Front and right side exterior view of Sacred Heart Convent, located on 19th Avenue south west, surrounded by a fence and taken in winter.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared June 24, 2003.
Then: Sacred Heart Convent
• The first Sacred Heart Convent, established in 1885 by Reverend Mother Greene of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, was a little log cabin on the banks of the Elbow River. Consecrated by the archbishop of the Northwest Territories in October 1885, it served as a boarding and day school for Roman Catholic girls and a residence for the teaching sisters. In 1893, increasing enrolment led to the construction of a new "gray stone" building with a French mansard roof. The school offered a full education in English and French. By 1913, the convent accommodated 14 teaching sisters and 75 boarders. The curriculum included plain and ornamental needlework, pianoforte playing, singing, painting, stenography and elocution. The school flourished, leading to the construction of St. Mary's School in 1909 and further additions to Sacred Heart Convent in 1924.
Now: Sacred Heart Convent
• Around 1982, the convent boarding school was converted to the Faithful Companions of Jesus Christian Life Centre, with a mission to "share God's vision for a peaceful, joy-filled and just world." Although it has been renovated many times over the years, many elements of the original 1893 structure remain intact. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the FCJ Centre offers a wide variety of programs for members of all faiths, including retreats, workshops, family life programs, scripture courses, youth leadership training and spiritual direction.
Calgary Public Library, Central Library, Local History Room
Postcards from the Past
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