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Edition No. 181—July 23, 2021 
Saint Joseph Villa
Jubilee Celebration
July 17, 2021
It is always a joy and an inspiration to celebrate Jubilee Day at Saint Joseph Villa. Because of the pandemic this day had to be postponed last year. But on Saturday, July 17, 2021 a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving filled the air as the jubilarians came together with sisters, family and friends to celebrate 80, 75 and 60 years of vowed commitment and faithful love as Sisters of Saint Joseph. 

Celebrating 80 years: Sister Ignatia Maria Smith

Celebrating 75 years: Sisters Agnes Leona Arnold, Kathleen Bernadette Moss, Catharine Reimer and Mary Patricia Watson

Celebrating 60 years: Sisters Patricia Ash, Therese Michele Destefano, Georgeanne Esker, Marcia Gehman, Jeanne Giunco, Connie Heenan, Mary William Herron, Joseph Andre Intrieri, Sandra Kulick, Eleanor McNichol, Marie Rein, Arlene Ronollo,
Joan Clare Royal and Alma Rose Schlosser

The jubilarians were greeted in Maguire Lounge by the General Council who presented them with corsages and joined sisters, staff and friends for Morning Prayer.
Celebrating 80 Years
Seated: Sister Ignatia Maria Smith
Standing, from left: Sisters Teresa Shaw, Eileen Marnien, Owen Patricia Bonner, Karen Dietrich and Maureen G. Erdlen
Celebrating 75 Years
Seated, from left: Sisters Agnes Leona Arnold, Kathleen Bernadette Moss, Mary Patricia Watson and Catharine Reimer
Standing, from left: Sisters Teresa Shaw, Eileen Marnien, Owen Patricia Bonner, Karen Dietrich and Maureen G. Erdlen
Celebrating 60 Years
Seated, from left: Sisters Alma Rose Schlosser, Jeanne Giunco, Eleanor McNichol,
and Joseph Andre Intrieri
Standing, from left: Sisters Arlene Ronollo, Marcia Gehman, Teresa Shaw, Therese
Michele Destefano, Eileen Marnien, Patricia Ash, Owen Patricia Bonner, Karen Dietrich,Joan Clare Royal, Maureen G. Erdlen and Sandra Kulick
In the Chapel, Congregational President, Sister Maureen G. Erdlen SSJ, warmly welcomed all present, recalling with gratitude the lives of the jubilarians, lived for God in service to the Church. “Sisters, what a great joy it is to finally be able to celebrate you today! Your 1,220 years of faithful commitment to the consecrated life is a great blessing for us, for your family and friends, and for the people of God! As I look out and see you, I think of countless students you have taught. You helped them develop intellectually, but even more important was your attention to their spiritual and emotional development.

But as we know well it is not just about numbers. It is about the spirit which you bring to our life of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Even with all the physical changes these 1,220 years have brought to each of you, your spirit does not falter. Your life continues to witness to all of us, and the many you encounter here at the Villa and beyond, that we, sisters of Saint Joseph, live and work so that all may be united with God and with one another. Pope Francis, whom we know is passionate about the consecrated life has described our life as ‘Totally consecrated to God, (we) are totally given to (our sisters and) brothers, to bring the light of Christ wherever the shadows are darkest in order to spread God’s hope to discouraged hearts.’ Thank you for continuing to share that hope with all of us!”
In his homily at Liturgy, Father Terry Odien thanked and congratulated the jubilarians.
“The philosopher, Kierkegaard, once noted this: Life must be lived forward but understood backward. I think this is a great perspective for a jubilee celebration. When you look backward over these 80, 75 and 60 years there is undoubtedly much you understand today that was complete mystery to you the day that you responded to that invitation, Arise, my Beloved and come. Much has happened since that day of entrance. And here we are today immersed in this great mystery of all of these years of service. You, jubilarians, are prophetic witnesses sitting in our midst today. Your lives truly have been an inspiration to so many people. You have done ordinary things with extraordinary love, patience, gentleness and competence. 

It is love that gives meaning to life, because it reveals life’s mystery. Indeed we only have life if we give it. We truly possess it only if we generously give it away. You jubilarians have definitely given that love away.

We thank our God today that you came and you stayed! You remained and we are so grateful. We are counting on all of you jubilarians to continue to listen to what the World needs now—what our Earth needs now and what the people of this Earth need.

My dear jubilarians, congratulations and best wishes to all of you for continued good health."
Villa Zoom—Kindness

by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate
Most of us think of kindness in terms of those persons immediately around us. And, indeed, this is where it all starts. But somehow the Gospel message reaches far beyond that to embrace all those--near and far--who are needy of compassion. That means the person in the next room, the vagrant on the city street or the struggling immigrant at the border. Naturally, we live out our empathy for others in varying and appropriate ways, but how much better if we learn to keep a running tape of kindness playing nonstop in our hearts?

St. Paul describes kindness as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, an attitude that is gentle, pleasant and supportive. And, certainly this is what we all strive to achieve in our everyday lives. But what about the radical message of Jesus? How do we deal with those at a distance, those who are socially or mentally unacceptable? Where do we store the undesirable or disruptive person in the filing cabinet of our heart?

In theory, kindness must embrace the whole of creation. It must be all-inclusive to the extent that we learn to see the intrinsic value of every living creature who shares our world. Even the insect, caught up in the divine web of God who created it, is worthy of our respectful consideration.

In Fratelli Tutti Pope Francis describes kindness as the radicalism of our time. He specifically admonishes those who follow the “every man for himself” syndrome of the present day. In a world that cries out for those persons who reflect the ultimate kindness and goodness of God, we all have a vital part to play. Regardless of our current situation in life, we are called without exception to embrace an attitude of universal compassion.

“Those who actively chose to cultivate kindness become stars shining in the midst of darkness.” Pope Francis
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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/