Skip to main content

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis province establish St. Joseph Educational Ministries, empowering the laity to continue the mission of Catholic education

HomeNews StoriesHomepage NewsSisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis province establish St. Joseph Educational Ministries, empowering the laity to continue the mission of Catholic education

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet of the St. Louis province are proud of the five educational institutions they founded and want to see their impact on Catholic education continue for generations to come. To achieve this goal, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are taking an innovative step, empowering the laity to continue the educational ministry that the sisters have established.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province is transferring sponsorship of the sisters’ educational institutions to the newly established St. Joseph Educational Ministries (SJEM).

View Recorded Town Hall

SJEM is a model of Catholic sponsorship called a ministerial public juridic person, a status granted to SJEM by the Vatican that enables lay people to take on the sponsorship role traditionally held only by religious. Although “ministerial public juridic person” sounds like an individual, it is a canonical term for a group of persons who together further the mission of the church.

“Religious institutes have seen success with this model for decades, but SJEM is one of the first of its kind for education in the United States. The Sisters of St. Joseph are known for being trailblazers in education, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this movement,” says Sister Amy Hereford, member of the St. Louis Province Leadership Team.

SJEM will serve as the bridge between the schools and the church as it assumes the responsibility for ensuring that Catholic identity and the Sisters of St. Joseph’s mission of “serving the dear neighbor” are retained at the schools in perpetuity.

“As responsible stewards, we are proactively establishing a structure that ensures the schools remain Catholic and true to our values,” says Hereford. “We believe the ministerial public juridic person is the next step in the evolution of Catholic education as the laity are already serving as leaders who ensure that the mission and Catholic identity are being lived out on our campuses.”

SJEM member schools are:

  • Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri (est. 1916)
  • Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Missouri (est. 1923)
  • St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Louis, Missouri (est. 1840)
  • St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis, Missouri and Indianapolis, Indiana (est. 1837)
  • St. Teresa’s Academy, Kansas City, Missouri (est. 1866)

The sisters will remain active and present at the schools, serving as board members, employees, volunteers and prayer partners. They also will serve alongside the laity as members of SJEM as well as lead the educational formation program for the members. Day-to-day operations at the schools are not affected by this new arrangement as finance, governance and academics remain the responsibility of school administrators and boards.

The members of SJEM, appointed by the sisters’ St. Louis Province Leadership, are chosen based on criteria that demonstrates a commitment to Catholic education ministry in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet’s tradition. Members are charged with applying Catholic theological tradition, the Sisters of St. Joseph’s heritage, and Catholic social teaching; identifying and implementing organizational activities at the schools; and taking a leading role in discourse with church leaders.

“This is the expression of Vatican II’s call to recognize the laity as an integral part of the life of the church and a means of fostering our common Christian vocation in living out the Gospel,” says Hereford. “These lay leaders will respond in a new way to their baptismal call as part of the educational ministry of the church.”

Transition to and implementation of SJEM is an ongoing process. At this time, the formation process for prospective members has begun, and the members will be formally commissioned in the spring of 2021. The full transition of sponsorship to SJEM is anticipated in spring 2022.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

GDPR

  • GDPR Privacy Policy
  • Google Analytics

GDPR Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Overall Policy

Thank you for visiting our website. We’re pleased to share our policy regarding the use of information received here. Privacy is a matter of concern to us. We are committed to protecting your privacy and the security of the information that you may provide to us.

Personal Information

We do not track individual users. Your email address or other personal information is not collected unless you provide it on a form, survey or application. We will not sell or otherwise make available any personally identifiable information to any organization not directly affiliated with us. We will comply with legitimate government or legal requests as necessary to protect our organization or to comply with laws.

Traffic Analysis

We analyze traffic to this site. We collect statistical data on an aggregated basis through Google Analytics. For example, we collect information about the domain names of servers that bring visitors to our site. We count the number of visitors and keep track of where they go on our site. Such information allows us to find out what areas users visit most frequently and what services they access the most, which enables us to create a better overall user experience. To gather such data, we use cookie technology, which collects data in aggregate form, not by individual user.

Cookies

As referenced above, we use cookie technology for traffic analysis. Cookies are small pieces of information stored by your browser on your computer’s hard drive. The cookies placed by our server do not gather personal information about you, do not provide any way for us to contact you and do not gather information about your computer. The cookies simply allow us to enhance our site by letting us know what sections are visited most often. The use of cookies is common on the Internet, and our use of them is similar to that of other reputable online organizations.

Links To Other Sites

Our site contains links to other sites and Internet resources. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these third-party websites and Internet resources.

Updates To Privacy Policy

We may update the privacy policy periodically, and we encourage visitors to review them on a regular basis.

Last revised: June 2015

Google Analytics

As we continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and guidance from the CDC and St. Louis County, Fontbonne has implemented health and safety precautions for a return to campus.Learn more about the CARES Act and Griffin Return.
+