Friday, October 4, 2013

A Short History of Our Sisters of Saint Joseph - "Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection”

Karen Dropps, Graduate Student

The design of the exhibit is well underway, and we are excited to share with you every week a little of what is going on! This week, for something a little bit different, I'd like to share a little about the women who started Regis: the Sisters of Saint Joseph.  It is the 140th anniversary of the Boston Chapter of the Sisters of Saint Joseph this week.
The order was started in Le Puy, France in 1650. They served their local communities as their mission was to help their neighbors and be among the people.  During the French Revolution there was much religious unrest, and the Sisters disbanded.  Some went in hiding, while others stood up for their beliefs.  After the Revolution they reformed in 1807 in Lyons, France.  Soon after their reforming of the order, their mission expanded as a call from across the Atlantic for help sent some Sisters to St. Louis, to help teach deaf students at a local school.  In 1836, they established their first house, and named it Carondelet.  From here their mission in America spread and in 1873 they moved to Boston, and settled in a five room house in Jamaica Plain.  They quickly started a school for girls in the basement of St. Thomas, and on the first day they had 200 students signed up. The sisters that came to Boston were from Brooklyn and they were: Regis Casserly, Claire Corcoran, Mary Delores Brown and Mary Felix Cannon. They were under the leadership of Sister Regis Casserly.

In 1927 the Sisters furthered their commitment to the community by opening Regis College here in Weston, MA. Founded by Sister Regis and Sister Domitilla, they made a place where women could come and learn, and go forth with the mission of the Sisters: “[…] with  the compassion of God, we Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, women of the Church, rooted in the Gospel together with our Associates are impelled by the active, inclusive love of God to: deepen our relationship with God and the dear neighbor without distinction; foster prophetic communion; and journey into the future with Sisters and Associates throughout the world and with all God’s Creation.” (
Here at Regis the Sisters carry on their traditions of helping their neighbors, and instill their values with all of those who walk the path of Regis College. We thank the sisters for the commitment they have given to us here at Regis and we hope to honor that commitment with our exhibit.

To learn more about the Sisters, please visit their website:

No comments:

Post a Comment