Heart to Heart, Vol. 7, No. 1 - January 2022
“Angela Merici – Living Legacy…” You have hopefully noticed and pondered these words that are a part of our “Heart to Heart” logo. Simple and yet profound, they are the catalyst for the upcoming issues of “Heart to Heart,” January through May 2022. This January issue offers some initial reflections on legacy. The next four issues will focus on some of the ways St. Angela’s legacy is being lived today.
Reflections on Legacy
What is Legacy?
“Legacy is about life and living. It’s about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future.
Where do you think it’s best to plant a young tree: a clearing in an old-growth forest or an open field? Ecologists tell us that a young tree grows better when it’s planted in an area with older trees. The reason, it seems, is that the roots of the young tree are able to follow the pathways created by former trees and implant themselves more deeply. Over time, the roots of many trees may actually graft themselves to one another, creating an intricate, interdependent foundation hidden under the ground. In this way, stronger trees share resources with weaker ones so that the whole forest becomes healthier. That’s legacy: an interconnection across time, with a need for those who have come before us and a responsibility to those who come after us.”
- Used with permission, Susan V. Bosak, www.legacyproject.org
“What will we name as most precious to us, to be held close, protected, and nurtured for future generations? Where will we place our limited time, passion, and attentiveness so that it speaks clearly of a legacy?”
- Chris Koellhofer, IHM
“How to Tend the Soul of the World”
“Life is no brief candle to me; it is sort of a splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
- George Bernard Shaw
“To live so that,
that which comes to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom.
And that which comes to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit.”
- Dawna Markova
“It was probably during Angela’s last few years when she was living in her rooms at San’ Afra’s that she dictated her final words to [Gabriele] Cozzano – her so-called Testament, familiarly known as her Legacies... The Chambers dictionary defines a legacy as ‘something handed on by or left unfinished by a predecessor or previous owner.’ Angela clearly has this meaning in mind when she titles her third and last work as ‘Testamento della Madre Suor Angela…’ She is handing on… the ‘unfinished’ legacy of her Company of St. Ursula.”
- Ignatius Stone, OSU Angela’s Alphabet
The unfinished legacy of love and service which is St. Angela’s gift to us continues to be lived in a multitude of ways in 2022. “For understand that now I am more alive than I was when I lived on earth,” shares St. Angela in the Prologue to her Counsels. It is in us and through us – Ursuline Sisters, Ursuline Associates, colleagues, collaborators, present and former Ursuline students, anyone moved by her spirit – that she lives today and that her legacy touches the needs of our earth and its people.
A Prayer to St. Angela
Angela, your gift to us is a living legacy of love and service.
We ask to be blessed with hearts like yours –
attuned to the beating of God’s own heart,
and to the heartbeat and needs of our world:
pulsing with compassion,
beating for justice,
and nurturing life
wherever we are.
You are now more alive than when you were on this earth –
living, breathing, loving in us and through us.
May it ever be so.
- Diane Fulgenzi, OSU
USA Ursulines Roman Union the Heart to Heart newsletter Team
January 2022 Heart to Heart