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Edition No. 61 — January 19, 2018 
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
Authors New Book
Teaching Kids to Care for God’s Creation
Congratulations to Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ on her book “Teaching Kids to Care for God’s Creation” published by Twenty Third Publications.

The book is for parents, teachers, catechists and families of children and young adults in grades K-12 and made up of thirty sessions of activities and ideas to help children and young adults understand how they can care for our Earth.

Mary Elizabeth explains, “What I took as guidelines were the chapters in Laudato Si , using Pope Francis’ vocabulary and tried to apply that to activities and practices for children that could be implemented without additional work. I think teachers, and parents, have a full plate and could resist another curriculum. I see this as a way to insert some practical ideas without disrupting the existing workload.

A family activity might examine how Jesus showed us in the Gospels how to care for our common home. Or, families might come together to make meals to deliver to those who are homeless or homebound in the parish or neighborhood.

I am really delighted with the book and plan to send a letter and copy to Pope Francis who recently said, ‘Teachers and parents need to teach children how to care for God’s creation.’”
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Forum
Congressman Dwight Evans
Convent of Mercy Auditorium, Merion
January 14, 2018
By Colleen Dauerbach SSJ
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Forum with Congressman Dwight Evens from Pennsylvania’s 2 nd congressional district took place on Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Over 500 people gathered in the Convent of Mercy Auditorium in Merion. The Sisters of Saint Joseph were a proud co-sponsor of this event, along with a diversity of faith communities and organizations in the area.

Congressman Evans was asked to address the critical issues of Immigration, Care for Earth, the Affordable Health Care Act and Homelessness/Poverty. The questions ranged from — In this political climate, how might your constituents partner with you to make homelessness and poverty a priority for the Congress? — to — What do you see as an opportunity to stem the flow of your constituents, especially people of color, into the criminal justice system, and to remove the formidable obstacles they face upon returning to our communities?

The conversation with Congressman Dwight Evans was rooted in Dr. King’s message from “Beloved Community”. The eve of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day of Service was an appropriate time to reflect together on these issues which have a profound impact for our nation and, in particular, for many of our most economically struggling and vulnerable sisters and brothers. 
Panel pictured from left: David Masur, Facilitator, Representative Dwight Evans, Sister Mary Scullion RSM, Project HOME
Photos courtesy Colleen Dauerbach SSJ
Martin Luther King Jr.
Day of Service
Chestnut Hill College
January 15, 2018
By Colleen Dauerbach SSJ
This year was Chestnut Hill College’s first year to observe MLK Day by being closed, thus allowing the opportunity to create an Inaugural MLK Day of Service for the entire campus community, uninhabited by classes and work schedules. Students could choose to volunteer from a list of five sites, including Saint Philip Convent in Lafayette Hill.

On Monday morning, January 15, 2018, several students arrived at the Convent ready to offer a helping hand toward keeping the convent in good order. Ryan Murphy, Service Coordinator at CHC, transported the students in the Griffins Van and stayed to work alongside them. The 10:00 to 2:00 scheduled day began with a prayer and reflection on the call to serve no matter the size of the project

With joyful hearts the students moved throughout the convent completing their tasks. They made quick work of their assigned jobs and at 2:00 gathered in the chapel to process the day, sharing their reflections on the question: How does service fit into your daily choices?

Ryan reflected: “As an Associate and staff member at an SSJ Sponsored Work, I find that helping our students understand and live out our mission is not just a part of my job, but truly a part of my ministry. It is both life-giving and life-affirming.”

Harry Davis II, one of the student volunteers shared: “Each day I have the great opportunity of attending Chestnut Hill College, going to a dorm with heating or a/c and going to a cafeteria three times a day for a nourishing meal. I, by all accounts, am very blessed, which is why it is so essential to give back.
I admire the selfless work that is the sisterhood of Saint Joseph. It is an honor to give service. Daily, I strive to be just as giving as those who serve the least fortunate in society.”

Student volunteer Alexis Stoner says, “Service isn’t just acts, but it is also a mindset. When I serve through small moments of kindness during a day or by saying a kind word, I find that my day has become more meaningful and full. When I structure my daily thoughts on how I can bless or serve others through God’s love, my love for God deepens and I feel his love for me more deeply as well.”

“Being a college student,” remarks Mercy Thuyanira, “it can be hard to go to weekly services off campus due to a busy schedule; and that means we all have an obligation to try to fit service into our daily life and choices. Service can be in the form of a smile or speaking to a stranger on the bus, or in the hallway. Service can be helping a classmate with a course they are having difficulty with or helping an elderly person walk down a street. Service is found in the little things.”
Pictured from left: Ryan Murphy, Mercy Thuyanira, Sister Marie Bambrick SSJ, Alexis Stoner
and Harry Davis
Photos courtesy Colleen Dauerbach SSJ
Sister Margaret Dorothy Duffy SSJ
A New Venture Supports Saint Joseph Villa
Sister Margaret Dorothy Duffy SSJ entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1960. The oldest of nine, she attended St. Joan of Arc Parish Grade School and Little Flower High School in Philadelphia. As a child she wanted to be a veterinarian. For most of her religious life Margaret taught grade school and also served as Principal at St. Anne Grade School for 10 years.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I just love animals,” says Margaret, and she has come up with a very creative way to combine both.

In addition to cooking for her local community at St. Anne Convent, and teaching math in the Resource Room at Visitation Grade School five days a week for students in grades 5-8, Margaret has created a new recipe/project — healthy doggie biscuits! The biscuits are made with sugar, peanut butter, bananas, whole-wheat flour, honey and an egg. And although Margaret doesn’t like people to make a fuss over her, she definitely makes a fuss over Holly, her Blue Heeler Collie mix that Margaret has had since she was a puppy. Holly, who is almost four years old, enjoys watching the children in the schoolyard, run around the cemetery and play in the backyard. And now, of course, she loves her healthy doggie biscuits!

When Margaret walks Holly around the block she meets her neighbors who are walking their dogs. (She knows all the dogs in the neighborhood by name!) On these walks she would often offer her doggie biscuits to the dogs and her neighbors wanted to buy them. Margaret’s response, “Just send a donation to the Villa. And that’s how this all started.”

I just love animals,” reiterates Margaret. “I like having a dog because I believe it is an extension of who we are. I do believe the animal is a necessary companion, wonderful for protection and like having a best friend.”

Thank you, Margaret, for taking such good care of Holly and for your clever and creative way to contribute to Saint Joseph Villa.
Margaret Dorothy SSJ with Holly
Sister Margaret makes her healthy doggie biscuits
"Rooted in the mission of Christ, ours is the same mission which continually unfolds in the Church, 'That all may be one as you, Father, are in me, and I in you. I pray that they may be one in us.' (Jn 17:21)."
                                         — SSJ Constitutions #17
Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | cpollock@ssjphila.org | http://ssjphila.org/home/