Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cardinal Seán & Sisters of St. Joseph at Bethany

Last Sunday Cardinal Seán O’Malley visited our sisters, other residents, and staff at Bethany Health Care Center. I believe that this visit was the result of conversations with Cardinal Seán during the evening of prayer we offered in celebration of the Year for Priests back on May 17. See May 19, 2010 post for details of this visit. There is an extensive slide show on our Boston CSJ website with many pictures from Cardinal Seán's visit. Our website also has a slideshow about our May 17 celebration with the priests.

Check out this week’s blog post of Cardinal Seán to read about and see some pictures of his visit. At the end he mentions that some of the sisters are 100 years old. Here is one of the sisters who will be turning 100 shortly. Doesn’t she look at least 20 years younger?  

One of our sisters who will soon turn 100
ad multos annos!
Sister Jacquelyn, Bethany's CEO, with Cardinal Seán
Two staff members with Cardinal Seán
Back in September 2009 Bethany Health Care Center received its 12th consecutive year of deficiency-free ratings from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) when measured against over 500 DPH standards of operation. Then in January 2010 Bethany scored in the top 11 nursing homes in the country, as reported by U.S. News & World Reports which ranked America’s Best Nursing Homes. 

I invite you to visit BHCC’s website to see all the wonderful things going on. The news section has summaries of some of the news coverage of Bethany’s stellar ratings over the past decade. This is due to a lot of hard work, vision, commitment to the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph by the administration and staff of BHCC.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sisters of St. Joseph Summer Snippets

I've been out and about taking pictures during the past couple of weeks. I thought I'd post a few. The ones of our Retreat Center in Cohasset and Weston Priory are a meditation in themselves.  
A view of the porch and ocean at St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset

The the ocean throuhg the majestic pillars on the Reteat Center porch.
It's a beautiful place to pray on a summer day.

The ocean beckons
One more picture from our Retreat Center porch.
I spent several days at Weston Priory and celebrated the Feast of St. Benedict with the brothers at the priory.
Then there's the bird house by the pond at Weston Priory.
I've photgraphed this in every season.
A close up of the apple tree where the bird house "lives."
Weston Priory's pond. It's the motif #1 of the Priory.
Some evenings there's even a rainbow over the mountain.

Last Friday I was asked to video tape a conversation between Sister Anita and Sister Pat. Anita is a novice from New York. Pat is the sister who translated Nuns Without Cloister that I wrote about in an earlier post. Pat has extensive knowledge about our sisters lives during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Anita had some wonderful questions about the connections between community life then and our life today. It was an exciting conversation.
Enough of summer so far...I'm headed for retreat on Sunday. I'm looking forward to the week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Casserly House Summer Camp-a glimpse

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Casserly House is a  ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, the mission of Casserly House is to be a living presence in the Roslindale neighborhood, one that fosters unity of people with one another and with God. Casserly House's motto is "Rooted in Boston, Open to the World."

Each summer Sister Annie coordinates a camp for young people in the neighborhood. The theme this year is The Ocean. All the activities: reading, crafts, field trips, computer research, and more center around the ocean. Last week participants visited George's Island in Boston Harbor. This week they will explore a tidal pool in New Hampshire. But not before each camper has researched what they will be seeing and experiencing. Last week and this week I stopped by to take a few pictures. A number of our sisters and associates volunteer to help with the Casserly House Summer Camp. A few of the sisters and associates who were around on the days I visited are pictured here. I'm sure more will soon be available on the Casserly House Website.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nuns Without Closter: CSSJs in 17-18th Century France

I'm about half way through Nuns Without Cloister,  a book that I think will be very interesting for Sisters of St. Joseph, associates, and agrégées throughtout the world. This book was written several years ago but the English translation has only recently been published and made available. Those who have participated in the Bearers of the Tradition Institute over the years will be familiar with much of the content. If you have traveled to France and visited the cities, towns, and little villages where the Sisters of St. Joseph originated, you also enjoy this book.

The following is excerpted from the back cover:

Nuns Without Cloister explores one of the first and most innovative among the non-cloistered women's congregations established after the Council of Trent. Under the aegis of a Jesuit missionary, the first Sisters of St. Joseph envisioned a direct role for religious women in the secular society of mid-seventeenth century France. This book opens perspectives on the sisters’ success and the introduction of creative variety in their lives in country parishes or in the urban orphanages, hospitals, and reformatories for fallen women of the ancien régime [the system of government in France before the French Revolution].
Sisters of St. Joseph preceding the French Revolution established a paradigm for the active, apostolic women’s congregations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that supplied the workforce behind Catholic schools, colleges, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. In researching them, Nuns Without Cloister addresses a little understood but central dimension in the early modern foundations of contemporary Catholicism.

Marguerite (Sister Thérèse) Vacher, CSJ, has been involved in research, teaching, and writing on the origins of the Sisters of St. Joseph since 1965 and holds a Doctorat d’Histoire moderne from the Université Lumière Lyon 2. She resides in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
I admit you won't find this on the NY Times best sellar list anytime soon and it's not exactly light "beach reading!" But it is an in-depth resource which includes recent research and scholarship. The book is available on the Barnes and Noble website. It's also available on Amazon where you can even search the table of contents and read the introduction, preface, and other portions of the text.

If you have already read Nuns Without Cloister, please add your comments. If you have not read it, consider it for summer reading!