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August 2010





Of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

Vol. 16 No. 4

Philadelphia, PA


Artists, poets, and photographers -- all blessed with creative spirits -- convened June 4-6, 2010 at Saint Mary by-the-Sea, Cape May Point, New Jersey. Saint Mary by-the-Sea has served as a retreat house for Sisters of Saint Joseph for 100 years. A weekend in the life of the retreat house, Lifting the Creative Spirit: Tapping the Artist Within, was an anniversary celebration planned to enable participants to experience the beauty and peace of the retreat house. The program included opportunities for learning, prayer and reflection. Outside, the ocean moved in gentle blue and violet waves, turning frothy white as they lapped fingers of black rock stretching out into the sea. Light winds carried salt water and marshland fragrances. Gardens bloomed brilliantly at every door. Inside, blue skies ballooned and sea creatures swam overhead while sunlight splashed in every direction. Sisters Anne Myers, Celeste Mokrzycki, Mayor Carl Schupp, Eager to paint en plein air from locations along the fabled porches that front the sea as well as and Ms. Joan Dollinger welcome guests to the Wine Tasting from selected indoor locations, guests set up easels, spread work across long tables, and gathered in and Art Auction during the June 2010 celebration event: circles convenient for sharing. Helen David Brancato, IHM, Carol King Hood, Rosie Lafferty, SSJ, Lifting our Creative Spirit - Tapping the Artist Within - celebrating Celeste Mokrzycki, SSJ, Marie Natale, Stan Speriak, and Maryanne Zakreski, SSJ offered classes 100 years: Ocean of Grace, Tides of Transformation. attractive to both acclaimed and beginning artists. Photographer Nancy J. Ori provided insight into dressed in the style of continued through the the use of natural light works of fine art we will religious habit worn by and composition in enjoy tonight," Anne Sisters of Saint Joseph at environmental portraiture. the turn of the century. said. She expressed Janice Wilson Stridick led Congregational appreciation for all creative writing and poetry President Sister Anne groups. the behind-the-scenes Myers welcomed a full To serve the artists and work accomplished house of friends and art photographers as models, by administrator Ms. lovers to the Saturday several young women Joan Dollinger, General evening event: a Wine donned stylish Victorian Council liaison Sister Tasting and Art Auction. fashion, complete with Carol Zinn, and the "How fitting that the hats, gloves and parasols, weekend's volunteers. beauty of God's creation, and Sisters Kay Coll, Peg so alive all around us, is Conboy, and Gerry Kent continued p. 4 Artists set up their easels and begin to draw stylish Victorian young women.

Historic Cape May Point Retreat House, celebrates 100 Years

Saint Mary by-the-Sea,

August 2010

On April 10, 2010, Congregational President Sister Anne Myers welcomed sisters, associates, former members, and friends to the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Justice Ministry, saying, "This is a joyous landmark event." Our Congregational Justice Ministry, a commitment we have honored since 1979, has expanded our hearts and our awareness to a new understanding of the dear neighbor, Anne said, noting that our understanding now "stretches from the hungry person in our own city, to the family whose home has been destroyed by mortar shell in Afghanistan, to the undocumented

Congregational Justice Ministry -- Vibrant at 30

Profession of Vows Celebrated

immigrant striving for a decent life, to the village in Africa in need of clean water, to Earth herself, in her groans of global warming, dependent on us for her healing."Anne spoke of the 30th Anniversary Event as a time to remember with gratitude all those whose vision brought us to new horizons in the quest for justice. Her remembrance began with delegates to Chapter 1979 who inaugurated a social justice agenda, and included all who have supported justice initiatives, especially Superior Generals Sisters Dorothea Newell, Margaret Fleming, and Patricia Kelly, along with each member of their respective General

continued on page 5

August 8, 2010, the day of Sister Julie Fertsch's profession of perpetual vows was a great day for a family photo. From left are Julie's parents, Mike and Joan Fertsch, her sister Lauren, Julie, and her sister and brother-in-law, Marianne and Tim Kenny.

At Spring Consultations members of the General Council facilitated mutual listening and creative conversation. In light of Chapter 2009, Sisters Charlene Diorka, Anne William Fagan, Regina Meehan and Kathy Rooney respond (from left) Sisters Kathleen Coll, Mary Beth Hamm, Nancy Roche, and to information shared at Mary Elizabeth Clark, four Sisters of Saint Joseph who have served as the North Arlington, NJ Coordinator of the SSJ Commission for Social Justice, stand ready to Gathering. rejoice in the work of the Commission over 30 years and to lend their See Consultations support to the justice initiatives that challenge the Congregation today.

Sisters Gather with General Council

See Ceremony of Profession page 3.

page 3.

August 2010



Hearing good news -- Ah-h, that's music to the ear (and the heart!)

Sister Bernadette Leahy was one of eight women recognized by Mayor Rick Taylor and the Pennsauken Township Committee at a Women's History Month celebration held in the Municipal Building March 24, 2010. She received a proclamation that is now part of Pennsauken's written history. But, as Mayor Taylor suggested, Bernadette is already part of Pennsauken's history because of the way she has placed her own particular talents at the service of the community. "Pennsauken is a better place to live" because of the contributions of these women the Mayor said. A pastoral associate at Saint Stephen Parish, Bernadette has been visiting the sick in their homes, in hospitals, and in other facilities providing care for the past 10 years. Along with Bernadette's brother Jack, Sisters Rita Edward Karnell, Stella Lotz, and Ruthann O'Mara attended the award ceremony.

is our agency's consistent ability to attract such dedicated personnel. Considering the demands of the job and the necessary hours of training, I am always pleased to recognize this fact: We have some of the best administrators, social workers, youth care workers, and support staff to be found anywhere. Asked what clients at Saint Vincent Homes need most, Louise had a ready reply: "Our clients need to know that they are loved." Louise was responding to questions posed by Sister Barbara Zurine SSND, who interviewed Louise for Ripples from the River, a newsletter of Saint Vincent Homes.

Sister Agnes Rosarii Reimann looks on as Sister Mary Agnes Mayer draws a winner. Was your name on that one? There's always next year!

The Villa Chance Drive

Sister Louise Kane said, "The thing that never ceases to amaze me

Sister Marie Rudegeair became an Affiliate of the Order of Saint Augustine, Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, on June 13, 2010. Affiliation is a special recognition conferred to honor distinguished cooperation. It entitles members to all the spiritual benefits of the Order. Marie has generously volunteered her time, expertise, and insightful direction as a member of the Board of Directors of the Province Support Trust Fund, which was established to help with the care of sick and elder friars. The Province Support Trust Fund has benefited immensely from Marie's professional guidance and faith-filled care. Sister Vera Green turned to SSJ Announce when she needed a helping hand to earn votes for Project Paul, a Support Program for Single Moms who are continuing their education. She was delighted to report that Project Paul is one of the recipients of a Pepsi Grant. Sister Pauline Plefka sent a newspaper clipping to share this good news: St. Anthony-St. Joseph Elementary school was voted #1 in Montgomery County for the third year in a row. Pauline says, "It's a wonderful school." Sister Joan Daly and Mrs. Irene Moy were honored at an April gathering held in Fontbonne Commons. Part of a yearlong celebration of 40 years of Montessori education, the evening event gathered parents, alums, faculty and staff. Sister Joan Daly, who was an NFA Junior Level Montessori teacher for 22 years, said that she especially enjoys reminiscing with students when they visit. Currently, Joan conducts seminars, acts as a consultant to faculty and administrators who are considering Montessori programs, and visits student teachers in the Montessori field. Mrs. Moy was part of the NFA Montessori program from its inception in 1969; at her retirement in 2003, she said, "I've loved teaching these wonderful children.... It is always so rewarding to plan and then observe the progress that our NFA students accomplish as they grow older and move on with their lives."

Have you ever wondered how the Chance Drive became an annual event held to benefit Saint Joseph Villa? It all began with the question, "How will we pay for the new Villa?" Ideas emerged and soon a parade of benefit card parties, concerts, fairs, and bazaars accompanied by chicken dinners was underway. On October 10, 1959, the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia, PA was the site of a card party held for the benefit of the Mount Saint Joseph Building Fund. On March 12, 1966, a benefit concert took place at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. A benefit dinner at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, at Broad and Walnut Streets, followed the concert. In 1969 a second concert was held at the Academy of Music. September 1967 saw the first fair held to benefit Saint Joseph Villa. The fair, formally opened by Rev. John Casey OSA, Pastor of Our Mother of Consolation Parish, was held on Mount Saint Joseph Convent grounds. Fair-goers could try their luck at booths, as well as enjoy a variety of rides, games, food, and music. A Chevrolet Caprice station wagon was donated by Holy Family Academy, Bayonne, NJ. Parents sold chances for the station wagon outside churches, banks, and at their places of work. The Honorable James H. Tate, Mayor of Philadelphia, proclaimed September 16-19, 1970, "Sisters of Saint Joseph Fair Days." Chances for a 1970 Malibu Sports Sedan and large cash prizes were offered. For a time, the fairs were held every three years. From 1968 to1990, fairs and bazaars were held at Saint Joseph Villa. In 1968, the Christmas bazaar included a spaghetti dinner and chances on an imported Italian spread. Subsequent bazaars included chicken dinners. A little later on, pork and sauerkraut were added to the menu. At a variety of booths, fair-goers could enjoy Bingo, games of chance, beverages, baked goods, ceramics and other handcrafted items, wishing wells, Santa's chimney, and chances on various items. As a car raffle became an integral part of the bazaars, prizewinners were given the option of choosing between the car and a cash prize of $3500.00. Spring fundraisers in which cars or cash were raffled began in 1983 and ended in 1991. Bazaars were discontinued then, and rather than cars and money, only cash prizes have been offered since 1991. Look for those chance sellers at your parish church and other likely spots in your neighborhood! Chances are still only $1.00 each or $5.00 for a book of six chances. The first prize is $10,000 and there are 10 additional prizes of $500 each. Your help does so much good for Sisters of Saint Joseph who reside at Saint Joseph Villa and their prayers are definitely with you. Throughout the years of the fairs, bazaars, and chance drives, the foresight, planning and energy of our Sisters, SSJ Associates, and friends have been nothing short of remarkable. Even more remarkable is the generous response of all who have supported efforts to raise funds for Saint Joseph Villa. The Villa Chance Drive has been, and continues to be, one of the main sources of fundraising income for Saint Joseph Villa. (Legal requirements are observed wherever chances are sold.)

