In 1938, the Sisters of St. Joseph, at the request of Bishop Alencastre of Honolulu, arrived to staff St. Theresa’s School on the Island of Oahu. Subsequently, in response to the growing need of education for the young, the sisters opened more schools and catechetical centers in the Hawaiian Islands. As the state of Hawaii continues to expand with its multi-cultural population, the sisters strive to respond creatively to the complex and unique needs of its people. At present they serve in education as administrators, teachers, and advisors, as religious education directors, and as volunteers in parish settings. In July 2017, the Hawaii Vice Province officially joined the Los Angeles Province.
“The time has come when we are strongly advised to enter the foreign mission field. The Church realizes it is asking us to give out of our necessity and not out of surplus—but the appeal is for planting the Church, which we cannot deny.” With these words, written in 1955, Mother Eucharista Galvin indicated her willingness to commit the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to cooperate with the Church’s directive. The congregation chose Japan as the “mission field,” and on August 14, 1956, the first four sisters arrived at Yokohama Harbor. They eventually settled in Kyoto. In 1959, St. Joseph Joshi Gakuen, a school for girls, opened in Tsu. Since that time, many Sisters of St. Joseph have served in Japan. A number of Japanese women have also entered the community. Today Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet serve in Tsu and Tokyo. In April 2011, the Japan Vice Province became a region of the Los Angeles Province.
Our sisters became a mission in Talca, Chile in 1987. They went on to also serve in Curepto. Though we no longer have any Sisters serving in the country, a group of associates known as the Familia de San José keeps our charism thriving in these two communities.
In 2008, five Sisters of St. Joseph were welcomed to Gulu, Northern Uganda, by Archbishop John Baptist Odama. They immediately began setting up education classes, worked in health clinics, provided child care services, and began training catechists. Today that ministry continues. We have helped to build a maternity clinic in Gulu, where about 16 women in Uganda die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. We also work with the Water with Blessings project, providing vital water filters to women in the area. To read more about the ministry happening in Uganda go to csjgulu.blogspot.com.