Published on Nov 6th, 2011 by Austin Keith | 0

Celebrating 145 Years of Ministry to God’s People in Florida
Mary Jane Ballou and Cantorae St. Augustine to perform special concert

The Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine arrived in Florida at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1866, answering a call by Bishop Augustin Verot to teach the children of recently released slaves. To celebrate their rich history and service, a special concert will be performed by Mary Jane Ballou and Cantorae St. Augustine at St. Benedict the Moore Mission Church, 86 Martin Luther King Street, St. Augustine, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Cantorae director and creator, Mary Jane Ballou, wanted to honor the sisters in a very special manner and thought that telling their story with song was an appropriate and unique manner. A variety of songs and spirituals will tell the story of eight fearless women religious who set sail from Le Puy, France, to St. Augustine, Fla. “I think every performance should both entertain and educate,” said Ballou, “and this concert will definitely do both.”

“We are grateful to Mary Jane and Cantorae St. Augustine for honoring our 145th anniversary with this unique concert at St. Benedict’s Church where our sisters once taught,” stated Sister Jane Stoecker, general superior.

The concert is open to the public. Admission is free and parking is available next to the church on Martin Luther King Street. Donations will go towards the renovation of Sister of St. Joseph’s Motherhouse Elevator.
The photo above is a picture of the Sisters of St. Joseph at Picolata, Fla. during the 1950s or 60s. On Sept. 2, 1866, eight brave Sisters of St. Joseph stepped off a boat at Picolata, Fla. for the final leg of their journey to St. Augustine. Picolata is located where State Roads 13 and 208 meet, which was a natural place for crossing the river as the St. Johns narrows at this point. For more history on the Sisters of St. Joseph, visit: