Holy Child History

We are a Holy Child School: an exemplar of an international community of high performing schools built around the progressive and enlightened educational philosophy of Cornelia Connelly, founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

Well ahead of her time, and inspired by her own life experience of having been first a mother and then a nun and teacher, Cornelia Connelly recognized that happy children learn better; that effective teaching can best occur in a home-like atmosphere of love, beauty, and respect for the needs of the whole child; and that instruction of children must proceed logically and be provided with patience guided by the pace of each child’s maturation. Cornelia also fervently believed that the arts, physical play, and the practice of self-expression were central—not optional—elements of a holistic approach to the education of children.

Over the span of her life, Cornelia Connelly was steadfast in her commitment to a life of service and education, forming a teaching order in England: The Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Cornelia’s religious philosophy stressed deed over doctrine, and her credo of “Actions, not words” guides us everyday. Cornelia sought to empower children through education. Reverence for the learner from any religious and socioeconomic background, collaborative
learning, the love of art and beauty, and the importance of spiritual nourishment—these tenets are the bedrock of a Holy Child education.

Our History

Holy Child School at Rosemont is the modern articulation of the timeless teachings of Cornelia Connelly. The education we offer respects and honors the four dimensions of every child’s life: the intellectual, the spiritual, the physical, and the emotional. Our graduates thrive: They enter the high schools they want to go to, taking with them something that will serve them well their entire lives: The full blessing of childhood.

In 1949, 22 boys and girls, in preschool, 1st and 2nd grades, were welcomed to what was then called the School of the Holy Child Jesus. They learned and played in the Tudor mansion, designed by Horace Trumbauer, the famous Philadelphia architect responsible for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and many Main Line mansions of the Gilded Age.

The sisters of the Holy Child Jesus belonged to an order founded by Philadelphia native Cornelia Connelly in 1846. An inspired educator and courageous woman Cornelia Connelly, urged the sisters to respect the dignity of each child and to educate holistically, taking into account mind, body, heart, and soul.

The School grew until it encompassed Kindergarten through 8th grade. By the late 1960s more space was needed, so the School embarked on its first building campaign. Further expansion continued in the 1970s and 1990s. Holy Child School at Rosemont continued to grow into the 21st century, dedicating a new gymnasium, a turf field, and an expanded Academic Center that was completed in 2008.

For more than 70 years of changing educational styles and innovations, our students have continued to win academic honors, participate in athletics and the arts, and have been admitted to top college preparatory schools.

Several graduates now have grandchildren enrolled in the School. Many note that while the approach to learning has evolved at the School, the same compassion and spirit of joy that signifies a Holy Child education still fills the halls and classrooms.

We are a Holy Child School.

A school in the Catholic tradition, we are the 21st century articulation of a vigorous and creative educational model developed by Sister Cornelia Connelly. She was a visionary whose educational philosophy celebrates the dignity and uniqueness of every person, includes the arts as an essential part of the educational experience, and encourages the development of a joyous personal relationship with God.

Holy Child Network of Schools


All Holy Child schools live by a common set of goals:

Goal 1: Holy Child Schools foster a faith commitment that engenders a joyous personal relationship with God in addressing the challenges of the world.

Goal 2: Holy Child Schools live, learn, and worship as a dynamic Christian community.

Goal 3: Holy Child Schools offer an intellectually challenging and creative program of study that develops a love of learning and academic excellence

Goal 4: Holy Child Schools work for Christian principles of justice, peace, and compassion in every facet of life.

Goal 5: Holy Child Schools create a learning climate based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.

Goal 6: Holy Child Schools promote the personal growth and development of all who participate in the life of the School.

Goal 7: Holy Child Schools ensure the continuation and growth of Holy Child mission and philosophy in the School.

Holy Child School at Rosemont trustees, administrators, faculty and staff commit themselves to educate by these principles and to lead the students to embrace these values for themselves.


Connelly School of the Holy Child, Potomac MD
Cornelia Connelly School of the Holy Child, Anaheim, CA
Holy Child Academy, Drexel Hill, PA
Connelly Middle School of the Holy Child, New York, NY
Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus, Pasadena, CA
Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus, Pasadena, CA
Holy Child Academy, Old Westbury, NY
Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Summit, NJ
Holy Child School at Rosemont, Rosemont, PA
School of the Holy Child, Rye, Rye, NY

Holy Child Network of Schools
Office of Director
1341 Montgomery Avenue
Rosemont, PA 19010

Complete list of schools