Sister school celebrations

As STA’s sister school, St. Joseph’s Academy, celebrates their 175th anniversary this year, we remember how none of this would be possible without the original sisters, the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet.


St. Joseph’s Academy students represented 175 years of their school at the Kirkwood parade. photo courtesy of Emily Bauwens

by Zoe Butler, Social Media Editor

Around 180 years ago, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet made the long journey from Lyon, France to St. Louis, MO after a request from the bishop of St. Louis to start a school for deaf-mute children. Once they arrived, they formed the St. Joseph’s Institute for the Deaf, and a few years later, St. Joseph’s Academy, one of St. Teresa’s current sister schools, was started. Not too long after that, in 1866, sisters came to Kansas City to build and grow St. Teresa’s Academy.

This year, St. Teresa’s isn’t the only school celebrating the beginning of their school, with the roots from the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet. St. Joseph’s Academy (SJA), one of STA’s many sister schools, is celebrating their 175th anniversary.

The phrase “sister school” is spoken of often at STA, and STA president Nan Bone reemphasizes what that entails. According to Bone, St. Teresa’s has a “sister school” bond with another school if both schools were founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet. STA is currently sister schools with around 13 other educational institutions across the country and across the world. Bone says that over these past couple of years, many of the sister schools have been in contact with each other more than ever.

“It’s been so amazing that I’m so sad we haven’t been doing it for a very long time,” Bone said.

Since the St. Joseph sister schools are so scattered around the world, Bone feels that it is sometimes hard to believe just how similar the schools are.

photos compiled by Zoe Butler

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“You would think they are exactly alike,” Bone said. “They love the Sisters of St. Joseph, they have the same mission and it’s college prep schools of excellence.”

Among these many similarities is the different ways that STA and SJA are celebrating their anniversaries. Just like how St. Teresa’s had a 150th surprise birthday party for the students, St. Joseph’s had a similar celebration called Angel Fest. According to SJA junior Anissa Bernardez, Angel Fest was a day the SJA community and friends gathered for activities including pony rides, face painting and more.

“It basically was a day celebrating our anniversary and inviting alums and prospect students to the campus to participate in fun activities,” Bernardez said.

Both STA and SJA have also made books to commemorate the history and memories of the schools. St. Joseph’s book is written by SJA alumni, Jeanne Wilson from the class of 1975. Both schools have also been advertising the anniversaries through things like billboards, banners and logos both across campus, and around the city.

“Almost everything we have received this year is marked with the common phrase ‘celebrating 175 years’ below the St. Joe’s logo,” SJA junior Julia Rowan said. “Whether it’s on the numerous tee shirts for clubs, retreats and even our uniform. We are all constantly reminded of the 175 years of students who have gone before us at St. Joe’s and the way we are part of such an amazing legacy of value-driven women leaders.”

As the administration from the St. Joseph sister schools talk more, the realization of the similarities in our beliefs and the way we go about our lives grows stronger. When Bone was talking with the other school’s administration, they complimented the lace design on Windmoor. No one else would know that the lace is significant, because in France, the sisters made their money through making lace. We are all different schools with one thing in common: the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet. When we look at how similar everything else about the schools are, it proves how everything we do stems from those sisters.