Sister Jeanne Marie Hatch Celebrates 15th year at Rosemont
This year, Sister Jeanne Marie Hatch, Vice President for Mission, will celebrate her 15th year at Rosemont and 64 years as a Sister of the Holy Child. Sister Jeanne came to Rosemont after 10 years as Vocation Director for the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She has spent nearly 40 years as an educator and administrator at Holy Child Schools across the country.
You may have seen her in her Campus Ministry office, around campus at the numerous events she attends, or even taking to the sky on the zip line as our own “Flying Nun” at the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Read her interview below.
Q: What inspired you to join religious life?
A: I grew up in Haddon Heights, NJ, but my father wanted me to attend St . Leonard’s Academy in Philadelphia, which was an all-girls high school run by the Sisters of the Holy Child.
At first I couldn’t understand why he wanted me to go to school in Philadelphia, but I fell in love with it being immersed in the atmosphere with the Sisters. I received such a good education. In fact, I did not want to leave when it was time to graduate!
I was very young, at 18, but I saw God at work, I felt that calling and was drawn to the idea of teaching. Joining religious life was more common in those days. My high school was small. There were 25 in our class and three students joined the sisterhood. Several of my male friends joined the priesthood. After I graduated, I went right into religious life .
Q: What brought you to Rosemont?
A: The Provincial of our area told me about an opening at Rosemont to oversee the mission office, and I was attracted to the position because I had always worked in education and administration.
Prior to Rosemont, my career had been spent in education as a teacher and principal at schools in Washington, DC; Pasadena, CA; Long Island, NY; and, of course, Philadelphia, where I also served as principal of my high school, St . Leonard’s. The position at Rosemont combined both ministries where I find the most joy: education and spirituality.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?
A: What I enjoy most about my role is the opportunity to get to know our students and accompany them on their journey at Rosemont. I also love telling the story of the College. I love seeing the mission in action through events such as Founders Day, Heritage Week, and Commencement.
As part of my role, I oversee the mission orientation for new faculty and staff members and the mission component for the First Year Connections Seminar for students. I take every opportunity to call attention to the mission of the College because it helps guide all of us and develop our moral compass.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus?
A: To determine my favorite place on campus is more difficult than you may think . Even before I entered the Society of the Holy Child in 1954, Rosemont College’s campus was a very dear and special place for me. I believe I “grew up” as an SHCJ on this campus. As young sisters, we made our summer eight-day retreats and three-day Christmas retreats here . We lived in the residence halls during the summers as we pursued degrees at Villanova University.
The College Sisters were an inspiration to me and the academic and spiritual leaders in the Society. After the second Vatican Council met, the College sponsored conferences for all the sisters which educated us about the call to live Religious Life in the modern world. The grounds would be close to the top of my list as I loved to walk all over them during the many retreats spent here .
However, how could I not choose our Chapel of the Immaculate Conception as my favorite? I had too many experiences of joy and wonder and worry in that beloved and beautiful space for it not to be my favorite place on campus. Of course the majestic beauty of Main Building is a very high second choice.
Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?
A: As the years move along, I look forward to students continuing to come to Rosemont College for an education that will enable them to live the mission of the College in their personal and professional lives . I pray that after a meaningful “Rosemont Experience” they become women and men of faith dedicated to using their gifts for the improvement of their brothers and sisters in our global world.
I hope we continue to have a faculty, staff, and administration who live, model, and teach the mission of the College in the spirit of the Society of the Holy Child and who understand their role and responsibility to “infuse the mission” of the College at every opportunity. I pray that all of us may carry this precious torch and pass it to all we meet along the way into the future as our precious, joyous legacy from Cornelia Connelly .