Showing posts with label sisters of st jospeh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sisters of st jospeh. Show all posts

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Women's Table of the Sisters of St. Joseph

The Women’s Table: 

promoting connections, compassion, outreach, unity, and community

Five short years ago, The Women’s Table was brought to birth by William Cafferky, the Founding Sponsor whose critical question prompted Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, to dream into the future.  Many Sisters of St. Joseph had influenced his life as well as the lives of his three daughters and he wanted to give back. Bill asked, “If you could develop a program that would empower women what would you do?” After much discussion, research, and prayer on the part of many people, The Women’s Table was born.

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:

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

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph Announce Heritage Pilgrimage for October 2014

True pilgrimage transforms...

On this day in 1836, the first four Sisters of St. Joseph departed from Lyon, France, for a long journey to the New World. One hundred and seventy eight years later we have about 4,000 sisters, about 2,800 associates, as well as a small group of agrégées, and thousands ministry partners in the United States alone. World-wide this number is more than double.

And so this seems as good a time as any to let you know about another journey planned for October 2014. Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston are sponsoring another CSSJ Heritage Pilgrimage open to Sisters of St. Joseph, associates, agrégées, and ministry partners in the United States and Canada.

Here are two links where you can learn more about how to participate in this pilgrimage. Please contact me if you are interested.
  • On website of our travel agent, Celestial Voyagers -- On this site you can download a brochure with all details.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sisters of St. Joseph Remember the Churchwomen of El Salvador

Our latest edition of Soundings Update is posted at:
Learn about our prayer service commemorating the Churchwomen who died in El Salvador in 1980. 33 years later, we gathered to remember and celebrate their lives and legacy and to support the ongoing work of SHARE El Salvador.
Don't miss page 2 for information on how to join with the Boston Anti-Trafficking Coalition for a prayer vigil on January 11, 2014, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Read more about this at:


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Join the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Paschal Triduum - and more

There's so much to share from just this past week. Our latest edition of Soundings Update is available at:

Join us for our Triduum Liturgies this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

the Paschal Triduum

      March 28– 5:30pm:
           Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
      March 29      Good Friday
       12:00-3:00pm Silent Peace Vigil
           outside the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse
           637 Cambridge Street, Brighton, MA 02135
          All welcome to come and stay for a while. Bring friends!  
                                  5:30pm – Celebration of the Lord's Passion
March 30 – 7:00pm:  Easter Vigil
Early this morning, I came across this 4 minute YouTube Video interview with one of our Sisters of St. Joseph from Concordia, KS. The title is:
It's worth watching. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Celebrate St. Joseph Day with Us

Who is Saint Joseph?

Celebrate Saint Joseph's Day [March 19] by watching this two minute video from the Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange, CA and praying this prayer to St. 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.
©  Joanne Gallagher, CSJ


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Celebrating 1,000 prayer shawls at Bethany Health Care Center

The latest issue of Soundings Update is available at
There's a wonderful story about the Prayer Shawl Ministry of our residents at Bethany Health Care Center. A few days ago, they celebrated their 1,000th prayer shawl.

This post is short because I'm at the National Communicators Conference for Women Religious and the days activities are beginning soon. More later...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CSJ Soundings Update, LCWR & CSSJs at Rio+20

The June 13, 2012, Soundings Update is now available on our website. Read about The Literacy Connection, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and our New Mexico associates commitment celebration in Santa Rosa, NM.

It's been a busy news week. Our CSSJ U.S. Federation sent information and a prayer service for the Rio+20 Conference happening next week. Twenty-one Sisters of Saint Joseph from around the world will be at the conference.

Here is a link to the prayer service:

And some information about the conference and our sisters' participation.

Today two of the leaders of LCWR met in Rome. Here's the press release that was posted on the LCWR website earlier today.
LCWR Statement on Meeting with CDF

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CSSJ Gathering the Daughters

Our latest issue of Soundings Update is available at: Featured in this issue of Soundings Update is an event that happens every other year called Gathering the Daughters. The title of this year's gathering was: Rename, Reclaim, Rediscover Our Vision in the 21st Century.

