Sacred Heart

Unique in our approach, unified in our commitment to the legacy of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat.

Woodlands Academy belongs to the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, an association of 24 Sacred Heart schools across the United States and Canada. Sacred Heart Schools share a belief in the values of Christian education articulated nearly two hundred years ago by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

As a student at a Sacred Heart School, our students are a part of a global network of educational institutions in 41 countries that are committed to the same core principles.

Woodlands Academy operates independently (governed by our Board of Trustees), but is entrusted by the Society of the Sacred Heart to fulfill our mission in accordance with the Goals and Criteria.

Our Guiding Principles

Guided by the global vision of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, the Network of Sacred Heart Schools is an association of Catholic independent schools and the United States - Canada Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart, for the purpose of advancing the educational mission of the Society. The Network provides services and programs that promote and stimulate creative education and leadership framed by the Goals and Criteria for Sacred Heart Schools in the United States and Canada. You can read more about the guiding principles of Sacred Heart education on the website for the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.

Schools of the Sacred Heart Commit Themselves to Educate To:

                          • a personal and active faith in God
                          • a deep respect for intellectual values
                          • a social awareness that impels to action
                          • the building of community as a Christian value
                          • personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

Network of the Sacred Heart

The Network provides a means for mutual support and development among its schools through the sharing of spiritual and intellectual resources as well as others to further the mission of Sacred Heart schools. Member schools have many opportunities for collaboration. Students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees participate in national Network workshops, conferences, and programs.

The Network of Sacred Heart Schools, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit corporation and is governed by an executive committee that includes the provincial of the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States - Canada, the Director of Network Program Planning and the Head of the Conference of Sacred Heart Education. The members of the executive committee are present or former heads of school and present or former trustees of Network schools.

Pioneering Women of the Sacred Heart

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Your example, more than words, will be an eloquent example to the world. Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
Madeleine-Sophie Barat was born in France in 1779 in the town of Joigny. She went to Paris in 1795, at the height of the French Revolution, and initially considered becoming a Carmelite. However, her experience of Revolutionary violence in Joigny and Paris led her on another path. In 1800 she founded the Society of the Sacred Heart whose purpose was to make known the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ, and take part in the restoration of Christian life in France through the education of young women of the rich and the poor classes.

The Society of the Sacred Heart quickly expanded within Europe and beyond. Sophie Barat had a natural capacity for friendship and she enjoyed a broad network of relationships, with her family, with members of the Society, with the clergy, and with students and friends in all walks of life. Sophie Barat was awake to the social, political, economic and religious currents operating in Europe and in the wider world of her time. By her awareness of their impact on the world of education, Sophie Barat ensured the Society’s contribution to the education and the promotion of women in her time and into the future.

Sophie Barat remained the superior general of the Society of the Sacred Heart from 1806 until her death in 1865. By the time of her death, Sophie Barat guided an international community of 3,359 women, inspired by a deeply held spiritual ideal and offering a service of education to women in Europe, North Africa, North and South America.

Madeleine Sophie Barat was canonised a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 25 May 1925

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Profit by the little trials that come to you, for through them we make real progress. Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, France. She was the daughter of Pierre-Francois Duchesne, an eminent lawyer, and her mother was a Perier, ancestor of Casimir-Perier, President of France. When she was 19 years old, she joined the convent of the Visitation, which her family did not know. She was educated by the Visitation nuns, entered that order, saw its dispersion during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, vainly attempted the reestablishment of the convent of Ste-Marie-d'en-Haut, near Grenoble, and finally, in 1804, accepted the offer of Mother Barat to receive her community into the Society of the Sacred Heart.

In 1818, Rose Philippine Duchesne headed out to America with four other members of the Society to found the first house of the Sacred Heart ever built outside of France. She traveled the Louisiana territory and ended up in St. Charles, Missouri. She created a new house of the Sacred Heart Society in a log cabin. This newfound house faced many struggles including lack of funds and very cold weather. She and four other members of her Society continued to create schools in America. By the year 1828, six houses had been added in America.

Years later, a school in Kansas was founded for the Potawatomi tribe children. At this new house, Rose Philippine Duchesne spent much of her time taking care of sick Native Americans. The Native Americans named her Quahkahkanumad, which stood for "Woman Who Prays Always." She died in 1852 at the age of 83.

She was canonized on July 3, 1988, by Pope John Paul II.