Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sisters of St. Joseph-April 27 Soundings Update

The April 27, 2011, issue of Soundings Update is available at:

In this issue:
On another note: A reader of this blog was concerned that someone posted an unwanted picture on my previous blog post. Perhaps I should have explained that the statue pictured in the previous post was given to me by a former student who was part of a service immersion retreat to Peru a few years ago. She purchased it while there because she knew of my Good Friday experiences in Mexico. Two of our retreat pilgrimages to Mexico happened to occur during Holy Week. Both times we joined with the people in one of the colonias for Stations of the Cross. 

We processed through the streets where parishioners had set up shrine-like places outside their homes to designate the stations. After we prayed at each station, a different group from the parish was invited to carry the cross to the next station -- men of various professions, mothers, older women, children, youth, etc. They carry it laying flat as pictured in the little statue. Sometimes they even carry a statue of Jesus in a glass casket.

At the last station they invite "las mujeres religiosas" to carry the cross into the church where the stations conclude. The Mexican sisters with whom we were staying insisted that I join them. It a very powerful experience of prayer for me to join with women religious from throughout Curnevaca, Mexico, for this sacred moment.

las mujeres religiosas during the Good Friday 2003 Stations of the Cross in Cuernavaca, MX
These are two pictures of the Via Cruz in Cuernavaca in 2003. There's not a good picture of the cross because it would have been intrusive to try and barge through the procession. statue is not of the seven dwarfs as someone suggested. In fact, it commemorates a sacred and deeply prayerful moment. I've since learned that this is the way the cross is carried in procession on Good Friday throughout Mexico, Peru, and all over Latin America.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day & Good Friday -- an unusual convergence

At our Motherhouse administration offices we gather for staff prayer every other Wednesday. This week I was the one who prepared the prayer. As I prayed about it, the convergence of Good Friday and Earth Day kept emerging.

Wednesday was the first anniversary of the Gulf Oil spill. We’re witnessing dramatic weather changes – that in the past few weeks alone have given rise to the tsunami in Japan… tornados in the area of North Carolina…it goes on and on…

We’re seeing natural disasters of epic proportions – and in this convergence of Good Friday and Earth Day, we have to wonder: Is our global lifestyle in some way crucifying the world-wide Body of Christ – the Earth?

And so the whole theme of self-emptying love began to emerge. That’s what Jesus was about as he lived through these last days of his life. It’s what we’re called to in relation to one another and all creation.

And so for Good Friday, I’d like to share the prayer with you.

If you want to use this, I suggest you press the little down arrow to download and save it onto your computer and then print it out. If there’s a problem sometimes it may mean you need to update your Adobe reader. That’s a free download and takes about one minute. It was designed for legal length paper folded as a booklet. That info may also be helpful for printiing. If you use letter size paper, the whole thing will simply look a bit smaller.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sisters of St. Joseph Soundings Update-4-13-11

The latest edition of Soundings Update is available at

The details of our Palm Sunday and Triduum liturgies have already been given in the previous post. Another important event coming up this weekend is a symposium titled "Breaking the Chains of Human Trafficking." Some details are added below. More details are available in this issue of Soundings Update and on our website at:

Holy Week with the Sisters of St. Joseph

Holy Week and the sacred Triduum are fast approaching. We will be celebrating at our Motherhouse. If you are in the area and would like to join us, please note the times in the attached flyer. Be sure to call the number indicated in the flyer by April 15. This is important for our overall planning. Just bring your mouse over the little gray box in the lower right corner. This will bring you to the full screen mode where you can see the entire flyer. Then click "escape" to return to the blog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sister of St. Joseph & "Feet on the Street" Legacy Project as St. John's, Canton

Sister Francis Marilyn with St. John's, Canton students
When I give presentations about the history and spirituality of the the Sisters of Saint Joseph, I always quote Marcia Allen, CSJ/Concordia, who often says that ours is a spirituality with it's feet on the street while rooted a passion for the active, inclusive love of God. [I'm paraphrasing here]

Yesterday's Canton Patch News carried an article titled:
The article explains that, "One student will leave her legacy in the form of 'Feet in the Street,' a community service project dedicated to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. It goes on to explain, "The sisters have a motto by the same name, referring to getting out “in the street” and helping the community quietly and humbly.... The project, was specifically dedicated to Sister Francis Marilyn, a nun at her parish and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph."
The full article and a short slide show of seven pictures can be viewed at:

Sisters of Saint Joseph have ministered at this school since 1901 and it seems obvious that St. John's, Canton, students have imbibed our spirit and spirituality with the passion and enthusiasim to move it into the future.