United as a religious family through their special devotion
to the Sacred Hearts and by their profession of the evangelical
counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Sisters,
Workers, live, pray and work together. Their life
of communion, grounded in the contemplation and imitation
of Jesus and Mary, is the source and support of all they
Little Workers' principal ministry embraces a wide range
of catechetical activity in parishes, such as directing
religious education programs, teaching religious education,
and educating catechists to form others in the Faith.
Little Workers, however, consider themselves catechists
in all that they do for the people of God. They therefore,
are involved in various charitable works determined
by the needs of the people and place in which they are
stationed. Some sisters care for the sick and elderly
by working as nurses in hospitals and in the nursing
homes, and by caring for shut-ins. Other sisters are
dedicated to youth ministry, working to meet the spiritual
needs of young women and men through youth group activities,
retreats, and individual spiritual direction. Many sisters
are involved in early childhood, middle and high school
education, seeking to lead children and young people
to God as they strive to prepare them academically.
Monsignor Francesco Maria Greco was the pastor of a poor but expanding
parish in Acri, a town located in Calabria, Italy. In 1894, he
petitioned several religious congregations to send Sisters to provide
secular and religious education to the children of the town. When
every religious community refused his request, Monsignor Greco
approached a catechist named Raffaella DeVincenti and asked her
assistance in starting a new congregation. Together, they founded
the religious community now known as Le Piccole Operaie dei Sacri
Cuori - The Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus
humble beginnings in Acri, the work of the congregation spreadrapidly
throughout Calabria, to Rome and northern Italy.
Founded in charity and with a particular devotion to the poor,
the congregation became actively in several apostolates – education
(nursery school through university and catechetics); the staffing
of orphanages and parish ministries; social work; and the care
of the aged and infirmed in hospitals and nursing homes. The
congregation now numbers more than 400 Sisters.
Over the past 100 years, The Sisters, Little Workers of the
Sacred Hearts have opened convents across Italy and have established
missionary houses and novitiates in the United States, Argentina,
Albania and India. Since 1948, the congregation has operated
nursery schools in Stamford (CT), Washington DC, Philadelphia
(PA) and Riverdale (MD). In addition to their own schools, several
of the Sisters are involved in religious education programs in
EMBLEM was designed by our founder Father F. M.
Greco while still a deacon in 1881: A crown of thorns,
in the center of which are the Sacred Hearts of Jesus
and Mary, one transfixed and mounted by a cross,
other pierced by a sword, both of them surrounded
by flames with the words: "Taste and See". Outside,
at the base of the crown, the words: "Thy Kingdom
emblem is then like a synthesis of the intuition which
constitutes our charism.
TWO HEARTS: One love, the same will, both victims of love
THE FLAMES: Flames of the love which creates, redeems,
lifts up, makes divine.
THE CROWN OF THORNS: Intimately joins the Heart of the
Son and the Heart of the Mother, regenerates humanity,
in the divine economy, to supernatural life. Our founder
Msgr. F. M. Greco alludes to the prophet David, at flight
in the cave of Adullam to underline how sweet it is, admist
the cutting thorns of this miserable life, to take refuge
in the Sacred Hearts.
TASTE AND SEE: An invitation to contemplation to see and
savor the marvelous richness and sweetness which are enclosed
in the Sacred Hearts.
THY KINGDOM COME: The program which polarizes all intentions
and with a spirit of heroic oblation concentrates energies
in the life of the Little Worker.
In the emblem
described above, we find joined together the theological,
spiritual, and apostolic components of
our identity as Little Workers of the Sacred Heart. In
fact, it is in "The mystery of the Heart of Jesus,
which in the heart of Mary was received and reproduced
most faithfully and most lovingly, that the Little Worker
finds the characteristic virtues. These virtues guide and
model her apostolic choices and the style of her apostolate
in the commitment to collaborate, within the common mission
of the Church, in the restoration of all things in Christ: "Thy
Lady of Grace Preschool & Kindergarten.