Little Virtues. Immense Impact.

Working in a Food Pantry

Spirituality is everywhere at Visitation. It is lived by the Sisters who call Visitation home and felt in our classrooms, hallways, and Chapel. Here, prayer is as common as polynomials—and as extraordinary—and teachers offer companionship on students’ spiritual journeys.

Our focus on Salesian Spirituality makes religious exploration particularly transformative for young women. Visitation Order co-founder St. Francis de Sales spoke of the power of Little Virtuesvalues like kindness, patience, and cheerful optimism. “There is nothing so strong as gentleness and nothing so gentle as real strength,” he said. Visi girls are living proof.

Strong and gentle, proud yet humble, spirited and spiritual, our students embrace the Salesian emphasis on balance, achieving harmony as well as great things. They grow through Christian service and retreats, and develop passion and compassion as they discover themselves and the gifts they can bring to the world.

Learn about some of our community members' favorite Little Virtues, how we live them at Visitation, and how they help us deepen our faith and strive for holiness each and every day.


"What sets a Visitation student apart is not merely her talents and creativity, but more importantly her great desire to serve, in both small and large ways. I realized this unique spirit of compassion in my first few months here, when impressive upperclassmen would go out of their way to help me decipher my schedule or hold open a door. Over the years, I have witnessed this compassion in the joy of students sharing in the school’s beloved traditions and in my teachers offering extra help, lending books, and printing articles seemingly any time a student asks a question or shows special interest."
-Fiona Ellsworth ’16


"To me, gentleness is not meekness, just being quiet, or doing what we’re told. Rather, gentleness is about seeing what is right, looking for the best in others, and standing up for it. This is part of what it means to 'Live Jesus.'"
-Muriel Croston, History Teacher


"When you have patience you can accomplish any task, big or small."
-Isabella Burt ’20

Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself. Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.
-St. Francis de Sales, Visitation Order Co-founder


"The beauty of understanding simplicity through our faith is that all it takes is a refocusing, a shifting your gaze to what, and ultimately who, really matters."
-Stella Schindler, English Teacher


"When we give of ourselves in service, in charity, in generosity, we do not always see the fruit of that gift we give. Of course, God’s relationship with us is not contingent on the amount we give. God freely gives love to us. I’ve learned that even though we do not always see results or receive a reward, giving is still crucially important for our human family. There will always be a need for love, wholeness and justice in our world."
-Abbey Doherty ’10

We cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
St. Jane de Chantal, Visitation Order Co-founder


"Kindness thus should be a habit, not a random act as the bumper sticker says. Acts of kindness will stem not haphazardly or randomly as if from a momentary feeling, but intentionally from a habitual practice of and attention to the Little Virtues."
-Laurie Collins Quirk ’74, English Department Chair

Our Salesian Little Virtues

In his lifetime during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Visitation Order Co-founder St. Francis de Sales emphasized the Little Virtues as a path to everyday holiness. While there is no exhaustive list of every virtue he discussed, these are the ones that Visitation emphasizes most:

  • Kindness
  • Gentleness
  • Thoughtful Concern for Others
  • Humility
  • Simplicity
  • Hospitality
  • Gratitude
  • Patience
  • Generosity
  • Honesty
  • Cheerful Optimism

Spiritual Life

Our Campus Ministry and Christian Service offices work together to create a balanced and active spiritual life on campus.

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Salesian Reflections

In monthly Masses and weekly emails, students, faculty, and alumnae reflect on Salesian virtues in their lives.

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Salesian Center

Preserving and promoting our treasured Salesian Spirituality today and for generations to come.

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