Sacred Heart Society San José


The Society of the Sacred Heart is a lay association within the spiritual family of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Through membership in the society, lay faithful can participate in the spirituality of the Institute and share in the mission to expand the kingship of Our Blessed Lord in all realms of the Church and society under the patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. 

San José Sacred Heart Society meetings are usually held twice a month on the same days as Catechism classes. Everyone is welcome. In June every year, a retreat  is held in Chicago at the Shrine of Christ the King. Members are expected to attend, as well as anyone interested in being received formally as a member (see How to Become a Member below).

Check the Immaculate Heart of Mary bulletin for dates and locations of San José Sacred Heart Society meetings and for announcements about the yearly retreat.

We are currently reading Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales, who is a principal patron saint of the institute and who had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(Photo: Sacred Heart of Jesus stained glass window at Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, home of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory)


The Society has its roots in a lay group from the first half of the 20th century that practiced Benedictine spirituality and that counted among its members the renowned German philosopher and theologian, Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand, and many other prominent Catholics from Germany, Austria, and America. From its beginning this society of prayer, or Gemeinschaft, sought to strengthen Catholics spiritually against the evils of Nazism.

In the early 1990’s the Bavarian house in which the members of the Society, or Gemeinschaft, had been holding their regular meetings for over fifty years was given to the Institute of Christ the King. Its members continued to meet under the spiritual leadership of the Institute, into which, finally, the Gemeinschaft was incorporated in 2004 at the request of its members. On the feast of Saint Benedict, March 21, 2006, members of the Gemeinschaft were among the first to receive the Cross of Saint Francis de Sales in a ceremony which officially established the Society of the Sacred Heart as a lay association of the faithful in the Institute of Christ the King. Today the Society has numerous members in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, and Italy; it is also rapidly growing throughout the United States.

Society members pledge to follow a spiritual Rule of Life which includes the daily recitation of the Office of Compline, daily Mass or spiritual communion, daily prayers for the members of the Institute family throughout the world, reading and meditation on the writings of the Institute’s patron saints, St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Benedict, as well as the total consecration to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This Rule of Life is explained at regular meetings of the Society, which are held in the Institute apostolates under the direction of the local priest.

How Does One Become a Member?

After attending the annual National Retreat of the Society, which is held each June, a year of discernment begins during which postulants practice this Rule of Life in accordance with their particular state in life. If the postulant then desires to make a serious commitment to living the daily Rule of Life, he or she can then choose to be received as a member upon invitation at the national retreat of the following year. Upon reception, new members receive the Cross of St. Francis de Sales, which hangs from a blue cord, symbolic of the Marian consecration.

The Cross is worn in the apostolates of the Institute at Society meetings and at Holy Mass, both during the week and especially on First Class feasts and Sundays.

For additional information about how to participate, go to the Society of the Sacred Heart for the Laity page.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.