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Alum Spotlight

By Isabella Shaya '11


Sir Christian Sweeting KCNG KCSG and Lady Carolina Sweeting '96, introducing their son Freddie to Pope Francis


Sacred Heart gave Carolina Rea Sweeting '96 the strong base and Christian education which was the start of her journey to a career in the Vatican.
Carolina worked within the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums from 2008-2015 until getting married and settling in London with her husband and three children. Now, she still helps the Vatican in a voluntary capacity as one of five members of the International Board of Directors for the Vatican Museums.
Carolina had no early inclination that her path would lead to Rome and a job in the Vatican.
"After graduating from school, I had a job in marketing as well as working on the periphery of my father's property business. It was all going well but I just craved a different sort of opportunity." 


Active in her home parish, Carolina enjoyed religious studies at ASH. Family visits to Italy and the Vatican helped Carolina realize that she wanted to spend her time working for the church, and why not start at the top! Her parish priest prompted her to send an email to a director at the Vatican. In it she explained that she was not a resident of Italy, did not speak Italian, and was not an art historian, but that she did have many valuable skills to offer. After a series of interviews, she packed up herself and her dog and moved to Rome. Being forthright landed her the position at the heart of the church in an office two floors below the Pope.
"Being able to work in the epicenter, the heartbeat, the root of our church has been an incredible privilege and tremendous responsibility."
Despite the initial language barrier and being one of the only American lay women working in the Apostolic Palace, Carolina did not let this stop her from working hard and being involved in everything she could. She has many amazing stories about her experiences in Italy, traveling for her work, and just of what a normal day in the office was like.
"Any given day I could find myself up several stories of scaffolding examining frescos of the ancient masters, or down in the Vatican vaults marveling at the many behind the scenes treasures, or riding the elevator with a prime minister or president on the way to see the Holy Father. Additionally, I was privileged to meet some fascinating people, from the most famous to the unknown," she said.
One very interesting story Carolina shared was when she was allowed to hold the oldest written copy of the Our Father or Pater Noster, encased in glass and inscribed on papyrus in Greek sometime between 175-225AD. It is housed in the Vatican's Secret Archives, in a small room with blue lighting with fingerprint and retina scans for entry. The location of the room is a tightly controlled secret with entry only by both special invitation and permission and employing enormous security measures to protect some of Christianity's most precious holy treasures.
However, throughout all her adventures, Carolina never forgot her Sacred Heart roots.
"Regularly visiting Mater, I never felt too far from home. If I had any questions or apprehensions, my mom encouraged me to go over to the (Sacred Heart) school in Rome where I was always welcomed."

Carolina clearly embodies the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education, and she does so with ease and delight. She is active in her local church and undertakes as much community service as being a mother of three children who are all under 3 years old allows. She and her husband have also continued to support many charitable causes of the Holy Father and beyond. 
Working for the Vatican was a daily reminder of the community service she did at ASH.
"Working in the Vatican was a huge privilege, it renewed and enhanced the sense of community and outreach which I first learned from my parents and was imparted to me during my many years at ASH," Carolina concluded.

Goals in Action


Alan and Sandy (in yellow) with their daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren


Long after their teaching days at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Alan and Sandy Eidelman still live out the Goals and Criteria. They dedicate their time to local Jewish foodbanks and educational centers. Not only do they live out Goal 3 in their everyday lives, but they have instilled Goal 3 into the lives of their children and grandchildren who help out at the Yad Ezra. Read more about the Eidelmans in this article from the Detroit Jewish News.

Candlelight Ball


Graduating class of 2013

The 68th Candlelight Ball will be held on Friday, June 15th at the Troy Marriott at 6 p.m. Teachers, family and friends will be amongst the crowd as the seniors are inducted into the Alum Association.

There are multiple levels at which alums can participate.

1) You can sponsor a faculty or staff member for $70.

2) You can become an Archangel Patron for $100 or Guardian Angel Patron for $50.

3) You can attend the event; tickets are $80 each.

If you would like to participate in this year's Candlelight Ball, please contact Danielle Bell at 248-410-6772 or dbell@ashmi.org to make your donation or reservation.

