Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Tucson, Arizona ~ Miami, Florida

Dedicated to Christ and his Gospel, the Sisters work for the evangelization of society under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

OUR MISSION:  Witness to the Gospel by Evangelizing Youth


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1848 - Fr. Joaquin Masmitja founded the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Olot, Spain.  Attentive to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to the needs of the Church, he conceived the idea of an Institute with dual goals;  that of converting sinners by means of prayer and sacrifice; and that of Christianizing society through catechesis and education.

1871 - At the request of Bishop Amat of Monterey and Los Angeles, California, Fr. Joaquin Masmitja sent ten Sisters from Spain to the mission county of Los Angeles, California.  The Sisters established two houses, one in Gilroy and the other in San Juan.  Very soon, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart were teaching in several schools in different parts of California.  Their lifestyle attracted young girls who followed the charism of Fr. Joaquin Masmitja.

1876/1880/1886 - The Sisters inaugurated a third house in San Luis Obispo, a fourth house in San Bernardino and finally the last house during the life of Founder, Fr. Joaquin Masmitja was established.  It was in Los Angeles

1911 - Five Sisters from Spain and two from California were sent to start a school in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

1917 - The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had to leave Mazatlan because of the Mexican Revolution.  On their way to join the communities in California, they stopped in Tucson, Arizona.  Bishop Granjon of Tucson asked the Sisters to stay in Tucson and so they obliged.  In the beginning, the Sisters taught at Holy Cross School, in Tucson.  The novitiate was opened at Holy Cross convent, (now known as Santa Cruz).  There they formed young girls who wanted to leave everything to follow the Lord. 

1931 - The doors of Immaculate Heart Academy opened at 6th Avenue and 15th Street in Tucson.  The Sisters taught students K-12th grade.

1933 - A statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was unveiled at the Academy.  The same statue now graces the front entrance to Immaculate Heart High School, as Our Holy Mother continues to watch over the sisters, students, teachers and the whole school community.

1946 - The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary attracted more and more vocations, many of them graduates from the Academy.  With the numbers growing they opened other schools in different parts of the United States.  In Arizona especially, they evangelized not just in the schools but, after regular classes, in many missions in small mining towns around Tucson.

1946 - The Sisters in Arizona became the Province of Saint Joseph, having the Provincial quarters at the Academy.

1947 - The Novitiate moved to Sabino Canyon Road, at the foothills of the Catalina Mountains.  Being in the middle of the desert was very conducive to silence, prayer and meditation to find the Lord and get closer to Him.

1950 - St. Ann’s Convent was opened.  A retirement house for the Sisters with a chapel open to the public.

1954 - Immaculate Heart Lodge was opened.  A new convent with facilities for resident students and a chapel open to the public.

1962 - Immaculate Heart High School moved to it’s new location at 625 E Magee Road.  This was because the increasing enrollment at the Academy now exceeded 500 students.  The downtown Academy continued to accommodate children K-8th grade.

1986 - Immaculate Heart Academy (K-8th) opened at the Magee road location.  Sister Mary Evelyn Soto was named the first principal of Immaculate Heart Academy.

1987 - Bishop Manuel Moreno asked the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to have Latin Mass celebrated in their chapel at Sabino Canyon.  This continued until 2005

2002 - In the spirit of hospitality, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary opened their doors to the Korean Catholic community, allowing them use of their facilities and help from the Sisters until they can build their own church building.


Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
3820 Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, AZ 85750 Phone: 520-886-4273. Fax: 520-886-4273