Associates / Companions

Today, lay women and men form small communities to pray together and to share in a common vision and mission, one of transformation in and through love. They are called Associates in some of our community neighborhoods, and Companions in another.

Origins of Associates/Companions of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Along with the first six Sisters, Father Jean Pierre Médaille, a French Jesuit and the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1650, felt that collaboration with lay persons was integral to the Congregation. From the foundation of the Community, lay women were invited to join with the Sisters in a diversity of ways and roles in carrying out a common mission through loving, caring and compassionate service. Some were ‘associates’, partnering with the Community in their service to the neighbour; those committed to living and sharing more intimately in the community life of the Sisters were called ‘agrégées’.

Following the Second Vatican Council (late 1960's), the Sisters of St. Joseph sought to reclaim this associate movement which had disappeared from the early foundation. By 1987 most CSJ communities in Canada formally began to research and re-establish this spiritual partnership with laity as intended by Fr. Médaille.


  • Gather monthly to share faith, support one another in spiritual growth, and experience community among themselves, and with the Sisters when possible. They actively pursue spiritual growth through regular retreats and/or spiritual direction.

  • Live out a spiritual partnership with the Sisters of St. Joseph, supporting each other spiritually and prayerfully in living out a common mission: transformation, communion with all, living inclusive and active love in varieties of ways and services. 

To learn more about becoming an Associate/Companion with the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada, please contact us at the Community site nearest you and ask for the Associates/Companions program contact person.