Gift of a Lifetime

CSJLife | All Things Vocations

–by Sr. Amy

We gathered to celebrate on the evening before Sr. Mary Flick (royal blue shirt) makes her final profession as a Sister of St. Joseph. Sr. Sarah invited us each to bring a card, a prayer and small gift. Some were funny, some were profound, some were touching. All together, they said that we have walked with Mary for these past years from tentative probing of inquiry, through the deliberate ‘getting to know you’ of candidacy, through the deepening discernment of novitiate and through the growing confidence of her  years in temporary profession.

We celebrated Mary’s upcoming final profession in which she definitively says yes to the journey so far and to the unfolding journey of a Sister of St. Joseph. We also celebrated the lifetime profession of every other sister in the room. Each of us has given our lifetime gift and each of us in turn…

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This entry was posted on September 9, 2017. 1 Comment

People’s Climate March

Sisters in NYC

Sisters in St Louis

NYC, London, Berlin, Bogota, Paris, Delhi, and Melbourne…

Video recaps:


AUSTRALIA – One of the areas that people today are becoming increasingly concerned about is the area of sustainability. This article looks at the basic concept of sustainability and the need to enable it Read more….

UGANDA – Sister Jean Abbott is not a typical health care provider. But her work as a trauma therapist is a sorely needed healing ministry in these times of globalized terror. Read more…..

Sisters Honored for Justice Work

EAST TIMOR – The President of the Republic of Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, officially bestowed “Ordem de Timor” Medals on twenty-six non-Timorese people and groups who fought for Timor-Leste’s independence. Read more….

Poppies Drawing Us Into Communion

LONDON – In a spirit of reflection, and remembering the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in WWI, thousands of people have visited the Tower of London since early August. Read more….

Dr. Katie on Women Clergy

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Dr. Katie Hoegeman shared about her research on women who become head clergy in religious dominations that ordain women at the College of Humanities and Public Affairs Faculty Forum on Thursday, September 18. Read more….


Leadership and Legacy

Subscription Drive

Enjoy this newsletter? Why not share it with other sisters. You can subscribe by clicking here….

Sister Stamps

CANADA – Canada Post’s new release of stamps by prominent photographers includes a well-known shot by Michel Lambeth of two Sisters of St. Joseph and a man who helped the sisters in Toronto. The stamp, titled St. Joseph’s Convent School, is one of 35 being released in phases over a five-year period, with seven being introduced this year alone. Read more….

Sisters of St. Joseph in Service to LCWR

Sisters of St. Joseph from various congregations were very much in evidence in providing service to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious:

LCWR President-elect

KANSAS – Sister Marcia Allen was voted in as president-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious by the nearly 800 members attending the group’s annual meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn. Read more….

Outstanding Leadership Award

BRENTWOOD, NY – The LCWR  chose to honor Elizabeth Johnson by giving her the 2014 Outstanding Leader Award at their August Assembly.   Beth has accepted the honor and received it on August 15 in Nashville.

We, her Sisters in the congregation, are proud of Beth’s contributions and support her outstanding achievements as a theologian and author. Full text of Beth’s acceptance speech….

LCWR Presidential Address

PHILADELPHIA – Sr. Carol Zinn gave the presidential address at the national Assembly in Nashville. She continues to serve the conference as Past-president for the coming year. Full text of her address…. El texto en español….

LCWR Honors Janet Mock

BADEN – Sister Janet Mock, who completes her term as the executive director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in December, was honored for her “vision, courage, skill, and enormous generosity” at the conference’s annual assembly. View the video tribute:

On Leadership

CLEVELAND – In a panel discussion, Sr. Nancy Conway listed four factors that had made her more apt to rely on discernment rather than individual competence as a leader. Read more….

Editor’s Reflection on LCWR

by  Sr. Amy Hereford

ST LOUIS – I just returned from spending a few days at the LCWR assembly in Nashville TN. It was a great opportunity to connect with women religious from around the country and to engage with them as we reflect together on religious life as the gift we receive and the gift we share with those among whom we live and work….  Read more….

Helping Students Discover Connections

CHICAGO – The Well spirituality center has been hosting 4th and 5th graders for retreats so the students can discover how all people and creation are interconnected. The magic of the program is that just two or three students from 10-12 different Chicago and suburban schools participate. Read more….