Written by: Anne McCambley SSJ

Editorial Policy: The goal of the SSJ NEWSLETTER is to further our mission of unity and reconciliation by sharing information significant to the Congregation with our sisters, associates, and friends. SSJ NEWSLETTER is published by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Address correspondence to: Pat Marnien SSJ, Editor, Communications Office, Mount Saint Joseph Convent, 9701 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118-2694. (E-mail [email protected]; phone 215-248-7269; FAX 215-248-7277.) Contributors to this issue include: Sisters Joan Alminde, Marion Aherne, Joyce Ballerino, Regina Bell, Mary Ann Boyle, Barbara Bradley, Kathy Burton, Donna Cicalese, Mary Elizabeth Clark, Jeanne Crane, Mary Dacey, Elizabeth Ferguson, Julie Fertsch, Thérèse Ganly, Connie Gilder, Jane Glennon, Mary Beth Hamm, Frances Hart, Pat Hickey, Bea Keegan, Joan Krukoski, Linda Klaiss, Patricia Kelly, Regina Kropp, Anne McCambley, Gerald Vincent McDevitt, Rose McDermott, Celeste Mokrzycki, Anne Myers, Lil Needham, Clementina Obeme, OSF, Linda O'Mara, Agnes Rosarii Reimann, Merilyn Ryan, Ann Seif, Carol Zinn and Mrs. Sandy Barth, Miss Amy Chernekoff, Ms. Joan Dollinger, Miss Pam Hudak, Mrs. Karen McNamara, and Mrs. Tina Soule. Photographers include: Sisters Connie Gardner, Mary Juliano, Joan Krukoski, CUA Office of Public Affairs Mailing: Sisters Thérèse Ganly, Bea Keegan, Mary Rita Lannutti, Peg Maguire, Ann Walter McClister, Gerald Vincent McDevitt, Terry Pierson, Ann Seif, Denise Sharp, Margaret Andrew Sherlock, Margaret Mary Smith, and Rose Agnes White.

Norwood-Fontbonne Montessori teachers honor Mrs. Irene Moy and Sister Joan Daly. Find Irene front row center. Joan is front row, second from right.

August 2010



Joy, gratitude, reverent awe mark Ceremony of Profession

Sisters Mary Ethel Haeberlin, Charles Teresa Cunningham and Regina Bell shared a greeting when the Spring Consultation moved to Saint Joseph Villa.

Sister Julia Marie Fertsch professed perpetual vows in the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph on Sunday, August 8, 2010. Julie's family and friends and many Sisters of Saint Joseph and SSJ Associates gathered for the ceremony of profession, which took place during a Liturgy of Eucharist celebrated at Mount Saint Joseph Chapel. Rev. Vincent Fortunato, O.F.M. Cap, who presided at the liturgy, was joined by concelebrants Rev. Philip Keane, SS, and Rev. James Olson. Director of Formation Sister Frances Hart called Julie forth for the ceremony of profession of perpetual vows, and Congregational President Sister Anne Myers received Julie's vows in the name of the Congregation. Following Julie's profession, all the Sisters of Saint Joseph gathered for the ceremony proclaimed: "We confirm that you are now one with us," and they pledged their support encouraging Julie to "Fulfill loyally the ministry entrusted to you by the Church." In a reflection she offered, Sister Patricia Kelly said, "As we gather in joy and support, we give great thanks and praise for those who were in Julie's corner, even before she was born ­ and who are there still ­ her parents, Joan and Mike Fertsch ­ and God, who today calls all of us anew to our own life commitments or to discernment towards one." Pat also said, "One in love and with abundant joy, our Congregation takes great hope in the religious profession of our Sister, Sister Julia Marie Fertsch." On the day before her profession, Julie invited everyone to join her for Evening Praise. She referred to the moment as a time of "grace, gratitude, and grounding." On the day following her profession, she said, "I have not yet begun to process the day ­ the experience ­ the love," and then she shared what follows: "The last nine years in initial formation have been filled with tremendous grace, growth, gratitude, and challenges. Reflecting on all of the wonderful and trying experiences throughout this time, gratitude alone fills my heart for the many ways that God, our sisters, and all of our dear neighbors have graciously invited, gently challenged, and patiently accompanied me on the journey toward greater wholeness, freedom, and love. This year of preparation for final vows has been particularly grace-filled. I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been

Sisters Anne Myers, Julie Fertsch, and Frances Hart savor the joys of Julie's profession day.

Cantors Lauren Fertsch and Sister Michelle Lesher lead the congregation in songs of praise and thanksgiving.

offered to me so that I could become ever more deeply rooted and grounded in love with Jesus, in fostering a contemplative life stance, and in fidelity to a very `everyday God.' I savored making the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises, having an extended directed retreat in Cohasset, MA, continuing to study theology at Saint Michael's College, and participating in a vow preparation/retreat experience with others in initial formation. This unique program, sponsored by our Congregation, was held at Saint Mary by-the-Sea during the week before my profession. Needless to say, my heart is full and overflowing with such richness, depth, delight, love, and gratitude. What an amazing opportunity to be able to respond to God's call so fully, joyfully, freely, sincerely, and humbly on Sunday, August 8, 2010! What a gift to stand and publicly profess vows to God, Jesus, the Congregation, and the world to live in chastity, poverty, and obedience for life! Oh how I loved to proclaim whole-heartedly: `I love you with my life!' Thank you for giving me such tremendous opportunities to become more deeply rooted and grounded in love -- totally dependent on God's grace, and for providing me with so many wonderful tools to build a house on solid ground. Thank you all for working so hard, for making the journey, and for continuing to give witness to lives well lived as followers of Jesus and Sisters of Saint Joseph. For all that you are and all that you offer, I am so grateful." Julie Fertsch, SSJ

Between March 18 and May 1, members of the General Council met with approximately 600 sisters at sites from North Arlington, New Jersey to Winston Salem, North Carolina. The purposes of the gatherings included engaging one another around current realities and future possibilities, sharing information, and facilitating mutual listening and creative conversation. Every sister was called to participate in one of the consultations, which took the place of the 2010 Spring CCR. The mantra of the opening prayer, God's cause is the only concern of our heart; God's cause is our cause, set the tone for the gathering. Sisters and associates were invited to a sharing of the state of the heart around questions that had been sent earlier as a journal page as preparation for the consultation. Congregational President Sister Anne Myers offered an inspiring reflection on thresholds, reminding participants that Jesus does "stand at the door and knock" in each of our lives and in our communal life. Anne left listeners with the questions "What doors does (Jesus) invite us to open? What new thresholds shall we cross?" Each of the four Council members then shared current information and possibilities: Sister Connie Gilder on planning and vocation/formation initiatives; Sister Carol Zinn on the potential of Cape May to shape us and the laity for the future; Sister Regina Bell on what we are learning from and about our senior sisters; Sister Mary Dacey on the complex challenges of continued on page 6 housing.

Some 600 Sisters of Saint Joseph and SSJ Associates meet with the General Council for Spring Consultations 2010


Master's Degree

Sister Theresa M. Hayburn Arcadia University Education Sister Christine M. Konopelski La Salle University Theology and Pastoral Ministry

CPE Certification

Sister Margaret M. Conboy Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education

August 2010


We ask your prayerful remembrance of our Sisters and Associates who have entered eternal life from April 2009 through August 2010

SSJ Associate Jim Cox Sister Theresa C. Flynn SSJ Associate Rose Kerper Sister Charles Consilii Anderson SSJ Associate John Hartman Sister Margaret Ryall Sister Margaret Teresita Horvay SSJ Associate Stephen Quigley Sister Frances Amata Curran Sister Grace Eileen Forker Sister Ann Geraldine Nugent April 17, 2010 April 18, 2010 April 27, 2010 April 29, 2010 May 5, 2010 June 23, 2010 June 27, 2010 July 29, 2010 August 8, 2010 August 15, 2010


