Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

SSJ E-NEWS is available for viewing on the SSJ website.

Edition No. 48  July 18, 2017 
Welcome Joann Caramanico
Evening Prayer and Gathering
June 28, 2017
  By Celeste Mokrzycki SSJ 
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the Sisters at Our Mother of Consolation Convent, Michelle Lesher SSJ and I welcomed Joann Caramanico into the second year of her candidacy, (similar to postulancy), with a very simple evening prayer.

The first reading reminded us to always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and Joann responded by expressing her desire to be a reed in the hand of God and to embrace this next step in her journey. As a way to help her grow in this desire of loving union with God, we gave Joann a set of our Maxim Cards.
Our prayer continued with a reading from Timothy which called us to fan into flame the gifts we have received, so the sisters of her new local community shared a personal quality that Joann could rely on during this coming year. We gave her a wordle , (a visual pattern of words), of these gifts to remind her of this promise. We concluded the prayer with a blessing of Joann’s senses, praying that she would be open to speak, hear and walk in the ways that God would lead her heart.
As we enjoyed a meal together, we experienced a blessed moment of community as we recalled our own memories of move-in day . Although our entrance process may have been different, the feelings and desires that we shared with each other, (some with laughter), were the same as Joann’s present experience, and in our mutual sharing we became one with each other. 

During the summer, Joann will be volunteering at several ministries with our sisters, including using her music therapy with a few sisters at the Villa, teaching children in a summer camp at Guadalupe Ministries, Camden, and helping at Cape May.

All of us are called to nurture and support new membership, so if an opportunity arises, please invite Joann to join you for community gatherings. Try to remember that she is new to Philadelphia and is just beginning to find her way around this great city.   
Pictured above, from left: Christine Konopelski SSJ and Joann Caramanico
Pictured seated, from left: Joann Caramanico, Regina Raphael Smith SSJ, Fran Hart SSJ and Madeline Franze SSJ
Photos courtesy Celeste Mokrzycki SSJ
Public Hearing: Oil and Gas New Source
Performance Standards
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
July 10, 2017
On Monday, July 10, 2017, Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ, along with five other members of PAIP&L (PA Interfaith Power & Light) traveled to the Washington, DC headquarters of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). They were there for the hearing on the proposed two-year stay of certain aspects of the Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards, and the accompanying proposed three-month stay. Each registrant was given five minutes to speak. 

The industry is a significant source of emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide. Sister Mary Elizabeth chose to emphasize Pope Francis’ encyclical On Care for Our Common Home as her message. She also left a copy of the encyclical for the EPA panel to read. Below is her statement:

My name is Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, and Special Assistant for Sustainability to the President of Chestnut Hill College. I am also an Ambassador of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Climate Covenant. Speaking from a faith perspective and the moral imperative of doing no harm to God’s creation, I support what Pope Francis has said in his call to us all, “Whenever human beings fail to live up to environmental responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Let us be protectors of creation.”

The tradition of Catholic social teaching offers a developing and distinctive perspective on environmental issues. We believe that the following themes drawn from the Catholic Social Justice tradition are integral dimensions of ecological responsibility:

  • A consistent respect for human life which extends to respect for all creation;
  • A worldview affirming the ethical significance of global interdependence and the common good.

When considering the regulation of emissions of methane gas, which is at least 25% more damaging to the ozone layer of the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, how can it be ethical or moral to extend the period of application of these regulations? It could be compared to someone thinking that as a house fire is burning, it would be acceptable to give more time before the fire engines begin to turn on their hoses to extinguish the fire. Therefore, no delay is tolerable; these wells are impacting people NOW.
Particularly in Pennsylvania, which is 7th in the country for impacted wells, the New Source rule, which would cover 836 wells in PA, would no longer have to check for and repair leaks. This certainly would be an immoral act.

I implore you to listen to your own conscience and to do the right thing. Think about those who will be most vulnerable to this decision. We know we are already out of time. Earth and our sisters and brothers already suffering cannot wait for a delay in this decision to regulate methane emissions.

Thank you for your attention to these concerns.               
Pictured from left: Rev. Doug Hunt, Rabbi Daniel Schwartz, Rev Alison Cornish,
Nora Nash OSF,  Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ and Joy Bergey, Chestnut Hill United
Photo courtesy Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
Saint Joseph Villa
Parrots Brighten Up the Fourth Floor
July 13, 2017
Pet therapy, also known as Animal Assisted Therapy, is a broad technique involving any interaction that patients have with animals to make them feel better — physically, emotionally, socially or cognitively.

Linda Cusano, Life Enrichment Manager, has worked at Saint Joseph Villa for five years. Her dog, Brady, comes with her to work on the fourth floor three times a week.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, Linda, along with her friends, Bev and Marcella, delighted the residents and staff on the fourth floor with some  feathery friends — their two parrots.

Linda explains the benefits of such encounters. “Pets that the sisters can touch allows sisters who are normally nonverbal to speak in complete sentences, to express emotions, to smile and to laugh. Look at the faces of the sisters in the photos — their smiles say it all. I took the pictures and am in the process of having these pictures printed out and posted on the bedroom doors for them to look at, to smile with and to remember those feelings once again. For me, those pictures are priceless!”
"As far as possible we imitate Jesus in his untiring zeal and healing presence; Mary in her living faith and constant fidelity to grace; Joseph in the loving manner of his service and his cordial charity to all. "
                                                                                — SSJ Constitutions #10

Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | |