Celebrating 150 Years
The St. Joseph’s Academy community is celebrating our milestone 150th anniversary through special events for students, alumnae, the Baton Rouge community and our extended SJA family.
If you have not already done so, we invite you to reserve your ticket for the Gala and make plans to join us as our yearlong celebration concludes with this special black-tie event on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
First Day of School Prayer Service
The first day of SJA’s 150th year began with a blessing and ceremonial ribbon cutting to officially open our newest building, the Academy Student Center, home to a multipurpose gymnasium, fitness center, sports medicine classroom and training area. The video below was shared to chronicle the vision and dedication of the Sisters of St. Joseph in their creation and continued stewardship of SJA throughout its 150-year history.
Distinguished Speaker Series
Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, SJA students, faculty and staff have been privileged to hear from several dynamic speakers.
Our very own Sister Helen Prejean, class of 1957, kicked off the 150th Anniversary Speaker Series on September 11, 2018. Sister Helen is a best-selling author and internationally recognized advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. She shared her own spiritual journey with our students, encouraging them to address the injustices in our world. Read more about Sister Helen’s visit here and watch the live feed here.
This year’s school-wide read, An Invisible Thread, was written by best-selling author Laura Schroff, our second guest speaker. Laura visited SJA on October 8, 2018 to share the story of the friendship that became a transformative experience in her life. Read more about Laura Schroff’s visit here and watch the live feed here.
The third speaker in our series was Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, who visited campus on November 15, 2018. Accompanied by her daughter McKenna Kelley, an LSU gymnast, Mary Lou shared the challenges she overcame on her journey to becoming an Olympic champion and encouraged students to make the most of the opportunities they are given. Read more about Mary Lou Retton’s visit here.
Dr. Allen Hunt, best-selling author and senior advisor at Dynamic Catholic Institute, spoke to students at the first assembly of the new year on January 16, 2019. Sharing personal testimony and stories from his life, Dr. Hunt reminded our students of the overwhelming nature of God’s love. Read more about Dr. Hunt’s visit here and watch the live feed here.
St. Joseph’s Academy’s 150th Anniversary Speaker Series concluded on February 6 with Mary Matalin and James Carville. Serving as facilitator for the wide-ranging discussion was Pat Carville Hoffman, class of 1973, member of the Academy’s board of directors and one of James Carville’s sisters. Matalin and Carville also talked about the valuable lessons learned in failure as well as the call to public service, public policy and women in politics. Read more about their visit here and watch the live feed here.
Day of Service in Honor of the Sisters of St. Joseph
The mission of the Congregation of St. Joseph drives our Sisters to identify and respond to the unmet needs of our world. In honor of their continual, passionate dedication to serving the dear neighbor and in celebration of the 150th anniversary of their arrival in Baton Rouge, members of the SJA community joined Sisters and lay associates of the Congregation of St. Joseph on Saturday, October 6, in performing acts of service in the Baton Rouge community. Students, alumnae, parents and friends of SJA served at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Students also planned and contributed to a drive collecting critically needed feminine hygiene products and diapers for Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge.
Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sisters of St. Joseph
On October 21, students, alumnae, faculty/staff, friends and associates gathered at St. Joseph Cathedral for a special mass to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Sisters of St. Joseph in Baton Rouge. The newly installed Bishop Michael Duca celebrated the mass, and newly retired Bishop Robert Muench delivered the homily. The mass included a special song written for the occasion by SJA faculty member Hugo Andricain, who served as cantor with Melanie Couvillon ’86. They were joined by an alumnae choir. Read more about the mass here and watch the mass on Catholic Life Televesion here.
St. Joseph’s Academy Day
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. Joseph’s Academy and in recognition of its impact on the young women of Baton Rouge, Governor John Bel Edwards proclaimed November 4, 2018, as St. Joseph’s Academy Day.
Congregation of St. Joseph
On October 22, 1868, four Sisters arrived in Baton Rouge. They had been sent to take over an orphanage that cared for 11 little girls left parentless by the Civil War. Within two weeks, they opened St. Joseph’s Day School in a small, four-room house on what today is known as Seventh Street.
150 years later, St. Joseph’s Academy is a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, where students are educated to be responsible and unifying members of the world community. Here, relationships are formed, bonds are strengthened and knowledge is shared. Faith and wisdom find a home in each young woman all the days of her life.
Sisters at SJA
The Congregation of St. Joseph is a religious community of more than 500 vowed Catholic women and 500 lay associates who live and minister around the world.
We are blessed to have several Sisters of St. Joseph serving our students as full-time faculty and staff:
• Sister Joan Laplace
• Sister Joan Manuel
• Sister Chris Pologa
Learn more about the Congregation of St. Joseph and its ministries.
Commitment to Service
The Academy’s commitment to serving the dear neighbor inspires students through opportunities to serve locally, around our country and throughout our world. In 2017-2018, our students completed 45,000 hours of service, with more than half of the student body choosing to complete more than 50 hours of service.