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Edition No. 142 — October 14, 2020 
Laudato Sí Reflection for October 18, 2020

Sisters of Saint Joseph serving on the Chapter Implementation Subcommittee for Directive II, offer this excerpt from Laudato Sí and questions that you can use for your personal reflection, local community sharing, or whatever other creative way you can incorporate these into your life. Enjoy this reflection for October 18.
Villa Sisters Promote the 
Annual Chance Drive in New Ways
By Kathy Pales SSJ
Sister Cynthia Ludwick SSJ sends a note to many friends and relatives, asking for their support of the Chance Drive.
It’s no secret that the sisters who live at Saint Joseph Villa go all out to promote the Annual Chance Drive every year. They invite their relatives, friends, former students, and most everyone in their address books to buy a book of chances in hopes that someone they know will win the Grand Prize of $10,000, or one of the $500 prizes. The Villa sisters know this fundraiser is really for them, and that it is the biggest fundraiser the Development Office conducts and the only one in which every Sister of Saint Joseph is asked to participate.

This year, however, the Villa sisters had to ask their supporters to do things differently. The sisters learned by way of a special televised presentation provided by Mrs. Danielle Santacroce, Coordinator of the Chance Drive and Sister Kathy Pales SSJ, Development Director, that the chances would be sold online this year, and that the “drawing” would be done by using a special electronic app.
“At first, this change sounded very confusing. We could not imagine how it would really work. No paper chances? No folding the stubs and putting them in the big barrel in the Villa Community Room? No watching the Congregational President reach in and draw the winning chance?” asked Sister Louise Kane SSJ.
The Pastoral Care Team provided invaluable help getting the drive organized. Pictured from left: Margaret Butler SSJ, Rev. Donna Lima-Monteiro, Patricia Spruill, Joyce Ballerino SSJ, Mary Skopa SSJ, Mary Small SSJ, Anne McCoy SSJ and Donna Foley
Once the sisters saw the special page on the website and understood that most people would pay for the chances with a credit card, their fears were calmed. It also helped to hear that if a supporter wanted to send a check rather than use a credit card online, that was perfectly acceptable. Mrs. Santacroce assured the sisters that she would enter everyone’s name into the contest the appropriate number of times, no matter how they paid for their chances.

Sister Joan Alminde SSJ agreed to be the liaison between the Villa and the Development Office. “I explained the process and answered any questions that the sisters had. I also made sure that a large supply of notes, envelopes and stamps were available on every floor so that sisters could easily let their relatives and friends know how we were doing the Chance Drive this year,” noted Sister Joan. “The Pastoral Care office was very helpful, too.”

“The sisters here are as excited as ever about the Chance Drive and looking forward to the drawing on December 6th at 1:00pm,” said Sister Irene Dunn SSJ, President of the Villa. “They may not ever buy anything online with a credit card themselves, but they are confident that many others do and will support us this way.”
Sister Barbara Kotzman SSJ and Sister Alma Bernadette SSJ review the note they will soon send to their friends and relatives.
Sister Joan Alminde SSJ, Chance Drive Liaison, gives extra notes to Sister Anne Francine.
Photos courtesy Donna Lima-Monteiro, Pastoral Care Office
Don't forget to buy your chances! Due to the pandemic, to help keep everyone safe and healthy, we will only be selling chances for our Annual Chance Drive online this year. Please help us make this year's Chance Drive especially successful by getting your ticket online!

Grand Prize—$10,000 (also 5 prizes of $500 each)
Donation—$5.00 each or $20.00 for a book of 5 chances.

For additional information, or to purchase tickets, visit contact any Sister of Saint Joseph or the Development Office at 800-482-6510 and

ZOOMERS: Where There’s Hope, There’s Life

by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate 
There was so much hope in this week’s Villa Zoom meeting that one sister swore she saw Mother St. John, founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, skipping on the way to four o'clock prayers. Bells rang for an extra ten minutes following the six o'clock Angelus and the Community applauded when Benedicamus was declared at supper. The afternoon had been an afternoon when Coronavirus took a back seat to a positive SSJ assembly, and societal problems were left to battle it out on the back lawn of the White House. 

