Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

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Edition No. 96 — May 28, 2019 
Chestnut Hill College
Donning of the Kente Cloth Ceremony
May 10, 2019
The Donning of the Kente Cloth Ceremony represents the diversity within the collective unity of all students at Chestnut Hill College. This ceremony allows students to pay tribute to their own unique heritages, experiences and achievements.The ceremony also presents the occasion for students to pay homage to those who have paved the way for them prior to and during their time at Chestnut Hill College. The Kente Cloth originated in Ghana and the colors on the Chestnut Hill cloth symbolize growth, energy, wealth and victory.

Congratulations to Jordan Clark, SSJ Mission Scholar, who received the Kente Cloth and shared her gratitude: “Thank you to every person I’ve ever come in contact with. You have helped me to be where I am today and I am truly blessed.”

Congratulations to Julie Joseph, SSJ Joseph Scholar, who gratefully accepted her Kente Cloth: “Coming to Chestnut Hill College was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve met amazing people and I’m grateful.”
Pictured from left: Jane Field SSJ, Carol Jean Vale SSJ, Jordan Clark, Julie Joseph, Clare Doyle
and Cecelia Cavanaugh SSJ
Photo courtesy Jane Field SSJ
Sister Donna Minster SSJ
2019 Recipient of the Aletha R. Wright Award 
for Excellence in Early Care and Education
May 17, 2019
Sister Donna Minster SSJ , Director of Camden County’s Department of Children’s Services, was honored by the New Jersey Early Care and Education Alliance (NJECE) as 2019’s Aletha R. Wright Award for Excellence in Early Care and Education recipient.

The honor is awarded annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of its namesake and works for the benefit of children and families throughout New Jersey and the United States. Sister Donna received the award on Friday, May 17, at the NJECE annual symposium and luncheon.

“This award is reserved for the most impactful public servants who work to better the lives of children and families in our state, and this year’s recipient surpasses that standard as much as anyone who has ever received this award,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriquez, liaison to the Department of Children’s Services. “The Freeholder Board expresses its incredible gratitude for Donna’s hard work, passion, and commitment to the families and children of our communities.”

Sister Donna has spent 25 years working within the Department and has spent her life advocating for early childhood programs and positive experiences for children of all ages. She is an active member on numerous local child care advocacy boards. And as a Rotarian in the Camden City Rotary, Sister Donna chairs the Community Service committee and was the 2018 recipient of the Rotary International District’s Vocational Service award. Tens of thousands of Camden County children and families have benefited from her hard work and stewardship.

The Award is presented in honor of Aletha Wright (1949-1994), a former Camden County Freeholder and lifelong advocate on behalf of children and families. Wright was a charter member of the Child Care Advisory Council and represented the Department of Human Services and the Division of Youth and Family Services during her appointment as Director of the Department’s Office of Child Care Development. She later became Assistant Director in the Division of Family Development and worked in the Office of Policy and Planning in the Governor’s Office. She was elected to the Freeholder Board in 1993.

“Aletha Wright was a dedicated advocate and a tireless ally of children and families everywhere,” Rodriquez said. “To have your name held up in comparison with her legacy is an incredible honor, and it is one that Donna absolutely deserves.”
Pictured from left: Elmoria Thomas, President of the NJ Early Care and Education Alliance and Donna Minster SSJ
St. John the Evangelist Parish 
Severna Park, MD
60 Years of Presence and Service
After 60 years of joyful service, our sisters are leaving St. John the Evangelist Parish in Severna Park, MD. A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated on Sunday, May 19, 2019, followed by a reception in the parish Activities Center. A special plaque was made and will be displayed in the school foyer.

In his homily, Father Jim Proffitt, pastor, honored the 72 sisters who ministered at St. John’s and the 60 years of presence of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. “Sisters, you teach us how to love, no matter what. You teach us how to risk—to be the people who show the love of Jesus Christ no matter what. Our Sisters of Saint Joseph are aptly named. Saint Joseph is held up as that silent, quiet witness. The one who loved Jesus and Mary, watched over that holy family and discovered his own personal call to holiness.
That is the model of our sisters who carry on today—that quiet, loving witness to love. It is a witness that calls us, just like those 72 sisters, the apostles and Jesus Christ himself, to love no matter what.

Thank you, Sisters Mary Jane, Linda, Maureen, Kathleen and Barbara, for your many years of dedicated service to our school, our parish, our community, and most importantly, to our children! We love you all and will miss you deeply.”
Pictured from left: Sisters Mary Jane Daily, Linda Larsen, Maureen Patrick Kelly, Kathleen Bernard Winner and Barbara Reuben
57 th Annual Sourin Award
Sister Jeanne McGowan SSJ
May 21, 2019
The Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute is one of the oldest Catholic organizations in America. “The Philo” was founded in 1850 by Father Edward J. Sourin, SJ, who was one of Saint (then Bishop) John Neumann’s chief administrators.

Father Sourin saw that many immigrant children and young adults would have to forego their education and go to work. Father Sourin established the Philo to help these young people learn academic and social skills to become better citizens of their new homeland. The Philo remains true to its original mission, raising funds for Catholic schools and Catholic college scholarships.

The Father Sourin Memorial Award honors the Catholic who by achievement and exemplary life has made noteworthy contributions to Catholic ideals.  

Sister Jeanne McGowan SSJ , this year's recipient, is in her 16th year as President of
La Salle Academy in West Kensington. La Salle Academy is an independent Catholic grade school dedicated to educating children in grades 3 to 8 whose life opportunities are limited by significant financial, academic, or social challenges and whose parents or guardians desire, but cannot afford, a Catholic education.

As an urban education leader for approximately 40 years, Sister Jeanne’s core belief is that education is the only tool to break the cycle of poverty; she loves the quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., “No one of us can do alone, what all of us can do together.”

Sister Jeanne shared what this honor meant to her: “For me, this was a truly humbling experience. I was touched by the words of both Teresa Diamond, the Principal of La Salle Academy and Megan G.Thomson, Development Director. I am only one of three woman who have received this award and I am the first religious woman to receive it. I was blessed to be joined by my family, community and many other supporters. It was a truly humbly experience.”

Congratulations, Jeanne!
Pictured from left: Jeanne McGowan SSJ and Theresa Murtagh, President CPLI
Photos courtesy Lisa Breslin SSJ
"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 | |