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Who We Are
The Federation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph is a dynamic union of all the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the United States who claim a common origin in the foundation at Le Puy, France in 1650. This includes 4,939 sisters, 2,972 associates and 11 agrégées of 16 Congregations throughout the United States. The Federation moves us to greater consciousness of our kinship in grace and calls us to fidelity to that grace. Together we strive to embody a vision of all people united in one earth community of love and unity. We do this through collaborative programs, interaction, prayer and ministry. In our conflicted 21st century world, the Sisters of Saint Joseph seek to bring our traditions and vision to life in a way that will speak to our contemporary society and be a positive influence for change.
The basic desire of the Sisters of Saint Joseph is to reflect a “profound love of God and neighbor without distinction.” Our mission is to live and work so that all may be one. By building relational communities wherever we live and serve, we keep this mission alive. Whether we are among people who live in pockets of poverty and neglect, in middle class neighborhoods, or in areas of greater affluence, we are "sisters of the neighborhood" trying to meet the varied needs of people and to create centers of relationship and unity. True to the dream of our foundresses, we continue to "divide the city, seek the ills and cure them." In the context of their times, the original Sisters of Saint Joseph were mostly uneducated women. Today, every woman who joins the congregation receives the education necessary to fulfill her ministry. Sisters of Saint Joseph can be found in soup kitchens, shelters, universities, schools, hospitals, courtrooms, prisons, retreat centers, offices, nursing homes, laboratories, studios and hospices. We are educators, lawyers, doctors, nurses, family therapists, social workers, patient advocates, spiritual directors, parish ministers, theologians, psychologists, physical therapists, administrators, artists, authors, musicians, poets and a myriad of other things. We still seek to do, as our history tells us, "Whatever is possible for women to do" and in our present society, we know this is simply everything.
Why do we have a Federation?
The purpose of the Federation is to:
- Support the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Associates and Agrégées in a continual striving to incarnate the CSSJ charism within the mission of Jesus today and in the future.
- Integrate a continuing exploration of the CSSJ charism and the actualization of its mission by an approach that looks toward its living expression as well as its historical roots.
- Collaborate in programs which facilitate the understanding and interpretation of the CSSJ charism and mission as they affect the life and ministry of the members
- Provide sisters, associates and agrégées with a sense of belonging to a movement greater than a province, congregation or federation through our connections with the Global Family of St. Joseph
- Serve as a means of linking leaders and members of CSSJ provinces/congregations through the direction of the Leadership Assembly.
Who are the members of our Federation?
The Federation includes the sisters in all the Congregations of Sisters of Saint Joseph in the United States who claim a common origin in the foundation at Le Puy, France. Associates, agrégées and colleagues participate in the federation through their relationships with their congregations.
Who are the Associates?
Associates are women and men, 21 years or older, who desire to more fully live Gospel values. Associates are non-vowed partners who undertake no binding financial or legal commitments to the sisters and continue to live the lifestyle to which God has called them. Associates gather with community for prayer and shared faith life; participate in opportunities for ministry; attend sponsored events and growth opportunities; grow in understanding the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph; celebrate and share social occasions; and extend the charism, spirituality and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph in their relationships.
Who are the Agrégées?
The term agrégée — pronounced ah-gre-ZHEY — comes from the French for “attached to” or “aggregated with.” It is a form of membership in the religious congregation that dates back to the founding in 17th-century France, when Sisters of St. Joseph were either canonically vowed “principal sisters” or so-called agrégée or “country” sisters. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia and of Springfield have re-established — and revitalized — this form of religious life. In Concordia there are six women who have professed the vow of fidelity to God and to the congregation as “agrégées.” In Springfield, while living various lifestyles, five agrégées are committed to the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and choose ministries based on that mission.
Who are the congregations in our U.S. Federation?
- Baden, PA
- Boston, MA
- Brentwood, NY
- Buffalo, NY
- Albany, NY
- St. Louis, MO
- St. Paul, MN
- Los Angeles, CA
- Vice Provinces of Hawaii, Peru
- Chambéry—West Hartford, CT
- Concordia, KS
- Congregation of St. Joseph
- Founding Centers
- Cleveland, OH [motherhouse]
- LaGrange, IL
- Nazareth, MI
- Tipton, IN
- Wheeling, WV
- Wichita, KS
- Erie, PA
- Lyon-Winslow, ME
- Orange, CA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Rochester, NY
- Springfield, MA
- St. Augustine, FL
- Watertown, NY
Consensus Statement of the Central Ideas
of Jean Pierre Medaille, S. J.,
Found in the Primitive Constitutions
Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of Love and receptive to His inspiration
profound love of God and love of neighbor without didstinction
from whom she does not seperate herself and
from whom, in the following of Christ
she works in order to achieve unity
both of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God
directly in this apostolate
and indirectly through works of charity
in humility - the spirit of the Incarnate Word
in sincere charity(cordiale charité) - the manner of Saint Joseph whose name she bears
in an Ignatian-Salesian climate: that is, with anf orientation towards excellence
(Le dépassement, le plus)
tempered by gentleness (douceur) , peace, joy