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Edition No. 79 — October 15, 2018 
SSJ Associates in Mission
Leadership Gathering and Retreat
September 20 - 23, 2018
In late September, Associates participated in an Associate Leadership Gathering at Saint Mary by-the-Sea in Cape May, New Jersey, facilitated by Donna Mehle and the Associate Advisory board.

Associates then participated in the Associates and Sisters Retreat, facilitated by  Sister Julie Fertsch SSJ , where they explored the topic, "The Consensus Statement: Showing Us the Way to Love Boldly?"

During the retreat, Associates also celebrated the commitment of three new members: Molly Carson, Jane Basile and Pat Dillon.

Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to the Leadership Gathering and Retreat!
Lawrenceville, NJ SSJ Associate Group
Sister Julie Fertsch SSJ
Cape May, New Jersey SSJ Associate Group
Somers Pt., New Jersey SSJ Associate Group
North Carolina SSJ Associate Group
New SSJ Associates in Mission with Rita Woehlcke SSJ
Pictured from left: Rita Woehlcke SSJ, Pat Dillon, Molly Carson and Jane Basile
SSJ Mission Scholars’ Dinner
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
September 27, 2018
On Thursday, September 27, 2018, 20 upper class SSJ Mission Scholars joined the Motherhouse Community for dinner in the convent dining room. The students were also joined by college administrators, faculty and staff who are connected with and so supportive of them: Clare Doyle, Dr. Chris Dougherty, Sharna Patterson and Sisters Ceil Cavanaugh, Eileen Lynch, Kathleen Mc Closkey.

Sister Anne Myers SSJ , Congregational President, warmly welcomed the guests: “We know that education has the power to transform lives, families and society. We believe that Chestnut Hill College offers an excellent opportunity to grow academically and a unique and sacred opportunity to grow spiritually, emotionally and socially. 

You, students, know what I am talking about because you have already experienced Chestnut Hill College education and I am sure that you can already attest to the difference it has made in your lives. The mission of Chestnut Hill College is one of unity — with God and with all people. You know this means that at Chestnut Hill College all are welcome. You know It’s about reaching out to include, to unite everyone, respecting and caring for everyone, including earth, and treating everyone like a ‘dear neighbor.’ You already do this in your daily life and we know that this mission will continue to deepen within you during your years at Chestnut Hill College and beyond. 

We are so happy as Sisters of Saint Joseph to be able to help our students to continue to pursue their dream of higher education through the SSJ Mission Fund Grants. We welcome you and offer you our prayers and support in making your dreams come true! Many thanks to  Sister Jane Field SSJ , Administrator of the Mission Fund, and  Sister Maureen Erdlen SSJ , General Council liaison, for all work with this project with so many from Chestnut Hill College. 

God bless you, dear SSJ Mission Scholars, and congratulations!"
Each SSJ Mission Scholar received an SSJ Mission Scholar pin
Sophomore, Junior and Senior SSJ Mission Scholars
Party of 1963 Reunion Celebration
Saint Mary by-the-Sea
September 23-25, 2018
By Christine Joseph Iacobacci SSJ
Neither black clouds, pouring rain nor flooded streets could keep the Party of 1963 from coming together at Saint Mary by-the-Sea on September 23, 24, 25, 2018, for the celebration of our Fifty-fifth Jubilee! As each water-soaked member came through the doors of the Community room, a feeling of excitement encircled the room. By evening on Sunday there were twenty-five of us gathered for this memorable occasion, including six of our former members. Paula Ackerman Dennis, who drove five hours from upstate New York, joined us for the first time. As she entered the room, she was moved to tears and overwhelmed to see so many faces she hadn’t seen in over thirty years. Paula said at first, she didn’t recognize anyone and gradually her mind and heart were flooded with so many happy memories. 

As the afternoon moved on, we prayed evening praise, prepared by Dot Urban, which set the stage for our time together. She gave us some questions to ponder overnight in preparation for our planned gathering on Monday. In keeping with our tradition of changing the words of popular songs to words that have meaning for us, Dot wrote words to the song My Favorite Things which took us from our beginning daze to the present time. After prayer we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a social in the evening which gave us plenty of opportunity to get caught up with one another. So much joy filled the room as the chatter echoed well into the night.

