Our History

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 devout catechist name Raffaella DeVincenti and asked her assistance in starting a new religious congregation. Together, Monsignor Greco and Sister Maria Teresa Devincenti founded the religious community known as Le Piccole Operaie dei Sacri Cuori – The Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

From its humble beginnings in Acri, the work of the congregation spread rapidly throughout Calabria, to Rome and northern Italy. Founded in charity and with a particular devotion to the poor, the congregation became actively involved in several apostolates – education (nursery school, kindergarten, elementary school, high school, (university and catechists); the staffing of orphanages and parish ministries; social work; and the care of the aged and the infirmed in hospitals and nursing homes.

In October 1948, nine Sisters left Calabria to begin a new apostolic mission in the United States. They came specifically to Stamford to expand their catechetical work… namely the formal education and spiritual development of young children and adolescents. Upon their arrival, the Sisters staffed Basil’s Preparatory School as well as the bishop’s chancery.

With God’s help, the Sisters eventually established two educational institutions in Stamford – Our Lady Of Grace Preschool and Kindergarten in 1962 and Villa Divino Amore Preschool in 1989. Both of these facilities have provided a much-needed service to the local community that has particularly benefited the children of working parents. For close to 40 years, over 4,500 children have been educated in this loving and nurturing environment.

In addition to the efforts in our own schools, several of the Sisters are involved in religious education programs in local parishes in Stamford – Saint Benedict/Our Lady of Montserrat, Saint Maurice and Saint John the Evangelist.

The Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts have gone on to establish preschools and nursery schools in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Riverdale, Maryland. Internationally, they have opened convents across Italy and established missionary houses and novitiates in Argentina, Albania and India.

In 2000, the Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts established a Formation House in Stamford – a residence dedicated to the spiritual development of candidates wishing to join the congregation. This facility also serves as a gathering place for special religious educational programs for area teens.