Join in Our Celebration of 150 Years in Boston

Did you know that this year marks the 150th anniversary of presence and service of the Sisters of St. Joseph among the people of Boston? During the coming year, we anticipate a monthly Pilot article about this year of celebration. However, first, we want to say thank you to the people of Boston for the many ways you have journeyed with us and continue to support us in our mission of unifying love.

From the day Sister Regis Casserly and her three companions traveled from New York and arrived in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston on October 2, 1873, through the many challenges and opportunities that brought us to where we are today, you have partnered with us.

We came in response to an invitation to educate a growing population of Catholic immigrants who were not welcome in the public schools at the time. During these 150 years, we have continued to respond to changing needs and changing times.  In the process, we have educated thousands of people in more than 130 educational institutions, ministered in more than 30 healthcare ministries, and participated in more than 85 service ministries within the Archdiocese of Boston. In turn, we have also learned from you and benefited by your presence in our lives. Clearly, we have touched one another’s lives in countless ways. Imagine the impact! Imagine our gratitude!

As we began considering how we would celebrate 150 years among you, our “dear neighbors,” a small group came together and asked, why are we celebrating, how might we celebrate, for whom are we celebrating, and what message do we want to share with the people of Boston and beyond?  Thus, our logo is designed as a graphic representation of our unfolding which dates from our origins in 17th century France and actually deeper into history to the original impulse of God’s creation of the universe.  And our tagline: Unifying Love Flares…!  If you’re asking, what does this mean, we invite you to ask, what does this mean for me and for others who partner with the Sisters of St. Joseph?

Our growth is about so much more than dates or buildings. It’s about responding with courage in impossible situations; of embracing anything of which a woman is capable; witnessing in challenging times; standing with the marginalized in the struggle for justice, and doing all with a contemplative spirit.

Therefore, our 150 years in Boston is a celebration of and for all who have been a part of this journey. We celebrate founders whose original impulse of unifying love brings us to this day as well as those who continue this impulse as it flares among and beyond us. In the year ahead we anticipate a monthly article that will tell the story of who we have been and who we are becoming as together we continue the mission of unifying as it flares with and among the people of Boston and beyond.

– Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston

AT TOP: Mother Regis Casserly, Founder of the CSJ Boston Congregation; the first convent in Jamaica Plain; Sisters volunteering during the 1918 influenza epidemic. BOTTOM OF PAGE: Some of the sisters, associates, agrégées and partners in mission from Boston pictured at the 2022 event of the Sisters of St. Joseph U.S. Federation in St. Louis where more than 400 gathered in person and another 600 participated via Zoom.