The Brothers of the Sacred Heart
are an international Catholic religious community of lay men dedicated to the education of the young. Our earliest history is described in this way:
To rescue young people from ignorance, to prepare them for life, and to give them a knowledge and love of religion, Father Andre Coindre, in 1821, founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
In the spirit of evangelism that marked the period, the founding of the Institute expressed a response to the needs of the time and place on behalf of neglected and dechristianized youth.
Father Coindre wanted the members of the Institute to be brothers living the values specific to the religious life and committing themselves in a stable way to the service of the Church and society.
By the apostolic decree of July 22, 1894, the Church acknowledged the action of the Holy Spirit in the founding and history of our Institute, which it has approved as a pontifical institute of simple vows. By the same action, the Church has confirmed the members of the Institute in their vocation and their mission.
The Spirit who inspired our founding and who has sustained us throughout our history remains constantly active in the Institute.
Rule of Life
And today, all that remains true. Founded to initially teach trades to young people thrown onto the streets and into the prisons of Lyons, France, our founder soon saw education as the greatest need of the young; education in faith, education for a career, education in order to make a positive contribution to their society.
The work of the brothers extended from those initial years in France with the first missionary foundation in Mobile, Alabama, in 1846. Not especially missionary in our initial orientations, this outreach became an essential part of our growth as an Institute. Today, Brothers of the Sacred Heart can be found in Africa, South America, North America, and western Europe, as well as in parts of Asia and Oceania; over 30 countries living out this mission of education.