A Catholic, independent, college-prep school for girls, ages 1 – 12th grade.

United By History and Vision

Imagine growing up as a girl at a time in history when young women were not schooled in serious intellectual studies. This was the situation in 1800, the same year Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Paris. Her vision was to provide young women with an education – built on the Christian values of faith and compassion – that would empower them within the turbulent society of their time.

Sacred Heart Through The Years Timeline
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1800

Madeleine Sophie Barat founds the Society of the Sacred Heart, dedicated to the education of young women.

1818

First pioneer missionary Philippine Duchesne, and four other Religious of the Sacred Heart; (RSCJ) arrive in New Orleans to establish schools in the "New World."

1844

Mother Pauilne Perdeau (1815-1895), a young Sacred Heart novice, paints a fresco named "The Madonna of the Lily" in Rome. Today, "Mater Admirabilis" has become the patron of Sacred Heart schools everywhere.

1867

Reverend Mother Anna Shannon of St. Michael's purchases the 1843 Lesconflair House in the Vieux Carré. In November, RSCJ return to New Orleans where they open the first Sacred Heart school, Mater Admirabilis.

1886

Angelina Cietcovich (later Mrs. Michael Baccich, 1869-1925) completes Superior Class at Mater and graduates in 1886. 47 of her descendants over 6 generations were Mater or Rosary students.

1887

As the population of New Orleans expands into the uptown area, Rev. Mother DuTreil, RSCJ decides to purchase the John Calhoun – Peters – Rivers estate at 4521 St. Charles Avenue. The second Sacred Heart school in New Orleans opens with three children in its first class – the first home of the Rosary.

1888, Spring

First student body at recreation. Note: yes, there are boys as students.

1897

First student body graduation at the Rosary.

1901

Bronze statue of the Sacred Heart is lifted into niche on front gallery.

1906

Chapel construction is complete and ready for the Rosary's first service.

1908

The Mater Admirabilis' Free School for children of Creole background in the French Quarter expands at a rapid pace, 150 students enrolled.

1911

Physical education was always a part of the Sacred Heart curriculum – lawn tennis and basketball in what was named Rosary "park".

1911

The class of 1911 includes Mother Louise Soniat, who the Middle and Upper School library is named after. She taught at the Rosary from 1948-1971.

1913

The first bridge over Carondelet Street is constructed.

1913

Evolution of the Rosary: third floor dormitory was added for student boarders, and a two-story chapel and assembly room – one on each wing.

1914

The Mater Admirabilis school is sold to the Archdiocese for $20,000 – the Society focuses on one primary Sacred Heart school in New Orleans.

1917

Mardi Gras at Sacred Heart in 1917.

1919

Gift of the statue of Mater Admirabilis by the class of 1919.

1928

First primary classroom photo taken in 1928.

1935

The Cardinals' Varsity Basketball team in 1935.

1936

It's "Carnival Time" at the Rosary, circuit 1936.

1937

Sacred Heart girls celebrate in typical tradition the end of the school year in 1937.

1937, May

Celebration of the Rosary's Golden Jubilee, greeting French Poet Paul Claudel (1868-1955).

1939

"Pneumonia Den," also known as "The Shelter" is built as a response to an early wave of athletic prosperity.

1939

First issue of the "Rosary Ripple," a precursor to the yearbook, is published.

1940

Graduation ceremony in the Chapel in 1940.

1940

The Soniat Library in the '40s.

1940s

Study hall in the '40s.

1941

Dr. Elise Cambron '35 is appointed the organist at S. Louis Cathedral where she has enjoyed an illustrious 62-year career as music director and organist.

1947

Carnival at the Rosary in 1947.

1949

Reverend Mother Gertrude Bodkin articulates the philosophy of Sacred Heart education in her booklet: The Philosophy Behind a Sacred Heart Education.

1949

Feast of Philippine Duchesne.

1950

The first issue of "The Bridge" (formerly "Good News") is published.

1955

Basketball champions celebrate 10 years of undefeated league play.

