Sr. Elizabeth McCoy, AAA’s director from 1990-2004, had a mission and a gift — for bringing people together; for celebrating diversity; for reverencing creation; for building community; for sharing all that she had. In true Handmaid tradition, she approached the world with hope and hospitality. Her life and her legacy as a Handmaid, an educator, and an unforgettable human being was commemorated at The Legacy Gala on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. The event also honored the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for their dedicated work throughout the US ministries. It was planned by the Handmaid Province Development Advisory Board and the AAA Parents’ Association and school community. Read more.
The Journey of Hope is an annual, joyful celebration of significant Handmaid milestones. The event’s sponsors, the Advisory Board of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, USA Province, look to acquaint friends and supporters with the exemplary works of the Sisters. It’s a time for sisters to tell their stories and a time for guests to connect with the important purpose of their work. Each year, God moves a wide variety of people to bear witness to the Handmaid’s ministries and support their work through the Journey of Hope.
2010 The Inaugural Journey of Hope, held April 14, 2010, coincided with the foundation of the congregation one hundred and thirty three years earlier on April 14, 1877, in Madrid, Spain. In a moving tribute, Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer and television personality, Liz Matt, narrated the journey of St. Raphaela Mary and her sister, Dolores, as they embarked on the establishment of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sisters in formation also shared the stories of their journeys, and their desire to commit their lives to the Handmaid mission.
2011 In 2011, the Journey of Hope celebrated the 85th Anniversary of the Handmaids’ presence in the United States. Philadelphia Eagles former general manager, Jim Murray, was the master of ceremonies for the event. The evening featured a silent auction and a live auction, conducted by Advisory Board member Ken Boyden with proceeds netting more than $140,000.
2012 The 2012 Journey of Hope was the first event held to honor a Handmaid, and paid tribute to three— Sr. Kathleen Helbig, Sr. Maureen Gillespie, and Sr. Julia Walsh. The Sisters were lauded for their personal “journeys” in celebrating fifty years of consecrated religious life. Highlights of the evening included an entertaining “roasting” and toasting the Sisters, in addition to a silent auction that featured authentic items from the 1960’s.
2013 The 4th Journey of Hope was held at Knowlton Mansion (for the 4th consecutive year.) The evening featured guest speakers, Ancilla Domini Academy alumna Dr. Nance Dicciani, who twice has been being ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women” and Reverend Michael Olivere, a longtime friend of the sisters, chaplain at Ancillae-Assumpta Academy, and the pastor of St. Timothy’s Parish in Philadelphia. Both spoke of the “truly life-changing” experiences that were brought about in their lives through the influence and guidance of the Handmaids.