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Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.


Our History
Disbanded during the French Revolution, the Congregation of St. Joseph was reestablished in 1807 by Mother Saint John Fontbonne in Lyons, France. Dioceses throughout France requested the services of Sisters. Some of the sisters went to Bourg in the Diocese of Belley under the leadership of Mother Saint Joseph Chaney
In 1823, Bishop Alexander Devie of the Diocese of Belley, France, effected the separation of the Sisters in his diocese from the Motherhouse of Lyons. The sisters of St. Joseph of Bourg became a new congregation under the leadership of Reverend Mother  Saint Benoit Cornillon.
Sisters from Bourg first came to the United States in 1854 to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Establishing a central house in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Sisters extended their ministry to the poor and suffering of Louisiana and Mississippi, opening schools, hospitals and an orphanage.
Sisters from the New Orleans group went to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1893 to care for the needs of the working girls in Sacred Heart Home, a boarding residence which came to be known as the Fontbonne. In time, the sisters also undertook educational and other apostolic ministries in Ohio.

The year 1903 saw six sisters dispatched from Bourg, France to staff a school in Argyle, Minnesota. Two years later a school and convent were begun in Crookston, Minnesota. The sisters soon staffed educational and health care institutions throughout the area, extending their presence in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and to Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Canada.

On November 30, 1977, Rome officially declared the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Medaille. The name Medaille was chosen because it is the family name of the Jesuit priest,
Jean-Pierre Medaille, S.J., who helped found the Sisters in 1650. The sisters were geographically located in the north, central and southern areas of the United States.

In 1986 and in 1994 decisions were made to merge the three provinces into five regions - Baton Rouge, Cincinnati, Crookston, New Orleans, and the Twin Cities. The five regions have become the structure with which we can best strengthen the unity of the group and provide more creative service to meet today's needs. We continue to be challenged by the Gospel of Jesus and inspired by the zeal of "the little design" of Jean-Pierre Medaille, S.J., in our efforts to be women of unity, reconciliation, and service.

Ministries We Founded:
Ministries Against the Death Penalty
People Program
St. Joseph's Academy
St. Joseph Spirituality Center
Other Resources:
Local News
Peace & Justice

Contact Us:
Make a Gift – Mission Advancement Office, 4664 James Town, Ste. 125, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808; 225.924.3323. or email Pat Milenius at pmilenius@csjoseph.org

Contact Us – 4010 Executive Park Drive, Ste. 320, Cincinnati, Ohio  45241-4011, 513.761.2888. or email InfoMedaille@csjoseph.org