Father Andre Coindre, founder of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, was born in Lyon, France, in 1787. Devoting his life to the restoration of the Church following the Reign of Terror at the end of the French Revolution, his chief mission became the moral, intellectual, and religious development of young orphan boys left in distress by the consequent disintegration of family life.
Father Coindre had envisioned a community of brothers trained to work with the poor through the establishment of schools; in 1821 that dream became a reality with the formation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. After Father Coindre's death in 1826 and at the end of Father Francis Coindre's administration, Brother Polycarp, our first Brother Superior General, assumed leadership of the struggling community. His tenure was marked by a period of tremendous growth. By the time of his death in 1859, the Institute had grown to over 400 Brothers in 70 schools.
In January of 1847 at the request of Bishop Portier, five missionary Brothers of the Sacred Heart arrived in Mobile, Alabama, to begin charitable and educational work. With a presence in the United States, the congregation began its transformation into a worldwide institute, spreading throughout North America in the South, New York and New England areas and into Canada.
Our founder, Father Andre Coindre preached and acted upon the spirit of compassion that Jesus exemplified through his own life. By responding to the abandoned youth in the city of Lyon, Father Coindre gave of himself, of his own heart. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart are called to respond just as Father Coindre, just as Jesus did. This spirit of compassion is what motivates the Brothers today.
BROTHERS OF THE SACRED HEART RULE OF LIFE #13
"To be a member of the institute today is to believe in God's love, to live it, and to spread it. It is to contribute as religious educators to the evangelization of the world particularly through the education of the youth."
By their religious consecration, the brothers commit themselves to live the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Through chastity we surrender our lives to the loving person of Christ whom we prefer above all. Our chastity unites us in a special way to the Church. Our lifestyle is a sign of salvation that is found already in the world. We express our love in giving ourselves to God and to all we meet.
Through poverty we imitate the early apostolic community who shared everything in common. In keeping with Gospel poverty, we assume the condition of common people by daily work. The social dimension of our poverty makes us attentive to the need for justice for those who are impoverished.
Through obedience we offer ourselves as a spiritual sacrifice to God, living more radically our baptismal covenant with God. We strive to make the love of Jesus Christ known to young people throughout the world.
OUR HISTORY & CALLING