Founding Mothers

Janet Erskine Stuart

Silence of action calms the soul and recalls the presence of God.

Biography of Janet Erskine Stuart

Janet Erskine Stuart was born November 11, 1857 in the Anglican Rectory of Cottesmore, Rutland, England. As a child of thirteen, she set out on a solitary search for Truth, having been urged to this venture by a casual remark of one of her brothers that every rational creature must have a last end. The search eventually brought her to the Catholic Church at the age of twenty-one. In 1882, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton, outside of London, where she spent 30 years of her religious life often working with young religious learning the art and science of teaching. When elected the sixth Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1911, Mother Stuart set a goal to know all the religious personally and visited every community in the Society throughout the world. Janet Stuart’s influence extends throughout the world primarily through her writings which inspire commitment to spiritual growth and educational excellence. Among Stuart’s best known works are Highway and Byways of the Spiritual Life (1909) and The Education of Catholic Girls (1912).
Our loving-kindness with ourselves is the source of our loving-kindness to others. When we develop this consciousness within our self and toward our self, then we can offer genuine, Christ-like love, tolerance and compassion to others.  This is the true work (and reward) of our life.

Timeline of Janet Erskine Stuart's Life

1857: Born at Cottesmore Rectory in Rutland, England

1878: Converted to Catholicism
1882: Enters Society of the Sacred Heart

1894: Becomes Superior of Roehampton community

1898 - 1901: Travels extensively throughout USA and Latin America

1911: Elected Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Visits every community in the world.

1914: Dies at age of 57


The Network has collated a list of resources to use in classrooms and with faculty and staff to learn and share Janet Erskine Stuart's impact on Sacred Heart education. Click here to view and download the resources.
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.