Since their founding in Le Puy, France in 1650, the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph have been dedicated to the empowerment and education of young women. Under the direction of Mother St. John Fontbonne, seven Sisters journeyed from France to America in 1836 to work with deaf children in St. Louis at the invitation of the Bishop of that city. From there, new Congregations of St. Joseph spread rapidly throughout the United States and Canada. The Sisters arrived in Cleveland in 1872. At one point, there were three schools founded by the Sisters in this area - Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, Saint Therese Academy in Lakewood and Nazareth Academy in Parma Heights.
After Saint Therese and Nazareth closed (1949 and 1978, respectively), their alumnae were welcomed into the Saint Joseph Academy community.