History and Milestones
Bold faith, foresight and flexibility characterize the spirit of the Sisters
of St. Joseph of Orange. These characteristics were evident in Le Puy,
France, in 1650, when the sisters first came together to address some
badly overlooked needs in that city. These same virtues were operative
when the Sisters came to Eureka in 1912, with a shoestring budget and
a strong sense of purpose.
Their history records the remarkable adventures of women who began pioneering
ministries in the early physical frontiers of California, women who continue
to pioneer ministries in the social frontiers of modern society. They
have an ability to look ahead, a willingness to adapt to changing needs,
and a faith that operates when human powers fail.
Whatever work they might be about, the Sisters keep one thing in mind:
their mission is to heal brokenness - the alienation we sometimes feel
from God: and the divisions, hurts, and barriers that we create with each other.
This mission of reconciliation is the unique way the Sisters of St. Joseph
of Orange have of helping to bring about the kingdom of God right here and now.
The vision is personalized by each sister's presence in her work and
is made concrete through several theological beliefs and their corresponding values:
- Persons are created by a loving God and are therefore inherently good and
worthy of respect
- Like God, persons are relational and therefore need the support of others
in the community
- Jesus gave new meaning to suffering and death, a meaning that transforms
our own experience of those same realities
- We have been redeemed but are still sinful and limited, and therefore need
forgiveness from one another
- Jesus was a healer of persons who attended to spirit as well as body; therefore
we minister to the needs of the whole person
- Scripture records God's special compassion for the poor, weak and vulnerable,
therefore we are called to this same compassion.