Although Mother St. John’s memory lives in the heart of the Community’s past, it was apparent that her spirit remains today in the Community’s present. We do, indeed, “stand on the shoulders of giants” all of whom are eager to lead us wisely into an unknown future. What is now needed from us is the unqualified buy-in from each Sister of Saint Joseph and the unrelenting power of prayer.
SSJ Associates in Mission
Annual Retreat Weekend
September 25-27, 2020

By Kerry Rusak, Director,
Associates in Mission
Each year, the SSJ Associates in Mission look forward to gathering in late September at St. Mary by-the-Sea for their annual retreat weekend. Due to the global pandemic this year, the Associate in Mission Office worked with the Associate Advisory Board and a planning team to create a virtual experience for the weekend of September 25-27, 2020. This year’s theme, Deepening our Relationship with God, Self, and Others offered the 85 registered associates and sisters, who are connected to our associate groups, the opportunity to engage with one another through 13 session offerings over the course of the weekend. The robust schedule allowed for associates near and far to come together according to their availability for that weekend. Many associates attended each of the sessions offered every day, while others were able to join a session or two based on their work and personal schedules. 
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with an opening session, Embracing Together the Invitation to Go Deeper, followed by a mix and mingle social hour that helped associates to deepen their relationships with one another through the use of rotating Zoom breakout rooms. Sessions such as, Reflecting on the MaximsExperiencing Vibrational Sound to Deepen Prayer and Spiritual PracticesPrayerful Yoga and Caring for SelfCaring for Earth introduced participants to new ways of deepening their prayer life while also providing a space for sharing and reflection with others in the session. Additional session highlights included the Saturday morning Communal Reflection, Praying the Rosary with the use of SSJ maxims, and a presentation on “The Markers of Authentic Prayer” by Sister Rita Woehlcke SSJ. The weekend concluded Sunday afternoon with a Gathering of the Graces followed by a surprise video tribute to Sister Rita for her years of service to the Associates in Mission. Despite not being able to gather together in Cape May Point, the associates were still able to experience a truly enriching weekend!
New Associate in Mission Commitments 
The SSJ Associates in Mission welcomed Kathy, Carmen, Brad, and Ronnie in a commitment ceremony that took place at St. Stephen’s Church in Elkin, NC on Thursday, August 27th. The new Associates in Mission were welcomed by Sister Janis McQuade SSJ who served as their orientation mentor and were joined by fellow SSJ Associates from Charlotte and Elkin, NC to celebrate their pinning. 
Pictured from left: Janis McQuade SSJ, Brad Kitts, Carmen Kitts, Kathy Jenkins, Ronnie Karkovsky
The SSJ Associates in Mission welcomed Debra, Shawn, Marita, Joseph, and Margaret in a commitment ceremony that took place during mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Somers Point , NJ on September 17th. The new associates were welcomed by Sister Sheila Murry SSJ and Sister Dot Urban SSJ who served as their orientation mentors over the past year. Associates from the Somers Point group were also present to celebrate the commitment since it took place during a memorial mass they were having for Sister Jane Hill SSJ
Pictured from left: Sheila Murray SSJ, Debra DiOrio, Shawn Ferrie, Marita Rea, Joseph Zalena, and Dot Urban SSJ
Margaret Regina made commitment virtually. 
Love Changes Everything
Camden, New Jersey
October 9, 2020
By Sharon White SSJ
The city of Camden, New Jersey has been applauded for the reduction in crime rate. These positive statistics made national news. Many celebrated that life was improving for this impoverished city where the Sisters of Saint Joseph have served for many years. Sister Helen Cole SSJ, “The Mother Theresa of Camden,” has tirelessly served in multiple ways. She has assisted law enforcement when city officials called her to minister to families who have lost a loved one by violent crime. Her need to respond had significantly declined until September 2020 when 10 lives were taken in one month by senseless atrocities. 

On October 7, Sister Helen, Father Mike Mc Cue, several chaplains and ministers met with the local police to plan a way to move forward with hope. On October 9, this group formed a motorcade and traveled to each site where someone was murdered. Neighbors witnessed the circle and joined in the reflections. Leaders prayed for the deceased and their family by name and the protection of city officials. Following the reflections on love and grateful for the unity among those assembled, they concluded their reflections by singing, “Let there be Peace on Earth” and “Love Changes Everything.” 
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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 | |