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

Formation to Mission

The Academy of the Sacred Heart, “The Rosary” is an all-girls Catholic independent school in the city of New Orleans. Founded in 1867, the school has a long history that is rooted in the spiritual charism of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The Society of the Sacred Heart articulates its charism in the Catholic Church in its Constitutions in the following way:

By our charism, we are consecrated to GLORIFYING THE HEART OF JESUS. We answer His call to discover and reveal His love letting ourselves be transformed by His Spirit so as to live united and conformed to Him, and through our love and service to radiate the very love of His Heart (1982 Constitutions).

The Society of the Sacred Heart is sent by the Catholic Church to communicate this sacred charism which is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and it has done this through Catholic education and other ministries since its founding in 1800. 150 schools of the Sacred Heart are now in 41 countries of the world. All of these schools are united in the mission of the Sacred Heart to “make known this love of the God through the heart of Jesus.”

The Goals & Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education

This beautiful mission is articulated through the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools. The five goals are to educate to:

1. A personal and active faith in God;

2. A deep respect for intellectual values;

3. A social awareness which impels to action;

4. The building of community as a Christian value; and

5. Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

>>Learn more about the 5 Goals

Formation to Mission in Sacred Heart Schools

As a dimension of accountability for mission, each school is charged by the Provincial and her Team to develop a plan for ensuring that ongoing formation to mission is continued and carried out within the school. Formation to this mission is one of the most important charges for all students and adult members of the Sacred Heart community. Many of the Sacred Heart schools throughout the Province of the United States-Canada have appointed Directors or Coordinators of Formation to Mission to help ensure that the mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart is continued and carried out throughout all programs, services, and departments.

These “Formation to Mission Plans” within each school are intended to be an expression of how the school plans to live the mission of the Society and support the members of the community in its ongoing growth.

There is no one “right way” to engage the school community in “Formation to Mission.” Each school determines its course for enlivening and enacting the spirit of the Society in the local context, and reflecting the needs of the local community. No plan is finished, as the Spirit is constantly revealing to us new ways to manifest its truth and revelation.

End & Purpose

The ultimate aim of Formation to Mission at the Rosary is to foster the charism of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, the values of Sacred Heart education, and the unique way of being a Sacred Heart educator. Formation to Mission activities within a Sacred Heart school supports this aim and purpose by integrating the charism, values, unique educational practices and priorities of the Society into the fabric of school life. Intentional and ongoing formation of all members of the Rosary community empowers us to take up this mission and to assume responsibility for its transmission to the next generation.

The Formation to Mission Committee at the Rosary offers the following plan for our school. We believe it will inform us about Sacred Heart heritage, spirituality and pedagogy; and it will inspire us and nurture us so that we can live the Sacred Heart mission and share it with succeeding generations. We pray that God’s love works in our hearts through all that we do and all that we are as a community of the Sacred Heart, bringing each of us to a greater understanding of God’s love, and that through this plan we are provided with a pathway we can use to share God’s love with all those around us.

Formation to Mission Committee

The Formation to Mission (FTM) Committee is responsible for the creation and ongoing implementation of the Formation to Mission Plan. This committee consists of the Headmistress, a FTM Coordinator, one faculty member from the Upper School, Middle School, Prek - Lower School and Little Hearts, one staff member, one administrator, one parent, one trustee, one alumna, and one RSCJ. If the school Chaplain is willing and able to serve, he may be invited to serve as a member.

The Headmistress is responsible for selecting the FTM Coordinator. This person will have a deep knowledge of the Society of the Sacred Heart and its mission. The primary role of the Coordinator is that of convener, animator and facilitator. He or she will:

  • be responsible for animating and ensuring the life of mission through the effective facilitation of the FTM Committee and the ASH-FTM plan.
  • provide support to administrators, teachers and staff in matters related to FTM and work in collaboration with them to support FTM throughout the school.
  • provide prayer and reflection on mission and goals at regular Board of Trustees meetings, and special functions hosted by the Board, when invited by the Board Chair.
  • provide support to the Headmistress when called upon for resources, development of the all- school retreat, special all-school activities that are mission-related, and special Society of the Sacred Heart processes where school constituency groups are involved, etc.
  • recommend other members of the committee for appointment by the Headmistress after consultation.

The Formation to Mission (FTM) Committee will meet up to four times each year to plan ongoing formation and to follow up on the implantation of our schools’ plan.

Clarification of Roles and Responsibilities

The Formation to Mission Committee acts as a resource for the Campus Ministry Coordinator and the CM Team as they prepare all-school liturgical celebrations. Campus Ministry in all Divisions has the responsibility for animating the liturgical, devotional and sacramental life within the respective Division.

