Living Sacred Heart

Once a child of the Sacred Heart, always a child of the Sacred Heart. This is a foundation of our Sacred Heart heritage that has been passed down for generations at Sacred Heart schools around the world. Within the United States and Canada, the Sacred Heart Foundational Principles and the Goals and Criteria provide guidelines for living to students, faculty, staff, and parents. Our Sacred Heart traditions, also shared with our sister and brother schools around the world, are how we pray, celebrate, and play.

Sacred Heart Feast Days

The Feast of Mater
October 20

In 1844, a young novice of the Society of the Sacred Heart painted a fresco of the Virgin Mary on a wall of the convent. The novice painted Mary as a young woman in a rose-colored dress. A lily at Mary's side represented her purity; the distaff and spindle, her love of work; a book, her dedication to study. When viewing the fresco for the first time, Pope Pius IX proclaimed, "Mater Admirabilis!" (Latin for "Mother Most Admirable"). A statue or painting of Mater is in each of the Sacred Heart schools today. This special day is marked with liturgical celebrations and pink goûter (special snacks).

The Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
November 18

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, an ancient city in the French Alps, in 1769. Educated at home and at the Visitation Monastery near her home, Philippine entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1804. Philippine's greatest desire was to be a missionary to the United States and serve the Native Americans. In 1818, Mother Sophie Barat consented to Philippine's many requests. On May 29 of that year, Philippine and four companions established the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi in St. Charles, Missouri. Philippine died on November 18, 1852, at the age of 83 in St. Charles. She was canonized in July 1988.

The Feast of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
May 25

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, was born in Joigny, France, in 1779. She received a remarkable education at home from her Jesuit-educated brother. At 16, she and her brother studied together in Paris. While there, she learned of plans to form a new religious congregation that was to be rooted in prayer, dedicated to education, and, ultimately, committed to glorifying the Heart of Christ. In 1800, with three others, she consecrated her life "to make known the revelation of God's love, whose source and symbol is the Heart of Christ." Elected Superior General in 1806, she held this post until her death on May 25, 1865. She was canonized a saint in 1925.

For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society.
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

A Sacred Heart Glossary


Our school teams are the Chargers, and our mascot is a white mustang affectionately known as Cha-Cha. Our team colors are navy and gold. Go Chargers!


Of all our traditions, Congé (kon-zhay) might be our most beloved. Once a year, on what seems like an ordinary school day, the simple announcement of "It's Congé!" —which means "leave taking" or "farewell"—sends the entire school into a whirlwind of excitement and activity. All classes are cancelled, and instead, a full day of fun, games, snacking, socializing, and a carnival-like atmosphere prevails. A group of seniors prepares each Congé behind the scenes with teachers and administrators, and they take great pride in orchestrating such memorable events for all their classmates.


DuchesneConnect is Duchesne's online community portal. By accessing DuchesneConnect, parents, alumnae, faculty, and staff can update their contact information as well as search the Online Directories for other parents and fellow alums. The school uses the available email addresses and telephone numbers to communicate time-sensitive information and also keep parents informed of important information affecting their daughters.


We definitely use lots of French at Duchesne, but this one is Spanish for "space." Every day at 2 p.m., the entire school—no matter where you are or what you are doing—stops for two minutes of silence and personal reflection. Some girls pray, some meditate, some just take deep yoga breaths and center themselves. It is a reminder for us to slow down, relax, and be in the moment before going on with the rest of our day.


This is one of our favorites. Goûter (goo-tay) means "to taste" in French, and it is an extra-special snack the school provides for us on special occasions such as Feast Days or other celebrations.

Mass of the Holy Spirit

At the beginning of each school year, Duchesne celebrates the Mass of the Holy Spirit at an all-school Liturgy where we ask the Holy Spirit to come down and bless us through the year's endeavors.


The Network of Sacred Heart Schools is an association of 22 Sacred Heart schools across the United States. There are also Sacred Heart schools in 44 countries. Together, they are dedicated to the values of Christian education articulated nearly 200 years ago by the foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. You can learn more about living Sacred Heart at the Network's website:

Prize Day

It is important to us as a community to take the time to recognize each other—our accomplishments and hard work and good choices. We look forward to Prize Day as the end to every year. With prizes, we get to appreciate not only each other's academic achievements but also values we hold dear at Duchesne: community, kindness, and friendship.


The term Religious refers to the nuns who serve in the schools of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The Religious of the Sacred Heart sign their names followed by "RSCJ," which is derived from the French Religieuses du Sacré Coeur de Jesus. Duchesne Academy is blessed to currently have three Religious living in community on our campus.

Social Awareness

We love making a difference, and it is a lifelong pursuit that we start here at Duchesne. Beginning in Pre-K3, students serve others in a wide variety of ways on campus and off, culminating in the junior and senior years. Our students fan out across the city each week to schools, hospitals, retirements homes, and nonprofits who work with underserved people.

The White House

The White House at Duchesne is the home of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. The original White House was where classes were held during the early years of the school. Today, it also serves as a space for school events and the backdrop for our graduation ceremony held on our front lawn.

Wise Freedom

This is our shorthand for Goal V, and we put it into practice just about every day. Wise freedom means getting the opportunity to manage your own time and taking responsibility for your choices in an environment that is loving and caring.