The Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania are women who affirm their mission of unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.  Moved by the love of the Spirit the Sisters commit themselves to constant response to the ever-changing needs of the world.

The Consensus Statement of the Sisters of St. Joseph – “Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of love and receptive to His inspirations, the Sister of Saint Joseph moves always toward profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction from whom she does not separate herself and for whom, in the following of Christ, she works in order to achieve unity both of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.”

Fortified and Mindful of their mission, the Sisters of St. Joseph choose ministries inspired by the words of their constitutions – “Because of the Congregation’s apostolic commitment, each Sister is called to place her talents and gifts at the service of the Church and of the world for the sake of the Kingdom.”

Throughout the years, the Sisters of St. Joseph have touched the lives of many through their ministries. Today, there are five active SSJ sponsored community ministries, including the SSJ Mission & Ministries Foundation.

SSJ Neighborhood Network

The SSJ Neighborhood Network (SSJNN), founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, provides leadership, advocates for local residents, and partners with the broader community to develop opportunities for both personal growth and neighborhood revitalization.

Saint Mary's Home

Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1884, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie is a non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offering a full range of senior living and healthcare services with on-site amenities that support the active lifestyles of our residents.

St. James Haven

St. James Haven in Meadville, PA is an outreach ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania. In keeping with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s mission of “unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God without distinction”, St. James Haven provides a place of welcome, refuge, food and comfort for homeless men each night.

St. Patricks Haven

St. Patrick’s Haven has provided for the needs of homeless men in the City of Erie since it was founded in 1984 as an outreach of Saint Patrick Parish. In the mid-1990s, it became a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner & Appeal

So Much More than a Meal

Looking back at the last three-and-a-half decades, let’s remember the Sisters’ foresight and the donors’ generosity that inspired the foundation of our Thanksgiving dinner and fund.

Teresa Marie Bohren, SSJ, and Mary Fromknecht, SSJ, answered the call from Peter Lyons to join in a “Friends of Thanksgiving dinner for the poor and lonely.”

Serving 140 guests at the Marketplace Grill on Thanksgiving Day 1988 has turned into an epic annual event in the lives of those we serve.

Following our first dinner, a handful of agencies received the remaining donor gifts after dinner expenses were paid. In 2023, this tradition continues with remaining funds being gifted to over 60-area food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, college-campus stores, and other agencies that feed the hungry every day.

Please help us continue the tradition of providing for others with a  generous gift.

Your gift will not only make a plentiful holiday meal a reality for more than 1,300 individuals but will continue to support our neighbors and those who serve them all year long.

The Sisters thank you and hold you in our prayers, wishing you God’s blessings this Thanksgiving and always.

Prayers & Prayer Shawls

Around our gathered circle, this shawl has passed through praying hands and been blessed by our loving hearts.  May this prayer shawl enfold you in warmth, comfort, and healing peace.  May it warm you, surround you, and ease your suffering; sustaining and embracing in good times as well as in difficult ones. May you be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace, and wrapped in love.

Prayer Shawls are made by a Sister, Associate, or friend of the Sisters of St. Joseph Shawl Ministry.

If you or someone you know would benefit from the love and comfort offered by a special prayer shawl please contact Cathy Fresch at 814-836-4253 or

May God bless you all in your times of need.

Ministries Through the Years