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Sacred Heart Schools

Sacred Heart Education and Mission

Many Religious of the Sacred Heart have a dual vocation: to religious life and to teaching. Their lives and their ministries, all that they do, is done with the heart of an educator, whether it is in a school setting or elsewhere. This commitment to educate children, to empower them to have a transformative influence on their own lives and on the greater community, stems to our founder, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. Educators of the Sacred Heart join RSCJ in a shared mission to educate young girls, boys, men and women, in the spirit of Sophie's vision.

Madeleine Sophie Barat had a rare aspiration for her time: to educate girls in a manner similar to the education received by boys. She saw women as the repairers of the torn fabric of society in France following the French Revolution and set about establishing a transformative education that would help them accomplish the task. In 1805, just five years after the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded, members drafted the first Plan of Studies to ensure consistently high standards in all Sacred Heart schools. The Plan was modified periodically, but always with a goal of educating the “whole person” – long before that concept became popularly used.

Spread of Sophie's Vision

Sacred Heart education spread around the world during the 19th and 20th centuries, a sure validation of Sophie’s wisdom. Here in the United States, the Society founded scores of academies and free schools, including schools for underserved populations, like orphans and students of color. They also founded ten colleges for women, several of which are still in existence either as a part of a larger university (e.g. University of San Diego) or as independent institutions (e.g Maryville University (St. Louis) or Manhattanville University (Purchase, NY). Sacred Heart schools were known for both providing a sound education and for fostering each student’s full development.

The Second Vatican Council changed the Church and the Society, and it changed Catholic education. From 1969 to 1972, in response to the realities of the time – primarily a diminished and aging membership – the Society made the painful decision to withdraw from ten schools in the United States. And then they determined to find a way to keep other Sacred Heart schools open. They found their solution within their lay partners, Sacred Heart educators who had fully embraced the mission of the Society and the vision of St. Madeleine Sophie. Together lay and vowed religious undertook a new expression of what was meant by Sacred Heart education in the United States. This was manifested in two important developments:

  1. The establishment of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools (1970)
  2. The development of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools (1975).

The five goals, rooted in the wisdom of St. Madeleine Sophie, are familiar to all students, educators and parents of Sacred Heart schools in the United States. They are the foundation of Sacred Heart education. Schools of the Sacred Heart educate to:

  • a personal and active faith in God
  • a deep respect for intellectual values
  • a social awareness which impels to action
  • the building of community as a Christian value
  • personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

Sacred Heart Schools Today

Today there are 24 member schools in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Each has its own unique history and character, but they share so much more of value: traditions, language, and most importantly, mission. There are also Schools of the Sacred Heart in other countries. Learn more about our schools by visiting their websites.


Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton
Convent and Stuart Hall, Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco


Sacred Heart Greenwich, Greenwich 


Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami


Josephinum Academy, Chicago
Sacred Heart Schools (Sheridan Road), Chicago
Woodlands Academy, Lake Forest


Schools of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau
Academy of the Sacred Heart (The Rosary), New Orleans


Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bethesda


Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Newton


Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills


Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Charles
Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill, St. Louis


Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Omaha

New Jersey

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, Princeton
Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton

New York

Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

Nova Scotia

Sacred Heart School, Halifax


Sacred Heart Academy, Bryn Mawr


Sacred Heart School, Montreal


Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Houston
The Regis School of the Sacred Heart, Houston


Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bellevue

Read Sister Barbara Quinn's article on Navigating the Seasons of Change, about the journey to lay leadership at Sacred Heart Schools.