Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia PA
Norwood-Fontbonne Academy is a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJs). Through their support of Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, the Sisters of Saint Joseph continue to fulfill their mission that “all people may be united with God and one another.”
The Sisters of Saint Joseph are committed to working toward active inclusive relationships with the people with whom they serve. They believe that their commitment to collaborate with others helps unite all persons to God and with one another. Nearly nine hundred Sisters of St. Joseph serve in “any good work” across nineteen states as well as overseas. Sisters are involved in education at all levels from pre-school through university. They work in diverse forms of spiritual and pastoral ministry, serving in parishes, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes. They are involved in giving retreats and spiritual direction as well as administering religious education, diocesan offices, tutoring, literacy services, and housing projects. They participate in lobbying and other efforts to effect systemic change for peace and justice at the national and international levels. Sisters are attending also to modern-day epidemics as they serve persons with AIDS and those chemically addicted. At the same time, the sisters have widened their Congregational family to include SSJ Associates in Mission, a group of lay women and men who share in the sisters’ mission through prayer and ministry.
Relationships are central to the spirituality and mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Norwood-Fontbonne Academy’s curriculum is directly influenced by this spirituality. Students are taught that they are loved by God who longs for a meaningful relationship with them. Through the religion curriculum, experiences of prayer and liturgy, and the integration of the SSJ mission across NFA’s curriculum and programs, students learn how to develop unity and care with one another and all peoples. NFA’s Service Learning curriculum, in particular, reflects the SSJs’ commitment to seek out relationships with others in need. Outreach at NFA is not about distribution rather it is the expression of relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph first came to Philadelphia in 1847 and then to Chestnut Hill in 1858. Currently they sponsor three educational institutions: Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, and Chestnut Hill College. NFA enjoys a close relationship with both the “Mount” and the College.