Villa Joseph Marie High School – Holland, PA
The Sisters of St. Casimir founded Villa Joseph Marie High School in 1932. This private Catholic college-preparatory school for young women is located on fifty-five wooded acres in suburban Holland, PA. The school excels in academics and the Fine Arts and has also shown itself to be a nation-wide champion in athletics.
Villa Joseph Marie defines itself by the special charism of its foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, and by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Modeling Venerable Mother Maria’s belief in a life of faith, love, and service, the dedicated faculty encourages and celebrates the dignity, potential, and uniqueness of each student. A Villa graduate is a Christ-like woman committed to a life of faith and service, a lifelong learner, and an empowered global citizen.
In October 1941, the Sisters of St. Casimir arrived in Argentina, thus fulfilling a dream of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria, who had died the year before. Today the Sisters maintain a presence in Avellaneda (near Buenos Aires).
In Avellaneda, the Sisters’ love and dedication have given rise to a strong Associate program where the people pray with the Sisters and assist them in ministry on a regular basis. Our Sisters minister within the villa, training catechists, assisting with a candle-making enterprise, and providing direct assistance to the people within the villa. Active in the local parish, they provide music ministry to members of the parish, tutor local elementary school students, and are actively involved with religious within the diocese.
Although the Sisters have recently relocated from Cordoba, for many years, our Sisters taught in the parish elementary school, trained catechists, provided pastoral support in the parish, and worked with the women in the villa (barrios) on the outskirts of the city, helping to provide cultural experiences for them, and the other Sister tutors within the neighborhood and in an orphanage.
Nine Sisters live in Chicago: 5 at St. Casimir Center, 2 at Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary Convent, and 2 at Our Lady of Vilna Convent in Bridgeport. These Sisters minister at 2 Catholic schools: St. Clement School and St. John Paul II School; a charter school – Catalyst-Maria Charter School; at Catholic Charities as receptionist; at Holy Cross Hospital; in leadership positions within the Congregation; and the Sisters are actively engaged in local parishes, the Southwest Organizing Project, and the boards of Sinai Health Systems and the Maria Kaupas Center.
Currently, 29 sisters live at Franciscan Village, a senior living community, in Lemont, IL. These sisters continue their ministry through the practice of prayer and presence as they interact with other members of the Franciscan Village community.