Monday, April 14, 2014

If you don't think human trafficking happens in your zip code, think again.


 
S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution)
If you don't think human trafficking happens in your zip code, think again.

….an outreach program sponsored by the Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious
 
Brighton, MA: On Saturday, April 12, the Boston Unit of the LCWR Anti-Trafficking Coalition hosted a S.O.A.P OutreachCampaign led by its founder, Theresa Flores. This SOAP Outreach was a hands-on, action orientated initiative aimed to broaden awareness of hotel/motel managers and owners of the reality of human trafficking in the Boston Area.

How did the SOAP Outreach Campaign get started? On her worst night, being auctioned off to nearly two dozen men in a dingy, dirty, inner city motel; Ms. Flores recalled the only item that would have reached out to her, a bar of soap with which to clean up. With that in mind, she created SOAP-Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. Since its founding, SOAP, an Ohio based group, has partnered with the non-profit, Be FREE Dayton to distribute thousands of bars of soap labeled with a red band that gives the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (888.3737.888) and key identifying questions to high-risk motels.

During the Boston area SOAP Outreach, over 70 participants wrapped thousands of bars of soap, prepared them for distribution, and traveled to approximately 40 area hotels. While participants packaged the soap, Theresa offered suggestions on how to approach hotel managers and shared her story as a survivor of human trafficking. 100,000 American youth are being trafficked right now. The average age of entry into prostitution in the US is 12-14 years of age. Theresa emphasized that there is no such thing as teen prostitution. If you are under 18, you are a trafficking victim. As the second leading crime worldwide and in US, human trafficking is an epidemic.

In visiting hotels, small groups spoke with hotel managers about human trafficking, offered posters with pictures of young girls in this area who are being trafficked right now, and asked that they make the soap available in their hotel. As participants returned from visiting the hotels, most reported that they were greeted with a combination of respect, concern, a desire to do more, and some disbelief that this actually happens right here. Before and after each SOAP Outreach, Flores compares calls made to the National Trafficking Hotline to report incidents of human trafficking. Usually there is an increase in reported incidents -- an indication that this initiative is making a difference.

SOAP Outreach offers those concerned about human trafficking an opportunity to do something concrete in the ongoing battle to end this crime against human dignity. SOAP is made possible completely through the generosity of supporters. Across the country, SOAP Outreach Campaigns are being offered by schools, churches, and other. For more information about SOAP or to learn how to host a SOAP Outreach Campaign visit: www.traffickfree.com.

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Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious [LCWR]. Members of LCWR are Catholic women religious who are leaders of their orders in the United States. The conference has approximately 1500 members, who represent about 85 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. The conference develops leadership, promotes collaboration within church and society, and serves as a voice for systemic change. Visit their website www.lcwr.org. The Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious includes sixteen Congregations representing over a thousand women religious in the greater Boston area.
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SOAP is an Outreach that aims to distribute thousands of bars of soap with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number and key identifying questions FREE to local motels. Volunteers talk to motel owners and managers and provide them with a quick overview of what is happening to young girls in their hotels. Learn more about SOAP founder, Theresa Flores, and her plight to stop human trafficking by sharing her slave story in the book, The Slave Across the Street. Her human trafficking organization, Traffickfree is focused on building awareness through the S.O.A.P. outreach, speaking at colleges, churches, and more.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Living the Dream: celebrating the Sisters of St. Joseph 140 years of Service in Boston and Beyond



Living the Dream:
celebrating the Sisters of St. Joseph
140 years of Service
in Boston and Beyond

Brighton, MA: In celebration of the Sisters of St. Joseph 140 years of service and presence in Boston, over 350 friends, former students, and supporters attended the first annual Living the Dream dinner held on March 27, 2014, at the Seaport Hotel.  For 140 years, the Sisters of St. Joseph have educated countless students. In the year 2014, they continue with enthusiasm and dedication to respond to the needs of the “dear neighbor” within the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond.
During this event, Margaret and Paul Chisholm were the honored recipients of the Dear Neighbor Award.  Service to all God's people is part and parcel of Margie's and Paul's lives. Their service to others extends beyond their local parish of St. Raphael, West Medford.  Outreach to the people of God is an integral part of their lives as they share in the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph through continued service of the dear neighbor without distinction. The award was presented by Sister Rosemary Brennan, President of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and Sister Adela Rodriguez, the artist who created the award. Earlier in the evening Mike Sheehan, CEO of the Boston Globe and MC for the evening, introduced Sister Adela along with Sisters Rita McCormack, Catherine Ginty, and Pat Andrews who were featured in a newly created video titled Sisters of St. Joseph: In Our Own Words. [click the title to link to the video]

Pauline Fillman, The guest speaker for the evening, touched the hearts of all as she reflected on the various ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph that have reached out to her and her family saying, “Words cannot express how grateful I am to you Sisters of St. Joseph for your belief, faith, and tenacity, even during times of adversity, in carrying out your mission – caring for the dear neighbor. You have offered a helping hand to others and myself through housing and education.”

Pauline’s story is repeated over and over in thousands of lives touched by the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Today, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston provide support for countless individuals in need throughout the Boston area and well beyond. Many sisters, associates, and lay partners volunteer as literacy and citizenship tutors, advocates for survivors of human trafficking, and companions to the aged and infirm. Others provide counseling and spiritual companionship for those who desire to deepen their relationship with God. A few of these ministries include St. Joseph Retreat Center, The Literacy Connection, Casserly House, and The Women’s Table.

