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Sr.-DuchesneRose Philippine Duchesne - Biography

The Duchesne Center is named after the inspirational French pioneer, Sr. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ. Her legacy as a religious sister is that of a "missionary of the American frontier" within the Catholic Church who pursued opportunities for the marginalized through social justice and works of charity.

Rose Philippine was born in Grenoble, France, in 1769. She was educated by the Visitation nuns and entered the Visitation Order in 1788, in the middle of the French Revolution. During the Revolution, she cared for the sick and poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. After the Revolution, she entered the Religious of the Sacred Heart community and answered the call for nuns to assist the emerging immigrant Church by the bishop of New Orleans, Louisiana in 1818.

Rose Duchesne was sent to St. Charles, Missouri, where she immediately opened a school; then at Florissant, she built a convent, an orphanage, a parish school, a school for Native Americans, a boarding academy, and a novitiate for her order.

Duchesne was a model and inspiration to those around her, facing all the hardships of pioneer work. She died on November 18, 1852, at the age of eighty-three and was canonized in 1988.