There was a wonderful spirit among close to eighty who participated in this gathering. I'm tempted to say more but please read the article.

The article on page two is about a visit to our Motherhouse by about 50 participants in the annual conference of Spiritual Directors International. The group met in the Boston area this year but the visitors were from all over the world.

Also...Yesterday was the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. To celebrate this day the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph launched a new public Facebook page. If you're already on Facebook, you can "like" the page by searching for US Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In a few weeks there will be a new CSSJ Federation webpage. I'll be sure to let you know when that goes live.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Casserly House a Sisters of St. Joseph ministry

Casserly House was just awarded a grant by the Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Read more:
Roslindale's Casserly House receives $5K grant - Roslindale, MA - West Roxbury Transcript

Congratulations to all at Casserly House!

Casserly House was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston as a part of the congregation's 125th anniversary celebrations. Modeled after the work of the first Sisters of St. Joseph, Casserly House was created to be a ministry of presence in a culturally and ethnically mixed neighborhood populated by a large number of new immigrants.

Casserly House is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. It is named after Mother Regis Casserly, one of the first sisters to travel from New York to Boston when the pastor of St. Thomas Church, Jamaica Plain, invited the sisters to come to serve the growing Irish immigrant population.

The mission of Casserly House is to be a living presence in our Roslindale, MA, neighborhood one that fosters unity of people with one another and with God.
The motto of Casserly House is: "Rooted in Boston, Open to the World."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why I became a sister

January 9-14 is National Vocation Awareness Week. In the interest of "being and acting as one family of St. Joseph," I would like to share a link to some vocation stories posted on the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden website.


If you are a teacher or minister in a parish, there are also quite a few websites with resources for personal, parish, or classroom use:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sisters of St. Joseph Advent Reflections

There are many online resources available for the Advent Season. I would like to call your attention to Advent Reflections by Sister of St. Joseph of Albany, NY. Each day has a visually attractive reflection. The page is set up so that the links are easy to access. Just click on the underlined words above.

The picture in this post was taken in Chartres Cathedral in France a few years ago. Each time I look at it, I'm reminded of the moment when I rounded a corner in the cathedrals vast ambulatory to encounter this lone but majestic light in the relative darkness of the space. It never ceases to remind me of the darkness of Advent that gives way to the emerging light of Christmas.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Searching for more in life?

Are you searching for something more in your life?
Do you have a desire to serve the Church?
Have you thought about becoming a Sister, Brother or Religious Priest?
Would you like to learn more about religious life?
If so, you are cordially invited to attend
An Evening of Prayer and Conversation on Religious Life on October 18th

In response to the questions above there is a great opportunity coming up at our Motherhouse on October 18. It is hosted by the Archdiocesan Delegate for Religious who is a Sister of St. Joseph.

Here are the details:
An Evening of Prayer and Conversation
For Men and Women Interested in Religious Life
October 18, 2011
6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse
637 Cambridge St.
Brighton, MA 02135
Sponsored by
Archdiocese of Boston Delegate for Religious
Phone: 617-746-5637
Web site:

Program will begin with Registration at 6:00 p.m. and include:
  • Welcome
  • Supper
  • Opening Prayer and Introductions
  • Witness Talks – “How I Heard God Calling My Name”
  • Conversation
  • Prayer
  • Concluding Prayer
  • Departure at 9:30 p.m.

Also, our October 12, 2011, issue of Soundings Update is available at . In this issue read about
  • Our October 2 celebration of our CSJ Boston Founders' Day
  • a wonderful collaborative effort on the part of our Advancement Office with several of our ministries, the Allston and Brighton Boards of Trade

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Gift of Summer

Circle of Stones - Shipyard Beach, Duxbury
Summer has been busy, relaxing, fun, and challenging all at the same time. I decided to let this blog take a little break for most of August. I realized how long it had been when a couple of friends emailed me to ask when I was going to post again. In July I had spent a few days at Weston Priory for the feast of St. Benedict followed by a few days by the ocean. I started the month of August with a week of retreat in Duxbury. I’ve never made my annual retreat at Miramar before so although it took a bit of adjusting the retreat was wonderful. After retreat, I headed twenty minutes up the road to Marshfield where I spent a few vacation days with friends – an extended retreat of sorts. The week in July and these two weeks of retreat and vacation were pure gift.

