Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 30, 2020

Some Influences on Our CSJ History

St. Francis de Sales

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

St. Vincent de Paul

Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ

St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Francis Xavier

Bishop Henri de Maupas

Pope Innocent X

Sister Marguerite Burdier

Mother St. John Fontbonne

Pope Pius VII

Felicite Duras, Countess
de la Rochejacquelin

Cardinal Joseph Fesch

Maximilien Robespierre

Napoleon Bonaparte

Bishop Joseph Rosati

Mother St. John Facemaz

Bishop Joseph Cretin

Mother Celestine Pommerel

Mother Stanislaus Saul

Sister Hyacinth Blanc

Bishop Jean-Baptiste Salpointe

Mother M. John Carey

Mother Agnes Gonzaga Ryan

Mother Irene Tyrell

Mother Agnes Rossiter

Sister Blanche Rooney

Mother Rose of Lima Dolan

Bishop Edmund Gibbons

Pope John XXIII

Mother Edward Marie Mahaney

Sister Catherine Francis Soulier

Pope Paul VI

Sister Thomas Paul (Rosemary) Hoodack

Sister Eucharista Galvin

Sister Mary Vera Blank

Sister Mary Seraphine Meaney

Sister Mary Kevin Ford 


A CSJ Timeline

The following timeline gives a sense of the history surrounding the key moments in the development of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Francis de Sales is born in the Annecy region into a noble family. After a crisis of religious faith as a young man, Francis decides to become a priest against the wishes of his family. Pius V is pope and Charles IX is king of France. 

