Monday, July 22 2024

An RSHM education allows students to grow intellectually and spiritually, developing leadership skills, a respect for diversity, and a commitment to service and social justice.

In 1942, Archbishop Cantwell appealed to the RSHM to found a Catholic high school for girls in East Los Angeles, an area with no Catholic schools and a growing Catholic population. The RSHM bought property and on June 1, 1942, moved the Oneata Academy building onto the lot, its dormitory serving as temporary classrooms.  For 3 years the RSHM commuted from Marymount Westwood, 20 miles away. 

September 1, 1942, Fr. O’Dowd, pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish, brought 60 girls to register for Sacred Heart of Mary High School. Enrollment steadily increased and the traditional RSHM activities and spirit took root. Academic and student programs expanded, and the campus grew to include a convent, chapel, and buildings to accommodate 450 students. As the demographics changed, SHM welcomed immigrant families and 1stgeneration pupils. SHM flourished, its students recognized for their outstanding achievements – leadership, scholarship, sports, and the arts. 

The Board of Regents, formed in 1977, came to see that the RSHM could not financially sustain SHM into the future. In the late 1980’s the Archdiocese studied the viability of its secondary schools while the RSHM were looking long-term at SHM. Through consultation, dialogue, then mutual agreement, Cantwell, an Archdiocesan high school for boys and Sacred Heart of Mary High School consolidated. With SHM’s faculty and staff moving across the street, the schools formed Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary (CSHM), a coeducational, college preparatory secondary school of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1991.