This event was co-chaired by John E. Drew and Francis Dillon who coordinated an enthusiastic committee of volunteers. Due to their hard work and the generosity of many friends and supporters, this event raised $625,000 to support the retired sisters and enable the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph to grow as they continue to respond to the needs of the “dear neighbor.”  Learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph and their ministries at www.csjboston.org .

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph: March 25-Anniversary of Arrival in St. Louis

Sisters of St. Joseph arrive in St. Louis, MO
Log Cabin where first sisters lived, prayed,
and taught.
Happy March 25. On this day in 1836 our first Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in St. Louis after a long journey from France. On our website, you can download a prayer that recalls that event and looks to our future at: http://www.csjboston.org/pray-with-us/prayer-in-the-cssj-spirit/

These women, who made it possible for Sisters of Saint Joseph to grow and flourish in America, were zealous women. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph's Day: A special feast for all Sisters of St. Joseph!

Each year I received a number of requests for this prayer. So here it is again. But this year, please note the information about the image of Joseph below the prayer.
Happy St. Joseph's Day to all!
 
Prayer to Saint Joseph

 God of Great Love, Your Son,  Jesus, was nurtured by St. Joseph.
May we look to Joseph as our model of justice, gentleness, and humility.

 May we, with Joseph, nurture the life of Christ in our lives and in the lives of others
uniting all people and all creation with God and with one another.
 May Joseph’s life inspire us to be a hopeful, healing presence within our world.

Amen.

Joanne Gallagher, CSJ
 
 
 
Joseph Painting:  by Eliseo Rodriguez, uncle of Adela Rodriguez, CSJ. . As a pupil of “Los Cinco Pintores”, who founded the famed artist colony in Santa Fe, Eliseo Rodriguez is often know as the “sexto pintor.” He is best known for reviving the Hispanic art tradition of straw applique. This painting came from Christo Rey Convent, Santa Fe, NM and is now on display as part of a three-part panel in St. Joseph Hall, Framingham, MA.
 
 
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Promise of Francis: Casserly House & Sisters of St. Joseph, featured in Globe Magazine

We are happy to share that Nancy Braceland, CSJ, and Casserly House http://www.casserlyhouse.org/ are featured an article by Neil Swidey in this Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine.

Three people are featured: Fr. Walter Cuenin, Mark Mullaney, president of Voice of the Faithful, and Nancy. Nancy's and Casserly House appear in the last segment of the article.


The Promise of Francis: The new pope has gotten worldwide attention with a dramatically different message.

Here's an excerpt from the portion of article about Nancy and Casserly House:

SISTER NANCY BRACELAND leads me down her street and onto a winding path through a low-income apartment complex. A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, she runs the congregation’s Casserly House, a three-decker in Roslindale. The wood-carved sign by the front door reads “Rooted in Boston. Open to the World.” Sister Nancy lives upstairs with two other nuns who have jobs elsewhere to help pay for the house. Working with volunteers and her fellow nuns, Sister Nancy ministers to the needs of the community. In the mornings, they run ESL and citizenship classes for adult immigrants out of Casserly’s first floor; in the afternoons, homework tutoring sessions for neighborhood kids. The Sisters of St. Joseph opened Casserly House in 2000, and by now Sister Nancy has become one of the most recognizable faces in the neighborhood. 

There's a lot more...so follow the link above and read on!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visit the Sisters of St. Joseph Website for our latest news!


You are invited to read our latest issue of Soundings Update at:
 
 
http://www.csjboston.org/news-and-events/soundings-update/soundings/
IN THIS ISSUE: 
Furthering Our CSJ Mission in New Mexico
by Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ

Announcing Volunteers in Mission 2014

Accompaniment and Solidarity: Observers at El Salvador’s Elections— by Judy Swett, CSJA
 
Please note: the Date for Taize Prayer is March 13 [not 20 as listed on page 2] all are welcome!

 

 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph & The Joseph Family Movement & 140th Anniversary Video


You are invited to view the second video of a year-long series which  highlights The Literacy Connection and other ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. Follow the link below to our website where you can view it.
View other Boston CSJ videos on our YouTube channel also accessible through the social media links on each of our website pages.
In this issue:
The Joseph Family Movement -- a presentation with Pat Bergen, CSJ
Announcing the National Catholic Sisters Week: to ignite a movement around the lives and the contributions of Catholic sisters.



 
 
 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sister of St. Joseph moderates interfaith panel on 50th anniversary of Vatican II

One of our sisters, Mary Gowern, CSJ, lives in Louisville, KY, and was interviewed yesterday on local TV about an interfaith panel that she is moderating this weekend.
Watch the brief video at this link.
http://www.whas11.com/great-day-live/video/Sister-Mary-Gowern--240527701.html


If you happen to be in the Louisville area, you might want to participate!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph: Living the Dream Dinner

Join us at the first annual
Living the Dream dinner
Celebrating 140 years of service by
The Sisters of Saint Joseph
of Boston
Proceeds from this event
will directly support
the retired and infirmed.
Save the Date: March 27, 2014
Dinner at the Seaport Hotel, Boston, 5:30-9:00 PM
Register online at:

 
 
For more information, please contact Carol McKean at
781.925.3459 or livingthedream@csjboston.org

Learn more about the Sisters of Saint Joseph at