who we are
Mission & History
In 1990, the Maryland Province Jesuits and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond opened Sacred Heart Center in the former Sacred Heart School building. Under the leadership of a community-based board of directors, the building was rehabilitated and innovative programming began, including day and after-school programs for children and a job training program for adults.
In 2011, in response to the changing demographics of the neighborhoods of South Richmond and the growing Spanish speaking congregation of the Sacred Heart Parish, the Sacred Heart Center refocused its mission and programming to serve the needs of a growing Latino community. In 2016-2017, the Center enrolled over 600 students in core educational programs and served thousands more through its collaborative partnerships offering medical, consular, and tax preparation services as well as food assistance and referrals for a variety of basic needs.
We are inspired by the liberating ministry of Jesus, the social teachings of the Catholic Church, and the focus of Ignatian Spirituality. We create a welcoming space, regardless of faith or cultural identity.
The charism of Sacred Heart Center is to cultivate a community that shows respect for the dignity of each human individual, provides opportunities for developing the unique gifts and talents of all, and collaborates in creating a more just society where all are welcome. Our work fosters community among peoples of different racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and linguistic backgrounds.