Ride for Old St. Ferdinand!

Help save a piece of Sacred Heart history!

Click for an inspirational video about the Ride.

Click to donate now: www.aash.org/ferdinand.

Deborah Newhouse Dunham (Grand Coteau/Duchesne-Houston 1970), AASH Southern Regional Director and a former member of the Duchesne Houston Board of Trustees, in September will ride her bike 330 miles from St. Charles, MO, to Sugar Creek, KS, to raise money for Old St. Ferdinand Shrine. She hopes to raise $50,000, or just over $150 per mile.

Deb’s solo bike journey echoes the footsteps of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, rscj, who left Missouri in 1841 to live with the Potawatomi Nation in Kansas. Just a few years earlier, the Potawatomi had been forcibly relocated from Indiana to Kansas, marching the infamous “Trail of Death,” along which 41 Potawatomi died. Deb will follow some of the same trail on her fundraising ride.

The Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, MO, was a home to St. Philippine from 1819 to 1827, and again from 1834 to 1840. Mother Duchesne gifted the parish with the church cornerstone. She established a novitiate there, teaching young nuns and welcoming the first American Religious to the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1821.

Today the Shrine is in desperate need of funds to maintain it and keep the  museum open. The Shrine Museum houses many precious artifacts of St. Philippine and offers visitors a look at her life there.

“When I visited the Shrine, I immediately wanted to do something to raise awareness of it, and to increase its visibility and support among our Sacred Heart family,” Deb says. “I came up with the bike ride as a way to do both, as well as commemorate the 200th anniversary of St. Philippine’s arrival in America.”

She hopes Sacred Heart alums, friends and family will join her in assisting Old St. Ferdinand in a direct and meaningful way by pledging to support her bike ride.

To sweeten the pot, Deb has made a pledge of her own: The largest single donation will earn the giver a free week’s stay at her vacation home in Nantucket, MA, which normally rents for nearly $6,000/week.

The 3-bedroom, 2-bath cottage, nestled in the heart of town, is on a quiet lane only 150 yards from downtown. It sleeps 5 – and well-behaved dogs are welcome. The cottage has a large front yard and ample parking. The expansive back deck boasts a gas grill and table for six. Renovations undertaken in 2016 included a new kitchen and bathroom.



1 Rue St. Francois
Florissant, MO 63031

(314) 837-2110




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