Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weaving Relationships

In my introduction to this blog I explained that there are 16 congregations of Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S. and even more throughout the world. In the U.S. there are several regions. My Boston Congregation is part of the Atlantic Region which also includes congregations coming from Winslow, ME, Springfield, MA, West Hartford, CT, Brentwood, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Saint Augustine, FL. A couple of years ago an Atlantic Federation Core Committee began meeting. I’m one of the Boston sisters on that committee. We met today in Holyoke, MA, at the Motherhouse of the Springfield sisters. Some of the committee joined us via conference call.

Over the past two years we’ve had a series of three-day gatherings called “Weaving Relationships.” As the title suggests, this is not a workshop or conference. It is an opportunity for sisters to explore and share the joy, wonder, and gift of our charism. We believe that relationships are core to our living and so these gatherings are to deepen our connections with one another. This is a picture of a table centerpiece from one of the gatherings.
The gatherings have been very successful. Today we assessed the original goals of this committee which is to enhance the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition, we want to do this in way that fosters inter-congregational relationships among Sisters of St. Joseph in the member congregations. It seems as if these opportunities to come together have been a huge success. By April, almost 200 sisters and associates will have participated in one of seven of these gatherings.

Because these gatherings received such a positive response, we’re looking at what kinds of opportunities we might offer next year. A lot of good ideas were generated and we all left with “homework” that will move this forward.

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