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Edition No. 119 — March 23, 2020 
In this World-wide Pandemic WE ARE ONE
by Mary Lindsay SSJ
“That all may be one.” In this world-wide pandemic we are one in our vulnerability, and it is important for us to believe in the strength and hope we have in our interdependence. Facing challenges, we need to bring a balance and steadiness into all aspects of our lives, to lessen feelings of helplessness and a lack of control. We commit to positive steps that we can take.

We must strive to live in the present moment . While we live with fears and concerns, hopefully, they will not become crippling. We do not want to deplete our psychic/emotional energy resources with unmanaged worry and catastrophizing about events that may/may not occur. We will need resilience and positive energy moving forward, so conserve your energy. If you have specific concerns that generate anxiety, I suggest that you ask yourself the question, “What advice would I give to a friend about this concern?” Then I suggest that you follow your own advice. We are usually much more rational in helping others than ourselves!

Be aware of anyone you know who may have health conditions that might complicate their response to stress and anxiety currently. Such situations may require increased patience and support. When possible help others to get medication, treatment or assistance that is needed. Reaching beyond the self to the plight of another is a positive way of helping to put your personal distress and concerns in perspective.  

We must remain aware and informed and manage our stress by acquiring information about the pandemic from trusted sources. Plan to check these sources at specific times daily. Try not to listen to news commentaries about the pandemic day and night.  Information overload has clearly been linked to increased stress and anxiety and a lack of clear perspective.

While we may be tired of hearing safety measures repeatedly, it does raise consciousness and reinforces the message that we all have the responsibility to do our part in halting the spread of the coronavirus. Hopefully we are all attending to the good hygiene, social distancing and discretionary travel directives that have been recommended. This is how we continue to care for one another!

It is important to realize that social distancing does not need to mean social isolation. Social support is a key factor in coping with anxiety. With all the technology available, from hi-tech meetings to a simple phone contact, connect with family and friends regularly. It can bring solace and comfort and heightens our sense of interdependence.

Strive to keep your immediate environment safe and healthy. Give special attention to personal and immediate family members — diet, sleep and exercise . Managing your physical health together with emotional health is key to remaining strong for the well-being of self and others.

As worship sites close and public services are temporarily discontinued, we must strive to find God everywhere and in all things . It is imperative to find time each day to deeply connect in prayer with the God who guides and sustains us and unites us with all the citizens of earth as we journey together in this unprecedented time.
Saint Joseph by-the-Sea Retreat House
Opening Retreat
March 3—10, 2020
By Maria McCoy SSJ
On March 3, 2020,  Sisters Trudy Ahern SSJ and  Maria McCoy SSJ  welcomed retreatants to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia's new retreat house in Sea Isle City. This was the first six-day directed retreat offered at Saint Joseph by-the-Sea.  

Retreatants came from Harrisburg, Chester and Delaware County, and Northern New Jersey. Each marveled at the beauty of our new retreat house and the wonders of God’s creation vibrantly alive by the sea. 

Retreatants appreciated the atmosphere and silence of the house that supported their prayer and their communion with one another and our world community. They also enjoyed the meals prepared by  Sister Christine Iacobacci SSJ  and others.

One special treat that added to their experience was watching the Super Moon rise out of the ocean.  

Also, it was of special interest to learn that the address of Saint Joseph by-the-Sea,
18 47 th Street, is the year our sisters came to Philadelphia from St. Louis—1847! One wonders at this synchronicity!

Each of the retreatants and directors left Saint Joseph by-the-Sea with deep gratitude for God’s graciousness and with a renewed commitment to witness God’s love in their many relationships.

To learn more about Saint Joseph by-the-Sea Retreat House, click HERE .
Capturing the Moment with Grace
During this troubling time, SSJ Associate in Mission Louis Monticchio, shares with us this beautiful prayer written by Steve Garnaass-Holmes, a pastor with a gift for capturing the moment with grace.
Enjoy!
"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 | cpollock@ssjphila.org | http://ssjphila.org/home/