As women religious and educators, the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph believe in raising women up by supporting ministries, organizations, and initiatives that educate and serve women, and support systemic change around issues that disproportionately affect women. Here are just a few examples of our work:
The Congregation of St. Joseph sponsors three Catholic high schools, two of which are girls-only: Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, La., and Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Ill. (co-ed). Our Sisters have a long history of educating young women as teachers, administrators, and tutors, and that legacy lives on in our sponsorship of these institutions.
StepStone, Inc. was founded in 1995 in Wichita as an option for women and children who have left domestic violence shelters and are in need of transitional housing and other supportive services such as counseling and life skills. As a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, Stepstone nurtures lives of stability and hope for the individuals they serve.
Gianna House is a pregnancy and parenting resource center and residence in Eastpoint, Mich., that provides support and other services to young women ages 17 years and younger. In addition to providing a safe, loving environment for them and their newborns, the girls learn parenting skills and job preparation skills and receive career planning counseling and spiritual care. The Congregation of St. Joseph supports Gianna House through financial and volunteer resources.
The Congregation of St. Joseph in partnership with seven other women’s religious communities in the Chicago area have collaborated to create Bethany House, a safe home for young women 18 years of age who are aging out of child detention centers. If not for Bethany House, these young women would be taken to adult detention centers where their safety is questionable. At Bethany House, they will have the opportunity to build community, develop individual plans for their next steps, continue their schooling and prepare for their asylum hearings.
Women’s Outreach Center
The Women’s Outreach Center, sponsored by River’s Edge Spirituality Center in Cleveland, Oh., is a non-profit program designed to support women who have experienced homelessness, are in transition, and in need of support. The mission is to accompany and empower women as they strive to realize their potential and attain self sufficiency. Programs are carried out in a warm and welcoming environment where women can feel safe, grow in self esteem, and realize their potential. Focus is on building a sense of community where good communication skills are practiced.
In addition to direct service, our Sisters and Associates advocate for gender equality and systemic change of policies and laws which exclude or marginalize women. This includes being present at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2017 which focused on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. We also work towards eradicating crimes such as human trafficking which disproportionately affects women, as well as immigration reform.