As we approach the Bicentennial Celebration of St. Philippine Duchesne’s arrival in the New World in 1818, members of the Formation to Mission Committee will act as the liaison between the Bicentennial Committee and the ASH school community with regard to events and celebrations.

Our Assumptions

Our plan is built on a the following basic assumptions:

  • Enacting a sacred mission is constantly unfolding—it is a dynamic process that is always revealed through prayer, grace and action. It is assumed that members of the community are seeking a posture of listening to the Spirit, and to the many ways in which God’s grace is being revealed in silence, in worship, in each other and within the community. We are all co-responsible for being agents of God’s grace in a Christian community.
  • The entire Rosary community values the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools and desires that they be furthered among us all. Some aspects of formation to mission will be enhanced by being jointly undertaken by all. Some activities within the scope of FTM will be undertaken by certain constituency groups within the Rosary community. All members share in advancing the mission and the plan, but in different ways and through a variety of activities.
  • The Rosary FTM coordinator will implement activities on a yearly basis in conjunction with the entire committee. The committee will work collaboratively with the Division Heads, Campus Ministers and musicians within each Division of the school to coordinate the implementation of activities within this plan.
  • The Formation to Mission Committee will affirm, encourage, support and nurture the charism within the school community.
  • The Formation to Mission Committee will collaborate with the wider community of Sacred Heart School through the Network of Sacred Heart Schools to advance the mission at the Rosary.
  • The Formation to Mission Committee will coordinate its plan with the unfolding mission
  • of the Society of the Sacred Heart as it continues to express its mission at the international and national level.

Ongoing Activities

Essential

  • Continuing education of the spirituality, heritage, traditions, and current priorities of the International Society of the Sacred Heart, and the Province of United States-Canada.
  • Engaged reflection and dialogue about Sacred Heart education in order to deepen and strengthen the mission as we respond to the evolving needs of the world.
  • On-going reflection on the Goals and Criteria for Sacred Heart education within all Divisions, and among all school constituency groups.
  • Sharing of the history and uniqueness of the Rosary.
  • Promulgating communications for special feasts with prayers, Sacred Heart readings, holy cards, and the like.
  • Offering speakers to members of the Rosary community concerning topics pertaining to the mission of Sacred Heart education.
  • Circulating information pertaining to the mission of Sacred Heart Education so that this
  • is displayed throughout the school on bulletin boards, banners, etc.
  • Providing tours of the school in the context of the mission, history, culture and spirituality of the school.
  • Post on the website interesting features, quotes, and other information to share and promote the mission.
  • Support the administrative team and other school personnel with on-going information about emerging trends and activities within the Society of the Sacred Heart (SSH) and its mission such as Society “Chapters” and emerging priorities.
  • Inform and educate the school community about the mission and ministries of the Society of the Sacred Heart outside of formal education within schools (Sprout Creek Farm, the Stuart Center, the Spiritual Ministry Center, etc.)
  • Network the school with the local ministries of Religious of the Sacred Heart (Duchesne
  • House and Barat House) when members of the school community express interest. Inform and educate the school community to these ministries.

Optional

The Formation to Mission Coordinator and the FTM Committee will work with Division Heads, Campus Ministers, Service Learning Coordinator(s), musicians, and other leaders within the school to coordinate some or all of the following:

  • Day of reflection or retreat
  • Communal prayer, Mass, Stations of the Cross, Praying the Rosary, and the celebration of special feasts
  • Communal fun, especially as this relates to traditions within the Society of the Sacred Heart such as cache-cache, Conge, auctions, Alumnae retreat, etc.
  • Groups to be determined annually such as bible studies, prayer groups, book clubs, worship services, and adult immersion experiences (e.g. mission trips to Nicaragua, Mexico, Uganda, etc.).
  • 1st Friday Adoration or Mass.
  • School community Mass once each month. During Lent, once each week.
  • Possible presentation to the Children of Mary regarding Formation to Mission goals and responsibilities.

Administration, Faculty & Staff

Hiring of Employees

Members of the adult community at Sacred Heart are selected based on a wide spectrum of criteria. All candidates are carefully considered in the light of significant qualities. Among other factors, these are as follows:

  • The candidate’s understanding of, support of, and capacity to be responsible for the mission of Sacred Heart education.
  • The candidate’s ability to maintain consistency in educational philosophy with the Sacred Heart philosophy as expressed in the Goals and Criteria.
  • The candidate’s professional competency and willingness to be formed in the mission.
  • The candidate’s willingness to support the Catholic and Christ-centered mission of the school.

