When visiting Rome in 1874, Father Gailhac and Mother St. Croix, then General Superior, met Mrs. Sarah Peter, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and promised to send a group of Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary to the United States. Although Mrs. Peter died before their arrival in 1877, she made arrangements with Bishop John Loughlin for the RSHM to go to the Diocese of Brooklyn. Six Irish sisters, with Mother Basil Davis as superior, set out from the Mother House and arrived in New York on February 28, 1877. Arriving in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York, on March 15, they took charge of the parochial school and began to teach catechism to young adults.
RSHM Community in Sag Harbor, NY
late 19th century
The sisters opened a paying boarding and day school, as well as a free night school for young women working in the mills.
Under the leadership of Mother Joseph Butler and Mother Gerard Phelan, the educational ministry of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in the United States took form in active involvement in the parochial school system and in the establishment of private schools at all levels of education-primary, secondary, and college.
Students at Marymount, Tarrytown, NY
Foundations were established in New York City and Tarrytown, New York; later in Arlington and Richmond, Virginia; Ferguson and Florissant, Missouri; Rolling Meadows, Illinois; Boca Raton, Florida.
In 1923, in response to an urgent appeal by Bishop John J. Cantwell of Los Angeles, the first foundation was established in California. Led by Mother Cecilia Rafter, four sisters from New York and three from Europe established a school in Los Angeles.
Marymount, Los Angeles
Later, schools were established in California in Santa Barbara, Studio City, Palos Verdes, Montebello, and San Jose, California.
First students at Marymount, Los Angeles, CA
Today's sisters in the Eastern and Western American Provinces are still engaged in education, as well as in religious instruction, retreat work, chaplaincy, campus ministry, legal services, advocacy for justice, and a variey of social services.They are present in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, and california. They also have several communities in Mexico and schools in London, Paris, and Rome.