Honoring Classes of 1968, 1983 & 2008


Be sure to mark your calendars and save the date for the Spring Reunion Alumnae Mass and Cocktail Party on Saturday, May 19. All alums are welcome to celebrate, especially the highlighted reunion years ending in 3 and 8. Tours and book signings of the Goals and Criteria by Sr. Bearss will kick off our reunion at 3:30 p.m. Mass starts at 4:30 p.m. with Msgr. Zenz officiating the ceremony. At the mass, the Alum Association will honor Sr. Bridget Bearss, the 2018 Wansboro Award Recipient. This reunion is a wonderful opportunity for all alums to return home to Sacred Heart and reconnect with fellow classmates, celebrate with friends, relive memories, and foster new connections with fellow alums. Remember, feel free to bring along family members and guests to join in this delightful tradition. Click here to view the electronic invitation. To register for the event, contact Danielle Bell '89 at dbell@ashmi.org by Friday, May 11.

Sacred Heart Annual Raffle


The Academy of the Sacred Heart is hosting a spring raffle. The grand prize for this year's school raffle is a choice of a two-year lease of a 2018 Jeep Compass Latitude 4 x 4 OR a 2018 Ram 1500 4 x 4 Crew Cab Big Horn OR a $5,000 cash prize. Tickets are $50 each or three tickets for $100. The Academy of the Sacred Heart would like to thank the Szott Auto Group, who helped make this exciting raffle prize possible. The proceeds benefit the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, check, and cash are accepted. If writing a check, please make your check payable to ASH. The drawing will be held on Friday, May 25, and the winner does not have to be present at the time of the drawing. For more information about the raffle or to purchase your raffle tickets, contact Laura Millazzo at 248-646-8900 ext. 170.

Ring Ceremony


A significant moment of transition was marked on Tuesday, April 27 during the 2018 Ring Ceremony. The members of the Class of 2019 received their class rings and the members of the Class of 2018 had the hearts on their rings turned "out to the world." Bridget Bearss, RSCJ welcomed the attendees and spoke about the symbolism of the class ring and how these class rings connect our students and alumnae to the Network of Sacred Heart schools.


Sr. Bearss explained to the juniors and seniors that this day was a day to demonstrate how faithful they are to the Goals and Criteria and the mission of the Sacred Heart. She also mentioned how the class rings connect to all Sacred Heart Schools around the world and to the Religious of the Sacred Heart, forever faithful to the mission. She spoke about the symbolism of the class ring, touching on this beautiful tradition at Sacred Heart. She discussed how the Network of Sacred Heart Schools is and will be strength and support for the juniors and seniors in the years to come. Sr. Bearss encouraged the juniors and seniors to keep the five Goals of a Sacred Heart education close to each of their hearts and gave them a blessing to be encircled by the love and traditions of the Sacred Heart.


The service was highlighted by the keynote address from honorary alumna and long-time Sacred Heart educator Robin MacLachlan. Robin discussed Sacred Heart traditions being a unique advantage to a Sacred Heart education. She added that as children of the Sacred Heart, they are connected to a global network of alumnae who share the same experiences and guiding principles, represented tangibly by their class rings. 

Valedictorian & Salutatorian Named


As stated in the Student Handbook, the selection of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the graduating class is determined by a number of factors, including full attendance during her junior and senior years. If she is a transfer student, she must bring with her a minimum of a 3.60 Grade Point Average.


The Valedictorian is the student with the highest cumulative GPA, with a minimum of a 3.70. The Salutatorian is the student with the second highest cumulative GPA, with a minimum of a 3.60. In some years, it is possible there may be no Salutatorian.


This year, the Academy of the Sacred Heart is proud to recognize Victoria Shahnazary (above, left) as Valedictorian and her classmates, Kendall Gassman (above, center) and Lauren Pardi (above, right), as Co-Salutatorians. Congratulations to these young women for their many academic achievements and accomplishments throughout the years.


The Valedictory Address will be given at the Commencement Exercises on Thursday, June 14. The Salutatorians' Addresses will be presented at Prize Day on the same morning. 

ASH Receives SupportMusic Merit Award


The Academy of the Sacred Heart has been recognized by The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation with a 2018 SupportMusic Merit award as part of the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) program.


