Who are the Agrégées?
The term agrégée — pronounced ah-gre-ZHEY — comes from the French for “attached to” or “aggregated with.” It is a form of membership in the religious congregation that dates back to the founding in 17th-century France, when Sisters of St. Joseph were either canonically vowed “principal sisters” or so-called agrégée or “country” sisters. 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 at congregations in Boston, Massachusetts, Concordia, Kansas, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Springfield, Massachusetts.
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 St. Joseph. They take up their rights and responsibilities of membership in the community through a non-canonical vow of fidelity.
Below is a video on the history of agrégées made by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.