St. Philomena School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island has announced that it has been accepted into the Sacred Heart Network of Schools as its 25th member school in the United States and Canada. Our two religious congregations (Religious of the Sacred Heart and Faithful Companions of Jesus) rejoice in this collaboration that secures in Rhode Island a vibrant future in elementary education for this Blue Ribbon, independent, Catholic school.
The school was opened by the FCJ Sisters in 1953 and, in the words of Board of Trustees Chair John Bohan, “since that time, their support, care, and concern for the school has been unwavering, and they have pursued various partnerships that have paved the way for the school’s success today. The existence of our Board, largely made up of lay people working in collaboration with the Sisters, is an example of this spirit.” The school has twice been named U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence which recognizes public and private schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
We reproduce here, with permission, the announcement made by the school.
St. Philomena School – Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Accepted to the Network of Sacred Heart Schools
Nearing the culmination of a multi-year strategic journey to ensure a vibrant and strong future as an extraordinary Catholic independent school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Saint Philomena School has been named the newest and 25th member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. With official celebrations to take place in the spring and next fall, Saint Philomena School is excited to move forward with courage & confidence to an even brighter future.
The Network of Sacred Heart Schools, reflective of the educational mission of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, consists of 25 Catholic independent schools in the United States and Canada, and additional international Network of schools in 30 countries. Sacred Heart Schools include award-winning elementary and high schools, as well as co-educational and single-gender schools, and the range of schools represent a variety of organizational models and structures. Being part of the Network provides access to a wealth of resources as well as various formation and leadership programs for both educators and students. It secures the future of Saint Philomena School as a strong Catholic independent school continuing to serve new generations of young people with courage and confidence.
Beth Hicks, Chair of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, shared the exciting news:”On behalf of the Network Board, I am excited to welcome St. Philomena School to the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Yesterday, at our membership meeting, the Heads, Chairs and Provincial Team acted on the recommendation of Sr. Sheila Hammond, Provincial, Society of the Sacred Heart, United States – Canada Province. We voted unanimously to accept St. Philomena to full membership! The School is the 25th member School in our Network.”
Sr. Bonnie Moser, Superior General for the Society Faithful Companions of Jesus, expressed her joy at the announcement, “Congratulations to St. Philomena School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island who has been accepted into the Sacred Heart Network of Schools as its 25th member school in the United States and Canada. Our two religious congregations (Religious of the Sacred Heart and Faithful Companions of Jesus) rejoice in our collaboration that secures in Rhode Island a vibrant future in elementary education for this Blue Ribbon, independent, Catholic school. In a very real sense, St. Philomena School has found a ‘home’ in the Sacred Heart Network of Schools with a wealth of resources and opportunities flavoured with the charisms of the two congregations. Immense gratitude extends to many dedicated people but especially to Sr. Sheila Hammond, Provincial of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sr. Suzanne Cooke, Head of Conference, Sacred Heart Network of Schools; Mr. Brian Cordeiro, Principal, of St. Philomena School, and Mr. John Bohan, Chair of the Board of Trustees. May great courage and confidence continue to guide us every step of the way!”
St. Philomena School Board Chair, John Bohan, shared this reflection in response to the formal membership approval, “We are thrilled to be formally accepted into the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. This is an important step in a multi-year strategic transition that positions St. Philomena School to build on its nearly seventy year history of excellence as a leading Catholic independent school.”
A Note from Brian Cordeiro, Head of School at Saint Philomena School on Acceptance into the Network
Saint Philomena School is elated to join the Network of 24 companion Sacred Heart Schools to advance our common mission within the Goals and Criteria that challenge students, educators, parents and alumni to transform our world for good. United in our common vision, so beautifully articulated by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, Saint Philomena School brings our rich and intersecting history animated by Society Faithful Companions of Jesus into an exciting future as we grow in charism with the Sacred Heart family around the world.
This is truly an extraordinary moment of witness for Catholic education. Our partnership together ensures a vibrant future for generations of young people from Rhode Island and beyond who will come to share and grow in courage & confidence alongside our brother and sister Catholic independent schools in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Our entire community offers our deepest thanks to the Religious of the Sacred Heart and the leaders and communities comprising the Network of Sacred Heart Schools for their welcome and collaboration. Together, may our collective heart grow wider and more united to share the love of God, courageously lead in transformative education and confidently advance our common mission to inspire young people to renew and transform society.
Read more news items about St Philomena School on this website and about the presence of the FCJ Sisters in the Diocese of Providence.