Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
http://sj-cluny.org/A-missionary-congregation
      A missionary congregation

A missionary congregation

The congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny has approximately 2600 sisters in 57 countries, 30 provinces, 418 communities across 5 continents, working in education, health, evangelization and social action.
The congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny is an apostolic religious congregation of pontifical right.


At the time of Anne-Marie Javouhey’s death

When Anne-Marie Javouhey died on 15 July 1851, she left 1,000 Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny settled on the five continents. These young sisters carried out a variety of apostolates – education, nursing, and pastoral work, all with special attention to the underprivileged.

The congregation, which the Foundress said was the "work of God" and not hers, continued to expand and diversify. More and more it welcomed sisters of different origins, taking root in new countries.

The first statistics

The first statistics gathered in 1852 showed 142 houses, 73 of which were in France and 1,221 Sisters, 876 in France. Over the years the proportions have gradually reversed, as other novitiates have opened in the young Christian countries.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny in 2015

Now present in 57 countries, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny originate from approximately 60 nations or regions; more than a third of them are Indian and almost one fifth are African and Malagasy.

With a wide variety of languages, cultures and formation, and with a wide range of apostolic commitments that evolve according to the needs of today, the unity of the congregation is maintained by the will of every sister to live as a follower of Christ and according the spirit of the foundress.

In 2015, the congregation has 2,600 sisters in 416 communities. There are 76 novices and 318 sisters in formation with temporary vows.

63 communities in Europe

  • France ... 22 communities
  • Ireland ... 5 communities
  • Italy ... 2 communities
  • Poland ... 1 community
  • Portugal ... 22 communities
  • Scotland ... 1 community
  • Spain ... 9 communities
  • Switzerland ... 1 community

153 communities in Asia

  • India ... 145 communities
  • Nepal ... 6 communities
  • Philippines ... 2 communities

117 communities in Africa and the Indian Ocean

  • Angola ... 30 communities
  • Burkina Faso ... 1 community
  • Cameroon ... 4 communities
  • Congo Brazzaville ... 7 communities
  • Dem. Rep. of Congo ... 3 communities
  • Gabon ... 2 communities
  • Gambia ... 3 communities
  • Ghana ... 2 communities
  • Guinea ... 5 communities
  • Guinea Bissau ... 2 communities
  • Madagascar ... 18 communities
  • Mozambique ... 6 communities
  • Niger ... 3 communities
  • Reunion ... 8 communities
  • Senegal ... 11 communities
  • Seychelles ... 4 communities
  • Sierra Leone ... 5 communities
  • Tanzania ... 2 communities
  • Togo ... 1 community

66 communities in the Americas

  • Argentina ... 1 community
  • Brazil ... 7 communities
  • Canada ... 1 community
  • Cuba ... 2 communities
  • Dominica ... 1 community
  • Grenada ... 2 communities
  • Guadeloupe ... 5 communities
  • Guyana ... 2 communities
  • Haiti ... 13 communities
  • Martinique ... 2 communities
  • Paraguay ... 4 communities
  • Peru ... 11 communities
  • Saint Lucia ... 1 community
  • Saint Pierre & Miquelon ... 2 communities
  • Saint Vincent ... 1 community
  • Tanzania ... 2 communities
  • Trinidad & Tobago ... 8 communities
  • United States ... 4 communities

18 communities in Oceania

  • Australia ... 3 communities
  • Fiji ... 3 communities
  • Rarotonga (Cook Islands) ... 1 community
  • Marquesas ... 1 community
  • New Zealand ... 3 communities
  • Papua New Guinea ... 3 communities
  • Raiatea ... 1 communities
  • Tahiti ... 3 communities

Missionary challenges

Since the foundation of the congregation on 12 May 1807, there has been no lack of trials.

  • Epidemics of deadly yellow fever in Africa,
  • hurricanes and the volcanic eruption, which killed 36 Sisters in Martinique,
  • expulsion of the missionary Sisters from Martinique and later from Guinea,
  • the French laicization laws which caused vocations to plunge in the 144 houses in France and the 137 in the colonies from which religious were banned,
  • revolutions in Portugal and Spain,
  • wars in several countries,
  • unrest in Europe in 1968,
  • and now the aging of Sisters, along with a lack of vocations in some countries…. The list could go on and on!

Reasons to be thankful

And yet we have so many reasons to be thankful:

  • the beatification of Anne-Marie Javouhey on 15 October 1950,
  • the renewal of religious life after Vatican Council II,
  • expansion of our communities thanks to numerous local vocations especially in India,
  • the increasing number of Associates desiring to live their baptismal call according to the spirit of Anne-Marie Javouhey,
  • the devotedness and competence of many lay persons who want to continue the work of evangelization begun by the sisters.

In our General Chapters and Councils of the Congregation there is a growing concern for the Gospel to be taken to the ends of the world and for sisters to be a presence among the poor, a concern that has inspired and guided some of our recent foundations. Sisters are being sent not only from Europe to the other continents but also from one continent to another, south to north, east to west.

Throughout the world, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny continue to seek to live according to the spirit of Anne-Marie Javouhey and it is this spirit that keeps them united and dynamic in the service of the universal mission of the Church.

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