With head, heart, and hand, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester are engaged in this world. Every day, we strive to teach, heal, and effect change.
Our ministries are shaped by the needs of our neighbors. We do what we can to improve quality of life, whether it's through education, advocacy, social work and health care, pastoral care, or with a warm meal and a friendly smile.
Nazareth Elementary School
A Catholic coeducational school for pre-kindergarten through grade 6 owned and operated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Nazareth Elementary School provides the highest standards of educational excellence, challenging students to develop their own individual gifts, to cooperate rather than compete, and to act with compassion rather than indifference. Students are taught to make choices based on Gospel values and are encouraged from an early age to participate in service to the community.Website »
Nazareth Neighborhood Arts Program
The Nazareth Neighborhood Arts program is an afterschool program seeking to serve the children of the Maplewood neighborhood of the city of Rochester. This neighborhood is home to predominantly African American and Latino families, as well as many newly-arrived refugee families from several different countries. The afterschool program is located at Nazareth Elementary School, centers on experiences in the arts and is open to children ages 7 to 12 . The NNAP is always open to donations of art, music, and reading supplies and materials. Please contact Sister Barbara Staropoli at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Volunteer opportunities CLICK HERE. To see pictures of the program go to our FACEBOOK page!
Founded in 1994 by Sister Diana Dolce, Hope Hall lives up to its name for students and their parents. For children who have been determined to be “difficult or impossible to teach” based on traditional school standards, Hope Hall offers an answer. Specifically designed for children with central auditory processing delays and/or attention deficit disorder, Hope Hall provides a multi-sensory approach to learning. Teachers work with individual students, sharing their enthusiasm, and helping them find their way to learn and excel.Website »
Nativity Preparatory Academy is a co-institutional middle school located in the city of Rochester. The school is based on the successful education model used by the Nativity Miguel Network of schools. The school is co sponsored by the McQuaid Jesuit Board of Directors and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The school serves at-risk youth in the inner city and engages the students in a faith-based, rigorous and challenging academic program in a caring environment. Special emphasis will be given to character building, discipline, cooperation, and service to the community.Website »
Kitchen Table Ministry
The Kitchen Table ministry is located in the southern tier and particularly helps those living in Steuben and Livingston Counties. The ministry’s basic vision is a commitment to sharing life and ministry among the people of this region. Sisters Mary Jean Smith and Myra Monaghan work to develop relationships through visiting people in their homes (around their kitchen tables); participating as fully as they can in the life of the parish and the community; and partnering with many individuals and groups to connect people in need with available resources. To become involved with Kitchen Table Ministry, you may contact Sister Mary Jean or Sister Myra by phone at: 585–384–9679 or email by clicking on the yellow button below.Email »
Saint Joseph’s Neighborhood Center
Saint Joseph’s Neighborhood Center offers more than its name would imply. Here, medical and dental care is provided for the uninsured and the underinsured. And, beyond the physiological caring, is spiritual and mental nurturing. Truly a place for everyone, the Center offers tutoring, alcohol, drug and family counseling, special youth programs, even GED preparation.Website »
St. Joseph’s Northside
The ministry was started by Sister Peg Brennan in 2005 to help people in the northwest part of the city of Rochester. The Lyell Avenue area is a neighborhood dealing with many serious issues among them: poverty, drug dealing, prostitution, and violence. Sister Peg provides a safe haven for neighbors to come have a meal, connect with others, and learn about resources that could help get their lives on track. To become involved with St. Joseph's Northside, you may contact Sister Peg Brennan, Director, at 585–458–3358 or email by clicking on the yellow button below.Email »
St. Martin’s Place
In years past, St. Martin’s Place might have been called a soup kitchen. And the truth is hot meals and friendly faces create a temporary haven for many poor and homeless men, women and children. But, St. Martin’s is so much more. Here, people receive, along with their meals, hope, encouragement, and even training that could lead to employment. To become involved with St. Martin's Place, you may contact Sister Clare Ehmann, Co Director, at: 585–325–6500 or email by clicking on the yellow button below.Email »
Morningstar is a foster care home founded to meet the needs of children with exceptional physical and/or emotional needs who would be difficult to place in other homes. All children are welcome, whatever their ethnic, cultural, or spiritual background. They are nurtured in a healthy, empowering, respectful, safe and loving environment, which is developmentally appropriate for each individual. To become involved with Morningstar, you may contact Sister Jeanne Morreall, Director, by phone at: 585–458–8339.