Saint Mary by-the-Sea at 100

Carol spoke with admiration for the creativity and diligence of Sister Celeste Mokrzycki and the event Planning Committee. Mr. John Lynch, director of sales and entertainment for the Wildwoods Convention Center, served as auctioneer, and he turned the evening into a bundle of fun. John explained that since his work brings him into relationship with many people who promote good works in Cape May County, he has become "fairly good" at auctioneering. Pleased that all the art pieces available for auction were sold, John said, "The Good Lord patted me on the head that night." Cards, paintings and prints were also available for purchase on Sunday. For the Sunday Sketch Crawl, Celeste invited artists -- sketch pads, pencils or paints in hand -- to work at three Cape May Point sites she had selected. The art works participants created were displayed on the streetside porch. Tours of the retreat house were also one of the weekend's offerings. Somewhat surprised by the numbers, sisters who had volunteered to lead tours found themselves greeting nearly 600 people! The minute they heard about the tours, many people who remember Sisters of Saint Joseph from their school days, instantly put a visit to Saint Mary by-the-Sea at the top of their "to-do" lists. According to the guides, the top response was the one-word exclamation, "Awesome!" Beyond that, the comment heard most frequently was, "We have been driving by this house every summer for years and we have always wanted to see it from the inside." One woman said, "My husband has always said that he would love to sit in your dining room. He's sitting in there now!" Responding to the Wine Tasting and Art Auction, Pat Doran said, "Your house is so welcoming and warm. I appreciate the history and structure of the buildings since I build and remodel houses. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour." Jackie Boyd, who contributed her oil painting, Morning Glory, to the auction said, "This was my first visit to Saint Mary by-the-Sea. It was an honor to be part of your celebration. The auction was a delightful set up and the décor was cool." Artist Dottie McNamee, who came to enjoy the classes and the quiet peace of Saint Mary's said, "I am in awe. I enjoyed doing the art workshops out on the porches. I came alone, but didn't feel alone at all. Never did I dream that this place was so natural in beauty and solitude. I want to keep coming back." The 100th Anniversary celebration looked ahead. It showed, that still spry and appreciative of the ocean of grace that surrounds her, Saint Mary by-the-Sea does indeed stand ready to lift spirits and to step lively into her next century. Alert to the desire for spirituality that sits deep in the hearts of SSJ Associates, of young adults, and of many laywomen and laymen as well as in the hearts of Sisters of Saint Joseph, Saint Mary by-the Sea yearns to be a sacred space where they find grace.

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65th year of her religious life 59th year of her religious life 71st year of her religious life 59th year of her religious life 62d year of her religious life 60th year of her religious life 72d year of her religious life

Eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has ready for those who love God. 1 Cor. 2:9

The 100th Anniversary Celebration from the eye and ear of a poet

I was so glad to be able to contribute to the weekend, and I want to share my gratitude with you and the sisters. Feel free to pass this along! It is an excerpt from my journal, written early Sunday morning:

Following the weekend event, Sister Celeste Mokrzycki received an email from Janice Wilson Stridick, who led creative writing and poetry classes during the weekend. Janice said:

I can say with all heart, it was wonderful. Truly transcendent. I am blessed and fortunate and happy and content and sitting here in a simple, lovely room serenaded by birdsong and ocean's waves. You really hear the sea from this place, and what a wonderful sound to awaken to. Also, the scope of repetition, with the rockers, the porches, the march of white rooms with simple dressers, corner closets, twin beds and little desks it is, truly, a work of love and art. I am learning to fully appreciate the character of these sisters. They do the cleaning, painting, furnituregathering, bed-making, coffee-making, dishwashing, cooking, inviting, recording, refunding, arranging, paint-stripping, boiler-fixing, shelf-hanging, weeding, planting, scrubbing, whitewashing, window-washing, curtain-hemming, toweling, paring, discarding, conserving, singing, praying, welcoming, cajoling, regaling,

Above, SSJ Associate Mari Quint. Below, Janice Wilson Stridick. The pair share conversation at one of the creative writing and poetry sessions Janice conducted.

laughing, meditating, glorying, and sharing that transforms an enormous white elephant of a Victorian hotel into a gracious gift to the sea and humanity. Amen.

Editor's Note: We think Janice is a 21st century Walt Whitman. Move over, Camden!

Janice Wilson Stridick

Guests gather for the Wine Tasting/Art Auction, one of the festive events of the 100th Anniversary celebration of Saint Mary by-the-Sea Retreat House. At right, Sister Rosie Lafferty points to variations in shape, texture and hue that might be included in a pencil sketch.

Above, wearing an SSJ habit from an earlier era, Sister Kay Coll greets a visitor who seems pleased with her tour of Saint Mary's porches.

August 2010



Integral to our Mission -- 30 years of SSJ Justice Ministry celebrated

Continued from page 1

Councils and Social Justice Coordinators Sisters Nancy Roche, Mary Elizabeth Clark, Kathleen Coll, and Mary Beth Hamm as well as all those who have served as members of the Commission for Justice. The anniversary event reached back -- awakening the memory of voices that challenged: Thomas Berry CP, Miriam Therese MacGillis OP, Bette Moslander CSJ, Peter Henriot SJ, Maria Augusta Neal SND, Mary Evelyn Tucker and more. It also reached forward in keynote addresses on Immigration and Earth presented by Sisters Ron Roche and Kathy Duffy. (See excerpts below.) Participants gathered in large and small groups in spaces that spread from Mount Saint Joseph Auditorium to nooks and crannies throughout rooms and corridors of the Motherhouse. Among the presenters leading small group discussions or mounting display tables were: Sisters Dee Cerchio, Donna Cicalese, Mary Elizabeth Clark, Kathleen Coll, Kay Coll, Mary Corbett, Colleen Dauerbach, Jean Faustman, Mary Kay Flannery, Linda Lukiewski, Kathy McGonigle, Janice McGrane, Donna Minster, Marie Olwell, Dot Urban, Maryanne Zakreski, Carol Zinn and SSJ Associate Margot Zuccarello as well as the Welcome Center Staff and the SSJ Mission Corps Volunteers. In each instance, presenters relied on wisdom born of life experience, ministry, and choices for justice. Topics ran the gamut from border and immigration legislation, deportation and detention, to neighborhood and cross-cultural mission stories, to Earth (bird watching, Change for Global Change, composting, Earth education in schools, energy and mountain top removal, healing and the arts, healthy lifestyle, to resources for sustainable living, to reduce/reuse/recycle, to an Earth-Care Showcase of SSJ sponsored works). Sister Jeanne Barnard, who joined those eager to hear Carol Zinn speak about the CSSJ Federation's response to Immigration, found herself "fascinated by steps to assist immigrants that include safe houses (California), work with immigrant farmers (the Heartland), help for migrants from Canada (the Lake Region), as well as advocacy and education (the Atlantic Region). "Building strong relationships lies underneath all these efforts," Jeanne said.

Sister Sharon White follows Sister Dee Cerchio's directions and the composting process is underway!

Commenting on how much she enjoyed the display tables, SSJ Associate Margot Zucarrello said, "I was impressed by their quality; they conveyed the enthusiasm and dedication of those who presented them." In the Anniversary Room, Sister Rose Albert Reda set up laptop computers and assisted visitors who wanted to take action on humane immigration reform and on behalf of Earth. As participants greeted friends and recalled all they had shared as they worked for justice over the last 30 years, they gave the day a special spin. With the assistance of SSJ archivist Sister Patricia Annas, Sister Mary Beth Hamm recapped many of those

Sister Rose Albert Reda has a lap top at the ready so Sister Jean Holtz can take action on a current justice issue.

moments on a PowerPoint that depicted sisters, associates, and friends at work that the delegates of Chapter 1979 would surely have applauded -- work for justice over the past 30 years that included just what those delegates called for: "Congregation-wide education, the formation of a Commission for Justice, and congregational policies expressive of concern for justice." Like all anniversaries, the 30th Anniversary of Justice Ministry was a day to reminisce and to applaud, but for Sisters, SSJ Associates, and friends, it was also a day for all to renew their commitment to the active, inclusive love that is the hallmark of justice.

Sister Carol Zinn spoke about justice ministry across the Federation and around the globe.

In the keynote address Sister Veronica Roche offered at the 30th Anniversary of SSJ Justice Ministry, she spoke from firsthand experience about the challenges that immigrants in our country struggle with today. Coming straight from the hearts of immigrants who have entered the United States to seek a better life for themselves and their families, Ron shared stories of hope and fear, and of disappointment and determination. "It is easy to label undocumented immigrants `aliens' until you hear their stories and put faces on their plight," Ron said. "Focus not on what immigrants might take from us, but rather on what they are offering us. Undocumented immigrants can keep us aware of what is most important -- profound faith in God, deep love for their extended families, and generosity in sharing with their families back home and their neighbors in need, from their sustenance, rather than their surplus." Ron presented three principles essential to just and humane immigration reform: legislation that keeps immigrant families together, that adopts smart and humane enforcement, and that ensures that immigrants without legal status will be given a just path toward citizenship. "What gives immigration reform supporters hope in this uphill battle?" First, the immigrants themselves; she praised their perseverance. Next, collaborative effort on behalf of our dear neighbor -- the work of parents, teachers, pastors, volunteers, and advocates -- among them Sisters of Saint Joseph, SSJ Associates, other religious -- and many more. Passionately, Ron urged: "Let's make choices with them in mind, and holding them in our hearts, let's work to raise consciousness about immigration. Ron asked, "Is immigration reform calling us to courageous action? Have we an important role to play in what some are calling the civil rights movement of our time? To what action, to what next step is God inviting and calling you, and all of us at this critical time in our congregational and national history?"

