On January 1, 2015, the Sisters of St. Joseph established the Sisters of St. Joseph Mission & Ministries Foundation as the fundraising and grantmaking arm of the congregation. While the primary work of the SSJ Mission & Ministries Foundation is fundraising, its fundamental purpose is uniting with community members to advance the SSJ mission for generations to come.
The Sisters have been engaged in fundraising since their earliest days (see link to related story). That’s how every SSJ ministry—from hospitals and schools to social services—has come to be. But today, the Sisters believe a different model — a charitable trust — will better serve the needs of the Congregation and its mission-based works. The SSJ Mission & Ministries Foundation, an independent 501(c)3, was established with funds the congregation received when it relinquished sponsorship of Saint Vincent Hospital.
“When we knew we would receive a substantial payment from Highmark for the release of Saint Vincent, the Congregation studied a number of options,” explained Sister Mary Herrmann, a member of SSJ Leadership in 2015. “We knew we needed to do more than simply set this money aside for the care of our Sisters or for operational needs.”
“We asked ourselves, ‘How do we continue to advance our mission–serve the neighbor without distinction and unite neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God—today and into the future?” she said. “How do we engage more people, foster more relationships, and ultimately, have the resources to fund existing ministries, new ministries, and other community efforts, as well as meet the needs of our Sisters?”
After much research, discussion, and prayerful discernment, the answer was clear: Establish a ministry focused on advancing the SSJ mission, invite Sisters and area leaders to serve on its board, and invite others to join us in ministry.