History, Mission and Vision


“Breaking the cycle of poverty through education

Fr Mateo

The late Monsignor Mateo Sheedy, pastor for 12 years of Sacred Heart Church of San José, saw the children of his parish struggle to finish high school, resulting in limited educational and career opportunities. Early adolescence is a critical stage in the lives of young people, and Fr. Mateo envisioned a school that would provide the academic, spiritual and emotional support needed to break the cycle of poverty through education. Fr. Mateo invited the Jesuits to start a middle school so that the Latino youth of his parish would have a greater opportunity to succeed.  In the early months of 2000, a Jesuit, Fr. Peter Pabst, became available to undertake this project, bringing with him the Nativity model of education.

Peter Pabst and Students

A Memorandum of Understanding uniting the Jesuits, the Diocese of San José and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish to start this school was signed in September of 2000, and the task of rehabilitating the 50-year old Sacred Heart School began in 2001. The first sixth grade class of boys began in September of 2001.  To complete Fr. Mateo’s dream, Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for Girls was opened in July of 2006.  We currently serve approximately 108 students in grades 6, 7 and 8. We are the only, non-profit, private Catholic middle school in the San Jose area focusing on academic intervention for the underserved.

Our families have an average family income of $29,000. Currently, 100% of the youth we serve are Hispanic/Latino, most are from immigrant families living within the surrounding neighborhood area, and English is not the primary language spoken in the home.

Sacred Heart Nativity School for boys and Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for girls are urban Catholic middle schools.  In partnership with the Society of Jesus, the Diocese of San Jose, and the Parish of Sacred Heart, the schools seek to lay the foundation for young women and men to succeed in college prep high school programs, in college, and beyond.  The schools are dedicated to providing a Catholic education for students of low income families with priority given to families of the Sacred Heart Parish community.  In the Jesuit tradition, Nativity students are encouraged to deepen their relationship with God as they become women and men for others.

We are a Jesuit, faith based Nativity middle school.  Located in the Washington Gardner neighborhood of San Jose, we serve an underserved, urban community within the Sacred Heart Parish.

We believe that everyone is created in the image of God.  To that end, we provide a holistic education that supports the growth and development of a child intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  Our Ignatian tradition nurtures each student to grow within our Catholic faith, to act according to our faith, and to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

Our educational program seeks to create youth who are architects of their own lives and contributing members of their communities. We believe that the NativityMiguel school structure is the most effective model in educating, building healthy self esteem, and empowering our students.  This includes extended day and year, ongoing assessment and inquiry, strong partnerships with our families, and support beyond graduation from eighth grade.

We seek partnership with our families and parish, to build a community that supports our students, preparing them to be forces of courage, compassion, understanding, insight, and moral fortitude in the world.

We instill in our students the Jesuit, faith based commitments beyond oneself, to become women and men of competence, conscience, and compassion.


Non-Discrimination Policy
Sacred Heart Nativity School and Our Lady of Grace Nativity School, mindful of their mission to be witnesses to the love of Christ for all, admit students of any race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools.

Sacred Heart Nativity School and Our Lady of Grace Nativity School do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, sex or disability in administration of educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.