Keynote highlights by: Linda Klaiss SSJ

Two Keynotes offered at the Justice Celebration

Sister Ron Roche

Sister Kathy Duffy

"Let Earth `clasp [us] in her giant arms. Let her intoxicate [us] with her perfume of tangibility and unity...cast us to [our] knees in expectation of what is maturing in her breast. Let her become for us `the body of the one who is and of the one who comes!' She is truly a Divine Milieu!" With those poetic words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Sister Kathy Duffy concluded the keynote she delivered at the 30th Anniversary event. Kathy jogged the memory of the more than 175 sisters, associates, and friends as she pointed to a Chapter 1994 milestone -- a moment of commitment to "treasure and care for Earth." From its beginning, the Commission for Justice has been clear about the need for change in our relationship with Earth. It's first educational offering was a presentation by the late cultural historian, Passionist Thomas Berry. For a vision that will propel us into the kind of prophetic action needed in our world today, Kathy said, "I suggest we begin by reflecting on our experience as women, and then consider ways that the many resources from our religious tradition, our mission of unity and our understanding of science can help us contemplate our Earth in a holistic way. Historically, the exploitation of our Earth has been intimately linked to the marginalization of women both in theory and in practice. For centuries, women have shared second class status, sometimes even subhuman status, with Earth." Kathy encouraged us to revision our personal journeys as part of a common cosmic journey, to nurture those moments when we communed with the Divine Presence in nature, to view Earth as God's Body, and in the spirit of theologian, Sallie McFague, to image Christ's mystical body to include all of creation. With images of air, water, fire, and Earth, enhanced by words of Teilhard, the art work of Sister Margie Thompson, and the photography of Sisters Miriam Allorto and Colleen Dauerbach, Kathy helped us to "taste Earth's beauty and begin to see the Divine Presence at her heart." Keynote highlights by: Lil Needham SSJ

August 2010



SSJ Earth Center Dedicated Spring Consultations

As Congregational President Sister Anne Myers welcomed nearly 100 attendees to the Dedication of the SSJ Earth Center on June 12, 2010, she said, "Like the Universe Story itself, the House of Loreto we are about to rededicate as the SSJ Earth Center has its own unique story." A replica of the shrine in Italy, the House of Loreto was built in the late 1890s to commemorate pontifical approval From right: Sister Anne Myers and Shelley De Paul look on as Sister Mary of the Constitutions of the Sisters Elizabeth Clark invites participants to join in procession for the dedication of Saint Joseph of Chestnut of the new center. Hill. "The Constitutions, Anne said, "explain the way of life and the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Our mission calls us to live and work so that all people may be united with God and with one another." Since the House of Loreto was originally constructed as a memorial to our mission and our life formally approved by the universal Church, it seems fitting that now it will be the home of our Earth Center. "Sisters of Saint Joseph," Anne said, "are committed to the unity of all people and all of creation." The building was thoroughly renovated over the past year with an eye to creating a site for the SSJ Earth Center that models as far as possible the commitment of Sisters of Saint Joseph to care for Earth in collaboration with many others, who also desire to live in harmony with all creation. During that renovation, the Black Madonna, Bearing the Black Madonna in procession are four a statue enshrined in the House of Loreto enjoyed a students from Saint Athanasius Parish: Tymere Bell, warm welcome and a safe haven at Saint Athanasius Anthony Jones, Christopher Boatang, and Clifford Parish. Pastor of Saint Athanasius Parish, Reverend Bryant [bending to make the turn safely]. Assisting Joseph M. Okonski said that his parishioners is Joseph Mutuma. cherished the statue; he noted that it had been Is. "Don't ever let go of the thread," Stafford urges. refurbished while it was in their care. Sister Miriam Therese issued the same command. She At the dedication event, African American suggested that with the new SSJ Earth Center and with dancers Michael and Marcus Mahan led the plans to collaborate with Chestnut Hill College, the procession of attendees from the Motherhouse to the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Chestnut Hill College SSJ Earth Center. Students from Saint Athanasius/ community are taking hold of the thread in a new way. Immaculate Conception School had the honor of "Don't let go of the thread," Miriam said, by holding raising the Black Madonna on a gracefully designed on to it, you will share with many people a new and wooden frame and carrying it in procession to its new deeper appreciation of Earth." home. During the dedication ceremony, the statue was With their inspirational performance, Sister lovingly restored to a place of prominence in the Earth Mary Kay Kelley and Catherine Johnson of Heartful Center. Appropriately, the Black Madonna, associated Ministries and Bill Monaghan of Monaghan Music from ancient times with Mother Earth now stands provided musical interludes to accompany each part framed by the beautifully restored wooden reredos, of the dedication ceremony held on the Summer which was once part of the original altar in Loreto, Pavilion. Italy. The rededication of the House of Loreto and the When the procession arrived at the Earth Center, blessing of the SSJ Earth Center took place during the Anne spoke about the new mission of the former June 11-13, 2010 conference, Sacred Earth: Spirituality chapel, saying, "At this time, we dedicate this place and Sustainability, sponsored by Chestnut Hill College to the ministry of Care for Creation." As Reverend School of Graduate Studies, the Holistic Spirituality Joseph M. Okonski blessed the statue and the Earth Program and the Sisters of Saint Joseph and with Center, he couldn't resist mentioning that since the support from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. people of his parish hold the Black Madonna in such Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis, co-founder of deep regard, they return it with a bit of reluctance. Genesis Farm, gave the keynote address and conferees Should she ever again need a home away from home, enjoyed gourmet vegetarian fare. he hinted, Saint Athanasius is more than ready to Visit the SSJ Earth Center and see a thriving welcome her. garden of native plants. Learn Representing the Lenape Nation, Shelley De that a geothermal well intended Paul, prayed her blessing on the Earth Center in to provide heat and to cool the her native language, and she presented Sister Mary building is presently moderating Elizabeth Clark with herb ties as a gift from her summer's temperatures. people. Discover a rain cistern that The dedication ceremony continued on the stands ready to collect storm Summer Pavilion where Sisters Carol Zinn, Catherine water from the roof and redirect Gerald Kelly, Regina Bell, Mary Beth Hamm and Sister Miriam it to the garden. Notice the Patricia Kelly led prayer and offered uplifting framed photo of Earth centrally Therese MacGillis readings from scripture and poetry. Michelle Mahan, placed. associated with the Center at its first site, offered an Meet with Director of the SSJ Earth Center, original poem. Addressing the evolution of the Center Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, and join her in the during its first six years, Dr. Dom Roberti praised the prayer, "May Our Lady of Loreto continue to shower depth, challenging quality, and often hands-on appeal her blessings as the Sisters of Saint Joseph launch a of the many opportunities offered to a broad variety of new ministry of Care for Creation in the Wissahickon interested participants; he spoke confidently of things Watershed." to come. Written with: Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis OP rooted her Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ reflection in William Stafford's poem, The Way It Connie's sharing introduced two areas of planning: long range planning and a proposed new model for consultation. The long range planning topics are organized into seven focus areas called "sustainability elements." The General Council is committed to addressing these elements as means of exercising good stewardship of Congregational patrimony. The proposed model of consultation, Spring Consultations with the General Council and Fall Assemblies, was a topic for discussion and response at the gatherings. Sisters overwhelmingly supported the new model and agreed that it should be tested for a period of two years, at which time it should be evaluated to determine future usage. The theme of the Assembly planned for Fall 2010 is Prophetic Hope: Imagine the Possibilities. Sister Constance Fitzgerald OCD, will be the key presenter. Information concerning the Assembly is continually updated on the webpage dedicated to the Assembly. Small group conversations were followed by time for sharing with everyone present. Topics were as varied as the groups that gathered, and ranged from questions for clarification, to the proposed new model for consultation, to hopes and expectations for the future. Response to the Spring Consultations was positive; several responses are presented here. "To me the most striking thing about the Spring Consultation was the presence of all the members of our Congregation's leadership. Given all the demands on their time, I know that they had to make being there a real priority. That really struck me." -- Sister Terry Hayburn "I especially appreciated Connie's presentation on a model for our future consultations, Mary Dacey's comments on our finances, and her gentle prodding as she invited each of us to consider how willing we are to make some hard choices for the common good, and Carol Zinn's response to the impromptu singing of On the Way to Cape May." (Carol is always ready to lift her voice in song.) -- Sister Vera Green "One of the most memorable aspects of the Spring Consultation was the genuine warmth and intimacy of the Council, even as they shared some very hard and challenging truths with all of us. I felt included, at the deepest level, in the hopes and dreams for our future because of the willingness of these five women to trust us, the membership, with the realities and struggles our Congregation faces at this time in our history. That kind of transparency and collegiality will surely bear fruit in our communal life as Sisters of Saint Joseph." -- Sister Marianna Fieo "For me, the meeting with our General Council was encouraging. They presented the concerns of the Congregation with a positive, rather than a doomsday approach. What I carried away from all that they shared is the firm belief and strong hope that with prayer and the support of every member of the Congregation, we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead. The members of our General Council were humble to ask for our help on ways to face all that concerns us. I was impressed. They `put it out there' and then invited our thoughts and suggestions. We have many good women who have great minds, and I believe many will offer ideas we can consider." -- Sister Ann Walter McClister

continued from page 3

Smiles prevail as Sisters Margaret Mary McLaughlin, Ingrid Schweikart, and Arlene Ronollo give attention to points raised by the General Council.

