Sacred Heart of Jesus, Apostles of the
SACRED HEART OF JESUS, APOSTLES OF THE
(ASCJ; Official Catholic Directory #0310) Originally known as the Missionary Zelatrices of the Sacred Heart (MZSH); a congregation of women religious with papal approbation, founded at Viareggio, Italy, in 1894, by Mother Clelia Merloni. During the early years, when the sisters were engaged in the education of youth and the care of orphans and the aged, financial ruin threatened the community. Bp. Giovanni Battista scalabrini befriended the sisters and suggested that they extend their work to the centers of Italian immigration in the New World. Accordingly, in 1900 the congregation established its first foundation in the Americas with a school in Brazil.
In 1902 the work of the U.S. province began with a hospital in Boston, Mass. After some difficulties in Boston, the congregation took root in the Archdiocese of Hartford. The provincial house, originally established in New Haven, Conn., was moved to Mount Sacred Heart, Hamden, Conn., in 1954. The generalate is in Rome. In the U.S., the sisters are engaged in education at all levels, catechetics, parish ministries, healthcare, and social out-reach.
[m. t. marzullo/eds.]