CSJs Share Stories for Immigration Reform


Sister Ida Berresheim, Congregational Leader Sister Catherine McNamee and Justice Coordinator Associate Diana Oleskevich present immigration stories to Amber Whittington, constituent services representative for Representative Russ Carnahan.

In 1836 six Sisters of St. Joseph journeyed to America from France, laying down roots in the small village of Carondelet, Missouri. From these humble beginnings as immigrants, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have spread across the nation, as well as migrating to Japan, Peru, Chile, Central America and Uganda.

Not only are the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet a product of immigration, they have also been influenced by working with migrating people, who have shown us where broken systems need to be changed.

To honor this connection to immigration during the congregation's 175th anniversary celebration in July, held at the motherhouse in St. Louis, 400 sisters, associates and partners in mission spent time focusing on the issue of just immigration reform. In preparation for this event, many sisters and associates wrote stories about their own personal experiences with immigration, which were hung in the courtyard as a testament to the journeys that connect us as a people living in a nation rooted in immigration.

immigration stories

Immigration stories hang in the courtyard of the St. Louis province motherhouse during the 175th anniversary celebration in July.

On December 8 and December 12, representatives of the Sisters of St. Joseph delivered these stories to the offices of Congressman Russ Carnahan, Senator Claire McCaskill and Senator Roy Blunt, as a way to voice the sisters' support of just immigration reform and to ask the representatives that they continue to work toward a solution that honors the dignity of all people.

President Obama will also be sent a packet, including a cover letter describing the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, thanking him for his campaign pledge calling for comprehensive immigration reform and reiterating his commitment in the 2011 State of the Union Address.

Learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph's work for immigration reform by reading this statement.


Justin Schutte, constituent services representative for Senator Claire McCaskill, listens to Sister Ida Berresheim share her experiences working in border ministry in El Paso. Learn more about Sister Ida's work by watching a short You Tube video.


Diana Oleskevich and Sister Ida Berresheim speak with Emily Romines, office manager for Senator Roy Blunt, about just immigration reform.

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