A Mission Born From Revolution

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph was originally founded in Lyon, France following the French Revolution. Today, this is our mission: 

Fontbonne, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, is an independent, Catholic early college for young women. Fontbonne fosters Gospel values and educational excellence. This inclusive community embraces diversity in many forms. Through the values of respect, responsibility, reconciliation and reverence, Fontbonne promotes growth in spirituality, scholarship, and leadership of young women in the changing world.


Fontbonne takes its name from Mother St. John Fontbonne, a woman of faith and courage who re-established the Sisters of Saint Joseph in France after its suppression during the French Revolution. 

Under her bold leadership, the first Sisters came to the United States in the early 1800’s. When they arrived in Boston, the Congregation taught in Archdiocesan parochial schools, where they worked with boys and girls of diverse backgrounds and abilities. 

The Sisters also began their own ministries across the city. One of the ministries they carefully developed and nurtured became Fontbonne. 

Fontbonne Academy opened its doors in 1954 on its current Milton campus. As it remains to this day, the Sisters envisioned it as a Catholic high school for remarkable girls. This school would focus on furthering the Sisters' charism of reconciliation, unity and non-violence through progressive academic programs, spirituality, and dynamic co-curricular activities. 

Today, Fontbonne teaches more than 300 girls from more than 40 cities and towns across Greater Boston and the South Shore.