Our School History
In 1924, Sacred Heart began as small mission of St. Joseph Parish in Baton Rouge. The pastor of St. Joseph’s, Monsignor Francis Gassler, had studied the needs of the people of the area and immediately established a catechetical center with Miss Margaret Lee Jolly as the principal and Mrs. Emma Booth as her assistant. Later a chapel/hall combination was built.
By 1928, Sacred Heart was established as a parish with Father Dominic Blasco as the first pastor. Monsignor Gassler had insisted upon the erection of a modern, adequate school before a more expensive church, and made it a condition to be promised by the new pastor. Less than a year after the canonical establishment of Sacred Heart as a parish, under the leadership of Father Blasco, the school opened. Thus Sacred Heart had the distinction of being the first church parish in Baton Rouge to build a school.
The Sisters of St. Joseph were invited to assume the direction of Baton Rouge’s first Diocesan parochial school in September 1929. The first staff consisted of Sister Mary Frances, principal; Sister Hilda Marie Adele, Sister Celeste Marie, Misses Chetta Cangelosi, Maggie Lee Jolly, Helen Rowe, Mrs. Frank Jones and Mrs. Vernon Broussard. Because the early enrollment far exceeded the capacity of the eight classroom building, pupils were accepted only for the first six grades until a frame structure could be built. Additions were made in 1930, 1937, 1946, 1949 (the present addition to the existing brick structure), 1950 (cafeteria), 1955 (convent) and 1956 (gym).
Today the parish priest, the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph, devoted lay teachers and staff, and especially loyal, energetic and generous parishioners and school families provide the spirit which continues to make Sacred Heart of Jesus School a vibrant faith community.