All candidates are interviewed with these factors in mind. All candidates are provided with the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools as a part of the process of deliberation for all new employees.

Orientation

  • New administrators, faculty and staff receive a careful orientation prior to the beginning of each school year. This orientation is a full 2 days that includes foundational principles of the Society of the Sacred Heart, its charism and mission in the Church, the history of the Rosary, and special culture of our school. A portion of initial orientation is presented by members of the Formation to Mission Committee.
  • New administrators, faculty and staff are carefully paired with a “Partner in Mission and Learning” by the Headmistress and the respective Division Head. This “seasoned” or experienced individual accompanies the new faculty or staff member in their enculturation within the school, both in their special area of responsibility as well as in the mission of the school.
  • The Rosary describes its “Partners in Mission and Learning Program” Handbook (Attachment A). This individual-to-individual accompaniment includes education in Sacred Heart heritage, the Goals and Criteria, and Sacred Heart pedagogy as well as in the practical matters of day-to-day teaching. Such accompaniment is ongoing and continues through the first years of employment.
  • New administrators, faculty and staff will have the opportunity during their initial years of service to take part in a culturally enriching mission-based program in St. Charles called “Roots that Give Us Wings.” Faculty involved in Campus Ministry and Religion, or Deans (when possible) will be given priority to attend “Roots that Give Us Wings” during the first years of their service.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff who have a passionate attachment to the philosophy of Sacred Heart education and who have been entrusted with the primary responsibility for ensuring that the heritage, mission and charism of Sacred Heart spirituality and education are woven into the fabric of the everyday life of the school community are invited to participate in the specially designed conference “Keepers of the Flame”. This conference supports one of the fundamental beliefs of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools which is
  • that “unity brings strength; that together our schools achieve more together than they can alone; that each school is energized by the collective presence of the others.” (2006 Proposal to Foundation) “Keepers” takes place annually in St. Charles, MO.

Hopes & Expectations

  • The Headmistress and others involved in the hiring process assume responsibility to ensure these understandings of mission as they consider new faculty and staff.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff model the values of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff participate in on-going personal education in the heritage and mission of Sacred Heart education.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff commit themselves to reflecting on and deepening their understanding and commitment to the Goals and Criteria through their teaching and/or other professional responsibilities.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff are called to develop ways to engage students and other members of our school constituency groups in active dialogue around mission.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff participate in programs offered by the Network of Sacred Heart Schools to enhance formation to mission.

Ongoing Activities
Essential

  • Yearly commissioning of administrators, faculty and staff as educators of the Sacred Heart.
  • Annual day of Retreat.
  • Opening and Closing faculty in-service workshops will include aspects of Sacred Heart, spirituality, and pedagogy each year.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff meetings to include prayer, Goals and Criteria, and heritage readings. This portion of the meetings will be led by various faculty and staff throughout the year.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff will receive e-mails in celebration of Feasts with prayers, readings, holy cards, etc.
  • There will be opportunity for communal prayer
  • Sacred Heart quotations or Heritage information will be included in routine communications to faculty and staff (“Here’s the Latest,” student announcements, “Bits and Pieces”, Pre and Lower Little Cardinal Courier, etc.).
  • There will be a regular evaluation of Formation to Mission activities.

Optional

  • Day begins and ends with prayer. Prayer before meetings, classes and meals are encouraged.
  • Voluntary groups for retreats (busy-person), reflection, bible study, prayer, or spiritual book club.
  • Occasional travel events to Grand Coteau, St. Charles, Joigny, Rome, etc.
  • Encourage use of sofie.org and rscjinternational.org
  • 1st Friday Mass or Adoration.
  • Travel to other schools.
  • Weekly Mass during Lent.
  • Website features on SSH spirituality.
  • Participation in events and happenings at Napoleon Avenue Community/Barat House & Duchesne House, other ministries of the Society of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.

Board of Trustees (BOT)

Selection

Thoughtful selection of the Board Chair and Trustees is essential in ensuring the school’s mission. Stewardship of the Goals and Criteria calls for the following characteristics for all members of the Board:

  • For the Chair, the capacity to lead the board in its responsibility to hold this mission in trust.
  • For all Trustees, an understanding of and support for the mission of the school and Sacred Heart education and a commitment to ongoing formation in his or her role as leader in concert with the history, traditions and cultural of Sacred Heart Education.

The Board Chair works in partnership with the Headmistress in order to ensure the formation of the Board of Trustees.

