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Edition No. 205—April 13, 2022 
ZOOM—Fools For Christ

by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate in Mission
Do not deceive yourselves, If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a ‘fool’ so that he may become wise. (1Cor 3:8- 20) 

April 1, 2022 and few of us at the Villa had even thought to mention April Fool’s Day!  Somehow, the frivolity was missing. Could it be that we were getting old(er)? That Covid had put a damper on our pursuit of fun? Or was the world trying to get a grip on itself as it spun wildly from one calamity to another? 

Perhaps it was about all of the above. Yet, during these waning pandemic days it would seem reasonable that, having survived COVID, we would have particular cause to celebrate with a touch of lighthearted foolishness. That’s where April 1st comes in. The fact that throughout the centuries the word ‘fools’ has often taken center stage in scripture, drives home the point that our faulted humanity has often fallen behind in its more noble quest of becoming “fools for Christ”.

Historians pose several theories regarding the origin of April Fool’s Day. Though its exact beginning remains a mystery, we do know that the day has been celebrated for several centuries. This alone should tell us that humanity’s dance with foolishness is not a new discovery!

Some pundits speculate that the most popular understanding of April Fool’s Day dates back to 1583 when France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. This changed the beginning of the New Year from varying dates around the Vernal Equinox, (April 1st ), to the more stable winter date of January 1st. Those who did not comply with this edict were considered “April Fools” and became the butt of outrageous jokes and pranks.

Whatever its origin, April Fool’s Day reminds us that despite our many blessings, we can all lay claim to being “April fools” in one way or another. On this day at least, we can laugh at ourselves along with a God who sees us as we are, forgives our foolish moments, and laughs along with us. In many ways, we are after all, despite our many blessings, April fools: a foolish remark, a careless omission, a thoughtless act—things to which we can all lay claim. Above all, these things serve to keep us humble, help us to laugh at ourselves.

More than ever the Lord needs a few fools to risk ridicule and hatred to proclaim His Gospel to a hostile world that often thinks it is a foolish doctrine that is hopelessly out of touch. It is said that among some of the monks of the Orthodox Church it is common to place upon their tombstone the phrase: “Fool for Christ” Not bad. I pray that I will increasingly live a life worthy of the title. And, if I do, kindly grant me the favor of inscribing on my tombstone: “Fool for Christ.”

Perhaps it is about all of the above, but it would seem that during these post-pandemic difficult times, we in community have particular reason to celebrate a day of fun and lightheartedness. 
Saint Joseph Villa
Easter Egg Hunt
April 9, 2022
The Easter Egg Hunt at Saint Joseph Villa was a huge success! The children enjoyed hunting for eggs, arts and crafts, balloon animals, and the animals from Briar Bush Nature Center. Thank you, everyone who attended, despite the rain—it was a great time!
The Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Center
Weaving Relationships
Thank You for Being Our Neighbor
The Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Center recently held a “thank you” gathering for our faithful volunteers. “Weaving Relationships—Thank You for Being Our Neighbor” was an event that truly embodied the mission statement of the Center, as the evening “fostered a sense of community, uniting neighbor to neighbor and neighborhood to neighborhood” (SSJNC Mission Statement). 

Volunteers gathered in person and on Zoom, from Boston to Florida, from Cramer Hill to Chestnut Hill, to celebrate “relationships” and to share their experience of volunteering at the Neighborhood Center. Since every program offered at the Neighborhood Center depends on our volunteers’ spirit of generosity it was a gift and a grace to be able to thank them and to show our appreciation to our Volunteer Neighbors through prayer, food, and spirits! 

Our dedicated Volunteer Neighbors, our Partners in Mission, help us "to live out in a spirit of gentle boldness our mission of unity and of loving service to the dear Neighbor" (SJJ Constitutions).
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
Prayer for Ukraine
April 13, 2022
In the spirit of Holy Week, sisters and the Motherhouse staff gathered with heavy hearts, and deep faith in our God, to pray for the people of Ukraine. 

God of peace and justice, 
we pray for the people of Ukraine today. 
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom discernment, and compassion to guide their decisions.
We pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

-Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell
Earth Day
April 22, 2022

Sister Colleen Dauerbach SSJ, Social Justice Coordinator
Let us celebrate April 22, 2022 Earth Day: Integral Ecology Pursing the Common Good for Our Common Home. There are wonderful resources from Catholic Climate Covenant included in the information below.

2022 Earth Day Program

The one-hour program invites communities to explore integral ecology and the common good through prayers, readings, discussion questions, a short video, and suggested activities (including an advocacy action and a personal sustainability commitment)

Source: Catholic Climate Covenant
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                         — SSJ Constitutions #21
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