Chicago native Carol Haggarty, RSCJ, is a true Child of the Sacred Heart. Her grandmother went to a Sacred Heart school in France. Her mother was a graduate of the Sacred Heart Academy on Pine Grove, in Chicago, the predecessor to the Convent of the Sacred Heart on Sheridan Road. Carol and her two sisters went to Sheridan Road, her two great-nieces are there now. It was the example of the religious at Sheridan Road – their kindness to the students and love for each other – that drew Carol to consider religious life.
After graduating from Sheridan Road, she began her college education at Barat College, in Lake Forest, Illinois, before entering the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood in Albany on September 1, 1961. She later completed her degree at Duchesne College in Omaha. She made her first vows at Kenwood March 21, 1964 and is celebrating her 50th Jubilee this year. She made her final profession in Rome, July 2, 1969.
Sister Haggarty’s education ministry began at her alma mater, the Convent of the Sacred Heart on Sheridan Road in Chicago. She taught first grade there from 1965 to 1971, excluding one year at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. She loved this grade level and the opportunity to share students’ struggles and successes as they learned to read. In 1971, she became the principal of the girls’ elementary school. Serving in administration brought new challenges, and in 1977, she decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology at Loyola University in order to serve the school families more fully.
During this time, she met Shirley Miller, RSCJ, who was visiting Sheridan Road to learn more about school administration before becoming principal at Duchesne Academy in Omaha. Sister Miller happened to mention that Duchesne was in need of a guidance counselor. Sister Haggarty was hired and would serve at Duchesne Academy for ten years.
In 1988, Rosemary Bearss, RSCJ, invited Sister Haggarty to be part of her provincial team, and so began Sister Haggarty’s favorite ministry. It was an excellent team, she recalls now, very collegial and supportive of one another. She was the team’s liaison to the Network schools, so she got to know each of the schools, as well as Religious of the Sacred Heart around the United States Province. Her service came to an end in 1992, when she became head of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau. She served in that capacity until 2001, when she began to work in the national office for the Network of Sacred Heart, where she remained until 2012.
In 2012, Provincial Barbara Dawson called on Sister Haggarty to serve in administration at the provincial offices in St. Louis. Officially, she is the assistant to the provincial and the provincial team, but in reality, she does a little bit of everything, from planning significant provincial gatherings to remembering staff birthdays.
Sister Haggarty says, “I have a commitment to the Society because I’ve taken vows, yes, but also because of my relationship with God. I believe in what the Society does and I want to be part of it. How do we glorify God in daily life? It is what I feel called to do.” At the end of the day, she says, she wants to know that she helped someone grow closer to God. “In the Society, we help each other down the path to holiness.”
Sister Haggarty earned two Master’s degrees, in administration from the National College of Education and in counseling psychology from Loyola University. She has served on the boards of the following Sacred Heart schools: Sheridan Road, Stuart Country Day School (Princeton, NJ), Academy of the Sacred Heart (St. Charles), Academy of the Sacred Heart (New Orleans, the “Rosary”), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Grand Coteau) and Duchesne Academy (Omaha). Over a period of twenty years, she attended every Network meeting of heads and chairs.