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    • The RSCJ religious Sisters in the Chapel at Oakwood

RSCJ at Oakwood

2,500+     RSCJ Worldwide
320+ RSCJ in North America
47 RSCJ at Oakwood
Opened in 1971 on the SHS campus, Oakwood Retirement Center is one of two dedicated facilities in the U.S. caring for retired women of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ), and currently houses the largest contingent of elderly Sisters. As such, Oakwood is both a serene refuge and powerful resource for the entire Sacred Heart school community.

Currently there are 47 RSCJ Oakwood residents on the SHS campus. The "Gatehouse," another smaller shared residence on the campus, houses four other Sisters who are semi-retired. Visits to Oakwood by SHS students, faculty and staff, alumni, and past and current parents are common. Daily morning Mass in the chapel is open to all, and Oakwood hosts most of the Feast Day gatherings for the entire area.

The School Connection

Throughout the year, SHS students of all ages can be seen visiting the Oakwood community, and there are a number of planned special activities that connect both the old and young, such as the kindergarten students' holiday concert, the third grade's "Reading with the Sisters" program, the high school drama program’s oral history project, and the annual alumni reunion day, among others.

A small number of Oakwood residents volunteer at SHS and various other schools and organizations in the wider community, while many active RSCJ living locally in the Bay Area volunteer in some capacity at Oakwood. Frequently, the Sisters are seen walking the SHS campus, visiting the animals residing on the SHS Farm, attending alumni events, and cheering at Gator athletic games.

Campus Programs

List of 4 items.

  • Education to Mission Programs

    A number of Education to Mission programs are held throughout the year, and open to all members of the SHS adult community.

    Popular programs such as Come to the Quiet, Dads' First Fridays, Sharing the Interior Life, Busy Persons' Retreat, and other activities bind our community through education and interaction with the RSCJ mission and the Sisters living at Oakwood.

    For incoming new families, as well as for new employees, the school provides an Education to Mission Orientation each fall, which introduces the story of founder St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and the history of the Schools of the Sacred Heart, and delivers more concrete understanding of how our unique mission and educational philosophy (Goals and Criteria) is integrated throughout our curriculum, community, and daily school practices.
  • Sacred Heart Society

    The Sacred Heart Society is a group of SHS seniors who are invited to take part in a special relationship with the Oakwood Sisters. In their junior year, students must apply for program entry, and are selected based on a number of criteria. 

    In past years, the number of active Sacred Heart Society members has grown to nearly 60. Members regularly meet individually with a partnered RSCJ throughout the school year for conversation, activities, spiritual guidance, and shared fellowship. As a result, strong relationships are built, and many alumni go on to visit and keep in close contact with ‘their Sister’ for years thereafter.
  • SHS Parents' Association Spirituality Committee

    The school's Parents Associations have a joint Spirituality Committee of parent volunteers, who organize a number of activities throughout the school year involving or benefiting the Oakwood residents. Regular events include goûters, holiday celebrations, a spring fundraiser luncheon, and many other activities.
  • Busy Persons Retreat Program

    During the year, adults in the school community have the opportunity to take part in a retreat program to focus on their interior lives and enrich their relationship with God. As part of the weeklong retreat, each adult is paired with an RSCJ residing at Oakwood, who serves as a "spiritual guide" for both prayer and personal reflection during a brief daily meeting.

Sacred Heart Schools Atherton

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

150 Valparaiso Ave
Atherton, CA 94027
650 322 1866
Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12