On Monday and Tuesday Father Al Smith, OSFS, presided at liturgy prepared by Sisters Dorothy Giloley and Regina McCalla. As Monday unfolded, despite the rain, we enjoyed some time telling stories from the past, learning about our journeys which brought us to the present time, sharing lots of laughter and recalling our antics from those early days together. Our planned gathering in the afternoon afforded us a special time for a graced-filled sharing. When we gathered again, after some free time, we enjoyed watching a video from our Fiftieth Reunion prepared by Ann Marks, who traveled from Leesburg, Florida to be with us.The video was filled with scenes from our early days on the beach at Cape May, our tertian summer in McSherrystown and concluded with a picture of each of the jubilarians . Before supper on Monday we joined in prayer, prepared by Dorothy Giloley, celebrating the four elements in creation: wind, fire, water and earth, as we praised God for all the blessings of nature surrounding us at Cape May Point.

On Tuesday, after Mass, we had a closing ritual and remembered all the deceased members of our Party. We expressed our gratitude for all the wonderful Sisters who were with us during our postulancy, novitiate and junior years, prayed for the staff at the Cape, who so graciously took care of our needs, and said farewell to one another as we dispersed in the light of the SON!

None of this could ever have taken place without the planning and hard work of the jubilee committee: Dianne Giampietro, Sisters Regina McCalla, Dorothy Giloley, Dolores Egner, Margaret Jude Sullivan, Mary Rita Small, Dorothy Urban and Christine Joseph Iacobacci.

It was truly one memorable occasion enjoyed by the one and only wonderful Party of 1963! 
Photos courtesy Dorothy Giloley SSJ and Christine Joseph Iacobacci SSJ
Multifaith Action for Social Justice
of South Jersey
Prayer Service
October 4, 2018
Multifaith Action for Social Justice works to organize efforts in support of immigrants and immigration reform. On Thursday, October 4, 2018, the group held a prayer service at Christ Our Light Church in Cherry Hill, NJ. The Sisters of Saint Joseph, Christ Our Light Parish, and the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden co-sponsored the event.

Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Brownsville, TX, offered a reflection. Sister Norma shared heart-breaking stories of her journeys with many seeking asylum. Sister is nationally recognized for her work in quickly organizing community resources to respond to the surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States and setting up the Humanitarian Respite Center (HRC) in McAllen, TX.

Each day hundreds of immigrants, mostly parents and children, who have been assessed to have credible asylum cases are brought to the Greyhound Bus Station. Volunteers meet them there and bring them to the HRC where they are given a hot meal, offered the opportunity to shower, receive a change of clothes, and get help in planning their trip across country to meet family members who have paid for their tickets and are awaiting them. Most of all they are greeted with respect, compassion and a listening ear. 

The Multi-Faith Action for Social Justice groups meets monthly. Though presently focused on advocating for the expansion of NJ Drivers’ Licenses and Municipal ID’s, members also accompany immigrants when they are required to report to ICE offices or Immigration Court. The next meeting is Monday, November 5 th at 7 PM at the Parish Center of Christ Our Light. All are welcome!
Pictured above: Some of the more than 30 SSJ’s who participated in the Prayer Service.
Photos courtesy Sharon White SSJ
20 th Anniversary  Gift of Hope Gala
Honors Sister Rita Woehlcke SSJ
October 5, 2018
The Center for Great Expectations hosted an elegant evening of celebration at The Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ on October 5, 2018.

We are proud to extend our sincere congratulations to Sister Rita Woehlcke SSJ who received the  Humanitarian of the Year Award at the event.

The Center is nationally recognized for cutting edge practices in breaking the cycle of homelessness, substance abuse and poor ‘starts’ for children.

Rita began her relationship with the Center for Great Expectations in 1995 and was instrumental in creating the mission statement and designing a vision for comprehensive care. In each case, the model was based on experiencing something new, in order to be able to choose something different, and then having the internal and external resources and support to maintain that new life. She views her time at CGE as one the the most significant in her ministerial life. 

In accepting this honor, Rita reflected: “If I could go to God with only one piece of paper in my hand, it would be the Mission Statement for the Center for Great Expectations. Both the Mission Statement and the daily practices, that are part and parcel of the Center, are infused with our spirituality of relationship and care for the dear neighbor.”

Congratulations, Rita!
Pictured from left: Peg Wright, Associate in Mission and Founder and CEO, CGE,
Rita Woehlcke SSJ and Tim Cummings COO, CGE
Photos courtesy Patterson Photography
"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 | cpollock@ssjphila.org | http://ssjphila.org/home/