Society of the Sacred Heart


The Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart, 1982 captures the principles of the life of Religious of the Sacred Heart. Just as any constitutions, this document deals with the nature, mission and structure of the Society of the Sacred Heart. It conveys both the charism of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and spirit of the Society which she founded. Anyone wishing to understand the essence of the Society will benefit from reading the Constitutions.

Service in the Church

We are sent by the Church
to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus.
In Him all find their true growth as persons
and the way towards reconciliation with one another.
This we believe; this we want to proclaim.
Saint Madeleine chose to express this conviction
through the service of education, especially the young.
Faithful to her inspiration, and, like her, open to new situations,
We make her desire our own:
  • that people become ever more aware of the truth, of love and of freedom
  • that they discover the significance of their lives, and devote themselves to others
  • that they take part creatively in the common effort to transform the world
  • that they be enabled to encounter the love of Jesus
  • that they let their lives be shaped by an active faith.
The urgency of the world’s needs,
the call of our local Church,
impel us to respond creatively, in conformity with
the spirit of the Society.
It is, therefore, at provincial level,
according to the diversity of our cultures,
that we discern in what places and by what concrete 
means we are to carry out our service of education.
Conscious that we what we do, we do together,
and remembering a tradition
marked by a love for young people and missionary spirit,
we, sent by our superiors, carry out
this service of education:
  • especially in the work of teaching and formation
  • in other activities for human development and the promotion of justice
  • in pastoral work and guidance in the faith.
Activities within our own communities
contribute to the apostolic effectiveness
of the whole group.

Wherever we are sent,
whatever our work may be,
our lives will be inspired by the love of the Heart of Jesus
and the desire of making Him known, expressed in:
  • a concern for the growth of the whole person
  • a thirst for working towards justice and peace in the world in response to the cry of the poor
  • a passion to proclaim the Gospel.
Our service of education is carried out
in a genuine relationship of mutual interaction,
where each person both receives and gives
so that all may grow together.
Of its nature, our service of education
means creating community
among ourselves and with others.
It asks of us generous commitment,
serious on-going formation
and a broad critical vision of the world,
enlightened in faith.
Contemplating Jesus, we learn
from His attributes and responses
how, in all our relationships,
to witness to the liberating power of His love.
In faith and simplicity we meet the other
as a unique person,
having respect and affection for each,
and a humility which enables us to be receptive.
Always, we are filled with hope in our encounters,
sure of God’s power at work in us all.
As members of the same Body,
through apostolic prayer,
mutual support and work undertaken by all,
each religious, each community,
has a role and shares the responsibility
of our mission in the Church,
for the glory of the Heart of Jesus.
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.