ASH is one of only four schools in Michigan, and 135 nationwide, to receive this award, which recognizes an exceptionally high commitment to music education. Schools are evaluated on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.


We congratulate and thank Kim Unrau, the director of music for the Middle School for Girls and the Upper School, who coordinated the school's application, and all the ASH educators who make music a vital component of the curriculum. 

Alum Updates

Andrea Cannella Tomlinson '00

Andrea and Mike Tomlinson and big brother Quentin, welcomed their second child Liam Cannella Tomlinson on April 7.  Liam weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 21 inches long. 



Erin Zimny Lewinski '98


Parents Erin Zimny Lewinski '98 and Todd Lewinski with big brother Alex (age 2) welcomed Elizabeth Rose to the family. Elizabeth was born April 6 at 1:35 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces and 19 inches long.


Natalie Cochran Leonowicz '04


Natalie and Alex Leonowicz welcomed their first child, Emma Louise, on February 21, a little early but completely caught up by now! Emma is the cousin to Juliana Jakacki, daughter of Emily Cochran Jakacki '02. She is named after her Auntie Emily and grandmother, honorary alumna Mary Lou Cochran.

This and That...

Prize Day Letters

The Alum Association would like to continue the practice of writing Prize Day Letters, because in a world filled with uncertainty we can build a bridge of hope between past and present graduates. On Prize Day, each student in the Senior Class and each student graduating from Kensington Hall will be gifted with a personal message written by an alum.


If you choose to participate in this activity, you will be mailed the name of a particular student(s). You will also receive the stationery on which to write your message of congratulations or a personal school memory. If you have time to write more than one letter, that would also be appreciated.


It becomes ever more important to value the relationships that St. Madeline Sophie Barat considered so important in her school communities. Thank you for helping the Alum Association to show that we care for one another and consider the building of community an important Christian value.


Please reach out to Jennifer Kasselmann '99 if you are interested in participating at jkasselmann@ashmi.org. Letters will need to be completed by June 1.



Keep Us Informed

Academy of the Sacred Heart alums, stay connected through the eNewsletters by contributing any newsworthy events that are happening in your life. If you have any news about weddings, births, careers, awards, travels, etc., submit the updates so your news can appear as part of the online Alum eNewsletter. You can submit the news by clicking here. Be sure to become a member of the Alumnae/i Portal (www.ashmi.org/alumportal) to share even more news with your classmates.


Remember to stay connected through the ASH Alums (Bloomfield Hills, MI) Facebook page. Like us on Facebook and visit this site frequently to keep in touch with the school and your fellow alumnae and alumni.

In Memoriam

Condolences to:

  • Sharon Roney Gavin '64 and Kathleen Roney Wilk '66 on the loss of their father, Walter Roney.
  • Pamela Eichinger '74 and Victoria Eichinger '77 on the loss of their mother, Lynne Eichinger.
  • Regina Baker '78 on the loss of her brother, Andrew Baker KA'76.
  • Kathleen Feeley Aseltyne '88 on the loss of her father, Edward Feeley.
  • Former faculty member Dr. Michael Meyer on the loss of his wife, Margaret Meyer.

Please e-mail Jennifer Rink-Kasselmann '99 at jkasselmann@ashmi.org to inform the Academy of the Sacred Heart of a death in the family. We will share that information immediately with your classmates and pay our respects in the eNewsletter.   


Future Events

Tuesday - May 1, 2018
6:15 PM - 8:15 PM
Thursday - May 3, 2018
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Parlor and Small Chapel
Friday - May 11, 2018
6:00 PM
Saturday - May 19, 2018
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Chapel, Small Chapel, Parlor, Parlor Dining Room

Great Gift Ideas


Silver Rose Window Charm
$100 - price does not include the cost of shipping.


Please visit our Alumnae/i Store page to see beads, bracelets, charms, key rings, and paperweights that make great gifts. For more information please contact Jennifer Rink-Kasselmann'99: jkasselmann@ashmi.org.

Are You Registered?

Alumnae/i who register to become part of our Alumnae/i Portal automatically receive the eNewsletter via email. In addition, registered alums have access to the Alumnae Directory and past eNewsletters. To request your login information, complete the form at www.ashmi.org/alumid.