After one very busy day back in the office, I headed to Albany, NY for another meeting with the committee that is planning the 2011 Sisters of St. Joseph U.S. Federation Event. It’s wonderful to watch this event take shape. One of the committee members compared the planning to the creation of a sculpture – and it’s true. Each member of the committee is an artist of sorts – be it graphic design, music, environment, prayer/liturgy, finances, communications, facilitation, or all the details of overall coordination. Each planning meeting is framed with prayer and although the days are long, the prayerful atmosphere of our work seems to energize us and keep is going.

The last couple of days have been typical late-August New England days. They are stark reminders that summer is winding down – good weather for transitioning back to the office. So in one way it seems that there’s nothing spectacular to write about. But in reality the gift of summer is it’s own spectacular story.
Rowboats at Shipyard Beach, Duxbury
Bridge to Duxbury Beach near sunset
Beach path - Duxbury Beach

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maxim Monday: Summer...Quietly Await Grace

May you quietly await the movement of grace,
and when it comes move gently
with humility, fidelity, and courage.
Quietly Await, Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, ©1976 
Based on Maxims of the Little Institute, #84

This is not the exact translation of Maxim 84 but it is what has become quite popular among the Boston Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates. As many readers know, these words are the refrain for the song, Quietly Await, that I wrote quite a few years ago. Writing this song was, in itself, a true moment of God's grace which continues to humble and amaze me.

"Maxim Monday" is taking a "summer break." When I thought about a Maxim for moving into summer, this version of Maxim 84 seemed appropriate. So I offer it for summer reflection. The last of the four verses is also part of my summer prayer for all of us:

To be a healing presence, for this you are called forth
to offer strength through gentleness
toward all whose lives you touch.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend several hours sitting quietly on one of the porches of St Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset. The sailboat above was one of many that passed grace-fully by on what was an idyllic day. Happy Summer. May you have a few graced moments during the weeks ahead.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sr. Catherine Murphy: a Sister of St. Joseph; a Woman of the Church

On Christmas Eve, one week ago today, a woman of deep fidelity and courage went home to God. Although she is at peace, we all mourn the loss of Sister A. Catherine Murphy, CSJ, known also as Sister Flavia. The Boston Globe worked with us on an obituary which appeared in the Monday, December 28 issue. Just click on the underlined words to follow the link.

Reflections on her life shared at Sister Catherine's vigil wake service are also available on our website at

The memories shared in these two articles barely scratch the surface of the impact this Sister of St. Joseph had on so many people. I recall the time when I was asked by the congregation to study for my masters degree at the University of Notre Dame. Unknown to me, it was a time when an alarming number of sisters had gone to Notre Dame but not completed thier degree. So I was a bit shocked and saddened when, initially, I was not accepted into the program. Sister A. Catherine was president of our congregation at the time. She was shocked but hardly saddened -- she was emboldened! She picked up the phone; called Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, then president of Notre Dame, and told him she had recommended me to study and she expected me to be accepted. I went to Notre Dame because she believed in me. I completed my degree at Notre Dame because she believed in me.

It was at this time that I also began writing music based on Fr. Jean-Pierre Medialle's Maxims of the Little Insititute [one of the founding documents of the Sisters of St. Joseph] because Sister A. Catherine believed in my creative abilities. At her Funeral Liturgy I sang "Quietly Await" one of my songs based on Maxim 84. As I sang, I knew in my soul that this was a moment of pure grace. I'm not exaggerating when I humbly admit that Catherine was praying though me in that moment. I wondered if anyone else noticed. I received my answer as we left the chapel and literally dozens of people commented on the song. At the time I couldn't speak. I've sung this song at hundreds of liturgies; but this time was different.

I tell these personal stories of Sister A. Catherine Murphy because they are small examples of the many sisters, students, family, and friends in whom she believed. Not only was she president during these transformative years of my life; she founded Fontbonne Academy where I went to high school. She taught us to be our best selves. She was a true Sister of St. Joseph; a true woman of the Church.

