The foundress of the Sisters of St. Casimir, an order of Catholic nuns headquartered in Chicago, Mother Maria’s goal was to establish an East Coast retreat house and school for young women near the order’s birthplace in Scranton, PA.
The Sisters purchased a 203-acre working farm in Holland, which at one time had been home to the Cornell Family of Bucks County, and worked to transform it into Villa Joseph Marie High School.
For more than 25 years, Villa operated out of the existing buildings on the Cornell Farm – namely, Maria Hall and Regina Hall, which provided classroom space as well as boarding space for the students and the Sisters who taught them. The school building in use today was constructed in the late 1950s.
A premier college-preparatory school for young women, Villa is embarking on another major upgrade to its facilities over the coming year – the addition of a state-of-the-art, 600-seat auditorium, and the installation of new classroom spaces in St. Joseph’s Hall, which formerly housed a nursing home.
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the project will take place at 1:00pm, immediately following the celebratory Mass, on September 10th.
Then, members of the Sisters of St. Casimir, many of Villa’s 4,000 alumnae and 400 current students, parents, staff, and other family and friends will celebrate Villa’s remarkable history and exciting future with a free picnic, featuring catering by Christine’s of Yardley, Alumnae activities, school tours, children’s games, and a biergarten.
Members of the Villa community who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by September 3rd at www.vjmhs.org/anniversary.
PHOTO CAP: Generations of Villa girls will be returning to campus to celebrate the school’s 85th anniversary in September.