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Celebrating 152 years of ministry in Tucson

 Sally Koch, CSJ

A statue of the seven sisters on their trek to Tuscon

In 1870, seven brave sisters trekked from Missouri to Arizona to minister to the dear neighbor. The journey to Tucson took 37 days and covered 2,983 miles, with 409 of those miles in the May desert heat of California and Arizona.

After a delay of two years, the 150th Anniversary of the Trek of the Seven Sisters was held on May 29 at St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson, Arizona. There were 350 people in attendance who enjoyed the day of festivities which included a Mass, a dedication of the new CSJ Courtyard, and delicious hors d’oeuvres and food.

Attendees gather in the new CSJ Courtyard in Tucson for the blessing

The theme of the day was looking back with gratitude and looking forward with hope. During the day the first seven sisters who made the trek in 1870 were honored. These seven courageous women started a movement in Tucson, and after 152 years, there have been 728 sisters who have ministered in Tucson with 64 ministries. The Spirit has been moving and continues to move with the associates in Tucson and all the people the Sisters have shared their joy and love with over the many years. The charism started to spread in 1870 and keeps spreading together with the people of Tucson.

Watch the celebration

The Los Angeles Province (of which our community in Arizona is a part) put together this video of the celebration.

Read the original diary

Trek of the Seven Sisters: Pilgrimage Companion Guide by Mary Sloper with Mary Murphy, CSJ and the Trek Committee is available now!

This book tells the story of the seven sisters who traveled from St. Louis to Tucson in 1870, based on the diary of Sister Monica Corrigan. As you read Sister Monica’s diary, you will see the trek through her eyes. This book also includes the culture, history, population, transportation and other events in the context of the period as well as current information. Additionally, you will find maps, driving instructions, reflections and prayers. Whether you use the book as a pilgrimage guide and travel the trek yourself, or read it in the comfort of your favorite chair, you will come to appreciate the courage, perseverance, and faith these seven women had to travel on a new mission for the “dear neighbor.”

Handwritten journal page

Featured artifact from our archives

Diary of the Trek of the Seven Sisters

In 1870, seven brave sisters trekked from Missouri to Arizona to minister to the dear neighbor. Sister Monica Corrigan kept a diary throughout their harrowing journey over land and sea.

Category: Stories

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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