Sacred Heart Academy

Sacred Heart Academy was opened in the fall of 1931. At that time, Reverend Theodore Ray, S.J., was the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish which sponsored the new school. The Sisters of the Holy Names, under the guidance of Sister Mary of Lourdes, Superior, took up residence in the new convent on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. Despite the lack of prayer desks, the first Mass was offered in the tiny chapel on the following morning.

On September 13, 1931, the Right Reverend Patrick Barry, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, presided at the dedication ceremony of the school and convent. His Excellency blessed each room and the cornerstone which bears the inscription “For the honor and glory of God and for the education of youth.”

Sacred Heart Academy opened to 326 boys and girls the morning following the dedication ceremony. The children were eager to come to their new school and willing to endure its lack of desks. We can only imagine what school days were like that first year when the complete shipment of desks did not arrive until November! In 1931, the General Chapter was held at the Mother House in Montréal and Sister Mary of Lourdes was the delegate from the New York Province. When Sister returned to the States as provincial superior, Sister Mary Joanna replaced her as superior of Sacred Heart.

It is interesting to note that the first State Sodality Convention ever held in Florida met in the auditorium of Sacred Heart Parish School from March 12 through March 14, 1932, under the direction of Reverend Roger Lyons, S.J. The first registrations for high school were held on September 11, 1933. Twenty girls were members of the freshman class. In May 1937, the first graduating class received high school diplomas from Bishop Barry.

The high school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1938. Throughout the years of its existence, the Sisters of the Holy Names labored zealously to promote Catholic education at Sacred Heart. Enrollment continued to increase. The elementary school was co-educational, but the high school was for young women only. The Sacred Heart Academy high school closed in 1971 and the elementary school closed in May of 2012, but the Sisters of the Holy Names continue to play an important role in the lives of their faithful alumni through the programs of the Holy Names Alumni Association.

Sacred Heart Timeline


Sister Mary of Lourdes 1931
Sister Mary Joanna 1931-1933
Sister M. Marianna 1934-1935
Sister M. Rosalina 1936-1937
Sister Veronica of Mary 1941-1946
Sister Ellen Rose 1947-1950
Sister Lucy Josephine 1951-1953
Sister Francis of the Eucharist 1954-1957
Sister Clara Brunelle (aka Sister Charles Raymond) 1957-1958
Sister Marie Marks (aka Sister William of Mary) 1958-1959
Sister Lucy Josephine 1960-1962
Sister Rose of Mary 1963-1965
Sister Alice Maureen 1966-1969
Sister Ann Marean (aka Sister John Vincent) 1970
Sister Patricia Mills (aka Sister Mary Bernice) 1970
Sister Elizabeth Crean (aka Sister Jerome Michael) 1971