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Our Mission

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. We are committed to Jesus’ mission and seek to promote justice, to live lives of non-violence and to respond to the needs of our time. Our goal is to foster love, unity and reconciliation among all people.


Sister Maryellen Kane, executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, distributes organic bread during a prayer service marking the Season of Creation at the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, N.Y., Oct. 3, 2021. The Season of Creation is an annual ecumenical celebration during which Christians are called to unite in prayer and to take action to protect the earth. The observance begins on Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

For more than 169 years the Sisters of Saint Joseph have served the people of Long Island. When there was a need evident, sisters went to  Appalachia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and to other parts of the United States.

In 1930, in response to a request by the Bishop of Ponce, four sisters were sent to found a mission in Puerto Rico. Then, the sisters  spread across the island staffing parishes and schools and teaching in the Catholic University. At their peak presence, there were almost 100 sisters ministering in Puerto Rico. Presently, there are still sisters living and teaching on the island.

As a Congregation, we seek to make all our ministries reflections of our charism and mission. The education and empowerment of women have always been our focus. Sisters of St. Joseph are educators from elementary to the university level, social workers, health care professionals, lawyers, parish ministers, administrators and spiritual directors.

We also have ministries which we own and operate independently. They include four high schools, a learning program for immigrant women, and an immigration clinic.

Today we not only continue our ministry through the empowerment of women and education but also through, spiritual education, ecology efforts with a focus on sustainability, and justice actions with efforts like our Immigration Clinic.

The Ministry of Leadership

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Every five years, sisters are elected to the ministry of congregational leadership.  Our leadership team includes a President and four Councillors. After their election, they appoint a Secretary and Treasurer.

Sister Tesa Fitzgerald CSJ, MS, President
Founded Hour Children, an organization to assist formerly incarcerated women and their children, in 1992. She served as Executive Director until her election as president in 2021.
Sister Elizabeth Hill, CSJ, JD, Councillor
Former president of St. Joseph College.
Sister Maria Pascuzzi, CSJ, SSL, STD, Councillor
Former lecturer and administrator and present director of Spirit Alive: The CSJ Institute for Faith Inquiry and Education.
Sister Phyllis Esposito, CSJ, MS, Councillor
Former Regional Superior and Spiritual Director with broad experience in parish ministry.
Sister Karen Burke, CSJ, EdD, Councillor
Former professor at Western Connecticut State University Instructional Leadership Doctoral Program and present Director of Sisters of St. Joseph Sustainability Department.

Sister Thomasine Stagnitta, CSJ,MA, Congregational Secretary.
Sister Eileen Kelly, CSJ,MS, Congregational Treasurer