August 2010



By now many Newsletter readers have come to know and even to claim as friends Mrs. Carol Schonewolf, who has been assisting in our Finance Office since 2005 and Mr. John Delacy, who has been answering questions and solving problems concerning computers since 2004. And many have met Chief Financial Officer Mr. Tim Woods, who began working in March 2009 with then Congregational Treasurer Sister Barbara Winnals and has continued since January 2010 with the current Congregational Treasurer, Sister Marie O'Brien as well as with the entire Finance Office staff. Still, these days a visit to the Motherhouse may well include a meeting with several new faces. Mrs. Sandy Barth and Mrs. Tina Soule are Finance Office Assistants. Miss Amy Chernekoff is serving as Office Manager for the Development Office, and Mrs. Karen McNamara, who along with Sister Cathy Corrigan, serves as an Assistant to the Council. Sandy and Tina travel to Chestnut Hill from Northeast Philadelphia each day. Amy, who grew up in Wilmington, journeys up the Blue Route from Delaware County. Karen chooses her route from among the various roads that connect her Glenside home with Chestnut Hill. Amy is newly engaged. Each of the other women is married with children ranging from six to twenty-something. Each woman brings skills earned through study and work experience. Following her 2009 graduation from Drexel University, Amy found part time work at a non-profit that provides assistance to

Introducing Four New Partners in Mission

seniors. Karen, who enjoyed volunteering at Saint Luke Parish Elementary School, was also balancing part time work in promotional sales right from her own kitchen. She was thinking about looking for something full time, something with a more definite schedule, when a friend heard about the Motherhouse opening and said, "Look at it. I think it might be just what you want." When a Philadelphia firm where Sandy and Tina worked in fields of accounting was sold, they began looking for work. As it happened, the very time that Amy, Karen, Sandy and Tina were seeking meaningful full time work matched the very time that members of the General Council -- enthusiastic about helping to bring the Strategic Plan of the Sisters of Saint Joseph fully alive and eager to embrace the creative and practical suggestions for effective leadership and administration garnered from the Administrative Audit conducted by Mr. Robert F. Shea of Shea Consulting Services -- were seeking new employees. By word of mouth each of the four new partners in mission heard about an opportunity to work with the Congregation. Recently, as all four women met for an orientation meeting, John and Carol joined the group. Sister Anne McCoy gave the gathering a rich spiritual tone beginning with an opening prayer and carrying through with the Mission Effectiveness PowerPoint she has created. Anne encouraged each of these new partners in mission to recognize the places where their work connects with the Mission. She invited them to bring the SSJ mission alive

We Weave Communion was the theme of the Fifth Seminar of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Seminar took place April 14 ­ 29, 2010, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Altogether there were 101 sisters and associates gathered from 19 congregations and 15 countries. Each group mounted displays that allowed all the participants to contemplate the realities of their countries and peoples. Two principal speakers provided input for the gathering: Sister Liliana Badoloni, OP and psychologist Graciela Senosiain. Liliana gave a reflection on Jesus' Design for Being Adult Human Beings and an Alternative Society. She challenged the group to have a new way of "looking." Graciela helped us explore healthy responses to challenging situations in community living. There were also many shorter presentations and opportunities to learn about the peoples, ministries and events happening in Latin America and the Caribbean. Sister Griselda Martínez Morales CSJ, our new NGO representative for the Congregations of St. Joseph at the UN, was on hand. She gave a presentation on the UN and her ministry as she has so far experienced it. In addition, four sisters from the St. Vallier congregation (two of whom are native Haitian sisters) and one from the Toronto congregation shared on the current situation in Haiti and the events and recovery efforts after the devastating earthquake. Throughout the days of the seminar, in large and small groups, the Sisters listened, prayed, reflected,

Ensanchando redes: Tejemos comunión / Expanding Networks: We Weave Communion

in their daily routines. Noting that lay employees have shared in the SSJ Mission for many years, Tim Woods explained the basics of the employment procedures that are in use at this time, sharing specifics regarding attendance, holidays, hours and other important issues. First and foremost, Tim confirmed that laywomen and men work with the Sisters to further the mission. As he focused attention on the mission and on the ways employees work together to forward it, he prompted awareness of the spirit of reverence and respect that permeates the relationships of all the Motherhouse employees. "Respect and regard for one another, so important to each of us, leads us to enjoy coming here each workday," Tim said. Amy, Karen, Tina and Sandy had no trouble seeing Tim's point. Amy said, "People are surprised to learn that I'm working for a community of

Finance Office Assistant Mrs. Sandy Barth, Development Office Manager, Miss Amy Chernekoff, Assistant to the General Council Mrs. Karen McNamara, and Finance Office Assistant Mrs. Tina Soule.

women religious, but I sense that the people I'm working with really care about their work and about me. `Hello' and `Good Morning' are real greetings. I hear a simple `Thank you' when I complete a piece of work, but I feel that the words spoken are really meant. It's all genuine." Sandy said, "A spirit of forgiveness seems to come readily. People would be amazed to see so many women working so well together. I see a readiness to handle whatever comes up, to work things out." Moving with another thought, Karen pointed out, "In no other workplace have I seen so many expressions of care -- just look at the ways the Congregation takes care of its members -- beginning with education of its younger members and continuing with care for its senior members." Tina won a nod of confirmation from everyone when she added, "I go home happy. People are asking me, "Are positions available!"

Following lunch in the dining room, Sister Francis Christi Beck took the group on a tour of the Motherhouse. They visited the Spirituality Center and Kieran Hall as well as Mount Saint Joseph Convent. Sandy said, "I had been hearing the word "scholasticate," and it amused me. Until I saw the big room on the second floor, I couldn't imagine a "scholasticate." The tour also helped the group to understand other words they hear frequently, among them, Emmaus, Trinity and Sophia communities. "Those words were a bit of a mystery," Tina said, but once we saw the layout, it was all clear."

From work that helps the Finance Office operate smoothly, to work that keeps the Development Office humming, to work that aids efforts the General Council is making toward sustainability goals, Tina and Sandy, Amy, and Karen are making a difference at the Motherhouse.

With the help of a heads up, Sister Donna Cicalese (left) is all set for the next translation the group will need.

shared, sang, danced, and laughed in five languages. Many friendships were renewed and new ones formed. All left the seminar renewed, energized and nourished to return home to continue on the journey, weaving communion as one global Joseph family.

Written by: Donna Cicalese, SSJ

August 2010



When it comes time to consider retiring, some sisters decide to limit the hours they serve at a ministry that has long claimed their passion and ingenuity. Others redirect their energies toward new adventures. Sisters Barbara Bradley and Jeanne Crane are enjoying new ventures. Barbara heads to Jefferson Medical College and Jean to Drexel University where both are SPs. An SP is a standardized patient, an actor, who plays the role of a patient with a specific illness, and when Barbara and Jean are called to work, it's time for: lights, camera, action! Barbara says, "My work at Jefferson Medical College begins when someone calls from the Jefferson Simulation Center to ask if I am available to come to a `training.' A thorough preparation is offered. I learn what questions the `doctor' is likely to ask, which symptoms I should describe, and some of the mannerisms a patient with my condition might display. I might portray a woman with symptoms of stress and depression, or one with persistent leg and back pain. My greatest challenge came when my `script' required me to speak and to walk like someone who has suffered a minor stroke. At Jefferson, everything is very professional." Jeanne said, "My schedules are posted on email. The Drexel student I encounter may be studying to be a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, a physical therapist or a medical doctor.

When Annie Dillard said: How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives, was she thinking retirement as a threshold for new adventures? Was she thinking of Sisters of Saint Joseph?

Sister Barbara Bradley

Sister Jeanne Crane

Sisters Kathleen Burton and Joan Krukoski have moved with a new part time ministry: Facilitator for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) at the University of Dayton Institute for Pastoral Initiatives. The VLCFF is an e-learning initiative for adult faith formation and an online Certificate in Catechesis Program. Over 60 courses and seminars are available in areas of Catechesis, Catholic Doctrine, Church History, Liturgy, Sacraments and other religious studies. Courses, which run from three to six weeks, are capped at 15 participants. Unlike independent study, these courses are designed to be experienced within a small virtual community. Requirements include reflection questions, online quizzes, two or more discussion boards, essay exercises, and an assessment question or activity. The discussion boards are significant to the online course. For each discussion board, each student is required to post a minimum of three times each week. For the first post, the student enters original thoughts related to the question. Comment on the contributions of others is required on the second post. For the third, students offer closing thoughts or general comments on the subject. While not every student has a chance to speak in a traditional class, Kathy and Joan find that meeting the three posts requirement ensures that all voices of the virtual community are heard. Facilitators meet requirements, too. They keep accurate lists of each student's reflections and posts. Students e-mail their essay exercises and assessment questions directly to their facilitators for review and scoring, and all weekly assignments must

Facilitating Faith Formation via Internet

be completed by Saturday. When the course ends, facilitators send reports listing students' scores. They also provide recommendations concerning completion certificates to VLCFF. The goal of VLCFF is to support the Church's professional faith formation ministry in cyberspace. Although only a diocese can certify for ministry, students are likely to receive certification because VLCFF was designed to cover the requirements common to U.S. dioceses. A diocese that is in partnership with the University of Dayton can certify adults who have completed the required online courses for a particular ministry. In order to be in partnership with Dayton, a diocese must provide facilitators for the courses. It was through the efforts of Betsy Foer, Deputy Director of Catechetics for the Archdiocese of Newark, that the Newark Archdiocese entered into partnership with VLCFF. Catholic Beliefs and Images of Jesus are `closed' courses Kathy and Joan facilitated for the Archdiocese of Miami; whenever all the participants are from the same diocese and are fulfilling requirements for that diocese, the course is considered `closed.' More usually, VLCFF students come from all parts of the world. Servicemen and women engaged in catechesis in parishes on military bases take the online classes to meet the requirements of the Archdiocese of Military Services. Joan has facilitated for officers from bases in the Philippines, Germany, and Turkey! Although her role as Director of the Office of Religious Education/Faith Formation for the Diocese of Camden keeps her stepping, Kathy continues as a VLCFF consultant. "One of the major barriers for our catechists in

Usually, our time together begins with a simple introduction, the taking of my history, and a routine exam that includes my vital signs. If, for example, I indicate that I have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, I can expect the challenging questions every thorough doctor would ask -- questions related to diet, exercise, smoking, and use of alcohol. Based on my answers, I would expect to hear about practical steps I could take to alleviate my symptoms. In another type of encounter, I participate in family counseling sessions where we are dealing with one or more of the issues that cause turmoil in family life today -- perhaps my role is that of the abused spouse!" Following an encounter the student and the SP meet for feedback.

