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Edition No. 199—February 10, 2022 
Mount Saint Joseph Academy Convent
Christmas in January

Sister Gerry Fitzpatrick SSJ
Sunday, January 20, 2022, the guidance counselor at Mount St. Joseph Academy, Ryan Lattanze, and his fiancé, Anna Maxwell, treated the sisters at the  Academy Convent to a Christmas dinner and gifts. Because it was hectic at holiday time we had "Christmas in January." Ryan and Anne brought the entire meal, desserts and gifts for each sister—fleece blanket with our names on it—a lovely candle, some candies and a personalized card. They joined us for the meal and even  cleaned up the kitchen before they left. 

We are so appreciative and grateful for their loving generosity.
Pictured from left: Sisters Patricia Krochmal, Barbara Nolan, Ingrid Schweikart
and Jean Faustman
Pictured from left: Ryan Lattanze and Anna Maxwell 
Pictured from left: Sisters Geraldine Sadowy and Elizabeth McVeigh
Pictured from left: Sister Michael Eileen Kelly, Anna Maxwell and Ryan Lattanze
Pictured from left: Sisters Catherine Larkin, Maureen Patrick Kelly and Nancy Kramer
Pictured from left: Sisters Elizabeth McVeigh, Catherine Pisarczyk
and Gerry Fitzpatrick
Photos courtesy Gerry Fitzpatrick SSJ
A Simple Man’s Reflection
Becoming an SSJ Associate in Mission
February 9, 2022

Skip Whitman, SSJA
Several years ago, we had a discussion in the Mission of St. Stephen in Elkin, North Carolina. The discussion focused on the idea of forming a Christian growth group with the members becoming Associates in Mission of the Sisters of St Joseph. Sister Janis McQuade, SSJ, opened the discussion. She has served as our Pastoral Associate at St. Stephen for many years. Her impact upon the spiritual life of our parish has been immeasurable.I must be honest and admit that it was because of Sister Janis’ spiritual impact on me, that I felt willing to consider the prospect of becoming an Associate in Mission.
My initial take is that there was no place for a man in this group. As I progressed through the informational and spiritual reflection phases, my discomfort persisted, and I felt “out of place” as a man in this environment. Now, please understand, there was nothing said or presented in any of the informational or spiritual materials I received to make me feel this way. This discomfort was self-inflicted as I was just beginning to learn about the SSJ mission and how it might fit into my everyday life.

I think that our emphasis upon our Dear Neighbor became the point of no return for me and I became fully committed to becoming an Associate in Mission despite my sense of being out of place. The process was spiritually fulfilling, and I thoroughly enjoyed the SSJA gatherings and retreats at Cape May. Again, I must be honest and admit that as much as I enjoyed the environment and sense of community, I had no tangible identity as a man in the group. My problem with this issue kept me from fully engaging as much as I would have normally.
Our Elkin Christian Growth Group has been very fulfilling, and our spiritual connection grew stronger at each meeting. Our group committed to monthly gatherings, that included the hospitality of a shared meal followed by a spiritual reflection and faith sharing. Now, I am finding fulfillment in my Christian Growth Group and my sense of community is growing stronger with each gathering. However, I remained in a search mode as I persisted in my feelings that I just was not meant to be an Associate in Mission as a man in a woman’s world. Had it not been for my experience and relationship with Sister Janis McQuade, I fear that I may have discontinued my journey as an Associate in Mission.

In my search for my own SSJ Associate in Mission identity, I became drawn to St. Joseph. I felt that in him, I may be able to find my place in the SSJ Community. I purchased a book entitled “Through the Heart of St Joseph” written by Fr Boniface Hicks, OSB with a forward written by Scott Hahn. I felt that if Scott Hahn felt compelled to write the forward, the book must have deep spiritual insights.
Well, this book exceeded my expectations! It is wonderfully written and brought me to a greater understanding of the spiritual depth of St. Joseph. Almost immediately I felt a connection with him, and I can emulate him as a spouse and father. After reading this book, my questions of belonging as an Associate in Mission for the Sisters of St Joseph have resolved completely.
My only regret is that I did not read this book sooner. I give this book my unreserved recommendation for anyone discerning becoming an Associate in Mission; the current male Associates in Mission, and every SSJA. I have attached a hyper link to At the end of the review, there is another link to amazon to purchase the book.
Our Celtic Golf Raffle is back in full "swing!" One lucky winner (and a plus one) will win:
Roundtrip Coach Class International flights to Shannon Ireland

Ballybunion Golf Club – Old Course
Dooks Golf Club
Tralee Golf Club
Waterville Golf Links

Ground Transport: Self-drive car rental with automatic transmission from Hertz.
Includes unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver insurance and VAT

Hotel: Five nights in the 5* Killarney Park Hotel, located in the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry.One of the premier hotels in this picturesque town, situated on its own grounds yet centrally located within walking distance to the many shops, restaurants, and pubs.
(1-Room / Double Occupancy)

Meals: Full Irish Breakfast Daily

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit:
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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 | |