One of the essential elements of the historical development of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the 17th century was the presence of a good number of women known as agrégées. They did not make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience but they lived according to the rules of the Sisters of St. Joseph just as the Sisters did. They were recognized by the local people and the local churches as Sisters of St. Joseph. This early practice has been revived in Concordia, Kansas and Springfield, Massachusetts. In January of 2016, Erie, Pennsylvania welcomed six agrégées.

Agrégées are women who commit themselves to active and inclusive love of God and the dear neighbor as expressed in the spirit and spirituality of the charism and mission of the Sisters of Lorren Harbin and Kathy Schaefer make vowsSt. Joseph. They take up their rights and responsibilities of membership in the community through a non-canonical vow of fidelity.