October 2009 sidebar: A little background

October 10, 2009 by

(Published in the October 2009 edition of The Messenger of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia)

Sisters of St. Joseph left our congregation in Rochester, N.Y., in 1883 to travel to the “frontier” of Kansas, and in 1884 established the independent Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

For the first 65 years of our existence, we were a “diocesan congregation,” meaning we answered to the Bishop of Concordia, and then the Bishop of Salina.

That changed in 1948 when we became a “pontifical institute,” approved directly by the Vatican.

As called for by the Second Vatican Council, we began a “renewal chapter” in 1969; ultimately, that led to a new constitution based on our original mission from our origins in 17th-century France. That constitution, which remains our living document today, was approved by the Vatican in 1987.

Our mission, as stated in that constitution and lived by our sisters every day, says, in part:

The life and works of our congregation are
directed to a single end:
The union of ourselves and of all people with God and with one another in and through Jesus Christ.
In order to fulfill this mission, we are willing to
be led by the Holy Spirit to undertake, in accor-
dance with our tradition, works which respond
to the needs of the times. We encourage and as-
sist those who desire to follow Christ more
closely, and we work with others to alleviate con-
ditions which cause ignorance, poverty, suffering
and oppression.

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