Our Identity


Mother Bernada HeimgartnerThe Sisters of the Holy Cross is a Swiss Foundation.

The purpose of the Congregation, which was founded in 1844, was the development of the whole person through education.

Fr. Theodosius FlorentiniA Capuchin, Fr. Theodosius Florentini, saw the needs of the time for education and social reform. He inspired a young woman, Maria Heimgartner, to actualise his dream.

Mother Bernarda Heimgartner, our Foundress, believed in the human and faith potential of young people, in the goodness of people today and to draw out and develop this life.


From small beginnings the Sisters can now be found in 4 Continents today.

World map

Sisters can feel at home in any of our Communities, no matter what Country because of our common vision, purpose and spirit.


WimbledonThe first Sisters came to England from Switzerland in 1902, where they opened a house in Wimbledon.  Their initial aim was to encourage young women to go as missionaries to our South African Province.

As the number of Sisters increased in the Province, schools were opened in Wimbledon, Belmont, The Grange, Chalfont St Peter, New Malden and Woking.  Sisters also taught in local parish schools in St Joseph’s, Gerrards Cross and in Corby, Northampton.

The GrangeIn recent years our apostolate has diversified in order to meet the needs of the time.  Our Sisters are now engaged in a variety of ministries.  Most of our Sisters live in small communities with close links to the local parishes.

We have a larger community for our retired Sisters, many of whom are still involved in voluntary apostolates within their local community.

Our Provincialate house is in New Malden.


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