SSJ Volunteer Corps
Founded in 1996, the Sisters of Saint Joseph Volunteer Corps provides a faith formation experience, fostering the relationship between young people and the needs of their communities. Several times each year, high school and college students are welcomed by the Sisters at the St. Boniface Convent to share their home for a week of volunteer service, community living and prayer, and fun. The experience of a week resonates for a lifetime as students share this extraordinary opportunity to live in religious community and to learn about society, service, and themselves. For a year long experience, please CLICK HERE.Email » Brochure Download »
Sisters Care was founded in 1993 to provide service to the elderly of Monroe County regardless of race, religion, sex or income. With a focus on helping the elderly maintain their independence, dignity and self-esteem, the Sisters offer spiritual support, companionship, transportation, light housekeeping, and respite for primary caregivers.Website »
Daystar, a special place for vulnerable infants and children up to age three, provides foster care and childcare, respite care, advocacy, and family support in a safe and stimulating home environment. A complete medical childcare service, Daystar enhances each child’s growth and development while offering their families needed support. The staff includes a neonatal nurse, the Sisters, trained childcare providers, and many dedicated trained volunteers.
Bethany House was founded in 1977. A Catholic worker house of hospitality, Bethany House provides shelter for homeless women and children without expecting payment through Social Services; all of their support is through donations. The Sisters of Saint Joseph, have been connected with Bethany House for several years, many Sisters volunteer there regularly and Sister Laura Bishop is a past co-director of this wonderful ministry.To become involved with Bethany House, you may contact Director Donna Eckart at: 585–454–4197
As Sisters of Saint Joseph prayer is one of the most significant parts of our lives. We consider prayer a ministry. If you or a friend is in need of our prayerful support, click on Prayer Requests at the top of the screen and send us your request. Your intentions will be placed in the Book of Prayer outside our Chapel door. We will remember you request during Mass and prayer throughout the day.
The position of Pastoral Administrator was created by the Diocese of Rochester in 1994. This position, traditionally held by a priest pastor, carries responsibility for the daily operation of a parish, including worship, sacraments, finances, maintenance, and planning. Currently, there are 17 Pastoral Administrators in the Diocese of Rochester, two of them Sisters of Saint Joseph: Sisters Joan Cawley and Karen Dietz. Pastoral Administrators are appointed by the Bishop for a term of four years. The term may be renewed twice for a maximum service of twelve years.
SSJ Gift Shop
The SSJ Gift shop is located at the SSJ Motherhouse 150 French Road, Rochester, NY. Many of the items are handmade by sisters and volunteers. The Gift Shop sells baptismal and communion gifts, bibles and other religious books, fine jewelry, home decor, cards and much more. For more details CLICK HERE.
Mostlywood is an artisan's work shop located at Cobblestone Springs Interdenominational Retreat Center in Dundee, New York. Here, Sister Eileen Curtis, custom builds book cases, tables, cabinets and many other fine pieces of woodwork. To take a closer look at Sister Eileen's work and learn more about special orders, please CLICK HERE .
Our mission in Brazil was founded in response to the call made by Pope John XXIII for religious communities to establish missions in South America. In 1964, Mother Agnes Cecilia Troy sent five Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester to Mateira and São Simão, Brazil.
Today there are eleven Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester in Brazil, eight Sisters from the United States and three Sisters from Brazil. They are educators, healthcare providers, counselors, and pastoral agents. Since their arrival in Brazil, our Sisters have strived to walk with the people they serve – understanding that we have as much to receive, as we have to give. The Sisters in Brazil have a website in Portuguese. To learn more, please go to isjrochester.com.br
In 1940, five Sisters of Saint Joseph departed for Selma, Alabama to work with and on behalf of African Americans in that area. Soon after their arrival, our Sisters opened a much needed school, helped to open and operate an 85-bed hospital, established a nursing school, and founded a home for the aged.
After integration in the late sixties, these facilities were no longer needed and our Sisters moved into other areas of ministry – still focused on the needs of the rural poor. Today, three Sisters continue the tradition of outreach in Pine Apple and Vredenburgh AL, where they also run an after school tutoring center and an adult day care center.