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Sacred Hearts

The origin of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a religious community goes back to the time of the French Revolution. The founder, Father Marie-Joseph Coudrin, witnessed widespread hate and brutal injustices in that violence-torn society. His years as a priest were spent in breathtaking adventures and narrow escapes from the revolutionaries. He constantly catered to the spiritual needs of the sick, the imprisoned, and all who were victims of the Revolution.
On one occasion, while hiding from the terrorists in a granary, he had a vision of the institute that he was to found. He saw united around him, a society of priests, brothers, and sisters, destined for education, reparation, and renewal in the light of the Gospel. From that moment on, he had a constant desire to realize his work.
In 1800, Father Coudrin pronounced his vows of religion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In 1801, he secured the approval of his Holiness Pope Pius VII, and in 1817, the Congregation received the formal approval of the Holy See. In 1827, the Congregation had its first mission, Hawaii. Soon our Fathers were in Chile, Belgium, the Marquesas Islands, and the Gambier Islands. Today the Congregation is well established in forty-two nations around the world. In 1831, on being exiled from Hawaii, a number of the Sacred Hearts Fathers established a mission in California. Father Alexis Bachelot, SS.CC., became the first resident pastor in the Los Angeles area at the Los Angeles Plaza Church. Father Juan Chrysostome Holbein, SS. CC., established the first San Diego parish in Old Town, while Father Amable Petithomme, SS.CC., founded the parish of San Salvador in the Colton-Riverside area. In the Monterey area, Father Patrick Short, SS.CC., became involved with William Hartnell's efforts to establish California's first school of higher learning.
At present, the Congregation numbers nineteen members in the state of California. Priests of the Congregation administer, teach and counsel at several high schools throughout the state, including Damien High School. Several men are working as chaplains in the armed forces. We have men working in parishes, and men trying to improve the spiritual climate of our society through various programs of Christian renewal. We even have men working as missionaries in Japan.