Two Regis students traveled to France in June to experience French culture while connecting with students attending other colleges and universities founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, the religious order that founded Regis nearly 100 years ago. The students will bring their learning and experiences back to campus during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Two Regis students in Le Puy, France
Grace Micklon ‘26 and Callum Park ’26 in the original kitchen of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Grace Micklon ‘26 and Callum Park ’26 traveled to Le-Puy-en-Velay, France, where the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSSJ) was founded in 1650. In Le Puy, students resided at the Centre International St. Joseph, a collaborative project of all CSSJ orders in the world. They toured the Centre's interactive display and the Sisters’ original kitchen, attended mass at Notre Dame du Puy-en-Velay, and spent some time as “peregrinos” as they hiked a portion of the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, a one-thousand-year-old pilgrimage route that spans from Rome to the northern coastal region of Spain.

After spending three days in Le Puy, the group traveled to Mother Saint John Fontbonne's house, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon. In Lyon, they explored the cemetery and visited the grave of Mother St. John, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, Vieux Lyon, and Cathedral Saint-Jean-Baptiste. At the end of each day, the group had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences.

“As we walked in the footsteps of the Sisters, we felt a deep connection to Regis’ founders. The students learned that despite facing adversity throughout history, the Sisters never lost their faith,” said Martha Malinski, executive director of the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph, who accompanied the students on the trip. “Through sharing the Sisters’ history and living by their values, the students can honor their legacy by serving others and striving to make the world a better place.”

Image of Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel
Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel

“In addition to visiting the sites that were important to the history of the Sisters, we toured the city centers of Le Puy and Lyon, going shopping and trying new foods at the local restaurants. A highlight for me was visiting the beautiful Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel, a place that I have wanted to visit ever since I first learned about it in middle school,” said Micklon, a nursing major. “During our daily reflections, we shared our experiences and connected with other students on the trip. I’ll be forever grateful for the friendships I have made and will always cherish the time I spent in France. It was truly a trip to remember.”

The Sisters of Saint Joseph originated with a shared vision to devote themselves to God, live among the people, and help those in need. During the French Revolution, the Sisters were victims amid the turbulent political climate, leading many congregations to disband. Some Sisters were martyred or imprisoned, while others sought refuge and went into hiding. When the Revolution came to an end, the Sisters began to regroup and form new communities. Today, there are approximately 13,000 Sisters of St. Joseph serving in 55 nations.

Since the late 1800s, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston have opened 125 educational institutions in the Boston area. They founded Regis College at a time when higher education options for women were limited. Regis’ mission is to provide an education rooted in the Sisters' values, striving for excellence tempered with gentleness and welcoming all without distinction.