The Original Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker

Front Row, L to R: Sister Alice Martha, Sister Miriam Patricia, Sister Mary Antonella, Sister Margaret David, Sister Ellen, Sister Raphaella, Sister Mary Rosalie, Sister Mary Thecla, Sister Mary

Back Row: Sister Robert Mary, Sister Angela Francis, Sister Ann Cornelius, Sister Martha Rita, Sister Mary Jean, Sister Agnes Edward, Sister Mary Petronilla, Sister Benedict Joseph, Sister Margery, Sister Francis Edward

Mother Ellen Curran

Born: August 4, 1923

Date of Profession: March 25, 1944

Died: January 17, 2008

Sister Ann Cornelius Curran

Born: February 11, 1922

Date of Profession: March 25, 1941

Died: March 31, 2002

Sister Margaret David Higdon

Born: November 26, 1909

Date of Profession: March 25, 1931

Died: September 3, 2001

Sister Benedict Joseph Fritz

Born: November 24, 1919

Date of Profession: December 8, 1948

Died: February 24, 2002

Sister Miriam Patricia Moynihan

Born: June 11, 1897

Date of Profession: July 19, 1930

Died: April 25, 1978

Sister Alice Martha Barnes

Born: May 25, 1904

Date of Profession: March 25, 1925

Died: May 3, 1993

Sister Anita Marie Stewart

Born: April 1, 1914

Date of Profession: March 25, 1952

Died: December 3, 1997

Sister Mary Antonella Staubach

Born: January 1, 1893

Date of Profession: December 8, 1912

Died: March 27, 1985

Sister Mary Thecla Elder

Born: October 13, 1910

Date of Profession: July 19, 1933

Died: August 30, 1987

Sister Robert Mary Roberts

Born: June 28, 1899

Date of Profession: December 8, 1918

Died: May 22, 1993

Sister Mary Hils

Born: February 27, 1909

Date of Profession: March 25, 1929

Died: June 2, 2001

Sister Mary Jean Naber

Born: October 27, 1901

Date of Profession: December 8, 1926

Died: December 13, 1988

Sister Mary Petronilla Molesky

Born: July 19, 1910

Date of Profession: July 19, 1931

Died: December 29, 2000

Sister Francis Edward Stone

Born: June 7, 1916

Date of Profession: July 19, 1936

Died: January 2, 2010

Sister Agnes Edward Boarman

Born: May 4, 1913

Date of Profession: March 25, 1934

Died: July 27, 2011

Sister Margery Rickling

Born: June 10, 1928

Date of Profession: March 25, 1953

Died: September 17, 2018

A Brave Beginning Amid Great Changes

Our community was founded amid great changes in the Church that occurred after the Second Vatican Council. 

At that time, the liturgy was changing, and so was religious life. 

While many religious congregations welcomed these experiments with great enthusiasm, some religious saw signs of danger.

One such person was our foundress, Mother Ellen Curran. 

As a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, she lamented what she saw as an emphasis away from certain essentials of religious life:

1. scheduled periods of prayer,

2. designated times for silence,

3. a local superior in each community,

4. factual poverty,

5. engaging in only ecclesial apostolates, and

6. the wearing of the habit. 

She often said,  “We were ready and eager to undertake the fulfillment

of a second call to Religious Life:

to follow the traditions of Mother Catherine Spalding and Bishop David;

to emulate their lives of charity for God and His people; and,

to do this in the light of Vatican II and the directions of the Holy See.”

“May God give us courage and unfailing trust in Him!”

Needless to say, amidst the separation there were a lot of

struggles and misunderstandings. 

On June 1, 1973,

the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker

was founded by Bishop Richard H. Ackerman and Mother Ellen Curran

in the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky.    

The Congregation is of Diocesan Right.

As a new congregation in the Church, the Sisters chose the title

“Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker”

because the Church had instituted  the feast of

St. Joseph the Worker just a few years before in 1955. 

Our Patronal feast is celebrated on May 1st.

The Sisters have as their purpose the worship of God

through special devotion of the Holy Eucharist,

and the sanctification of each member through

total consecration to God by means of the evangelical counsels of

chastity, poverty and obedience. 

We strive daily to live our charism through the practice of

the virtues of simplicity, self-sacrifice, charity,

and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church.  

Our community symbol,

a censer,

symbolizes the continuous burning out and

offering up of ourselves in the love and service of Christ. 

In that spirit, each Sister has made her own the community motto: