In October, 1847, six religious Brothers from Ireland (who were trained as teachers) arrived in the United States at the invitation of Bishop Michael O'Connor the first bishop of Pittsburgh, PA. The Brothers established what is now the 'Motherhouse' of the Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province, in Loretto, PA, in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains.
The hard work and the spiritual life of these Brothers bore much fruit. The Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus now has two universites where we teach not only tools necessary for work in the world, but also supplying students with tools to work in the Lord's vineyard.
St. Francis University in Loretto, PA, the first Franciscan College in the country, was founded in 1847. Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Steubenville, OH was founded in 1946. (Links to our universities are on the left of this page and will open a new window in your browser.)