Shortly after the Civil War, Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid asked the Sisters of Saint Joseph to help establish a system of parochial schools in the newly formed Rochester Diocese. The congregation responded by opening Nazareth Academy in 1871 and Nazareth Hall in 1884, both named for the town where Jesus spent his youth.
The histories of the Nazareth Schools clearly demonstrate the Sisters of Saint Joseph’s unwavering commitment to providing quality Catholic education to all children regardless of faith heritage, ethnicity, or financial circumstances. For nearly 140 years — through times of prosperity and depression, peacetime, and world wars — Nazareth has responded to the times.
With a deep appreciation for the past, the Sisters of Saint Joseph continue to look to the future. In 2010 the Nazareth Schools partnered with The Aquinas Institute to form the Aquinas Institute-Nazareth Schools System, beginning a new chapter in the history of the Nazareth Schools.