Lockport Sacred Heart Academy

Sacred Heart Church
A church with a tall steeple

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Photo by Cody Cutter: April 2009

                    The History of Lockport Sacred Heart Academy

Lockport (population: 22,161) is located in Will County in northeastern Illinois, about 35 miles southwest of Chicago and five miles north of the county seat, Joliet. The community was founded in 1838 as the Illinois and Michigan Canal began to be built and its incorporation took place in 1853. Lockport has taken a great, painstaking effort to preserve the canal and the history of the area, which was a vital link to connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. Illinois Routes 7, 53, and 171 run thru the community, as does rail service on Metra, Illinois Central, and Burlington Northern/Santa Fe to Chicago for those who work in the big city, and the Des Plaines River runs thru Lockport.

The Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana helped establish Sacred Heart Academy, an all-girls’ school at St. Dennis Parish in Lockport in 1881. The nuns were invited to staff the school at the request of a former professor at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Rev. James J. McGovern. It was the first school they would operate in the Archdiocese of Chicago, with several others to follow.

Sacred Heart Academy would open the high school section in 1883, with an annual enrollment around 25-35 students and two to five graduating each year. The graduates went on to teach in area schools, receiving their teaching certifications each spring at the county examinations in Joliet.

The school closed in 1909 due to low enrollment and inadquate equipment.


Year opened:         1883

Year closed:          1909


Your help is greatly appreciated in locating more information about Sacred Heart Academy in Lockport. Facts, names of famous graduates, and a photo of the school would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to locate this type of information, please contact us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or thru the mail at:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

Leave a Reply