This small plot on the grounds of the Mission of Nombre de Dios contains the graves of six of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph in St. Augustine. In 1866, eight Sisters arrived in St. Augustine from their Motherhouse in France. Their mission was to teach the children of slaves freed as a result of the Civil War. These first Sisters lived and taught from a house on Aviles Street. In 1874, they opened St. Joseph Academy for white students and in 1898, St. Benedict the Moor School opened for black students. Cathedral Parish School opened in 1916. St. Benedict the Moor School closed in 1968 when Florida schools became integrated, but both St. Joseph Academy and Cathedral Parish School continue to thrive.
The Sisters buried here are:
- Miss M. Aloysia Hanlon who died September 27, 1882.
- Sister Mary Monica who died March 29, 1884.
- Sister Mary Loretto Cleason who died in 1885.
- Sister Joseph Adeline Lierre who died November 2, 1887.
- Sister Patricia Corr who died September 24, 1889.
- Sister Mary Alexis Farley who dies July 16, 1890.
The plaque posted behind their plot states:
Following the civil war, the Sisters of St. Joseph came to St. Augustine to teach the liberated slaves. Interred in this holy ground are six members of their congregation.
References and Resources:
- Father Miguel O’Reilly House Museum. Online at http://www.oreillyhouse.org
- Sisters of St. Joseph. Florida Community History: online at http://www.ssjfl.org/history.htm.