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Edition No. 160— February 26, 2021 
Zoom: Maintaining a Delicate Balance
by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate
“People…who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” Strains of Barbara Streisand hauntingly underscore the message in Chapter 3 of Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Here Francis counsels us that the authentic mystery of human existence can only be experienced by reaching out to others. No one of us need stand alone for we cannot live, develop, and find fulfilment unless we give of ourselves to others. “Life exists where there is human bonding… [and] life is stronger than death when it is built on true relationships and bonds of fidelity.”

When push comes to shove, connecting to others is not always easy. My relationships must take into account that others do not live for “me” alone, nor do I live only for “them.” Zoomers realize that a delicate balance exists which often challenges our best attempts to establish a true sense of sisterhood or brotherhood. Authentic relationships can only take root in hearts open to growth. Thus, we must step outside ourselves to embrace others, especially those for whom we feel no particular attraction.
When Pope Francis cited hospitality as the gift we bring to any encounter outside our own circle, Zoomers sat up and took notice. Hospitality, after all, is the hallmark of the Sisters of Saint Joseph! This week, as we considered this, we recognized that the act of welcoming extends far beyond a cup of coffee or an occasional meal. It involves stepping beyond ourselves to meet the nitty gritty of our lives together in Community. It steps away from our private worlds to meet the dear neighbor on their own turf. No easy tasks here!
As today’s globalization brings us face to face with the need to enlarge our horizons, it impels us toward universal communion with religions, races, and nationalities with which we may not be familiar. It urges us to confront racism, poverty, sexism and crime; to embrace the forgotten, the elderly, and those dealing with disabilities. Though Zoomers may not be able to be on the front lines of these needs directly, they most certainly can squeeze through the back door with carloads of prayer and advocacy. The Sisters of Saint Joseph have always been noted for their ability to make things happen for the good of the world.
Laudato Sí Reflection for February 28, 2021
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 another creative way you can incorporate these into your life. Enjoy this week's reflection.
Celtic Golf Raffle 2021
Win a trip for two to Ireland! Tickets for our annual Celtic Golf Raffle are now available! Visit for more information and to purchase chances to win.
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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 | |