Confronting Racism

ST LOUIS, MO – Sisters of St. Joseph in St Louis are struggling with the violence that has broken out in Ferguson, MO, suburb of St. Louis, over the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer. Several sisters are joining in Catholic Worker discussions and actions, participating in various rallies, prayer services and contributing to help heal our city and help us address the long-standing and deep seated racism among us. Please hold us in prayer. Read more….

Sisters of St. Joseph Education Association

SAINT LOUIS, MO – Pat Dunphy is a Sister of Saint Joseph of Carondelet from the St. Louis Province. Her dream is to create an educational association of schools sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Currently she is organizing in the US, but she is interested in contacts from around the world. Read more….

People’s Climate March

WORLDWIDE – Sisters worldwide are participating in the People’s Climate March, Sept 21, 2014. The People’s Climate March (PCM) is an upcoming large-scale activist event to advocate global action against climate change, scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in New York City. Described as “an invitation to change everything,” the march was called in May 2014 by Although based in New York, the event is intended to be global in scope and implication, and there will be “companion demonstrations” worldwide. Join an event locally…. Check also and Put a note in the comments of the CSSJNEWS blog to tell us where you and/or your sisters will or have marched.

Final Vows

ROCHESTER – In the spirit of joy and thanksgiving, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester are proud to announce the celebration of the Final Profession of Vows of Sister Anita Kurowski. Celebrated on August 30, 2014, Anita says: “It was a truly wonder-filled day, and your prayers and messages were all part of what made it so joyful.” Read more….

25 New Novices

??????????INDIA – Our Sisters in India welcomed 25 new novices earlier this summer. We hold these women and all the sisters in India in prayer in this privileged time. Read more….

Serving Refugees at the Border

EL PASO – Sisters of St. Joseph from several congregations gathered at the US-Mexico border to assist children and families fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Sister Sandy Straub (Saint Louis) offers reflections on her experience there. Read more….

Channeling Stillness

LOCHINVAR, AU – Michael O’Connor writes about the Living Waters Christian Meditation Centre, founded by Sister Carmel Moore of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Lochinvar as the home of the universal meditation community in Newcastle, where one can learn to find stillness and simplicity in a world of chaos and complexity. Read more….

Call To Action’s 2014 Leadership Award

MEMPHIS, TN – Sr. Elizabeth Johnson Accepts Invitation to Receive Call To Action’s 2014 Leadership Award. Johnson’s thoughtful approach encourages new and engaging ways to think about God, spirituality and the interconnectedness of all things.  Like Mary Magdalene, Sr. Elizabeth offers great news of transformation to the church you and I love. Read more….

Beekeeping and Eco-projects

BADEN, PA – Sister Lyn Szymkiewicz, director of grounds and eco-projects, takes care of beehives on the grounds of the Sister of St. Joseph of Baden. She uses honey from the bees to make soap, candy and other products that are sold in the motherhouse gift shop. Read more…

Chinese Sisters of St. Joseph

BEIJING – The need to assimilate the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on Consecrated Life is moving many congregations around the world to help religious communities in China. This includes courses in spirituality and Bible reading in Jiangsu, as well as assistance in drafting the first charters of the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph in Beijing, which was founded in 1872. Read more….

Sister of Second Chances

NEW YORK – Venita Pinckney grew up around Catholic schools and churches, and she thought she knew about nuns. Then a small, gray-haired Sister of St. Joseph named Teresa Fitzgerald came to fish her out of a Harlem crack house. Ms. Pinckney had been a drug addict for 23 years, a dealer and a prostitute, and had lost both of her children to foster care. She was high at the time. Read more….

Rah-powering-the-movieBike power at Rahamim

AUSTRALIA – Rahamim Ecological Learning Community’s recent community initiative was met with great enthusiasm, an idea that stemmed from its sustainability workshops that aim to promote an understanding of the planet, respect for humanity and reverence for creation, writes Sister Mary-Ann Casanova rsj, Executive Director at Rahamim. Read more…

500 Garden Project Unites Neighbors as it Beautifies the Area

CINCINNATI – From vacant unkempt areas to eye-popping, fresh smelling, food-producing gardens, the Sisters of St. Joseph living in Madisonville, Ohio, have joined the local citizens in improving their community, one garden at a time.  New signs advertising “500 Gardens  Madisonville” have sprung up along our streets.  Neighbors have joined the effort to teach and mentor new gardeners growing food. Their hope is to have 500 gardens help change the face of Madisonville in Cincinnati. Read more….

