We are the United States – Canada (USC) Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart, part of an international congregation of Catholic women. Founded in 1800 by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, the Society of the Sacred Heart has more than 1,800 members in 41 countries. In the United States and Canada, we have more than 230 members in a wide variety of ministries.
The USC Province is one of 28 Society of the Sacred Heart provinces.
Vowed members of the Society are known as Religious of the Sacred Heart, or RSCJ (Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, the name in French.)
The mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart is to discover and reveal God’s love in the heart of the world through the service of education.
Charism is a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to an individual for the good of others. Religious congregations refer to their "charism" as the animating spirit behind their mission. Our charism comes from our founder Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, who desired nothing more than to share God' love with students and, through them, the world.
Thus, from our charism comes our mission to discover and reveal God’s love in the heart of the world through the service of education.
Beyond the United States and Canada, you can find us in 41 countries around the world which make up 28 Society provinces. You can find a map of these locations on the international Society website.
Sacred Heart at the UN
The international Society of the Sacred Heart has been present at the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO) since 2003, when we became associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI).
In 2014, we were also granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This means that our presence at the United Nations has two principal aims: 1) to share information with our religious members, Associates, educators and the wider Sacred Heart community about critical world issues (DPI), and 2) to give our religious members the opportunity to contribute their experience, reflection and analysis to the international policy debate (ECOSOC).
The Society’s NGO Representative, Shelia Smith, RSCJ, is based in the United States – Canada Province in New York City, New York, and she represents and serves the international Society of the Sacred Heart.
Our way of life
As RSCJ, we are called to live lives that are both wholly contemplative, and wholly apostolic, to be women of prayer and of action. Our actions are shaped by our prayer and vice versa.