Jeanne said, "During those meetings I describe how I felt as a patient in her/ his care. For example, did I feel the student showed genuine concern and respect for me? Did I feel that I was with a competent professional? Did I feel safe and comfortable? Often students comment that this feedback session is the best part of the encounter, and that's when I feel really good about what I am doing." "The SP experience has been challenging, gratifying, refreshing and fun!" Jeanne said. "I enjoy the Drexel atmosphere and conversation with other SPs but the best thing about being an SP is working with the students and faculty. Their dedication to the compassionate care of others gives me great hope that real patients will be treated with kindness and respect when

these students take their places as medical professionals." Barbara also speaks highly of the students she encounters. "They make no attempt to diagnose," Barbara assured. "Instead, a considerate student will say, `I'll tell the attending physician about the questions you have asked me, and we'll get back to you.'" "SPs often share role-playing at Jefferson. It's a great way for us to strengthen our skills," and we enjoy learning from one another," Barbara said. "For me being an SP is rewarding; each encounter energizes and enriches me." Days at Jefferson bring smiles to Barbara, and so do the days she serves as an administrative assistant to a summer reading camp for children from area schools. The camp provides Chestnut Hill College graduate students with the opportunity to complete a practicum requisite. Barbara greets children and parents, takes phone messages, handles some of the paper trail, and oversees playtime. On days when Jeanne is not at Drexel, she serves Stella Maris Parish community by bringing Communion to parishioners who are housebound or joins her local community as they plan an Advent or Lenten retreat for women of the parish. Retired -- Barbara and Jeanne? Well, after a fashion!

continuing their formation as religious educators," Kathy said, "is the time commitment required to complete their catechist certification. While many individuals have the ability to dedicate several hours per week for in-classroom catechetical teaching, their personal schedules do not allow for additional time away from the home for their own personal faith formation. The University of Dayton online program directly addresses this concern by allowing participants to complete their studies in the comfort of their homes." Finding the time to complete all the readings and to meet weekly deadlines is a struggle for most students. Still, when students evaluate the programs of Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation, they are unanimous in identifying one significant advantage: the freedom to attend to requirements at the times that work for them. Written by: Joan Krukoski SSJ

Sister Joan Krukoski awaits students' posts.

August 2010



At Saint Joseph Villa Sister Residents choose from a full calendar of events

When it comes to making plans for the day, Sister Residents at Saint Joseph Villa choose from a varied menu of activities and events.

Sister Jane Glennon reports that registration for Bridges to Contemplative Living, an eight-week program led by Sister Regina Kropp was so full, Regina could accommodate everyone who registered only by forming three groups of five to six sisters each. Jane's group met on Tuesdays. At each session, With the first season of Bridges Bridges opened with a Psalm completed, Sister Regina prayer, followed by a reading Kropp is looking to juggle from Thomas Merton and one her schedule to accommodate from a contemporary author. more sisters come October. Questions that "catch the theme" were offered and sharing and discussion followed. The focus was on listening, on holding the conversation sacred, and on carrying its wisdom to heart. Jane said, "As each week goes by you can see a definite bond that comes from sharing core feelings and insights. Sometimes there is a moment of true spiritual realization of God's presence. I am so grateful for my group and for this special opportunity." On the Thursdays of April, Sister Linda O'Mara welcomed sisters interested in "experimenting with different materials" to create art. Linda used background music, a scattering of art pieces, a table full of various paints, brushes, pastels and different kinds and weights of paper. With questions like, "What is my heart really like today?" Linda invited reflection. With prompts like, "Picture yourself as cloth, or as a season, a holiday, or a meadow full of flowers," Linda encouraged different ways to awaken senses and let imaginations fly.

Center for Holistic Living

A consideration for anyone beginning or renewing the practice of ongoing spiritual direction


While spiritual direction has a long and honored history in the Catholic Tradition, few of us experienced it in the early days of our spiritual formation. The past four decades, however, have witnessed a revival of the long treasured practice of spiritual direction. As a renewed appreciation for spiritual direction grew, women and men who are members of religious communities gave new priority to the one-to-one relationship of spiritual direction. Soon more and more laywomen and laymen of both Catholic and Protestant faith traditions also began to make spiritual direction a regular part of their personal spirituality. Naturally, many people who begin this practice have questions and doubts about the "what, how, and why" of spiritual direction. Some are not certain that they will feel comfortable discussing their spiritual journey, since they are accustomed to considering it a private matter. Still others wonder if their spirituality is good enough or even correct. Hopefully this article can provide some basic answers that are helpful. Good spiritual direction is all about deepening one's relationship with God. A session is usually 45 minutes to an hour, and during that time the director companions and supports the directee, helping each to realize how present God is in his or her daily life. What seems a very ordinary conversation can often be enlightening, and during the sacred time director and directee spend together, the person seeking spiritual direction often becomes more aware of God's continuous presence. This awareness of God's love and grace becomes a great support and a comfort as one moves along life's journey. Each person's experience of God is unique and personal. In prayerful conversation with a spiritual director, the directee becomes more aware and more able to trust his or her personal experience and over time, becomes more and more attuned to the many ways God speaks to each of us about our lives and about God's plan for our happiness. One Sister of Saint Joseph, a woman in her mid-eighties, describes her experience this way: "To me, spiritual direction is God's loving hand guiding me along my faith journey to Him. It is the joy of experiencing God's love for me now." Writtten by: Sister Joyce Ballerino

Sister Linda O'Mara invites creative expression. "The boat you draw doesn't need to look anything like a picture you may have seen. Look into your heart. Then let the drawing begin."

Sister Mary Ann Boyle notes that sister residents take advantage of the many features of the Villa's Channel 5 TV Project. Each day, Sisters Mary McGrath and Marie Michael Wanzie spend about 45 minutes backstage in the Villa auditorium, where they coordinate the in-house channel. Offerings include the menu, scheduled activities, spiritual thoughts and jokes. Birthdays are announced. The time for Mass and other spiritual services are noted. Music is available 24/7, and thanks to a generous benefactor, a Netflix movie runs daily. New Sister Residents look forward to new adventures: "I just came to the Villa in March 2010, and I cannot rave enough about the accommodations and the staff. I hope to integrate myself fully as time goes by," said Sister Ron Kaiser.

Sisters Peg Maguire and Mary Rita Boyle follow Linda's advice, "We can minimize stress and restore a sense of well being when we relax and just let something come."

A participant in the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) from its earliest days, Sister Clementina Obembe OSF, currently serves as project coordinator for West Africa. Clementina is a peerless ambassador for the education initiative. When she visited Chestnut Hill College and the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in June 2010, she told story after story of ASEC's success and of its enduring value. "The sisters love learning new things. Those who have participated in ASEC programs know that they are better leaders; they possess a new sense of confidence and there is so much more sharing among them." As each sister completes an ASEC program, she mentors three more, Clementina explained. "Everyone involved is eager to grasp it all so she has more to share to help sisters be effective in their ministries." The education initiative has involved joint planning, site visits, the establishment of computer labs and training programs, as well as grant seeking and other forms of fundraising. Labs are up and running in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Clementina said, "The desire to master basic computer skills and web design draws some sisters to the labs. The sisters are very excited about coming for the Web Design Program being offered this August at our Nigeria Lab; they know that Sister Lisa Olivieri is their teacher for this course!" Lisa is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Technology at Chestnut Hill College. "Sisters are also attracted by the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative," Clementina added. "SLDI offers leadership training in administration, management, and finance. Already some 420 sisters, representing five African countries and 108 congregations,

Hear Sister Clementina telling ASEC stories and be amazed

Sister Clementina Obembe OSF, has a story for you. Hers is the story of how American Sisters are helping their African Sisters. Everyone can help!

have been served by the three-year SLDI pilot program." Awareness that women religious in Africa need secondary and advanced levels of education to acquire the credentials that enable them to engage in the teaching, healthcare, spiritual, and social service ministries desperately needed in their countries, prompted leaders of four Pennsylvania congregations and the presidents of the colleges and universities founded by each of their congregations to lay the groundwork for the African Sister Education Collaborative as early as


The ASEC founders include the congregational leaders of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, and the Society of the Holy Child Jesus of Rosemont, and the presidents of Neumann University, Chestnut Hill College, Marywood University, and Rosemont College. Written with: Sister Clementina Obembe

