Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 27, 2020

Sisters' Stories

Sister Maria Jude LaPoint, CSJ

The question is: How did I come to know about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet? When I was ready to begin grade school, a decision had to be made as to which elementary school I would attend. In 1948, there were actually two small Catholic elementary schools in Hudson Falls, NY, separated by a driveway – St. Mary’s Catholic School (K-8) on the right operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph and St. Paul’s Catholic School (K-8) on the left operated by a Community of Sisters from a French Order. At St. Paul’s, I could have learned both English and French, which my father, being of French descent, thought would be great. However, my mom, being the chief decision maker in our family, made the decision that I would attend St. Mary’s Catholic School. Hence, my life with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet began.

In second grade, I had the awesome experience of having Sister Anastasia as my teacher. Many times I stayed after school with Sister (Not that I was in trouble) helping in various ways by washing the boards even though I could only reach half way up being short of stature. Sometime during that year, I decided I wanted to be a religious sister, even though I was only seven years old.  Sister Anastasia, as well as all the other Sisters in the school, were very committed, dedicated, loving, genuine, and generous with their time, especially with each individual student.

When I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1957, I was allowed by my parents to attend the local public school rather than the Catholic high school in Glens Falls, NY.  My only reason was because I wanted to play sports (Softball, Basketball, and Track & Field), which the Catholic schools at that time did not offer much of a program, if any. However, I never lost contact with the Sisters because the public school provided transportation to the Catholic elementary schools to attend CCD once a week. As a family, we also attended St. Mary’s Church each Sunday and other special days for Mass, where we would have contact with the Sisters. The desire to become a Sister of St. Joseph never left me. That voice inside of me kept reminding me of what God’s plan for me was – To Be A “Doer of the Word” as a religious sister.

After high school, I worked for a Ford Motor Company car dealership as a bookkeeper. After three years working for this company, I knew in my heart it was time to “answer the call.” Even though my mom and dad had a wonderful marriage and relationship, I knew it was not the vocation that I was drawn to.

I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1965 and have never looked back.  

During my 48 years in the community, I have spent all of my ministry in Catholic education – as teacher and school administrator (both vice principal and principal).  I have always been a teacher in the classroom at the same time as being a vice principal or principal. I have been an educator in five different high schools in New York, Massachusetts, and presently in Pennsylvania, which have provided me with many awesome experiences throughout my religious life.  I love connecting with high school students and sharing with them my love of God and religious life.  Presently, I teach two sections of Religion 9 and two sections (one each semester) of Criminal Justice to seniors. As a Catholic School, we also spend a lot of time with our students performing Works of Mercy, both corporal and spiritual – at homeless shelters, at soup kitchens, at retirement homes, and at rescue missions.  
One of my most memorable experiences in community was working on our hospital floor (2A) at our Provincial House in New York for 18 years on weekends, during days off from school, and summers ministering to our senior sisters, as well as our sick sisters, who have given far more years to the community than I have and who have supported me by their presence and their prayers each and every day.