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Sunday, July 14, 2019

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Being a mother can take on many different forms

Being a mother can take on many different forms

There’s no way we can ever really thank our mothers for all they have done for us. They were the ones who were awake all night when we are sick, praying to God to make us well.

Our mothers were the ones who woke up early in the morning to make our breakfasts and endure all our tantrums.

Mothers are the ones who would forever complain that we are not eating right so that we could be strong and healthy. Mothers worry more for our examinations than we did. They would take pains to complete our school projects leaving all other works behind while we played around.

Mother’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate the joys of motherhood. It is the time to make amends for not spending quality time with her. Strive to make Mother’s Day absolutely hassle free for your mother and take the responsibilities on yourself for her day. Pamper her on her special day just as she pampered you. Give her a warm hug and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!

Psychotherapist and parent educator Elaine Heffner once said, “Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”

Some are mothers by giving physical birth; some by giving spiritual birth; some by adoption; some by generous service to children in need. Whatever the manner of motherhood, God calls on mothers to make love visible to the children entrusted to her care by encouraging, challenging, consoling, teaching, and modeling faith and Christian values.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this week, I want to recognize a woman who has been a wealth of “motherly” inspiration to countless people for more than 103 years. Sr. Madeleine Sophie Hebert, MSC was born Fay Wilhelmina Hebert on August 29, 1912 in Morgan City, Louisiana to Katherine Beatrice Vinson and Julius Peter Hebert.

Her mother was a profound inspiration to Sr. Madeleine. Following the unexpected death of her father, her mother successfully raised four children on very meager resources and astutely learned how to manage and increase these resources to meet the growing needs of her family.

Sr. Madeleine attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in Morgan City and was taught by the Marianites of Holy Cross. Early on, the dedication of the Sisters impressed her and she felt a call to become a Marianite herself. Under the direction of one Sister, she taught the kindergarten class the year following high school graduation.

At 18 years of age, she entered the Marianites on September 8, 1930 and embarked on what would become a lifetime of remarkable experiences. Her early years were spent in elementary education as teacher and principal in several Catholic schools in New Orleans. After successfully completing the course of studies, she became the first administrator of Opelousas General Hospital.

In 1964, yet another surprising call came from her religious congregation when she was elected Superior General or Mother Superior of the Marianites to lead the worldwide Congregation. From the Mother House of the Congregation in Le Mans, France, she served in this position for 13 years. She learned to converse and carry out business affairs in French while overseeing the implementation of the changes demanded by the Second Vatican Council for all religious congregations.

In 1977, she returned to New Orleans to become President of Our Lady of Holy Cross College. She died on October 3, 2015.

Someone said, “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

Sr. Madeleine was truly a wonderful mother.