Using data from qualitative interviews with Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia and primary documents from the congregation’s archives, this paper examines the refocusing of organizational identity for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia in the decades after the Second Vatican Council. I argue that despite not being a missionary community, the congregation possesses a hidden missionary spirit that sisters in the community embraced as they recommitted themselves to urban communities in Philadelphia—especially in the midst of school closures and parish consolidation. In contextualizing the sisters’ local work with needs in Philadelphia and the United States in general, I present a more complete picture of why and how the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia focused on local issues of racial and social justice in the years after Vatican II.


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pp. 29-54
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