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Edition No. 54 — October 23, 2017 
Associates and Sisters Retreat
and Leadership Development Day
Saint Mary by-the-Sea
Cape May Point, New Jersey
On Thursday, September 21st through Friday, September 22nd, 25 SSJ Associates in Mission attended a Leadership Development Day at Saint Mary by-the-Sea Retreat House in Cape May, New Jersey. Sister Rita Woehlcke SSJ facilitated an interactive workshop on Power and Powerlessness , which focused on developing each one’s understanding of leadership in the SSJ tradition.
 
Seventy sisters and associates, including four associates from Boston, MA and two from Baden, PA, attended an Associates and Sisters Retreat over the weekend of September 22-24 at the Retreat House. Sister Anne McCoy SSJ facilitated the retreat entitled Who Do You Say That I Am? Anne spoke of the question in the gospel of Matthew. “Who do you say that I am? This is the question Jesus asks each one of us. Who do YOU say that I am? Who am I in your eyes? Coming to know His heart, His presence in your everyday life can touch one’s heart in new and deeper ways.”
 
Three associates were asked to respond to Anne’s input. Judy Principe shared a moment when her image of God changed. Arlene Finocchiaro spoke of an image of Jesus that has been important in her spiritual growth. Margaret Zuccarello shared how she has kept open and continued to grow on her spiritual journey.
 
On Saturday evening six women professed their commitment as SSJ Associates in Mission: Janice Hardy, Carol Fowler and Mary (Dolly) Rudloff, from Somers Point, New Jersey; Debra Thompson, Donna Lima-Monteiro and Dori Costello, who completed their orientation with Rita at Mount Saint Joseph Convent.
Faciltator Anne McCoy SSJ
Pictured from left: Debra Thompson, Donna Lima-Monteiro and Rita Woehlcke SSJ
Photos courtesy Kerry Rusak and Judy Loschiavo SSJ
Celebrating Founders’ Day and the
50 th Anniversary of Saint Joseph Villa
October 15, 2017
In honor of the 50 th  Anniversary of Saint Joseph’s Villa, our Congregational Founders’ Day liturgy was celebrated at Saint Joseph Villa on Sunday, October 15, at the10:30 am Mass.

Majestic flags, the blare of the trumpet, music and song filled the air on this joyful and grace-filled day for sisters, associates, family and friends.

Sister Anne Myers SSJ , Congregational President, warmly welcomed all gathered. “Today we give thanks for the vision that inspired our Founders, and their desire to share our mission and charism of union with God and others as they reached out to respond to the many needs of their times. We stand on their shoulders as we celebrate this Golden Anniversary of Saint Joseph Villa and look to the future with joyful hope.

The care of our ill and elderly sisters has always been a top priority for us. Their wisdom, vision, dedicated service and prayerful lives are a legacy that we cherish, and continue to cherish in our current Villa Sisters. The opportunity to reach out and also include lay residents at the Villa has responded to a need of our times.

For 50 years, the breath of prayer and love have continuously flowed through this place; this place, where more than 1200 sisters have met their God face to face in eternal life. In this space, heaven and earth truly have come together, creating an intensity of deep spiritual energy. Fifty years of relationships, the heart of our mission, of vibrant faith, living hope, healing love, and kindness shared is what we celebrate today.”

Celebrant Bishop Timothy C. Senior reflected on the gift of this moment for our Congregation and the world. “It is so appropriate that we give thanks to God for the ministry of Saint Joseph Villa. The Villa’s ministry has been a place where Heaven and Earth come together and where we can begin to see what God truly desires for the human family. It is a moment to reflect upon the great gift and the untold graces that have been part of this ministry over 50 years, and the power of prayer that has brought great graces in ways which we will probably never know until we are sharing the fullness of life with those who have gone before us. Thank you for all that you are and continue to be for the Life of the Church — the work of uniting all people with God and one another.”

As always, the musicians, under the direction of Sister Betty Meizinger SSJ , and cantors Sister Michelle Lesher SSJ and Nina Chae-Gordon shared their talents beautifully. The Villa Choir, under the direction of Sister Mary William Herron SSJ , provided an especially poignant and touching moment as they sang O God of Loveliness after communion.

A Reception in the Dining Room immediately followed Mass, as well as, guided tours of the newly renovated building.

What a great blessing it was to be together and celebrate Eucharist on Founders’ Day and commemorate the 50 th Anniversary of Saint Joseph Villa.
Photos courtesy Linda Johnson
Step Away for a Day
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
October 17, 2017
By Mary Elizabeth Clark SSJ
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 11 women from Limen House in Wilmington, DE participated in “Step Away for a Day” program of the SSJ Earth Center. "Limen" House, named for the Latin word for "threshold", provides men and women in recovery from alcoholism and drug dependency an entrance into new, healthy lives.

SSJ Associate in Mission, Maryanne Williams, led a session in yoga to launch the day. This set a tone of inner peace and calm. In that spirit, Mary Kurtz provided all the makings of a terrarium and the women created an indoor ecosystem to take home and nurture. At noon, the women shared a nutritious lunch with the Motherhouse Community.

After lunch, we moved to the Labyrinth behind the Motherhouse Chapel to walk the ancient path to serenity . The sun was in its prime by this point. Following the labyrinth walk, we entered into an appreciation of the beauty of natural gemstones with which to make a bracelet. Carolyn Gatti led us in the creative art of jewelry making.

The closing ritual included an explanation of the mandala . Maryanne presented each participant with an adult coloring book of mandalas and a set of colored pencils.

The day closed with storytelling. Terry and John Trudeau, as Mother Earth and Father Sun, recited a story taken from the Intercommunity Center for Justice and Peace magazine.
Each participant left with an African violet to nurture.
Welcome
Cristina Diaz
Social Media Specialist
The General Council is pleased to announce that as of October 16, 2017, Cristina Diaz joined the Motherhouse staff as the new Social Media Specialist.
 
Cristina graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a degree in English literature and a minor in Communications in 2015. After graduation she worked as the Alumni Relations Assistant, and later the Media and Community Relations Manager at Chestnut Hill College. Most recently, Cristina worked at the Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County.
 
Cristina is an SSJ Associate in Mission, and she is very excited to work to communicate the mission and good works of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia to the greater community.
 
We extend a warm welcome to Cristina!

"Our mission as Sisters of Saint Joseph flows from the purpose for which our Congregation exists. We live and work so that all people may be united with God and with one another."
                                         — SSJ Constitutions #16
Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | cpollock@ssjphila.org | http://ssjphila.org/home/