Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow - when will it end?

Just about everyone thinks we've had too much snow during the month of January. I somehow thought that a snow"person" would be the one creature who would enjoy the snow. It did seem that way on January 11 when this cheery snow"person" appeared on our neighbors' front lawn
However, this Thursday, as I was looking for spaces -- that didn't exist -- to put the snow from our walkway, I glanced up and noticed the transformation in this once happy snow"person." He [or she] seems to have had enough of this weather and there's more to come!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tell Massachusetts to Make Human Trafficking a Crime

Will Massachusetts Finally Make Human Trafficking a Crime?

Massachusetts is one of only five states in the country that doesn't have a law criminalizing human trafficking. As a result, pimps who recruit children for prostitution, families who abuse domestic workers, and employers who confiscate workers' passports often get off with a slap on the wrist. But all that might change as Massachusetts is finally considering making human trafficking a crime.
Read more at:
Will Massachusetts Finally Make Human Trafficking a Crime?

And sign the petition to support this legislation at:
Tell Massachusetts to Make Human Trafficking a Crime

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Human Trafficking: Selling the Girl Next Door

Our Justice and Peace Coordinator just sent information  regarding a documentary about human trafficking that will air on CNN tomorrow night. It looks powerful. I hope to watch it.

Editor's note on the CNN Justice webpage:  
Hundreds of thousands of girls under the age of 18 are sold as sex slaves in the U.S. In a yearlong investigation, CNN's Amber Lyon reveals the devastating realities of the business of underage sex. Don't miss CNN Presents "Selling the Girl Next Door" this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sisters of St. Joseph: The Women's Table

The Women’s Table, a women-to-women resource center of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, empowers women from all walks of life through education, social support, holistic health, spiritual development and outreach.

Today The Women's Table published the first issue of its e-News Letter. The newsletter is called Heart to Hearth. It can be downloaded from the link below:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Soundings Update & Human Trafficking Awareness Day

The latest edition of Soundings Update is now available on our website at: . This issue has two articles about our of observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I realize this was covered in the previous post however the article on page 2 focuses on the work the contribution of students at Fontbonne Academy toward this prayer vigil.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Human Trafficking Prayer Vigil at Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse

Participants on Cambridge Street during vigil
The vigil began inside and many processed outside

Reporter from Tab speaks with participants
Last week I posted info about our upcoming observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

The Allston-Brighton Tab, a local newspaper came to the event and did a great first page article. The title in the online version is Sisters of St. Joseph's vigil in Brighton raises awareness about human trafficking . It was actually coordinated by the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Boston Unit of LCWR. The article explains that.

A highlight of the day for me was the presence of students from Fontbonne Academy. They are interviewed in the article. They are studying Human Trafficking in one of their classes. But their passion for this issue is taking them far beyond any course requirement.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Discovering the "Dear Neighbor" in a Snowstorm

Today's snowstorm was a blessing in many ways. The opportunity to work from home was gift. We thought we'd be shoveling most of the day. But one of our neighbors just purchased a new snowblower and was quite enthusiastic about testing it around the neighborhood. We also met a new neighbor who just purchased the house behind us and will be moving in with his family in a couple of months. We got to chat with another neighbor across the street. It was a day to slow down and appreciate the simple joys of life.

Today's snowstorm was a blessing in many ways. The opportunity to work from home was gift. We thought we'd be shoveling most of the day. But one of our neighbors just purchased a new snowblower and was quite enthusiastic about testing it around the neighborhood. We also met a new neighbor who just purchased the house behind us and will be moving in with his family in a couple of months. We got to chat with another neighbor across the street. It was a day to slow down and appreciate the simple joys of life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

National Vocations Awareness Week

Sunday, January 9, marked the beginning of National Vocations Awareness Week. Are you asking yourself, "What is God calling me to at this time in life?" Do you know others asking this question? The Catholic Religious Vocation Network has great online resources. As the website explains:
With so many options, it's not easy to discern the best path to live out your Christian calling. Vocation Match was designed to narrow your search. You'll be asked a series of questions that will help you gain insight into your vocation and match you with compatible religious organizations. You may go through the Match, receive your results, and remain in complete control of who, if anyone, is sent your profile.
Vision Magazine's digital edition of the 2011 Vocation Guide is also available at:
The Sisters of St. Joseph information begins on page 164 with a brief explanation of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It continues with contact information for most of the 16 congregations of Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States. We also have an ad on page 16. You are invited to explore these resources and share them with others.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prayer Vigil for Human Trafficking Awareness Day at Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse

The flyer above gives all the details for a prayer vigil happening this Sunday. It's hosted by the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Boston Unit of LCWR and is taking place at our Motherhouse. If you're in the area, please join us in prayer.