August 2010



An alumna of Chestnut Hill College, Sister Patricia Kelly, served as vice president and president of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph for 20 years. During those same years, she also served as a member of the College's Board of Directors, and she chaired the Board for nine of those years. She was awarded an honorary degree during the Chestnut Hill College President Sister Carol Jean Vale Commencement celebrated May 15, 2010. congratulates Sister Patricia Kelly. As Sister Merilyn Ryan, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of CHC's Mathematics Department, presented Sister Patricia Kelly for the award she said: Author and educator Parker Palmer wrote: A good education helps us to embrace complexity, find comfort in ambiguity, entertain contradictory ideas [and] grasp both poles of a paradox." By Palmer's criteria, Sister Patricia Kelly is a truly educated woman. Sister Patricia, a faithful and enthusiastic alumna of Saint Hubert High School, received the Saint Hubert Distinguished Graduate Award in 2001. Today she is honored by another alma mater. ... In her years as College Board member, Sister Patricia, an English major who holds a master's degree in Religious Studies and a certificate in Pastoral Counseling, worked with finances, investments, corporations, properties and attorneys on behalf of both the Congregation and the College. She embraced the complexity of these challenges with grace and, in the words of several Board members, was always "well prepared and knowledgeable about issues" as well as "welcoming [and]...inclusive of all." During those years both the Congregation and the College faced multiple challenges and changes. College President Sister Carol Jean Vale describes those times as "nothing short of transformational for Chestnut Hill College." The construction of Martino Hall, the decision to become a coeducational institution, and the decision to purchase the SugarLoaf property provide just a few examples; the memories and imaginations of many present today can fill in others. Each challenge came with its own set of contradictory ideas, and Sister Patricia's leadership throughout modeled how to entertain these ideas and draw from all sides of an issue to find the real wisdom. Board members comment that she always "included all sides of an issue," and was "prepared to deal with anything that was put on the table." Sister Patricia "set a standard for excellence and achievement while keeping us focused on the Mission of the College and the

Honorary Degree awarded to Sister Patricia Kelly at Chestnut Hill College Commencement


Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph." Sister Carol describes her service as that of "a genuine partner in mission," whose "egoless commitment to the common good" has been "pure gift" to the College. Those who have worked with Sister Patricia know that she is a woman of deep spirituality, integrity, compassion, and wisdom. She generously embraces complexity, finds comfort (or at least peace) in ambiguity, willingly entertains contradictory ideas, and firmly grasps both poles of a paradox. Sister Patricia, you are a truly educated person, learned in things that really matter. And like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, you will now have a certificate, in your case a doctoral diploma, to attest to your enormous learning. Sister President, Chestnut Hill College has long been blessed by the wisdom and service of this extraordinary leader, educator and mentor. It is my privilege to present to you Sister Patricia Kelly, who leads and teaches by example and lives the Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the mission of Chestnut Hill College every day, for the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. In her response, Sister Patricia Kelly said, "I receive this honor as a witness to God's abundant grace at work in the mission of Chestnut Hill College and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. One hundred fifty-two years ago, this ground beneath our feet was bought and built on with the labor and sacrifice of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. For eighty-six years, Chestnut Hill College has continued to create, expand and transform this legacy anew ­ with relentless commitment and vision. And so must we. Let the vital mission of Chestnut Hill College and the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph continue to empower our personal lives, our churches, and our world ­ that all may be one (John

Eager to salute Sister Patricia Kelly as she is honored at the 2010 Chestnut Hill College Commencement are Congregational President Sister Anne Myers, Sister Merilyn Ryan, and Sister Margaret Fleming.

"Teacher appreciation makes the world of education go around," educator Helen Peters once wrote. One of the most remarkable forms of appreciation a professor or university administrator can receive is a Festschrift, i.e., a scholarly book published in his or her honor and containing academic essays written by the CUA honors Sister Rose McDermott honoree's colleagues. with scholarly publication. At a celebration of her 75th birthday last coadjutor bishop of the September, Sister Rose Diocese of Trenton]. The McDermott, associate message of the letters is not professor of canon law and just that Sister Rose was and 2007-2009 interim dean of is a fine administrator, teacher, Catholic University's School employee and boss, but that of Canon Law, learned that she is a delightful person. her colleagues were planning "Sister Rose is indeed to publish a Festschrift in her a legend in the school [of honor. On March 18, Rev. canon law] and university Robert J. Kaslyn, S.J., current due to her assistance to one dean of the canon law school, and all," writes Father Kaslyn presented a newly published in his letter of appreciation. copy of the Festschrift at "The legend stems in large the School of Canon Law's part from her character: Rose annual James H. Provost is self-effacing and quick to Lecture. Published by Sheridan praise, encourage and support Press, the Festschrift is titled fellow faculty, students, fellow Essays in Honor of Sister sisters, but she does not care Rose McDermott, S.S.J. The much for being praised or even book's subtitle - Service for thanked." Union With God and With One Another contributor of Another - captures the mission a letter, Theresa Selvaggi, statement of the Sisters of worked as a secretary for Sister Saint Joseph, Sister Rose's Rose in the early 1990s when religious congregation. the latter was delegate for The Festschrift consists religious in the Archdiocese of of 13 scholarly articles Philadelphia. concerning canon law and Selvaggi writes, "My seven letters expressing family would remark how appreciation for Sister they never saw someone leave Rose's excellent qualities in the morning to go to work of scholarship, teaching, in such a pleasant way as I leadership, service, faith and did when I worked for Sister humor. Rose. I left my home smiling, "I had no idea that the knowing I would be entering faculty worked so diligently into another day working to produce the Festschrift with someone who can only as a birthday gift for me," be described [as] ... kind, said Sister Rose. "As book compassionate, dedicated, review editor for the journal, wise, honest, humble, sincere, The Jurist, I know that charitable and selfless." festschrifts honor scholars of Sister Rose may be true academic excellence. I 75 years old, but she's not am humbled by this honor, as planning to retire right away. I see myself as a simple Sister "Definitely not," says Father of Saint Joseph, called to serve Kaslyn. "Don't make me others in the spirit that Saint scared." Joseph served Jesus and Mary. The new publication "What the teacher is, in tribute to Sister Rose will is more important than what be the first volume in a new he teaches," philosopher series of scholarly books Søren Kierkegaard once on the ecclesiastical law of wrote, and it is a sentiment the Catholic Church, to be expressed over and over in the published by the Sheridan letters of appreciation in the Press for the School of Canon book's first 21 pages, which Law. The name of the new were written by current and book series is Institutiones former colleagues, students, Iuris Ecclesiae, which subordinates and bosses, translates from the Latin as including Most Rev. Joseph A. Institutions of the Law of the Galante, the bishop of Camden, Church. This story is reprinted NJ, and Very Rev. David M. with the permission of The O'Connell, C.M., president Catholic University of America of Catholic University [now

Office of Public Affairs.

Colleagues honor Sister Rose McDermott

August 2010



Sisters of Earth held their biennial conference July 8-11, 2010, at the Passionist Spiritual Center in Bronx, NY. In presentations she offered throughout the conference, Dr. Vandana Shiva, physicist, philosopher, environmental All that concerns Earth, concerns activist, eco-feminist, Dr. Vandana Shiva. author of several Crisis. books, and native of India, She placed significant developed the conference emphasis on Seed Trafficking, theme: The Wisdom of Women, speaking strongly against The Wisdom of the Indigenous. genetically modified organisms Sisters of Earth is an (GMOs), and against the desire informal network of women of multinational corporations whose deep concern for the such as Monsanto and Cargill well being of Earth leads to own "copyrights on genes" them to support each other that no one else owns so they in a common effort to attain can make millions of dollars spiritual and ecological healing from those seeds. "Each on a global scale. Participating farm," she said, "should be in the conference were Sisters a sanctuary for seeds, rather Jackie Griffith, Mary Beth than be a patented source Hamm, Claire McNichol, Mary for corporations that seek to Ann Mulzet, Marie Olwell, and control global pharmaceutical SOE Planning Team member and food supplies." Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark. In her view, gardening Dr. Shiva directed is a service of Mother Earth, attention to some of the and we should be making themes she has explored in Gardens of Hope from Seeds her writings including: Water of Freedom. Wars: Privatization, Pollution, Dr. Shiva is now focusing and Profit, Biopiracy: The her attention on preventing Plunder of Nature and imperialism over life itself. "I Knowledge, The Violence don't want to live in a world of the Green Revolution, where five companies control Staying Alive: Women, our health and food," she said. Ecology and Development, Also offering a Earth Democracy: Justice, presentation was Dr. Mira Sustainability and Peace, and Shiva, a physician and public Soil not Oil: Environmental health activist. She spoke Justice in an Age of Climate

Sisters of Earth meet at Passionist Spiritual Center in New York

Logo: Sisters of Earth Web site:

on Human Health and the Traditional Healing Wisdom of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing arts. Each day, rituals focused on Earth and on women were led by Mary Ann Mulzet. Other opportunities included: chair massage, yoga dance, poetry, art, and Tai Chi. To take advantage of the diversity of their group, participants sought meal times and other opportunities to share conversation about their varied ministries and to learn how they might easily network for the common good. An evening of entertainment included a delightful concert by Emma's Evolution, a duo of award winning activist musicians. Attendees held sacred their awareness that Rev. Thomas Berry, OP, (19142009) did much of his research on the Universe on the very grounds along the Hudson River, where they had gathered for the 2010 SOE Conference. To learn more about Dr. Vandana Shiva's more than two decades of work and study, SOE Conference attendees recommend gathering information from her blog, Navdanya, (www. navdanya. com). The blog offers new understandings associated with Dr. Shiva's appreciation of Earth and her concerns about modern day neglect of Earth.