Jane Frances de Chantal is born. She founded the Sisters of the Visitation which preceded the Sisters of St. Joseph in Annecy.
Saint Vincent de Paul is born at Pouy, Gascony, France. Vincent conceived the idea of enlisting young women for service of the poor and established the Daughters of Charity.
Jane Frances de Chantal meets Francis de Sales.
Jean Pierre Medaille is born on October 6, 1610. Paul V is pope and Louis XIII is king of France.
Francis de Sales and Jane Frances de Chantal found the women’s Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.
The teaching Sisters of Notre Dame are founded in LePuy.
Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier are canonized.
The religious Sisters of St. Charles, teachers and nurses, are founded by Just de Serres, Bishop of Le Puy.
Jean Pierre Medaille pronounces first vows in the Society of Jesus.
Jean Pierre Medaille is ordained a Jesuit.
The Sisters of St. Joseph are founded in LePuy on October 15, 1650. Innocent X is pope and Louis XIV is king of France. Frances Eyraud, Anna Vey, Anna Brun, Marguerite Burdier, Anna Chalayer and Clauda Chastel are received into the novitiate.
On March 10, Bishop Henri de Maupas reads to the sisters the letter which gave the congregation canonical status. Innocent X is pope and Louis XIV is king of France.
The Inspired Prophetic Letter, written by Jean-Pierre Medaille, is believed to have been sent to Sister Marguerite Burdier, one of the first founding women of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The contemplative religious of the Visitation of St. Mary are founded in LePuy.
Saint Vincent de Paul dies in Paris at age 80.
The Sisters of the Instruction of the Infant Jesus are founded by the celebrated Sulpician Tronson, parish priest of St. Georges, and his penitent, Mlle Martel.
The Sisters of the Cross for hospital service and teaching are founded in LePuy.
Frances Eyraud dies.
St. Vincent de Paul is canonized.
Jeanne Fontbonne is born in Bas-en-Basset, France. Clement VIII is pope and Louis XV is king of France.
Cardinal Joseph Fêsch, Archbishop of Lyons is born in Corsica; he is uncle to Napoleon.
Jane Frances de Chantal is canonized.
Jeanne Fontbonne enters the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, along with her sister, Marie.
Mother St. John Fontbonne is appointed superior in Monistrol. Pius VI is pope and Louis XVI is king of France.
The French Revolution occurs, a pivotal period in the history of European and Western civilization and in the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph. During this time, republicanism replaces the absolute monarchy in France, and the country's Roman Catholic Church is forced to undergo a radical restructuring. While France would oscillate among republic, empire and monarchy for 75 years after the First Republic fell to a coup d’état, the Revolution is widely seen as a major turning point in the history of Western democracy, from the age of absolutism and aristocracy, to the age of the citizenry as the dominant political force.
Mother St. John Fontbonne is scheduled to be executed on July 28; she is spared when Robespierre falls from power on July 27. Sister St. Julien and Sister St. Alexis die at the guillotine on June 17, 1794. On August 5, 1794 Sister Holy Cross, Sister Madeleine and Sister Toussaint die at the guillotine.
The French Revolution officially ends.
Catherine Labouré is born.
The Sisters of St. Joseph regroup in Lyon under the leadership of Mother St. John Fontbonne. Pius VII is pope and Napoleon I is emperor of France.
The motherhouse is transferred from St. Etienne to Lyon.
The Sisters of St. Joseph form a centralized government in Lyon, France.
St. Catherine Labouré, at the age of 24, has an apparition of Mary.
The Spanish Inquisition ends 356 years after it began in 1478.
Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis applies to Father Chollerton in France to send Sisters of St. Joseph to St. Louis. On June 10, 1835, Felicité Duras, the countess de la Rochejacquelin, writes to Bishop Rosati to promise her financial aid in sending the sisters to America.
Mother St. John Fontbonne sends a “little band” of Sisters of St. Joseph to the United States. Gregory XVI is pope and Louis Philippe is king of France. Andrew Jackson is president of the United States. On January 4, 1836, six sisters begin the journey: Sisters Febronie Fontbonne and Delphine Fontbonne, nieces of Mother St. John; Sister Marguerite Felicité Bouté; Sister Febronie Chapellon; Sister St. Protais Déboille; and Sister Philomene Vilaine. They are accompanied by Rev. James Fontbonne, brother of Febronie and Delphine and nephew of Mother St. John. On January 17, the group boards the Heidelberg at the port in LeHavre for the long and perilous voyage. On March 5, the sisters and Fr. Fontbonne disembark in New Orleans where they stay for two weeks. On March 25, they arrive in St. Louis where they stay with the Daughters of Charity. On April 7, three of the sisters (Febronie Fontbonne, Febronie Chapellon and St. Protais Déboille), accompanied by Bishop Rosati and Father Fontbonne, leave by boat for Cahokia. They immediately open a school and began the ministry of education by the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States. On September 12, the sisters (Delphine Fontbonne, Felicité Bouté and later St. Protais) arrive at the log cabin in Carondelet.
Sisters Celestine Pommerel and St. John Fournier arrive in St. Louis on September 4. In October, the sisters received their first American postulant, Anne Eliza Dillon.
In May 1838, Mother St. John is unanimously re-elected superior general. She had already founded 200 religious houses in the congregation, exclusive of the sisters who went to Bourg, Chambéry and the United States. The first American postulant, Anne Eliza Dillon, is received into the novitiate on January 3, 1838, and given the name Sister Francis Marie Joseph. In 1838, the sisters begin the instruction of the deaf in St. Louis. On August 12, 1838, the chapel and bell are blessed at Cahokia.
Cardinal Fêsch dies in Rome at 76.
The first permanent building is erected at Carondelet.
Mother St. John Fontbonne dies on November 22, 1843 at 84.
1846 - 1860
The Sisters of St. Joseph spread to Philadelphia, Toronto, Wheeling, Rochester, Buffalo, Brentwood, Hamilton, and more.
The first printing of the Constitution in English is completed.
Bishop Joseph Cretin goes to Carondelet to plead with Mother Celestine to send Sisters of St. Joseph to his new, unorganized diocese in Minnesota. On November 3, 1851, Sisters St. John Fournier, Philomene Vilaine, Francis Joseph Ivory and Scholastica Vasques arrive by steamboat in St. Paul. The St. Paul Province is born.
Rev. Thomas Keveny, pastor of St. Bernard’s Parish in Cohoes, at the suggestion of Bishop McCloskey, asks Mother St. John Facemaz to send Sisters of St. Joseph to Cohoes.
Rev. Joseph Guerdet of Oswego requests that Mother St. John Facemaz send Sisters of St. Joseph to the little city to teach Catholic immigrants.