Catholic Press Association Awardbook

CHARLOTTE – At the annual Catholic Media Conference, Sr. Amy Hereford received a first place Catholic Press Association Award in her category for her recent publication Religious Life at the Crossroads. The citation stated:

One could come up with a long list of negatives about religious life in the 21st century, but Sr.  Amy has taken the higher road and convincingly portrays the possibilities inherent in communities founded and empowered by the Spirit. … Her future-oriented chapter on ‘New Forms of Religious Life’ should be required reading for everyone in consecrated life or contemplating it and very every bishop—and that includes Pope Francis. See book…

Sisters Move from Motherhouse

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The decision to move 30 retired Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from the Mont Marie Motherhouse, to other locations is to being done to free the main building for revenue-generating development, possibly as additional housing for seniors, according to the order. Read more…. And on the lighter side…

First Profession

SAINT LOUIS –Congratulations to Sister Clare Bass, CSJ who professed her first vows and commitment to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet! Check out the slideshow from today’s celebration. And, be sure to send your prayers, thoughts and congrats to Clare!

Evolutionary Living

SSJ Mission Corps

PHILADELPHIA – The SSJ Mission Corps is a smaller program with 4-6 volunteers living in community in the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The “smallness” of our program allows for a unique individual experience for each volunteer. One unique thing about the SSJ Mission Corps is that we are all women so we have a focus on working with women to recognize the unique role they play in bringing about justice in our world and working for social change. We are located in the city of Philadelphia where our volunteers live in community in the Kensington neighborhood, Philly’s poorest neighborhood. We are an urban, poverty/justice focused program. Additionally, in 2014-2015 we have applied for CVN AmeriCorps funding. Pending approval, we will be able to offer a $5,600 education award at the end of our yearlong service program to be used towards existing loans or future education.

We are still looking to fill several positions for the 2014-2015 program year. We are looking for a full-time Physical Education teacher and After-Care coordinator at LaSalle Academy in Kensington, Philadelphia as well as an ESL teacher and After-Care coordinator at Visitation BVM School in Kensington, Philadelphia.  We also may have placements available as an ESL teacher and aide at the SSJ Welcome Center, a resource center for new immigrants in Kensington.
We will be accepting applications until August of 2014. To apply or learn more please visit our website:

See also a posting from this year’s volunteers on the Feast of St. Joseph.

Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change

LONDON, ONTARIO – July 4-5, 2014

Would you like to deal differently with polarization?
Engage conflict in new ways?
Learn to live differently?
During this symposium, Carter Phipps, Sue Wilson and all of us will explore the frontier of what is being called integral spirituality and integral politics. We will explore both the challenges we face in our lives and also the expanded inner consciousness needed to meet them in new ways. More information….


ST LOUIS – Srs Susan Wilcox and Amy Hereford are part of the team organizing and leading the first gathering of sisters in their 40s and 50s in Summer of 2014. Online and on-ground in St. Louis, MO. July 5-7, 2014, the event will be a self-organized, inter-congregational conversation on religious life and it’s evolutionary future. Read more….

Sr Pat Bartley rsjChanging Church in a Changing World

ARMDALE, AU – Sister Pat Bartley rsj looks back at 60 years of her vocation and finds that a phrase from among her Jubilee greetings encapsulates the joys and challenges in the story of her religious life.. Leer mas….

Hope Rising

CLEVELAND – Each and every day we can expect to be surprised, gifted, challenged and transformed through our belief in God’s Great Love pulsing through every soul and all creation.  And, each and every day we are called to embody the optimism of God’s love, to live fully, to love and to serve in a world of both joy and disappointment, to bring hope to our dear neighbors who need it most. Read more….

Gospel of Joy

ORANGE – Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel” is examined here by Sister Nadine McGuinness, CSJ in a series of videos originally presented to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.  Visitors may also download PowerPoint documents to follow along with the video.  They are available in PRINT (fewer pages) and VIDEO (more pages) versions, though the content is the same. Click here….

Gardening with Soul

WELLINGTON, AU – As the main gardener at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, Sr Loyola’s daily tasks include heavy lifting alongside vigorous spade and wheelbarrow work, which she sometimes performs on crutches. Sr Loyola and the other Sisters of Compassion follow the vision of Mother Aubert to ‘meet the needs of the oppressed and powerless in their communities’.. Read more….