Orientation of Trustees

The Chair, the Headmistress, and the Committee on Trustees will ensure that the BOT orientation program has a viable component for the mission of Sacred Heart Schools including:

  • In-depth discussion of the mission the Board holds in trust as articulated in the Goals and Criteria for Sacred Heart Schools in the United States-Canadian Province (inclusive of Foundational Principles, the Goals and their Criteria)
  • Explanation of the accountability of the school for this mission through the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG) process
  • Exposure to the heritage of Sacred Heart education
  • Explanation of the Conference of Sacred Heart Schools and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools
  • Expectation to participate within the first few years (2-3) of service in the Network New Trustee training

Operating Assumptions

  • All trustees are responsible to hold in trust the mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as this is expressed in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education and in the ongoing
  • expression of the priorities of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
  • Trustees participate in ongoing education to the heritage and mission of Sacred Heart education.
  • Trustees commit themselves to deepening their understanding of and commitment to the Goals and Criteria by examining the implication of board decisions and polices as well as allocation of resources.
  • Each Board’s Committee on Trustees will assume responsibility to assure this commitment through the selection, orientation and ongoing education of trustees.
  • The Headmistress will serve as a coordinator for this constituency implementing the following activities on a yearly basis or as needed.

Ongoing Activities

Essential

  • Prayer at all meetings
  • Heritage and/or Spirituality readings at all meetings
  • Annual retreat that includes both prayer, updating on the Society of the Sacred Heart and its mission with priorities, any ongoing information with regard to the SHCOG process, and other Board related activities.
  • Regular reading in Sacred Heart Texts (Journey of the Heart, biographies of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and St. Philippine Duchesne, etc.)
  • Visit to St. Charles within first three years.
  • Trustees will receive e-mails in celebration of Feasts with prayers, readings, holy cards, etc.
  • There will be an annual presentation to the Trustees by a Formation to Mission Committee member.

Optional

  • Use of sophie.org and rscjinternational.org
  • 1st Friday Mass or Adoration
  • Participation in Bible Studies, book clubs, and or prayer groups
  • Weekly Mass
  • Attend when possible “all school liturgies” or special “all school” celebrations and events such as May Crowning.
  • Visit classrooms annually on appointed day and scheduled time.
  • Website features on SSH spirituality
  • Participation in events and happenings at Napoleon Avenue Community/Barat House & Duchesne House, other ministries of the Society of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.

Parents

Operating Assumptions

  • The Sacred Heart mission is introduced and the Goals and Criteria are explained from the very start of a family’s relationship with the school
  • A mutually beneficial relationship is achieved when a new family demonstrates an understanding of the mission of Sacred Heart schools.
  • There is an expectation of orientation for new families to the mission of Sacred Heart schools.
  • The Formation to Mission Committee will recommend one or more people as “point person(s)” for this constituency to the Headmistress.

Orientation of New Parents

  • Each new family participates in formation to mission from the very beginning of its inquiry into Sacred Heart as a possibility for their daughter. The Admission Team apprises each family of the mission and informs the family of the Goals of the school. This is an important part of the process so that each family is clear about the mission and end purpose of the school.
  • Receive a copy of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education.
  • Parents are invited to an Orientation for New Parents at the beginning of each year where the mission is carefully discussed by the Headmistress, and other members of the Formation to Mission Committee and Division Heads.
  • Each family receives an Orientation to New Parents booklet which describes the unique history, tradition, and culture of the school.
  • Letters from the Headmistress and respective Division Heads underscore the mission and purpose of the school, its goals and values.

Ongoing Activities

Essential

  • Parent meeting concerning what it means to be a “Child of the Sacred Heart.”
  • Parent Newsletter will contain Heritage information, quotes, and spiritual reflections
  • Congé booth dedicated to the mission of Sacred Heart education. Free materials.
  • Prayer is led at Fathers & Mothers club by Headmistress or another member of the FTM Committee or staff. Heritage / Spirituality readings are generally integrated at meetings and coffees for school constituency groups.

Optional

  • Use of sophie.org and rscjinternational.org
  • 1st Friday Mass or Adoration.
  • Participation in bible studies, book clubs, and or prayer groups.
  • Development of a Sacred Heart prayer book that will be given to each family.
  • Attend Christmas Basket Mass.
  • Website features on SSH spirituality.
  • Participation in events and happenings at Napoleon Avenue Community/Barat House & Duchesne House, other ministries of the Society of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.

Materials & Resources

The following materials concerning the Mission of Sacred Heart Education are available by members of the school community.

Prayers & Reflections

Celebrating risen life on Easter, I share this photo montage of a remarkable sunrise on Navarre Beach.
When the apostles return from their first mission, exhausted from their efforts and sought out by great number of people, Jesus tells them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest for a while" (Mark 6:31)
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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