The BG Difference

What Does it Mean to be a Brother School?

In a world where you can be anything, be kind. That’s where it all starts.


The Brothers of the Sacred Heart has a storied history and tradition dating back to 1821 France, but the reach of their powerful mission of education is very alive today in more than thirty countries around the world…including here at Bishop Guertin.


As a Brothers’ school, we believe in respect, kindness, and compassion. This means getting to know students individually and by name, understanding their unique qualities, and valuing their gifts—academic and otherwise—to create a rigorous and caring learning environment. 


In the Brothers tradition, we emphasize the formation of the whole person— academic, social, psychological, physical, and cultural. We emphasize values, high expectations, self-discipline, fairness, professional competence, and collaboration. Inspired every day by the Brothers’ mission, we believe in the power of an education in faith, education for a career, and education to make positive contributions to society.


Even today, the Brothers play a vital role in our community. They live on campus, teach classes, tutor students, and serve in Campus Ministry. Ask our students and they will tell you that the Brothers are their biggest fans. They are the first to applaud at student performances, the loudest to cheer for our athletes, and somehow, they are always there, always present, and always ready to lift students up when they need a kind word of support. 


A Brief History of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart


Father André 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 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. In 1821, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart were formed to carry out this work through the establishment of schools. After Father Coindre’s death in 1826 and at the end of Father Francis Coindre’s administration, Brother Polycarp, the 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.


Father André 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. Today, this spirit of compassion is what motivates the Brothers in more than 30 countries and the 11 Brothers of the Sacred Heart schools in the United States, England, and the Philippines.