Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Our Mission

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are a worldwide, mission-driven and faith-based congregation of Catholic women.

The Institute was founded in 1880 by a passionate and bold woman – Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini – whose one desire was to communicate, demonstrate, and make known the love and mercy of God through tangible acts of love, mercy and justice.

Form its humble beginnings in Italy, the Institute now exists in 17 countries on six continents. In a dynamic effort to respond to the unmet needs of the many people excluded from basic human rights, the Missionary Sisters sponsor many endeavours, including: schools, hospitals and clinics, spirituality centres; low income housing for the elderly; and community-based immigrant and social services.

A Global Family




The youngest of thirteen children, Frances Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850 in a small village called Sant’ Angelo Lodigiano near the city of Milan, Italy.

She grew up enthralled by the stories of missionaries and made up her mind to join a religious order. Because of her frail health, she was not permitted to join the Daughters of the Sacred Heart who had been her teachers and under whose guidance she obtained her teaching certificate.

However, in 1880, with seven young women, Frances founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was as resourceful as she was prayerful, finding people who would donate what she needed in money, time, labour and support. She and her sisters wanted to be missionaries in China; she visited Rome to obtain an audience with Pope Leo XIII. The Pope told Frances to go “not to the East, but to the West,” to New York rather than to China, as she had expected. She was to help the thousands of Italian immigrants already in the United States.

In 1889, New York seemed to be filled with chaos and poverty, and into this new world stepped Mother Frances Cabrini and her sister companions. Mother Cabrini organised catechism and education classes for the Italian immigrants and provided for the needs of the many orphans. She established schools and orphanages despite tremendous odds.

Soon, requests for her to open schools came to Frances Cabrini from all over the world. She travelled to Europe, Central and South America and throughout the United States. She crossed the Atlantic Ocean repeatedly, rode on horseback in the Andes and crossed the lands of Central America, Brazil, Argentina, Europe and several of the United States by train and even on foot establishing 67 institutions: schools, hospitals and orphanages.

Her desire was to spread love and devotion towards Jesus’ Heart, through prayer, example and the hard work of her Missionaries, promoting solidarity, the defence of life and the dignity of all human beings.

Her activity was relentless until her death on December 22, 1917 in Chicago. In 1946, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to humanity. She was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950, and in 1999, Pope St. John Paul referred to her as the Missionary of the New Evangelization.

St. Francesca Cabrini Catholic Primary School

Partners in Mission - LONDON, ENGLAND

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have their London base here in Forest Hill, the primary school exists as part of this continuing commitment to the ongoing mission to serve the poor and those in need within our community. As collaborators in mission we are actively ministering and living the ‘charism’ set out by Mother Cabrini and join our other missions on six continents and in seventeen countries around the globe. We serve communities in the United States, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Ethiopia, Uganda, Swaziland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, England and Russia,  the Philippines and Australia.

Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - The Structure of the Institute


In these countries, the Missionary Sisters strive to carry out the mission and charism of Mother Cabrini who continues to inspire us for evangelization, education, health care, working with the poor and underprivileged, with people of all colours, nationalities and  language, in developed and developing nations. We seek to respond to the local needs of children, youth, men and  women, and the elders. We collaborate actively with the dedicated laity who serve with us.’

For more information on the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

       Please visit: www.cabriniworld.org





St Francesca Cabrini Catholic Primary School, Forest Hill Road, London SE23 3LE - Tel: 020 8699 8862 | Headteacher - Mrs M. Lawton-Quin