On April 15, 1858, four young Sisters of St. Joseph arrive by train in Oswego in the midst of a snowstorm: Mother Stanislaus Saul from Germany; Sisters Patricia Pyne and Flavia Waldron from Ireland; Sisters Chrysostom McCann and Eusebius Verdin, native-born Americans; and Sister Hyacinth Blanc from France. The Albany Province is born.
On July 17, 1860, Mother Philomene Billex and Sister Flavia Waldron arrive in Cohoes, accompanied by Mother St. John Facemaz. Ten days later, Sisters Prudentia Reilly, Dominic Fink, Francis de Sales Morrisey and Charles Brennan joined them. 
The Decree of Commendation of the Constitutions for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet is issued by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars on September 9.
Pope Pius IX approves the Carondelet Congregation as a Pontifical Institute.
Bishop John Baptist Salpointe of Arizona asks Mother St. John Facemaz to send Sisters of St. Joseph to Arizona.
On April 20, 1870, seven Sisters of St. Joseph leave Carondelet for Arizona. They travel by train to San Francisco, by ocean steamer to San Diego and by covered wagon to Tucson. They arrive on May 26, 1870.
Tucson, Arizona, became home to the Western Province in 1876.
On May 16, 1877, the congregation in the United States receives final approbation of the Constitutions from Rome.
Rev. James Hourigan sees his dream come true when Sisters of St. Joseph arrive from Troy to open St. Mary’s Home in Binghamton. Mother Stanislaus Saul is the first superior.
The Countess de la Rochejacquelin dies on January 7, 1883 at the Château d’Usse. She had continued to support the sisters to her death.
Provincial Superior Mother John Carey agrees that the Sisters of St. Joseph take over from the Daughters of Charity the management of St. Joseph’s Infant Home in Troy.
Rev. Msgr. William A. Browne, Bishop Burke and Provincial Superior Mother M. John Carey agree to the opening of St. Mary’s Hospital, Amsterdam. Mother Matilda Donovan leads the group of pioneer Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Provincial Superior Mother Irene Tyrell approves the opening of the Masterson Day Nursery on January 17, 1917.
The congregation re-opened the Western Province Provincialate at St. Mary's Academy in Los Angeles.
Sister Blanche Rooney and Rev. Msgr. Joseph Delaney receive approval from Bishop Edmund Gibbons for the establishment of The College of Saint Rose in Albany. In September 1920, with an operating fund of $1,000, a one-frame dwelling and a faculty of five sisters, two priests and a laywomen, 19 freshmen enter The College of Saint Rose. The original sister faculty include: Sister Rose of Lima Dolan, Sister John Joseph Moran, Sister Rita Agnes Casey, Mother Rosina Quillinan and Sister Blanche Rooney. On June 25, 1920, the college was approved by the state of New York to grant three degrees: bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of music.
The Sisters of St. Joseph in Georgia become part of the St. Louis Province.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Lewiston, Idaho, become part of the Los Angeles Province.
The Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate 100 years in the United States. Read the congratulatory letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On April 12, 1938, Bishop Stephen Alencastre, vicar apostolic of the territory of Hawaii, requests that Mother Rose Columba McGinnis send Sisters of St. Joseph to Hawaii. Nine Sisters of St. Joseph from the Los Angeles and St. Louis Provinces make the trip in the summer of 1938 and the Vice Province of Hawaii is born (August 24). The first Sisters, who arrive on August 18 on the S.S. Lurline, are: (from the St. Louis Province) Sisters Mary Virginia Becker, Mary Zenaide Belanger, Mary Felix Jochem, Frances Celine Leahy and Alice Joseph Tornavich; (from the Los Angeles Province) Sisters Mary Faber Vanderwerf, Adele Marie Lemon, Mary Anne Bahner and Anne Patrice O’Connor.
Mother Pius Neenan opens the Carondelet House of Studies in Washington, DC, for Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet attending Catholic University.
Mother Eucharista Galvin and Mother Edward Marie Mahaney visit Japan to find a site for ministry in response to Pope Pius XII’s request for missionaries to Japan. They choose Tsu for the location of a convent and a high school for girls and Kyoto for a novitiate and juniorate. On August 14, 1956, on the S.S. President Cleveland the first Sisters of St. Joseph arrive in Japan: Sisters Irmina Kelehan (St. Paul), Eva Francis Cereghino (Los Angeles), Thomas Paul Hoodack (Albany), and Serena John O’Meara (St. Louis).
Mother Eucharista Galvin receives a request from Archbishop Romola Carboni, papal nuncio to Peru, on behalf of Pope John XXIII, to send Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to teach in Peru. Mother Eucharista and her assistant, Mother Caroline, visit Peru. As a result, in January 1962, nine Sisters of St. Joseph are assigned to Ica, Chimbote and Arequipa: Sisters Gabriel Joseph Gussin (St. Louis), Catherine Patrick Tubbs (Albany), St. Therese Donahue (Los Angeles), Amelia Hogan (Albany), Marie Loyola Sanders (St. Louis), Marie Esterre McHale (St. Paul), Sister Martina O’Laughlin (St. Paul), M. Kathleen O’Malley (St. Louis) and David Marie Avalos (Los Angeles). In March 1962, the congregation receives a request to send Sisters to work in the Hospital Militar in Lima. Five Sisters are sent to fill this request: Sister Mary Arthur Meyer (Los Angeles), Jean Teresa Dieman (St. Paul), Richard Clare O’Brien (St. Louis), Rita Clare Brennan (St. Paul) and Candida Freitas (Albany).
The vice province of Peru is officially begun on August 3, 1962.
The U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph is established by Mother Eucharista Galvin and Mother Seraphine Meaney becomes the first president.
Carondelet Health System is established.
Sister Mary Kevin Ford becomes the first president of the CSJ Healthcare Organization.
At the invitation of Don Carlos Gonzales, bishop of Talca, Sisters Marie Loyola Sanders, Rose Mary Haley, Margaret O’Rourke, and Eileen Smits arrive in Chile in 1987. December 8 of that year marks the formal foundation day.
The General Chapter changes the leadership model to a five-member Congregational Leadership Team.
Carondelet Health System merges with Ascension Health.
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, at the request of the Church, travel to Gulu, Uganda, on June 8, 2008 to assist the Acholi people as they recover from 25 years of civil war. Ugandan children have been forced into military service; family members have been killed and missing; and farmlands have been lost in the war. Many now live with AIDS, malaria and chronic malnutrition. Through education, health care and catechetical formation, the Sisters assist in efforts to rebuild family and village life and culture.
The Vice Province of Japan becomes one with the Los Angeles Province.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet • 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road • Latham, NY 12110-4799
Main Provincal House Number (518) 783-3500 • Fax (518) 783-5209

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