The Call to Serve

The call to serve people in the communities in which they live goes back to the founding of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

In 1650 France, Father Jean Pierre Medaille told six women who made up the first Sisters of St. Joseph congregation to divide the city.  They were to go out into the various districts to discern the needs and serve the people who lived there. He called these people “the dear neighbor.”

Father Medaille urged the sisters to serve their neighbors with the same care and loving concern that St. Joseph had shown in serving Jesus and Mary.

Dear Neighbor Ministries is one of the sponsored ministries of the Congregation.

The congregation is composed of 500 women religious and 450 lay associates primarily in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.  Sisters and associates of the Congregation of St. Joseph live and work that all may be one.  

The Generous Promises of the Congregation are a contemporary expression of the CSJ mission “that all may be one”.

  • We Promise to take the risk to surrender our lives and resources to work for systemic change in collaboration with others that the hungers of the world might be fed.
  • We Promise to be mutually responsible and accountable for leadership.
  • We Promise to network with others across the world to bring about a shift in the global culture from institutionalized power and privilege to a culture of inclusivity and mutuality. 
  • We Promise to recognize the reality that Earth is dying, to claim our oneness with Earth and to take steps now to strengthen, heal and renew the face of Earth. 

CSJ Ministries, created in 2008, provides support and oversight of the sponsored ministries of the Congregation. As the sponsorship arm of the congregation, it is totally dedicated to current and future sponsored ministries. 

Learn more about the various ministries at: