Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

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Edition No. 102 — July 30, 2019 
Welcome Associates in Mission
May—June 2019
It is with great joy that we welcome our newest Associates in Mission from Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, Rancocas, NJ and Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Stella Maris, Philadelphia, PA - May 13, 2019
Pictured from left: Marge Varley, Pat Desanto and Millie Santore
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Wilmington, DE - May 15, 2019
Pictured from left: Evonne Mbadiwe and Kathleen Giambanco
Francis House of Prayer, Rancocas, NJ - May 19, 2019
Front row from left: Michelle Davis, Bernadette Citarella, Fern Love, Dee Mercer-Wilson, Peggy Bretschneider, Eileen Hart, Janine Corgan and Bob Bursley
Back row from left: Suzanne McGrath, Marijane Michalowicz, Joanne Hall, Mary Jane Coppola, Helen Campbell, Colleen McNally, Stacy Bouillon and Joanne Baer
Most Blessed Sacrament, Franklin Lakes, NJ - June 12, 2019
Seated from left: Sister Rose Marie Kean SSJ and Evelyn Cuciti
Standing from left: Sister Linda Lukiewski SSJ and Tricia Howland
Saint Joseph Villa
4 th floor Party 
Thank You, Sister Lourdes Kennedy SSJ
A party on the 4 th floor of Saint Joseph Villa is always a wonderful time for the sisters and residents. On July 24, 2019, the clever trio of  Sisters Lourdes Kennedy Mary William Herron and  Pauline Plefka planned a party around the theme of the Congregation and Chapter. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the games, songs, skits and spending time with each other — while having a lot of fun!

As the party was coming to a close, the sisters and staff surprised Lourdes with a special thank you and blessing. Lourdes is concluding her ministry at the Villa after 12 years as Pastoral Care Minister on the 4 th floor.
Francis House of Prayer
Celebrating 45 Years
Pentecost Sunday
June 9, 2019
June 9 th was a day to celebrate three important events at Francis House of Prayer, the Trenton Diocesan Spiritual Center:

Pentecost Sunday
The gifts and graces of the past 45 years and
The new life that awaits FHOP in a new location

Many gathered to celebrate with an outdoor liturgy that invoked blessings and gratitude for the land, and the people nourished and nurtured in the past, and for those yet to come in this next chapter of Francis House of Prayer in Allentown, NJ. Truly the day was a time to gather the graces and a time to move the mission forward!
Blessings and gratitude for Francis House of Prayer and Sister Marcy Springer SSJ
Approximately 4,000 persons a year are served by Francis House. It is and has been a sacred meeting place with God for the past 45 years. Marcy has served as director for twenty-eight years, offering spiritual direction, retreats ands programs that foster a deepening relationship with God, self, others and the world.

“O Loving, Creator God, we thank you for the privilege of enjoying this beautiful farmland for these 45 years. Bless Marcy who nurtured the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit with great love and generosity in this holy place. Bless all the people who will inhabit it for years to come so that too may experience God’s presence with them here.” 
Blessing over the land and Nelson
“Creator God, bless Nelson who has so lovingly tended the land and enhanced its beauty by his artful and dedicated labor, causing it to bear fruit for the nourishment of others.  Bless this land and all the people who will inhabit it for years to come.”

Nelson carries the cards that reflect the graces and gifts received throughout these 45 years.Here are some phrases offered by Francis House community:

“As soon as I arrive I feel saturated in God’s Presence and peace.”
“Francis House has offered me the quiet stillness that I need to be aware of God’s Presence and to know deeply God’s love.”
“Francis House has been a place of beauty, peace and spiritual enrichment and growth.”
“…programs that always seemed to be just what I needed at different times in my spiritual journey.”
“…the always warm and loving welcome.”
“The retreats and programs at Francis House have deepened my life with God and others.”
“There’s nothing like the silence and peace of Francis House.”
 A blessing for the future home at 84 WALNFORD ROAD Allentown, NJ:
“Send your Holy Spirit and bless all who will continue to come, and for those for whom Francis House will be a spiritual oasis, a meeting place for you and your people!”
Photos courtesy Karen Lubert and Margie Sells
Joint Conference
Harriet Tubman Award
Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ
July 24, 2019
Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ was recently selected as the recipient of the Harriet Tubman Award at the Joint Conference in Baltimore, MD. 

For over 32 years Sister Patricia has worked with children in inner city schools, both as a principal and a teacher. She teaches 4 th and 5 th grade Literacy and Social Studies at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy in Washington, DC. She shares: “My objective/obligation to my schools has always been to insure that the quality of education be delivered to minority students, at a minimum, equal or greater than that of the best private schools.

As a Sister of Saint Joseph, I have instilled many of my sisters with a deeper understanding of African-American people, broadening their understanding of my heritage and never hesitating to engage my sisters to join me for worship at parishes where people of color celebrate the Eucharist.

Like Harriet Tubman, ‘I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come too far from where I started from. I don’t believe He’s brought me this far to leave me.’ ”
Pictured from left: Fr. Mark Cusick, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Mr. Vincent Spadoni, President of Catholic Consortium Schools, Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ, Dr. Nicole Johnson, Al McKnight Award honoree, Sister Owen P. Bonner SSJ and Sister Maureen G. Erdlen SSJ, Congregational President
Pictured from left: Sister Roberta Fulton, SSMN, President of the National Black Sisters' Conference and Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ
Pictured from left: Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ and Sister Lynn Marie Ralph SBS
Pictured from left: Owen P. Bonner SSJ, Patricia Ralph SSJ and Maureen G. Erdlen SSJ
Photos courtesy Sister Patricia Ralph SSJ and Sister Maureen G. Erdlen 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 | |