ministries in Africa, emphasizing the RSHMs focus on assisting women and children. Harkening back to the vision of Father Jean Gailhac, the RSHM founder, she noted, “We are called to be transformed in Christ and then to transform the world. We are to develop our talents to serve the world, and open our hearts to hear and respond to the cry of the poor and the marginalized.”
Faith and zeal are the RSHM charisms that fuel their work of redemption so that all might have life. Theirs is a journey to compassion through selfless love.
Sister Teresita recalled Pope John Paul XXIII stating that we have begun to understand the Gospel better and are called to action. She asked, “Are we ready for this radical living out of the gospel?”
The RSHM faith and zeal to serve others permeates the Marymount community. Sister Teresita emphasized, “Every member of this university is called to step out of themselves to help others and create positive change.”
_____________About Sister Teresita Fay, RSHM
A member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM), Sister Teresita has extensive experience in education and in corporate training and development. She spent more than 25 years in teaching and educational administration, and 20 years in corporate worldwide training, strategic planning, and development for Arthur Andersen and its multi-national client base. Since her retirement from Arthur Andersen in 1999, she has worked with a number of small and non-for-profit organizations, assisting them with strategic planning, communication, relationship building, and performance-management skills.
Sr. Teresita serves on the Board of Trustees of Marymount Manhattan College and on the Board of Directors of Columba Kavanagh House in Harlem. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Marymount College, Tarrytown; an M.A. in English, American, and World Literature from Hunter College; and a Ph.D. in Contemporary Thought and Literature from Purdue University.
- Sister Teresita Fay, RSHM
PHOTO 2 - left to right: Sr. Irene Cody, RSHM; Sr. Teresita Fay, RSHM; Sr. Jacqueline Murphy, RSHM; and Father David Sharland, YA, director of Campus Ministry