Helping Victims of Trafficking

A Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 42 years, Sister Gladys has spent much time working with the poor and oppressed in her native Peru. When she moved to St. Louis 20 years ago, she worked as a doula and a massage therapist. Now she’s transitioning into a new phase of her life as “Grandma Laly,” a volunteer grandmother figure for the Covering House in St. Louis, a new St. Louis-based organization that provides refuge and healing for girls who have become victims of sex trafficking. Read more….


St. Joseph’s Day

Sister Receives Human Rights Award

PERU Sister Maria del Carmen Gomez Calleja, of the Congregation of St. Joseph, received the National Award for Human Rights 2013, whereas the priest Gerald Veilleux was nominated for the Special Award given annually by the National Commission of Human Rights of Peru. The awards were presented on the occasion of the Universal Day of Human Rights, as an act of recognition for those who work in defense of fundamental rights in Peru. Read more….

BAGUA – Sor María del Carmen Gómez Calleja, de la Congregación de San José, ha recibido el Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos 2013, mientras que el sacerdote Gerald Veilleux ha sido nominado para el Premio Especial otorgado anualmente por la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de Perú. Los premios han sido entregados con motivo del Día Universal de los Derechos Humanos, como un acto de reconocimiento a aquellos que realizan un trabajo duro en defensa de los derechos fundamentales en Perú. Leer mas….

RSJ Celebrates Life Commitment

SYDNEY – All roads led to the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel on 25th January as family, friends and Sisters arrived to celebrate with Sister Anne-Marie as she made her life commitment as a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Read more….

Sr Mary Meets the Pope

OCEANIA – Sister of Saint Joseph, Mary Leahy, Oceania Regional Coordinator for the Apostleship of the Sea, met Pope Francis when he addressed the Regional Coordinators of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Congress in Rome. Read more….

St. Joseph Worker Program Accepting Applications

WICHITA – We INVITE women ages 21-30 to become St. Joseph Workers to participate in a volunteer-service program for one year from August – June in Wichita, Kansas
The program includes training in 4 key areas: LEADERSHIP -Developing leadership styles as women; SPIRITUALITY -Sharing the spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph-loving God and neighbor without distinction; COMMUNITY AND SIMPLICITY – Forming small intentional communities focusing on living simply and building respectful relationships; and, JUSTICE – Serving the needs of the poor and marginalized in a variety of work sites
The St Joseph Worker Program empowers women to respond to the needs of the times in the tradition of the Sister of St Joseph. Applications must be submitted byApril 1, 2014 to begin a year of service this coming August.
If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact Sister Lois O’Malley, CSJ at 316.689.4029 or email Sister Lois at

National Catholic Sisters Week

ST PAUL – During National Catholic Sisters Week – March 8-14, 2014, we remember the contributions of religious women who are no longer living, we celebrate the unique contributions of those whose stories are still unfolding and we invite those who have stories to tell.  Join us in celebrating women who have followed what God and the Gospel called them to do and continue to make vital contributions in education, health care, social justice, theology, the arts, and even politics. See video…

Maxims Make-over

BRENTWOOD – Sr. Susan Wilcox worked with students at St. Joseph’s College to give a modern flavor to the Maxims. Enjoy the fruits of their labors here….

International Centre

LE PUY – View the International Center’s new website here…. and check out its new programing here….

Work with Aboriginal EldersElders150

AUSTRALIA – Sister Kay McPadden works with Aboriginal Elders when seven Aboriginal elders separated as children from their parents and placed in dormitories at Cherbourg shared their stories with students at an event held at Mt Alvernia College, Kedron. Read more….

Refugee Action Network

AUSTRALIA – Srs Jenny Gerathy OP and Annie Laurie RSJ invite people of goodwill to join them during the six weeks of Lent to stand in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers. Read more….

From a Reader:

UK – Hi to you and your team I’d like to say MANY THANKS FOR ALL THE WORK INVOLVED  – you do a superb job and I am trying to get our sisters to join and read and who knows may be contribute  more?  in the meantime   It is such an empowering thought to realise we CSJ’s everywhere are united every year on St. Joseph’s day renewing our vows together too.  Bon Courage and Bonne Route too.

–ellen of Annecy branch in UK.

Thanks Ellen. And thanks everyone for building communion among the worldwide community of Sisters of St. Joseph.

This entry was posted on March 1, 2014. 2 Comments