St. Joseph Worker Program
by Julie Fertsch SSJ
Greetings from the St. Joseph Worker Program Office (formerly the office of the Mission Corps). In this time of transition, I have experienced the scripture passage from Isaiah 42 come alive time and time again: “By unknown paths I will guide you, I will turn darkness into light before you…I will not forsake you.” God has offered me grace upon grace in lavish abundance!
The past five months have been full and exciting! Two groups of college students participated in the Good Works Program—one group from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri in early January, and the second group from UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina in March. Both groups were awesome! They appreciated the connection to the Congregation, learned a great deal, worked hard and enjoyed plenty of opportunities for laughter and fun.
In mid-January, I flew to Los Angeles, California to meet with our Federation Team—the St. Joseph Worker Program Directors from all over the country. This meeting was terrific! We did some great work together. We engaged one another at the heart level, as we had conversations around our shared vision, mission, purpose, language and dreams for the future. Throughout our days together, I felt so deeply connected to the larger picture of the Sisters of Saint Joseph all over the world, and also, to our founding sisters. I couldn’t help but think that our first sisters did exactly the same thing. It was amazing!
Since the end of January, I’ve traveled nearly 12,000 miles and have visited close to 25 colleges and universities. I’ve certainly been led down some unknown paths, and have had some wonderful adventures.
I’ve had the opportunity to connect with tudents and campus ministers in so many profound and meaningful ways. I’ve also had he fine privilege of staying with and getting to know so many of our sisters. What a gift this ministry has been!
College students and post-grads are now in the midst of applying/interviewing/committing to a year of service opportunities. I count on your ongoing prayers and support as we continue to move forward as St. Joseph Worker Philadelphia. This is an exciting and grace-filled time as God continues to lead us by unknown paths and turn darkness into light before us. Certainly, God’s grace continues to abound!
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