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Mother St. John Fontbonne was born in Bas-enBasset, Haute-Loire, France on March 3, 1759. She entered the Sisters of St. Josephs in 1778 and became Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent in Ministrol in 1785. In 1836 Mother Fontbonne sent 8 Sisters to the U.S. to found the first American order. She died in France on November 22, 1843 at 84.