If someone asked you, "What happens at the SSJ Center for Spirituality?" You might answer, "The Center is a sacred space, where sisters, associates, laywomen and laymen come for spiritual direction or for programs that encourage spiritual growth, personal insight, discernment, and gratitude for the graces of our Gracious God." You'd be right on target. But dig a little deeper and learn that like everyone else, spiritual directors multitask. Here's just one example. About seven years ago, SSJ Center for Spirituality received a call from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. They called to see if we could come to their Motherhouse in Bensalem, PA, to talk to their older sisters about the value of spiritual direction. After our presentation, a number of Sisters expressed interest in having a member of the Center Staff as a spiritual director. Since transportation presented a challenge to those sisters, we decided we would travel to Bensalem once a month, whenever possible, to provide opportunities for spiritual direction. Our days in Bensalem are an enriching and rewarding experience. We have come to a deeper appreciation of the spirituality Mother Katharine Drexel instilled in her sisters. The sisters' love for the Black and Native American peoples and their dedication to the work of uprooting deep-seated injustices are an inspiration to us. Fidelity to their mission challenges them, calling them to an ever more generous self-emptying love. In addition to our service to Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, members of the Center staff also travel monthly to be with some Medical Mission Sisters at their Motherhouse in Fox Chase. This, too, proves enriching. There we meet with sisters who have spent most of their religious lives among people of many different cultures throughout the world. What a broadening and deepening experience that has been for us! We have been blessed as they shared the joys they experienced in missionary life and the challenges they faced as they adapted to various cultures. Their stories have heightened in us a greater awareness of our own charism. They help us move toward the call we hear in Jesus' prayer: that all may be one.

Seen at the Center, this potter's design, an image of unity, is a good match with the mission.

Discovering yet another aspect of the mission of the SSJ Center for Spirituality

Three minutes into the meeting and it was clear: speaker and audience had bonded. The speaker was the world renowned movement specialist and fitness expert Lawrence Biscontini. Filling the Villa Auditorium from front to back were approximately 150 of the Sisters of Saint Joseph who reside at Saint Joseph Villa and a number of Villa staff members. The bonds of affection that unite Lawrence with Sisters Agnes Leona Arnold, Charles Teresa Cunningham, and Ruth Eisenhauer date back to Lawrence's elementary school days. Sister Charles served as principal and Sisters Agnes and Ruth were both teachers at Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Lebanon, PA when Lawrence attended school there. Lawrence had a gift to share with everyone. His gift was his on-site presentation of a stress management course he created for the occasion of his visit. At the outset, Lawrence said, "This will be the fastest 45 minutes you've ever experienced"; his audience soon realized that there was every reason to agree with him. From his energetic Hello, Aloha, and Namaste, to his oft-repeated words of wisdom, Buddha's famous seven-word mantra: As my thoughts are so am I and Mother Teresa's, prayer: Jesus in my heart, Lawrence welcomed, encouraged, and praised participation: "You are so positive! You are much more responsive than many people half your age." Lawrence taught the gesture and bow associated with the greeting, Namaste. Next, he demonstrated movement to form a lotus blossom. He suggested beginning the day by breathing deeply, forming the lotus blossom and speaking aloud a key word or idea chosen for the day. "Peace serenity, or joy might be a good words to choose," he said. "The mind can do much to control the body." Soon, all were moving their hands from north to south as they "painted a fence." Next, they were moving they arms from west to east as they reached from left to right, stretching whatever distance was comfortable. The tapping of toes and heels followed. Lawrence's directions were interspersed with grade school stories: "I was into magic tricks. I would teach a trick to Sister Ruth and she would perform it in class the next day." "Great!" "Excellent," sisters said as they spoke about the program. Sister Marie Julia Furey said, "Lawrence is very encouraging. The things he suggests are doable." Sister St. Ursula Egan said,

Lawrence Biscontini brings "Wellness without Walls" to Villa

Written by: Marie Olwell SSJ

Roles have changed. Lawrence is now Sister Ruth Eisenhauer's teacher. The energetic participation of the "whole class" suggests that Lawrence still knows how to make "magic."

"To see the day as gift, as Lawrence just taught us, is an excellent idea. What a great way to wake up!" Interacting directly with the persons with whom he is sharing his mindful movement approaches to fitness is important to Lawrence. He speaks of his mission as "Wellness without Walls." To learn all about his programs, writings, and awards, google: findlawrence.

August 2010



Enjoy traditional, classical, or contemporary music? It's all at Piano Fest VIII

SSJ Associates named: Beacons of Light

Sister Anna Marie Mack, is surrounded by the students who performed in Piano Fest VIII.

SSJ Newsletter

9701 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118-2694

"Sole Sisters" Run 2010- 100th Anniversary Celebration

5 Mile Run / Begins 9:15 2 Mile Walk/Run Begins 8:30 October 2, 2010 Cape May Point, NJ

Proceeds Benefit Saint Mary by-the-Sea Entry Fee $25 ­ Registration and Information

Sisters of Saint Joseph

Written by: Pamela Hudak

Address Service Requested

Piano Fest VIII began with Riding a Pony in the Park (an Irene Rogers duet) performed by first-year students Sanjana and Raelyn and closed with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata Op. 27, 3rd movement performed by Meg Quien, a senior at Moorestown High School. A celebration of talent held in the school hall at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Maple Shade NJ, Piano Fest brought pride and satisfaction not only to the 17 students who performed, but also to their devoted teacher Sister Anna Marie Mack and to the family members and friends who swelled with pride and delight. Each student performed two solos (from memory, of course), one in each half of the program, and each buddied with another student to play a duet. The accomplished pianists introduced the pieces they performed, often adding descriptive comments designed to inform or to "wow." For example, those in the audience learned that a tarantella, a wild Italian dance, was once believed to be the appropriate remedy for countering the effect of a tarantula bite! With two tarantellas in the program, the audience enjoyed double protection! By including four Chopin pieces: The Maiden's Wish, Prelude Op. 28, No.

7, Mazurka Op. 67, No. 2, and Fantaisie Impromptu Op. 66, the young artists commemorated the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth. The audience had no difficulty whatsoever transitioning from Debussy's Arabesque or Schubert's Ecossaise to Yo Ho, a Pirate's Life (arr. Aronson) or to Bubble Gum Rag (D. Alexander).

Rachna and Alexis perform a duet.

An especially touching moment came as Debbie, one of Anna Marie's adult students, and her daughter Alexis played their duet, Spanish Intermezzo (D. Alexander). The loving hug mother and daughter shared, testified not only to their mutual accomplishment, but also to their joy in each other. The entire Fest was a celebration of the joy of sharing music. "The joy and pride I see in the eyes

of parents are what keep me going," Anna Marie said. During the intermission, she suggested that this age of technology needs to find a balance between the key pressing required to instant message and the key pressing that enables pianists to communicate beauty. Anna Marie offered affectionate praise and warm congratulations to her students, and true to her belief that it is important not only to press keys on a piano keyboard, but to press the right keys, it seemed only natural that she end with the message she sends so frequently: Practice! Advice about practice is advice Anna Marie takes to heart. It is not uncommon for a student arriving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent for a lesson, to hear Anna Marie practicing -- not only Liszt or Chopin -- but basic scales as well. When Sister Theresa Francis Newell presented flowers to Anna Marie at the recital's close, she noted that it is wonderful to have so much music in the house. Bravo! Bravo! accompanied a standing ovation for Sister and her students, and brought a fitting close to Piano Fest VIII.

SSJ Associates Margot and Bill Zuccarello are NIM community service honorees. At right, is one happy cheerleader, Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark! and the warm welcome they SSJ Associates Margot offer everyone they meet. and Bill Zuccarello were As SSJ Associates honored as Beacons of Light at st Margot and Bill witness to NIM's 21 Annual Assembly the SSJ mission of unity in (Neighborhood Interfaith concrete, significant ways. Movement). Members of They are indeed Beacons of NIM nominate honorees for Light. their community service. The Along with a dozen SSJ Earth Center and Justice Sisters of Saint Joseph and SSJ Ministry nominated Margot Associates, Margot and Bills's and Bill. daughter Rose and son Bill Director of SSJ were able to attend the award Associates Sister Rose ceremony. Andrea Loughery said, "I The Neighborhood would nominate Margot for Interfaith Movement gathers her leadership, which is by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and example, her generous spirit, Unitarian laity and religious which always leads her to say, leaders to create "a vibrant, `Yes,' and most of all, I would just, and caring society" that is nominate her for the inclusive "grounded in the shared values way she relates to all people." of individuals and diverse Margot volunteers faith traditions and mindful weekly at Saint Joseph Villa. of the interconnectedness She and Bill were part of the of life." NIM strengthens original committee that helped neighborhoods through service to found the Cecilian Center and social justice advocacy. for Earth, Arts and Spirit The NIM Assembly in Mount Airy, where they was held June 3, 2010 at created a vegetable garden the Germantown Jewish and encouraged Community Center 400 W. Ellet Street, Supported Agriculture. Philadelphia, PA. Featured Bill and Margot are speaker for the event was Bob weekly volunteers at the Zawger, Executive Director SSJ Welcome Center where and Co-founder of Partners for they teach English and assist Sacred Places. immigrants preparing for A dessert reception citizenship exams. Along with followed the presentations. their kindness, patience, and faithful service, they light the Written by: Mary way with their encouragement Elizabeth Clark SSJ

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