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History: Beginnings

The Institute of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary was founded on February 24, 1849, when a group of women gathered together to form a community dedicated to the works of Father Jean Gailhac, a priest in Béziers, France.  Appollonie Cure, Eulalie Vidal, Rosalie Gibbal, Cécile Cambon, Rose Jeantet and Marie Roques were joined a few weeks later by Marie Maymard. They took over the direction of the works of the Good Shepherd which included a shelter for women and an orphanage. The Institute grew rapidly and by the time the original group made their first profession in May of 1851 their number had grown to ten.
 
 
 
 
Each member of this group brought her own talents and capabilities; each one assumed responsibility for some aspect of their common mission. Led by Mother St. Jean, first superior, they sought to be followers of Jesus who came that "all may have life" (Jn 10:10) and to grow in knowledge and love of God.
 
The desire of the community to make God known and loved led them to focus their eyes on other shores. An initial attempt to establish a community in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, failed because of a dispute between the parish priest and his bishop. The sisters were undaunted, however, and soon made their first foundation outside of France in Lisburn, near Belfast, in Northern Ireland. That foundation in 1870 was followed by a decade of expansion, not only in Europe but in the United States as well.
 
In the United States, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary began their work in Sag Harbor, New York. They quickly expanded their work into parochial and private schools primarily in the eastern United States. Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York was founded December 8, 1907. In 1923, a group of sisters were sent to California at the request of Bishop John J. Cantwell, founding Marymount School in Los Angeles. Here also the work of the RSHM quickly spread to both parochial and secondary levels and, in 1947, Marymount College, Los Angeles, received its charter from the state of California.
 
As they responded to the needs of their times and reflected on the gospel and the origins of their Institute, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary began to diversify their work beyond schools into other social, pastoral, and educational ministries. Their lives continue to be rooted in the gospel, in faith and zeal for Christ's work in this world, and in a strong desire to make God known and loved.
 
 
 OUR FIRST SISTERS
 
 
 

 
 
 
  
Mère Saint Jean

1809 - 1869

Born: Appollonie Cure 

February 2, 1809

 
 
                                         
                                                                                 
 
 
 
 
 
Mère Saint Croix

1815 - 1878

Born: Eulalie Vidal 

August 25, 1815 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mère Saint Stanislaus

1825 - 1859

Born: Rosalie Gibbal

September 11, 1825

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Soeur Saint Modest

1812 - 1886

Born: Rose Jeantet

April 30, 1812

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Soeur Saint Aphrodise

1813 - 1874

Born: Cécile Cambon 

May 16, 1813

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Soeur Saint Agnes

1825 - 1890

Born: Marie Roques

May 20, 1825 
Eastern American Province 50 Wilson Park Drive Tarrytown, NY 10591 (914) 631-8872      Western American Province 441 N. Garfield Ave Montebello, CA 90640 (323) 887-8821
 
Religious Communities for Women Women Religious RSHM
Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary Religious Vocation Marymount
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Working for Justice RSHM Schools
International Congregation of Sisters Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Sisters
International Congregation of Women Religious RSHM Extended Family Become a Sister