Canadian Sisters of St. Joseph
1851 – Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto: In 1851, Mother Delphine Fontbonne and three other Sisters (Martha von Bunning, Alphonsus Margerum and Bernard Dinan) came to Toronto from the United States at the request of Bishop de Charbonnel who was concerned for the poor immigrants. Their work soon expanded into the areas of education, social services and heath care.
1852 – Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton: Six months after their arrival to Toronto, Mother Martha von Bunning, with two novices, established St. Mary’s Convent and Orphanage in Hamilton, the first mission from Toronto. In 1856, Hamilton became a separate congregation with the creation of the Diocese of Hamilton.
1870 – Sisters of St. Joseph of London: First established as a teaching mission from Toronto in 1868, London became a separate congregation on December 10, 1870.
1890 – Sisters of St. Joseph of Peterborough: In 1881 Toronto Sisters went to Prince Arthur’s Landing to teach. Soon, a convent wing was converted to care for injured railway workers and in 1884 a new hospital facility was built. In May 1890 the missions of Port Arthur, Fort William and Cobourg, and new foundations in Lindsay and Peterborough, formed the new Peterborough Congregation.
1921 – Sisters of St. Joseph of Pembroke: In response to a request from Bishop Ryan of Pembroke for teachers to staff the Catholic elementary schools, Sisters from Peterborough formed the new Pembroke Congregation.
1936 – Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie: In 1936 the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie began its own Congregation, again drawing from the members of the Peterborough Congregation. Carrying on the tradition of all Sisters of St. Joseph, this youngest group, with its Motherhouse in North Bay, began to reach out to the small communities around Lake Superior and on Manitoulin Island. See www.csjssm.ca for more information.
1966 – Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada: On September 20, 1966, the six separate Canadian congregations: Toronto, Hamilton, London, Peterborough, Pembroke and Sault Ste. Marie, formed the Canadian Federation. In 2012, four of the six (Hamilton, London, Peterborough and Pembroke) decided to come together to form a new congregation – The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.
2012 – The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada: On November 22, 2012, a new chapter was opened in the long history of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Four of the six Canadian Congregations - Hamilton, London, Peterborough and Pembroke – joined together to become one new congregation, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. www.csjcanada.org
As members of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada, the three Canadian Congregations – Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie and The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada – work together to: deepen the awareness of a shared identity and mission; offer mutual support to each other; work together on common ministries and areas of concern. See www.csjfederation.ca for more information.