CSJ Founders Day
On October 15, we celebrated the founding of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1650, six women joined together in community under the patronage of St. Joseph in Le Puy, France, in what became the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Devoted to the needs of ordinary people, the sisters lived un-cloistered among the people and offered their lives in love and service to the "practice of all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy of which woman is capable and which will most benefit the Dear Neighbor."
This group of women grew in number and service until they were forced to disband during the political turmoil of the French Revolution in the 1790s. Mother St. John Fontbonne, a heroic woman who narrowly escaped the guillotine, herself, rebuilt the order in Lyons, France, following the end of the Reign of Terror, it was she who responded to the appeal from Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis for missionaries to teach poor and deaf children. In 1836, six sisters established the community at Carondelet, the first foundation for the sisters in North America and the cradle of the American congregation. St. Joseph’s Academy opened in 1840.
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.