Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph


SSJ E-NEWS is available for viewing on the SSJ website.

Edition No. 177—June 25, 2021 
SSJ Neighborhood Center's Food Distribution Serves Over 200 Neighbors in Camden
June 16, 2021

Bonnie McMemamin SSJ
Summer is off to a good start! We were blessed to welcome neighbors from near and far last Wednesday for our monthly food distribution. To beat the heat, we gave out groceries all day long and served the needs of over 200 neighbors in the process. With everything from cream cheese and fresh milk to canned goods and assorted produce, everyone got goods to help supplement their home pantries for the month ahead. We give special thanks for our faithful volunteers and were happy to see the return of some familiar faces that we'd missed during the height of the pandemic. Truly it takes a village and we give thanks for all our neighbors!
Art With a Heart: Faith-based Film Advocates Gather to Support A Channel of Peace

A Channel of Peace, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to producing films and other projects that advance family, faith in God, and the values of love, forgiveness, good works, and gratitude, held its inaugural "Art With a Heart Celebration" June 24, 2021, in Coopersburg, PA. The sold-out event honored Gary Sinise (Excellence in Entertainment), Alice Finn Freeh (Excellence in Education), and David Jaindl (Excellence in Community Service) and raised funds for The Hail Mary filming this July.

Actor, director, and producer Daniel Roebuck and his wife Tammy Roebuck created a Channel of Peace to tell positive stories with a message of hope, which are too few in today's culture. All projects are filmed in the Lehigh Valley, where Danny grew up and was educated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia in Bethlehem, PA. Throughout his 35+ year career, Danny has lauded the Sisters who taught him. With The Hail Mary, Danny pays homage to the Sisters of Saint Joseph. His main female character, Sister Kathy, is named for Sister Kathleen, and another character, Sister Margaret Anthony, is named for his former principal at St. Anne Elementary School.

Learn more about Danny and A Channel of Peace in the Spring/Summer 2019 edition of One With Magazine and at achannelofpeace.org.
Villa Zoomers—Message from a Rabbit

by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate
‘What is real?” said the Velveteen Rabbit staring from pages yellowed with age and dog-eared with a child’s once eager touch. What is really, real? In this world of fake news, false assumptions, and belief-turned-upside-down, this is a question we all must answer as we muddle through today’s top news in search of what is true. 

During this month’s meeting, Villa Zoomers looked for answers in Fratelli Tutti where Pope Francis re-echoes our quest for what is real: “Is it possible to be concerned for truth, to seek truth that responds to life’s deepest meaning?” he asks. We have to believe it is, for without a firm conviction that our basic human dignity leads us to seek what is honest and real, there is little hope for the future of society. Our world cannot be constructed on shifting sand.
 
This is what is so frightening in today’s divisive discourse and partisan splits that prevent compromise. When people fall into indifference or excessive individualism, they lose sight of values that have long been the established backbone of our society. Today as our country sorts through multiple world problems and environmental challenges, America must somehow return to those core moral values that have kept us strong throughout the years.  

For our part, we who are bonded in Faith must rise above contention to embrace those values that once made our country great among nations. It might be well during this period of Community reflection to reach back in time to the memory of a well-loved Rabbit whose velveteen veneer, worn and scraggly with age, could be brought to life by a little boy who saw what was real and learned to love despite the flaws. 
SSJ Associates in Mission 
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
SSJ Associates in Mission from Franklin Lakes, NJ recently made their trip to visit Sister Linda at Saint Joan of Arc in Philadelphia to drop off collected donations. The Associates were so excited to finally gather in person with one another and used the time to fill four cars with donations. We are grateful for their continued service to the community!

Our SSJ Associates in Mission are ready for any good work!
Franklin Lakes Associates gather with Rose Marie Kean SSJ (bottom right).
Villa Residents Learn More
About Sisters of Saint Joseph 
during the French Revolution
 Sister Roberta Archibald SSJ and three Villa staff members presented a video program on our sisters in the French Revolution. Many sisters and residents enjoyed the presentation and several responses are listed below.
I viewed the program twice and I am in awe of the courage of our sisters. Not only our sisters who were executed or banished during the French Revolution, but also our sisters today who accompany our dear neighbors in need.
Ann C. (Nancy) Hilla SSJ

I sat transfixed on my chair as the narrators recounted the history of our sisters during the French Revolution. While we have been overwhelmed ourselves with a world pandemic, could there be anything more terrifying than to be in the middle of a revolution, hearing war all around you? I tried to feel what those sisters felt, hours away from execution—and could not. This was the power of the documentary that Sister Roberta and her crew created! I want to hear more!
Arlene Ronollo SSJ

Thank you for bringing us the story of our heritage during the French Revolution. The courage, fidelity and creativity of our sisters and companions energizes and broadens my call to mission in our divisive climate. May we live with the unity and conviction they exhibited in the face of today’s challenges.
Lourdes Kennedy SSJ

Many sister residents were amazed by and grateful for the participation of our Villa partners in mission. They entered our deep story, the realm of our mission and spirituality, in ways that make us feel united in a new way. While we have always valued and benefited from their care for our physical needs, we cherish their generous presence with us on our journey.
Roseann Quinn SSJ
Saint Joseph Villa Storytellers, (l-r) Terri Charnitski, physical therapist, Roberta Archibald SSJ, SJV resident, Nat Crook, physical therapist, and Beth Schlosser, community assistant for 6/7 floors, shared the history of Sisters of Saint Joseph during the French Revolution. Villa residents were able to view the program on closed circuit TV.
Photo courtesy Don Visher
Bethlehem Village: Heroes Live Here

Rita Therese Kehoe SSJ
This banner in front of Bethlehem Village acknowledges the heroic cooperation of the residents of “The Village” throughout the past year and a half in following all the Pandemic restrictions. Their cooperation came at great sacrifice, keeping them from family, friends and socially gathering with other residents.

The banner, a surprise for the residents, elicited words of gratitude, tears of appreciation and pride in their accomplishments.

We are grateful to everyone who made the phrase “Heroes Live Here” a reality for “The Village.”
Looking for Inspiration?
You can find it by clicking on images below!
"With the help of God's grace and in fidelity to our founder's expressed wish, we live and work lovingly among all persons with a special preference for those who are poor, which calls us wherever we are to be in union with them."
                         — SSJ Constitutions #21
Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | cpollock@ssjphila.org |http://ssjphila.org/home/