Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

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

Edition No. 116 — February 3, 2019 
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
Congratulations !
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ  is the author of  Teaching Kids to Care for God’s Creation . It is a book of lessons for parents, teachers and mentors of children.The book has recently been translated into Portuguese.

Mary Elizabeth is delighted by this development. ”What I like about it are the beautiful graphics and the fact that this is translated into Portuguese means that the whole country of Brazil, which is such a large Catholic country, may be able to use it. Hopefully, it will inspire a lot of other people to follow Pope Francis’ encyclical,  Laudato Si , on Care for our Common Home.”

Congratulations, Mary Elizabeth, for this significant contribution toward efforts to care for Earth.

For more information contact Mary Elizabeth at
Vietnamese New Year Celebration
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
January 24, 2020
By Jeannette Daily SSJ
Friday, January 24, 2020 was a special New Year’s Eve at our Motherhouse. Our Dominican Vietnamese sisters shared a unique experience with us called TET, the Vietnamese New Year celebration.

Sisters Khuyen, Huong, Phương and Dung, (and a number of our sisters at the Motherhouse), spent many hours blowing up  balloons, decorating and preparing for this unique event which took place in the Medaille Room.The celebration also included traditional foods prepared by the Vietnamese sisters and cookies prepared by our sisters.

A highlight of the evening, with approximately 50 sisters in attendance, was when the sisters were asked to stand while Sister Dung taught us a Vietnamese dance. All four of our Vietnamese sisters danced together as they continued to share this rich and entertaining tradition. Sisters Fran Kane and Khuyen then explained the meaning of the magnificent fruit display. Each fruit brought special meaning for the New Year. 

The following morning Congregational President Sister Maureen G. Erdlen SSJ  was invited to our community room to share breakfast. According to  Vietnamese tradition, the first person to enter the house for the New Year brings many blessings. The sisters sang a familiar song from ABBA and MAMMA MIA about the New Year! 
The sisters wanted to share their feelings about their first Lunar New Year’s Day Celebration in the United States through this beautiful letter:

Dear Sisters, first of all we thank God that His providence has brought us here, and because we have received your support, protection and guidance.
This is our first New Year in America.You have joined us as we organize a meaningful New Year's Day. We felt your closeness and sincerity when we were with you. We felt this during the program and when we reviewed the pictures and recorded videos. We saw the smiles on your faces, we saw you dance, we saw you having fun enjoying our traditional foods— a joy and a great encouragement for us.
We would like to say thank you especially to Sister Jeannette, Sister Joan and Sister Fran. They are our close companions and helped us to plan and organize this special festival.
We thank all of you very much for your presence, sharing and for taking the time to attend our celebration. May God be the source of joy for all of us!

It was a joy to celebrate with our friends from the East, learn more about their country and traditions and continue to build such a beautiful community with them here at the Motherhouse.
Pictured from left: Sisters Khuyen, Huong, Phương and Dung
CLICK HERE to view the sisters' dance
Prayer Vigil to Pray with our Asylum Seekers
Motherhouse Chapel
January 29, 2019
On January 29, 2020, the National Day of Prayer and Action to express empathy and solidarity with asylum seekers,  Sister Colleen Dauerbach SSJ , Social Justice Coordinator, organized a prayer vigil in the Motherhouse Chapel. Sisters, SSJ Associates and Staff joined with all those gathering across the country to call upon the United States government to support a fair and compassionate immigration policy.
"All people have the legal right to seek a safe place to call home," shared Sister Colleen. "Seeking asylum is protected within U.S. and international law. It is crucial that our Members of Congress defend our values and reflect just policies."

Sister Eileen McNally SSJ  reflected on the reality of those seeking asylum.
CLICK HERE to view the reflection
Sister Veronica Roche SSJ
Honored with Loving Leadership Award
December 5, 2019
By Nancy Roche SSJ
Sister Veronica Roche SSJ  received the  Loving Leadership Award  from Faith In New Jersey on December 5, 2019 in East Windsor, New Jersey. In the words of Charlene Walker, Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey, “Tonight we celebrate phenomenal leaders that demonstrate love in action by showing what it means to really love our neighbor. They speak out when it is easy to be silent and stand firm against all oppression. They possess a love that puts aside differences and bias to truly unite all people to fight for each other.”

Faith in New Jersey recognized Ron for her work. In her outreach to immigrants in Camden County Ron hosted information sessions on immigrant rights, Know Your Rights. She accompanied undocumented people to court hearings in Philadelphia and Newark. She developed and distributed parish identification cards in Latino parishes throughout  Camden County. She promoted the Let’s Drive N.J. Campaign, supporting state legislation for drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable populations. 

Ron has spent most of her religious life in New Jersey, ministering in the cities of Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill and Camden. Over the past five years she met and welcomed migrants on the border in both McAllen and El Paso, Texas. She also visited sending countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Congratulations, Ron, on this inspiring honor .
Ron, seated fifth from left, at the table with Immigrants and Advocates
Sister Sophie Yondura SSJ
Receives The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award
January 19, 2020
Congratulations to  Sister Sophie Yondura SSJ , the recipient of The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award. The award was presented on January 19, 2020, at Annual Mass and Award Ceremony for Parish Religious Education Programs at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Sophie ministers at St. Helena Parish as Parish Services Director, Director of Religious Education and Director of Faith Formation. Sophie received this honor for her service the past 20 years as DRE at St. Helena Parish. 
Pictured from left: Deacon Victor Pomales, Marcia Meridin, 
Sister Sophie Yondura SSJ and Teresa Rivera
"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 | |