Did you know Sister A. Catherine Murphy? Do you have a story of how she touched your life? Please in the comments section of this post!

Happy New Year...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation

At the beginning of each new year the pope issues a message for January 1, World Peace Day. The statement comes out a few weeks before the new year. This year's message came out yesterday. The title is powerful: "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation." He goes on to speak of the concerns shared by those environmentalists who are worried about the effects of climate change.

I keep trying to pick out one part that sort of says it all. However, the whole thing is really worth reading and praying with as we approach the second decade of this millenium.

You can follow the link in the title above but I'll just quote this one part: from paragraph 7:
Sad to say, it is all too evident that large numbers of people in different countries and areas of our planet are experiencing increased hardship because of the negligence or refusal of many others to exercise responsible stewardship over the environment. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council reminded us that “God has destined the earth and everything it contains for all peoples and nations”. The goods of creation belong to humanity as a whole. Yet the current pace of environmental exploitation is seriously endangering the supply of certain natural resources not only for the present generation, but above all for generations yet to come. It is not hard to see that environmental degradation is often due to the lack of far-sighted official policies or to the pursuit of myopic economic interests, which then, tragically, become a serious threat to creation. To combat this phenomenon, economic activity needs to consider the fact that “every economic decision has a moral consequence” and thus show increased respect for the environment.

Two things jump out at me as I read the whole document. First: It's amazing that this comes right in the middle of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Second: It reminds me of much of what Sisters of St. Joseph speak of when we refer to "the Dear Neighbor without distinction." As our CSSJ Federation website states: "Sisters of St. Joseph and associates today view all of creation as the Dear Neighbor. This has led many congregations to include a deeper appreciation of the universe story and the care of Planet Earth in their vision statements and actions for justice."

About a year ago the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph issued a statement about climate change. Here are a couple of excerpts:

As U. S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates, “We live and work that all may be One.” We are concerned for all of God’s Creation and our Sisters and Brothers everywhere. Pope John Paul II wrote, “Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the Earth as we have in the past. …a new ecological awareness is beginning to emerge.” (The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility, December 1989)

We recognize that what we do to Earth, we do to ourselves! Therefore, as the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates, we commit ourselves to support all LIFE on Earth.

There is much more to this statement. Check out the full text on the "Earth Watch" page of our website for more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soundings and Soundings Update now online

The latest issue of Soundings and Soundings Update are now available online at the following links:
The theme of this year's Soundings is all about the Core Values of the Sisters of St. Joseph. This first issue focuses on Gracious Hospitality. It's 20 pages long so may take a bit of time to download. But it's worth the wait.
Soundings Update reports on two recent events. Our October 17 Congregation Gathering which I already wrote about and a talk given our Vocation Coordinator and another sister at a local college. The title of the article: Are Brothers Nuns? Unraveling Stereotypes of Religious Life offers a glimpse into the experience.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sisters of St. Joseph -- Vocations

Our webweaver has just posted a newly revised Vocation webpage. Among other things the page links to the two YouTube videos listed at the right and back to this blog. It also has some good questions and contact information for anyone who is curious about religious life.
Please visit our newly revised Vocation Webpage at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Soundings Update: A Publication of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston

I hope you enjoy this issue of Soundings Update. I must say, I enjoyed putting it together. Click anywhere on either the title above or the picture of the tulips.

In this Issue:

  • More Than a Box by Rita McCormack, CS

  • Outreach to Women Update by Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA

  • Reflections on the May 1, 2009, Associate Commitment by Linda Boothroyd, CSJA

The tulips were photographed at Cunningham Park when I went for a walk there the other day. It's a special place for me because it's where I grew up, learned to swim, ice skate, and even became a Girl Scout. I love walking around the park and being in the space of so many wonderful childhood memories. The other day a young mother approached me with a clipboard and asked me to sign a petition to save the East Milton branch of the local library. I wanted to cry! That's the library that I'd walk or bike to every week. They had a great series of children's historical fiction. I must have read them all. I think that's where I developed my love for historical fiction. The woman had a young daughter with her. I looked at the little girl playing on the swings and of course signed the petition -- not for myself -- but for that little girl.