Here is an excerpt from the media advisory sent to the local newspaper. The pictures are from the 2010 vigil:
Local Catholic Sisters representing sixteen congregations in the Greater Boston area will gather on Sunday, January 9, 2011, from 1:00-2:00pm at 637 Cambridge St. Brighton, MA, to commemorate the fourth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day. A resolution passed by the US Senate on June 22, 2007 has forever marked January 11th as a day of awareness and vigilance for the countless victims of Human Trafficking across the globe.
Sisters, Associates, and friends commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 2010
Participants are invited to gather outside the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph, for a prayer vigil to raise awareness and pray for an end to human trafficking. All who are concerned about human trafficking are invited to join in this prayer vigil which is coordinated by the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious [LCWR] – Boston Unit.
Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery. While many call it a hidden crime, it exits right here, right now in the Boston area. The goal of the Anti-Trafficking Coalition [ATC] is to raise awareness of the reality of human trafficking both locally and globally and to alert concerned people of good will about how individuals can make a difference in eradicating human trafficking.

2010 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Vigil outside Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, Brighton, MA

Roman Catholic women religious have been key leaders in the national and international movement to stop human trafficking. In the past three years the Boston area ATC has sponsored three symposia attended by well over 200 participants who want to be part of the initiative to end this crime against humanity. Another symposium addressing the issue of Human Trafficking is planned for April, 2011. 
The prayer vigil is free and open to the public.

Sisters of St. Joseph visit to El Salvador

The Soundings Update of 2011 is now posted on our website at

Sister Ann places roses
during the memorial service
This is a three page issue and I was a little worried that some would consider it too long. It's long because of an article from three of our sisters who traveled to El Salvador in December for the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the martyrdom of four Catholic American Churchwomen. I emailed the issue to our sisters, associates, and employees yesterday morning and when I returned from lunch had a very encouraging message from one of our sisters.

In summary what this sister said was:

The memorial stone

I just wanted to say that this edition of Soundings in particular is magnificent!!! I was very touched as I read it and wanted to go on record that I think every member of Congress should have a copy. With so many new members there would be a good chance that some of them will be looking for a "cause" and this may attract them. I feel very strongly about this as I had a friend, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth, who worked in El Salvador and was killed on her way to the airport to drop off some friends. The soldiers kept banging into the jeep she was driving until it turned over and my friend was killed and her friends seriously injured.

I guess we never realize the ripple effect of our words. In this case, I'm happy to say, it was an inspiration.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sisters of St. Joseph Leave France for New World 175 years ago today

Chapel Candles, Fouviere Hill, Lyon, France 
 Today is the 175th anniversary of when the first Sisters of St. Joseph departed from Lyon to come to "The New World." I've attached a short prayer service that was originally written during the Bearers of the Tradition Institute in Concordia, Kansas.

The story of the Sisters of St. Joseph leaving Lyon and eventually arriving in St. Louis is told in a couple of books. Comunidad para el Mundo by Mary McGlone, CSJ, was written primarily to tell the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet's presence in Peru. However Chapter 3 offers a well researched account of this event. Another delightful book that I've just finished reading is titled Like a Swarm of Bees, by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie, CSJ, from California wrote Like a Swarm of Bees. Wikapedia explains that she finished the manuscript shortly before her death in May 2009. Written to fulfil both a prophecy and a promise spoken in 1805 by Abbe Piron of St. Etienne, France, fortold that the Sisters of St. Joseph would increase in number and "like a swarm of bees" spread everywhere. Both books are well worth reading.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sisters of St.Joseph New Year Prayer

Happy New Year! The Sisters of St. Joseph have a long tradition of welcoming in the New Year with a Prayer of Consecration to The Two Trinities. By that we mean the "uncreated Trinity" of Creator, Redeemer, Spirit, and the "created Trinity" of Jesus, Mary, Joseph. In  The R├Ęglements, Jean-Pierre associates a virtue with each person of The Two Trinities. A few years ago I wrote a prayer for our congregation based on this part of The R├Ęglements. It's been adapted here as a greeting for the New Year.

God of inclusive Love,
Christ of Outpouring Love,
Spirit of Communal Love,
breathe in us and among us,
Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates
during the year ahead.

May we move into this new year
with the zeal of Jesus,
a zeal marked by generous courage
and humble self-emptying love,
the fidelity of Mary
who was filled to overflowing with every kind of grace,
and the cordial charity of Joseph
whose service was grounded in relationship with God
and neighbor without distinction.

Rooted in the rich heritage of the women who are our past,
seized by the same Love
that impelled them to be in relationship
with the reality of their changing world and changing times,
inspired by their vision, integrity, and fidelity,
we enter into this year with courage and hope.

Our God, the people of our world, our Earth, and all creation,
call us to embrace ever-widening circles of communion.
May this call impel us to action,
action that stirs up Love,
is connective and inclusive,
and deepens our commitment
to be and become Your people.
                                    By Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, © 2005, updated  1/1/2011