The hard work and values of the Sisters of St. Joseph are at the heart of St. Joseph’s College.
The Sisters of St. Joseph founded the College in 1916, molding it into the place it is today, an institution preparing each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service.
“Our lives as Sisters of St. Joseph are centered on the love of God and neighbor without distinction,” Sister Mary Ann Cashin, C.S.J., said. “This love is marked by gentleness, peace and joy. It is in the community we share that we find the strength, support and courage to speak words of peace and healing to our world.”
Meet four sisters from our College community who share why they joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph:
S. Suzanne Franck, C.S.J.
Why S. Suzanne chose the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation: “I grew up in a family whose Catholic faith was a central aspect of our life. I attended Catholic schools throughout my education and we, as a family, were very involved in activities and events in our parish. Watching the Mercy Sisters I had in elementary school inspired me with their kindness and generosity. In high school, I was taught by Sisters of St Joseph. The witness of compassion, generosity and service they gave, as well as their prayerful manner awakened an interest in me for religious life. Involved in many service activities and retreats in high school, I had the opportunity to spend time with the Sisters and learn more about religious life. The desire for love of God and love of neighbor without distinction was taking root. For me, being a Sister of St. Joseph calls me to live my life in service to all, being attentive to the needs of others, empowered by the Spirit of God and enriched by personal and shared prayer, as well as daily life in the congregation.”
Position: Associate professor of religious studies and director of academic advising at SJC Long Island
Number of years in the order: 42
S. Pat Dittmer, C.S.J.
Why S. Pat chose the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation: “I became a Sister of St. Joseph because they taught me all through school and I was so impressed with their kindness and their relationship to God. I wanted to be just like them.”
Position: Teacher of preschool children at the Dillon Child Study Center and an associate professor at SJC Brooklyn.
Number of years in the order: 53
S. Mary Ann Cashin, C.S.J.
Why S. Mary Ann chose the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation: “My parents were an early and consistent influence in my choice to become a Sister of St. Joseph as their faith was an important part of my growing up and my participation in church gatherings. Another influence was the Sisters who taught me in school. They seemed happy to be with us and took an interest in us beyond the classroom. I was attracted to the happiness they shared together, as well as to their goodness and service. In high school, one of the sisters who taught me had been a missionary in Africa, and her stories and experience inspired me. My father had two cousins who were Sisters of St. Joseph. These early experiences started me thinking that perhaps God was calling me to be a Sister. Once I spoke to my parents and other persons who guided me, I felt that this choice was the right step for me and was the way I would best be the person God desired me to be.”
Position: Assistant professor of Child Study at SJC Long Island
Number of years in the order: 59
S. Marie Mackey, C.S.J.
Why S. Marie chose the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation: “I was first introduced to the Sisters of St. Joseph as a high school student at The Mary Louis Academy and then as an undergraduate at SJC Brooklyn. They were exceptional teachers, intelligent and forward thinking women who modeled for me that a woman could do anything and everything. They, along with other women religious, exemplified what is possible when people come together in a community of faith, fearless and willing to challenge the status quo so that all may live in dignity.”
Position: Director of Young Adult Ministry and Vocational Discernment for the Sisters of St. Joseph, Campus Ministry Director at SJC Brooklyn
Number of years in the order: 23