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Edition No. 203—March 28, 2022 
Villa Zoom—The Gift of Change

by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate in Mission
CHANGE—a six-letter word packed with uncertainty, possibility and potential promise. It is a word we either welcome with open arms or reject outright, but it is rarely ever greeted with indifference.
 
Change, no matter how you slice it, is part and partial of our lives. During the past three pandemic years we’ve seen lots of it, and the way we’ve handled each disruption has brought each of us to the point where we are today. At least now, as we watch things begin to level out, we breathe a sigh of “normalcy.” 

So, what does change do for us? Certainly, it does not leave us as we were before—and for some, it has seemed to turn life upside down. It is hard to move outside our comfort zone, to move too far beyond the way things were. Sometimes, however. we have no choice. Death, disability, relocation, war, climate and the normal evolutionary progression of things—all these situations change lives. What we do with them is the key to our happiness and success.

For those who see change as a chance for personal development, change expands their horizons. It provides an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and move on to the next thing God intends for us. It gives us an opportunity to see ourselves in a different light, to explore avenues we haven’t walked down before. In that sense, change is life-giving and opens us to a wide range of future possibilities. It empowers us. 

Today some things that were valuable in the past have stepped aside for things that we will value in the future. Whether we like it or not, we are in a face-off with life that is yet to come. If we don’t change, we stagnate. It is time now to join hands and hearts as we prayerfully work together toward a tomorrow of vision and promise.
Saint Mary of the Lakes 
Medford, New Jersey
SSJ Associates in Mission
Commitment Ceremony
The Saint Mary of the Lakes SSJ Associates in Mission Group welcomed Barbara Henion, in a commitment ceremony on March 14, 2022 in Medford New Jersey. The new Associate in Mission was welcomed by fellow Associates; Joan, Brenda, Tina, Barbara, Louise, and Dar, and was pinned by Sister Judy Cianfrogna SSJ.
 
"Embracing with enthusiasm, the mission of unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God!"
Pictured from left: Barbara Henion and Judy Cianfrogna SSJ
The Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center
Celebrating 19 Years
March 23, 2022
The Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center celebrated 19 years of serving the ‘dear neighbor’ in Kensington on March 23, 2022.

Sister Kathleen McShane SSJ, Director, expressed her gratitude.“The sweetness of St. Joseph is alive and well in our walls and in the heart of those who grace our doors. Thank you to ALL for your commitment to the mission and to the beautiful people we serve. Thank you to the SSJ Congregation for their vision 19+ years ago, to the four sisters who began ministry here—Eileen Marnien, Marian Behrle, Marie Lewis and Pat Madden and to the host of friends and volunteers who gathered to make this building and ministry what it is today.”

"In the just and compassionate spirit of Saint Joseph, the Welcome Center offers opportunities that enable immigrants and others to improve the quality of their lives through access to education, support services and programs leading to self-sufficiency. This neighborhood center in urban Philadelphia extends hospitality, linking newcomers and persons with resources for the enrichment of both."
Mission of the SSJ Welcome Center
McSherrystown, Pa
Celebrating Saint Joseph Day
March 19, 2022
SSJ Associates in Mission and Sisters of Saint Joseph from McSherrystown, PA, celebrated the Feast of Saint Joseph together. It was a wonderful gathering which included Mass, recommitment and hospitality! 

"To deepen and widen our SSJ Spirituality and our lived expression of it in relationship with every level of the Joseph family."
Evelyn Danks SSJ addresses the sisters and associates.
Reprinted with permission from Global Sisters Report

Read Sister Colleen Gibson SSJ's latest article in the Global Sisters Report: Everyday annunciations: The art of listening to a God who never shuts up

Amidst the pressing demands of work and the noise of every conceivable need in the world, God was speaking to my heart. I just needed to stop long enough to let myself listen.

Saint Joseph Villa
Lawrence Biscontini Volunteers
March 24, 2022
Volunteer and longtime friend of Saint Joseph Villa, Lawrence Biscontini, is helping at the Villa until next Friday. He is having a wonderful time connecting with the Sisters.

On Wednesday, March 24th, Lawrence helped with bake sale at 11:30AM. He led a group in Shakti at 3PM in the Maguire Lounge.  Lawrence explained this program he created. “Welcome to our program. It is one I created many years ago, entitled Shakti. Shakti is a Sanskrit word that means energy. My goal, our purpose, is 40 minutes from now we will have more energy than we do right now. Why? Because we will practice together moving meditation of prayer. We will sit for this program. Sometimes we will move one arm, sometimes both arms. Sometimes we will put our thumbs on our heart, because we pray from out heart. If you feel you can, do what you see me doing, as we move together to the music.” The program was taped so the residents can view at a later date.

Later, Lawrence helped to serve dinner to the residents on the 6th floor at 4:15 PM.  

We are so grateful to Lawrence for his time with us at the Villa, but especially for his friendship over many, many years.
Today’s Bake Sale was the best yet! Thank you to everyone who donated, purchased, and sold the baked goods for Ukraine. They were delicious.
Lawrence's beloved dog, Biscuit, is always a welcome addition when he visits.
Lawrence prepares a Greek salad for Jule Dougherty SSJ
Tickets for the Celtic Golf Raffle are sold out. Thank you to everyone who supported the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia by purchasing tickets.
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"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/