The Society of the Sacred Heart is an international order of women in the Catholic Church, founded in 1800 by a French woman, Madeleine Sophie Barat.
Her desire was to heal the pain and division in her country in the aftermath of the French revolution, by helping others to discover the love of God's Heart. She chose to do this primarily through education and spirituality.
Today there are 2,600 religious, in 40 countries around the world. Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) are called to discover and reveal God's love for all, whose source is in the Open Heart of Jesus.
We are called to be contemplative in spirit, generous and educative in mission and passionate for justice, peace and the integrity of creation. We are contemplatives in action, rooted in prayer and reflection, and by looking deeply at the world around us, we try to see it as God sees it, so that we can better love and serve others.
After about three years of initial formation all RSCJ make vows of poverty, obedience and chastity, and we also commit ourselves to the service of education. The Church asks all religious to initially make their vows temporarily, even if their deepest desire is to say "forever" right from the start, and so we make ‘first vows’ for six years, before beginning the process of preparation for perpetual vows.
By these vows we hand over all that we are to God in the Society, promising to live simply, open-heartedly and non-possessively, to put our liberty, gifts and potential at the service of the Society's mission and to love freely, generously and whole-heartedly.
In all the circumstances of our life,
wherever our mission leads us
our sole purpose in living is to glorify the Heart of Jesus,
to discover and make known His Love.
(Constitutions, para 179)