While in Rome for an audience with Pope Plus XI shortly after her election as General Superior in 1926, Mother Joseph Butler was encouraged by Cardinal Vanutelli to open a school in Rome. After a long search, property suitable for a school was found. The first Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary arrived at the end of October 1930 and within a few months the building had been renovated and the first RSHM school in Rome was established on Via Nomentana where the bilingual Istituto Marymount is today.
Instituto Marymount, Via Nomentana, 1930
The sisters in Rome suffered many deprivations during World War II. After the war, however, in 1946, a delegation from the U.S. Embassy approached the RSHM about opening an international school to serve the children of Allied personnel in Rome. Marymount International School opened in 1946.
First Communion in 1954-55 at Nomentana.
Sr. Raphael, Sr. Francis of Assisi, and Sr. Rosaleen Sheradan.
In 1963, Mother Rita Rowley moved the Generalate, administrative headquarters of the Institute, to Rome.
For several years in the late 1960's, sisters ministered in a small parish to the people of Cibrone (Como) in the north of Italy.
Today RSHM presence in Rome includes the Generalate, an Italian school, an international school, work in parishes, and ministry with those addicted to drugs, the homeless, trafficked women, and refugees.