1959

Duchesne Hall opens (presently where our modern day gym still resides).

1960

Class liturgy in 1960.

1962

The Rosary expands by adding a cafeteria and three new classrooms.

1963

The class graduation picture in front of the school, a tradition as much then as it is today.

1966

The chapel is renovated, resembling much of the same features as today.

1968

The fountain.

1970

The Network of Sacred Heart Schools' 5 Goals and Criteria are formulated and explicitly stated.

1972

William Gallop becomes the first lay Headmaster of Sacred Heart, the fist time a capsule is buried.

1973

Art in the '70s at Sacred Heart.

Late 1970s

The Varsity Basketball team with coach Jim Roth.

1980

Mater Hall building is constructed for more assembly space and classrooms.

1982

The ASH-FIN (faculty infant nursery) program opens.

1983

Gymnastics at Sacred Heart, Linda DeRussy '83.

1984

Margaret Brown, RSCJ is named Headmistress of the Rosary.

1985

Preschoolers in the '80s.

1986

Meet the 9186 Louisiana State Volleyball Champions after winning finals with Coach Debbi Surgi – the first of 11 state titles.

1987

Centennial Year of the Rosary campus on St. Charles Avenue is highlighted by the publication of "Legacy of a Century," written by alumna Sally Kittredge Reeves '60.

1988

Aerial view of Sacred Heart New Orleans, the Rosary campus.

1989

The class of 1989 goes to Washington, D.C. for the Bicentennial of the Constitutions and Bill of Rights competition. Ambassador Corrine "Lindy" Boggs (at far right congratulates the class on state winners and 5th place nationally.

1989

The 1989 computer class program commences at the Rosary (Emelie Burns).

1989

Susan Wegmann with preschoolers at the Feast of Mater Admirabilis.

1989

Shirley Miller, RSCJ is named Headmistress of the Rosary, with sophomore Kristen Kleer '91.

1991

Hearty Meals program is established (Goal 3).

1992

Gymnastics State Champions (3rd title for Sacred Heart).

1994

Honorable Edith "Joy" Brown Clement '65, an alumna and U.S. District Court Federal Judge, gives an inspirational address at graduation.

1995

150th anniversary of the Mater Admirabilis fresco. Student Mary Holtgreve, '95, dressed as Mater.

1995

Gymnastics State Champions (6th title).

1996

"Forging the Future, Preserving the Past." Capital Campaign funded a new Science and Technology Wing at the Rosary campus.

1996

A restoration of the cupola is undertaken and completed with its lighting.

1996

The Cardinal mascot "Ashley" makes her debut.

1996

Swim team wins its first State Championship.

1997

Freret St. Project – Learning partners in memory of Sr. Rita Karam, RSCJ.

1998

Final renovations are completed for the Mother Louise Soniat Library and Science and Technology Wing.

1999

First Baptist Church of New Orleans congregation votes to relocate in the Lakeview area. Church representatives approach Sacred Heart about purchasing the property.

2000

Art in action, Giuliano Ieronimo and students create a mosaic entry for Our Lady of Lourdes parish school.

2001

Volleyball celebrates yet another State Championship.

2002

Original Mater Admirabilis Cross from the French Quarter school returns to Sacred Heart by permanent loan from the Louisiana Historical Society.

2002

Dedication of the new Mater Admirabilis campus with first liturgy by Fr. Bernard Knoth, SJ.

2002

Sacré Coeur wrought iron is unveiled on the Mater Campus green space.

2002

Meet the Sacred Heart Sailing team of 2002.

2003

Students prepare for the "Wild at Heart" auction.

2003

Sacred Heart students send barge full of school and medical supplies to Mission School in Haiti.

2005, August 29

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans and shuts the city and school down for months before residents can return.

Rosary Campus
4521 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans LA 70115
(504) 891-1943 | Fax (504) 891-9939
Mater Campus
4301 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans LA 70115
(504) 269-1230 | Fax (504) 896-7899
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