Founded in 1954 in the spirit of St. Joan Antida Thouret and the tradition of the Catholic faith, St. Joan Antida High School has served the educational needs and life aspirations of young women for nearly 70 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
On September 16th 1932, the first Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida arrived in Milwaukee to begin their ministry. They began working at St. Camillus.
A year later, eight more Sisters arrived to begin their work with Italian immigrants in Third Ward at Our Lady of Pompei Church. They had the dream to continue the work of St. Joan Antida by building a school for young women.
On September 15, 1954, St. Joan Antida High School opened its doors to the young women of Milwaukee. Starting with just 45 students, nine classrooms, and only six staff members, our school has grown to graduate more than 5,000 young women right here in Milwaukee.
St. Joan Antida High School expanded its footprint even further in 1966 by growing west along Ogden Street, adding a full gymnasium and theater, languages labs and an art room.
The heritage of SJA is richly threaded with a continuous celebration of cultural diversity, academic achievement and Catholic values. Educational programs and co-curricular activities have continued to evolve and develop throughout the years to provide young women with an education that prepares them for success.
The Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida (SCSJA) are an international community founded on April 11, 1799 by Jeanne Antide Thouret.
The Foundress of the SCSJA Community was born Jeanne Antide Thouret on November 27, 1765 in the little village of Sancey, in eastern France near the Swiss border. In Italy she is called Giovanna Antida, in the USA, Joan Antida, and in South America, Juana Antida. The name is pronounced many ways, but the woman was one – one in her great faith, deep prayer life and unswerving love of the poor.
Jeanne lived through the terror and chaos of the French Revolution as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris until all religious congregations were dissolved for many years. Jeanne returned to her native area and, after some years, on April 11, 1799 opened a free school for girls, then a pharmacy and a soup kitchen. Her simple response to the needs of her people for education, food, medical care, faith instruction and worship was the birth of the SCSJA Religious Community. In addition to the three vows all religious take, SCSJA also take a fourth vow of Service to the Poor. There are approximately 2,500 Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida in 27 countries including Egypt, Brazil, India and Italy to name a few. There are currently 28 Sisters serving in the United States.
It was Jeanne Antide’s desire
to cross the ocean and go to the ends of the earth if God wanted it."
St. Joan Antida High School is the only school mission of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida in North America.
We prepare our young women to be as strong and determined as Saint Joan Antida Thouret and the Sisters of Charity, so our students will forge their own paths to success in a world that needs their gifts and wisdom.