As Sisters of St. Joseph living in the 21st Century, we believe in the power, presence and love of God working through an evolving universe and in God’s self-communication through Jesus Christ. As women of the Church, we recommit ourselves to Jesus’ mission as we move with the Spirit to bring about God’s reign and seek to promote justice, to live lives of non-violence and to respond to the needs of our time.

Chapter 2011 Direction Statement
In 17th century France in the small village of LePuy, six courageous women envisioned a community rooted in the ‘great love of God and neighbor without distinction.’ Living among the people and moved by this love, these ‘sisters of the neighborhood’ responded to whatever were the needs of the times.
In the spirit of their founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph continue to work tirelessly to bring God’s inclusive love to schools, hospitals, orphanages, health care centers, educational programs for immigrant women, the imprisoned and the forgotten, as well as supporting social justice and eco justice issues.

2013 CSJ Dinner Dance Journal

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CSJ Dinner Dance 2013 Journal

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Daily Prayer

Join with us in prayer every day. You’ll find a thought to reflect on and a short prayer along with suggested action. Our hope is to help you focus on your spiritual journey today. For further reflection, action, and suggested reading, click here.


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Meet Us

Sister Maryellen Kane

Sister Maryellen Kane

“Life is a journey we travel together
Walking hand in hand with our sisters and brothers.”
For Maryellen Kane the seeds of the CSJ journey were planted at the age of 16, when as a high school sophomore she sat on the floor of the gym and listened to Sisters St. Thaddeus and Maria Eucharia who had just returned from Selma, Alabama describe their experience of walking with Dr. King and the other freedom marchers during one of the defining moments of the Civil Rights movement. Maryellen, who was greatly influenced by both Vatican II and the Civil Rights Movement, knew that she wanted to journey with the people on the margins, the people who society said were of little account and the only people she knew who were doing that were Sisters of St. Joseph.

Maryellen first began ministry as a primary grade teacher in struggling neighborhoods of Brooklyn, NY. When In the early 1970’s the Diocese of Brooklyn began closing some of its schools, Maryellen began working with migrant farmworkers first in California and then in Florida. This was when she came face to face with systemic evil. Later as a founding member of Providence House she experienced firsthand the effects of racism and poverty on the family system. While living in Providence House, Maryellen ministered at St. Barbara’s Parish in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. St. Barbara’s was a member of East Brooklyn Churches, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation. It was through this partnership that Maryellen learned the art and skills of community organizing. She learned to look for the strengths, talents and potential of the community and to ask how through relationships those gifts could grow and develop. As a leader in EBC and later as an Organizer with The Intercommunity Center for Justice and Peace, she trained and developed ordinary citizens to become active and powerful agents of Social Change.

From 1994-2000, Maryellen served as a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Leadership Team. Exercising the relational power of Women Religious was at the heart of her ministry in Congregational Leadership and as chair of LCWR Region 2. To give public witness to diverse relationships, Maryellen served on the Boards of New Ways Ministry and the NY State Labor and Religion Coalition. When her time in Leadership was completed she returned to Parish ministry.

Maryellen now walks with the people of St Mary Magdalene Parish in South East Queens. The parish is made up of Afro Caribbeans, Afro Americans and Africans, 52% of whom are foreign born. This small community is now working to rebuild their parish church which was destroyed by fire in 2010.

When she sat on that gym floor in 1964 and listened to the Sisters speak of their time in Selma, Maryellen didn’t know that the CSJ charism was one of active inclusive love. She did know however that love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling but that love is concrete, active and effective, and that love went to Selma. Today Maryellen understands that Love has to be put into action forming relationships that are reciprocal and beneficial to all. She sees her life as a CSJ as a process of conversion to humanity, a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives, that as Gandhi reminds us that “Love is the subtlest force in the world.”

Nourished by prayer, supported by community and energized by ministry, we are constantly addressing the needs of these times.