On Nov. 1, alumnae of Marymount College and members of the Religious of Sacred Heart of Mary gathered in Butler Commons to celebrate Sister Rosamond Blanchet, R.S.H.M., MC ’62, for her recent election as general superior of the sisters’ generalate in Rome.
“God always surprises us,” said Sister Blanchet, aka Sister Roz, of finding out this past summer that delegates to the R.S.H.M.’s general chapter in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, elected her to the six-year-term as general superior. “It was a wow moment.”
It marked the first time an American-born sister from the Eastern American Province has been elected to the position. As general superior, Sister Roz will oversee the R.S.H.M.’s ministries in 14 countries around the world.
During the send-off reception on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, offered a toast to Sister Roz.
“It’s All Saints’ Day, the Solemnity of All Saints; it’s fitting that we gather to celebrate a particular saint—Roz,” Father McShane said.
“I don’t know anyone who meets Roz who doesn’t come away from that encounter lifted up and smiling. With her and Pope Francis together in Rome, I know that great things will happen. No doubt she will bring new joy and with that, great joy to the church.”
Sister Roz, who most recently worked as associate vicar for religious in the Archdiocese of New York for four years, entered the Religious of Sacred Heart of Mary in 1962.
When she heard that she was selected for her order’s top position, she said she reflected on the pope’s Easter Vigil homily. The pope said, “Dear brothers and sisters, we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us! …. May he open us to the newness that transforms, to the beautiful surprises of God.”
Strengthened by the pope’s message, Sister Roz is heading to Rome with an open heart and her good humor.
“Every R.S.H.M. is called to respond to embrace the unknown. Do pray for me. God is in it and it is a surprise,” she said, “and first thing the Holy Spirit has to do is get me on the plane!”