In the 19th century, Cornelia Connelly, an American convert to Catholicism, founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and opened her first school in England. Cornelia’s Society was grounded in the Incarnation: In becoming one of us, God conferred dignity on humankind. Thus, Cornelia reasoned simply, each person is worthy of respect and reverence. She devoted her life to educating children, God's love incarnate, in an atmosphere of love and joy.
Cornelia exhorted Holy Child educators to carry this spirit to students of diverse backgrounds as they sought to respond to "the wants of the age"* in which they lived. Since 1846 these educators have helped students "to grow strong in faith and live fully human lives,"* have promoted academic excellence, and have educated to social responsibility.
Holy Child education is both a clearly defined and flexible ideal. It is a tradition rooted in Christian values and expressions and attuned to learning opportunities which enable students to respond to life with joy, zeal, and compassion. Educators in Holy Child Schools encourage students to meet diversity and change with confidence in their own gifts and in God who has made covenant with the human family.
Cornelia’s vision takes shape today in the Network Schools through the commitment of Holy Child educators and trustees to the Goals of Holy Child Schools and they can be seen, every day, in the Holy Child Schools which thrive across the country.
* Constitutions of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, revised, 1994, p.8