Goal IV: Building Community and Belonging at Sacred Heart Greenwich

A message from President Baber 

April 12, 2024 

Dear Sacred Heart Greenwich Community, 

While Easter Sunday has passed, the Easter season continues as the longest on the Christian calendar, emphasizing its importance over all other church seasons, even Christmas. Easter embodies the spirit of Good News, unifying our community as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The profound significance of this event encourages us to imagine the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, our foundress, led the Schools of the Sacred Heart with an emphasis on the significance of relationships, a principle that remains as true today as it was in her time. This guiding philosophy shapes my approach to service and administration and should also serve as a collective inspiration for our family of educators, parents, students, and alumnae. Relationships matter, and it is important that we nurture these bonds, for they are the cornerstone of our shared experience and guide our approach to how we authentically live the Sacred Heart goals of Faith, Intellect, Justice, Community, and Wisdom on a daily basis.

Community feedback has provided us with valuable insights that have helped shape our Strategic Plan, Pursuing Excellence, and the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG) process. These processes have served as crucial gathering points for renewal and commitment to our mission as a community of the Sacred Heart. This collaborative effort has been vital, as it has allowed us to assess how effectively we are embodying our mission and how it aligns with our broader efforts to clarify and articulate our identity as an all-girls, independent, Catholic school, as well as the value of belonging. Based on the recent feedback from these initiatives, I was recently asked about efforts the school is taking to ensure that everyone feels a sense of belonging at Sacred Heart Greenwich. I welcomed the question as I believe that parents are the primary educators of their children and we see ourselves as partners in education, recognizing that the foundation of community and belonging likely led you to seek a Sacred Heart education for your daughter.

My answer is that as a Catholic School, we believe that we are one human family created by God and that all are equal. At the heart of our educational philosophy lies a profound commitment to each individual and her unique journey. This guiding principle ensures that all students, regardless of their background, race, or religion, are welcomed into our community. While other institutions may approach this work through a separate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) department or staff, at Sacred Heart Greenwich our commitment to fostering diversity and belonging has been woven into our mission integration curriculum for the past 175 years and continues to be an important and non-negotiable part of our identity today. Put simply, at Sacred Heart Greenwich, students are known and loved for who they are, fostering a deep sense of belonging within our community. In keeping with Goal IV, Building of Community as a Christian Value, we make every effort to ensure a welcoming and inclusive community. We prioritize the holistic development of our girls and young women by nurturing and promoting their intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional well-being. And creating a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and respects the unique qualities of every student is crucial to fulfilling our mission as a School of the Sacred Heart.

Together, through our dedication to fostering belonging and celebrating each person's God-given gifts, we are building a community rooted in the Goals and Criteria. At the heart of this are the relationships we cultivate, founded on mutual respect, understanding, and love for one another. The Easter season, with its message of joy, hope, and new life promised by Christ's resurrection, provides us with the perfect opportunity to renew our dedication to nurturing these relationships and being a community of Christ's Heart. 

Happy Easter Season! 

Cor Unum,

Michael F. Baber