This week St. Mary’s Academy celebrated our 130th founding anniversary.  St. Mary’s Academy was founded in 1889 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet as a private high school for young women.  It is the oldest continuously operating Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The six sisters who founded St. Mary’s established a tradition of academic excellence, sisterhood and service to the “dear neighbor.” Our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, continue to show us what it means to serve the dear neighbor and respond to the needs of the times.

Our faculty and staff started off the second semester with a retreat at Mount Saint Mary’s University‘s CSJ Institute, where we learned more about the history of our founders and reflected on how we can continue carrying on their mission.  In an effort to preserve their history, lift up their achievements and inspire the future, the The CSJ Institute at Mount Saint Mary’s University is capturing the spirit and contributions of our sisters on film.  Some of the videos have been shared in a previous blog post.  The videos below have been produced since we last shared the series.  We hope you enjoy learning more about our founders and are as inspired by them as we are!

Learn more about the founding of St. Mary’s Academy here.

Mount Saint Mary’s University has interviewed 55 of our Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ). This video introduces our CSJ Oral History Project and how it is giving us momentum to advance the CSJ commitment to serve all persons without distinction, respond to the needs of the times and prepare fearless visionaries for a just future.

What draws someone into a life dedicated to service? Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet share what inspired them, and describe how they saw religious life as a way to make the greatest difference in the lives of others.

“We’re here for a purpose.” Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet reflect on the power and responsibility of leadership, and how they strive to use their leadership skills to lift others up.

Ever wanted to ask a sister for advice? Listen up! This video features words of wisdom from some of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Los Angeles. Advice like: Try something new. Make mistakes. Be a good listener. And whatever you do, stay active.

Sister Clare Dunn, CSJ, was the first and only Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet to serve in elective office. She served in the Arizona state legislature, assisted by Sister Judy Lovchik. Learn more about how they advocated on behalf of those in need, and served the dear neighbor in public office.

Each year, Mount Saint Mary’s University offers a number of faculty, staff, alums and partners the chance to travel to Le Puy, France, where the Sisters of St. Joseph first formed in 1650. The pilgrimage enables participants to journey alongside CSJ sisters from Los Angeles, learn from CSJ sisters based in France, and take home new inspiration for their work here at the Mount.

Sister Mary McKay, CSJ, shares a story about a serendipitous encounter with another Mount Saint Mary’s alumna — one she taught at the Mount 26 years before.


Watch all of the CSJ Oral History Project videos here:…