Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

E-NEWS replaces the SSJ Newsletter and will be published "as the news happens."

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

Edition No. 6   May 5, 2016
Sister Mary Skopal SSJ
2016 Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Sister Mary R. Skopal SSJ who was selected by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) to receive the 2016 Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding dedication and service to the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) or to the field of chaplaincy by a member of the NACC. The award is presented to an individual who has advanced the mission of NACC or the ministry of chaplaincy in a significant and lasting way.

The award was presented to Mary during the Awards Banquet held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois during the 2016 National
Conference at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare.

For 26 years, Sister Mary has provided direct service to the poor living in the most impoverished area in Baltimore, Maryland, where she ministers as Director of Pastoral Care at Bon Secours
Baltimore Health System.

Her family and co-workers from the Bon
Secours Health System joined Mary at the Awards Banquet. In accepting her award, Mary shared her deep joy and gratitude: “A chaplain offers a listening ear and a caring heart and understands the complexities of health care. Being sick isn’t a choice. But, when one is sick, someone listening to how he or she is affected by the illness, and with caring attention, can go a long way to healing a broken spirit. Our presence shows that someone cares and ultimately that God cares about him or her. To attend to the spirit of persons in need is a gift that we can give. It is a calling. To offer our gifts to others we must be grounded in our relationship with God and solidly prepared to offer our presence. It has been a source of great satisfaction to be able to contribute to the profession of chaplaincy in a significant way.”

Congratulations, Mary, on this fine achievement!

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Pictured from top:

David Lichter, Executive Director of NACC and
Mary R. Scopal SSJ

Tom Butler, Director of Spiritual Services at Bon Secours, Baltimore and Mary R. Skopal SSJ

Pictured , from left: Barbara Winnals SSJ, David Lichter, Mary Skopal SSJ, Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO Bon Secours, Baltimore, Karen Fitzpatrick, BCC, Staff chaplain at Bon Secours, Baltimore and Dr. Curtis Clark, VP Mission, Bon Secours, Baltimore
Welcoming New
SSJ  Associates in Mission
Ellen Fitzgerald and Mary Immediato made their commitment as Associates in Mission on Sunday, May 1, 2016 in the Motherhouse Chapel. They are both members of the St. Helena Associate group in Wilmington, Delaware. Sisters Rose Andrea Loughery SSJ and Elizabeth Ferguson SSJ helped prepare them over this past year for this commitment.

As part of the commitment ceremony, the associates each receive a pin as a symbol of the call to live the Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. This desire is a grace of God and each associate prays that she will always give witness and praise to the God who draws us in unity to our families, our friends and our neighbors.

We extend a heartfelt welcome to Mary and Ellen, as together, we journey in unity and serve the needs of the dear neighbor.

Pictured from left: Elizabeth Ferguson SSJ,
Ellen Fitzgerald, Mary Immediato,
Rose Andrea Loughery SSJ and Rita Woehlcke SSJ
April 30, 2016
On behalf of all the members of the General Council, Sister Regina Bell SSJ welcomed representatives from the 36 centers and circles to the Forum on April 30, 2016. “Thank you for your commitment to our life and mission and to moving forward together as Sisters of Saint Joseph.

The purpose of the Forum is to provide feedback from the questions at the Spring Consultation:

In light of our Generous Promise, how do we “share deliberately and passionately our SSJ spirituality? What do we need to do this well into the future?

In light of our Generous Promise and Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si, what suggestions can we offer as individuals, as local communities, and as the Congregation to deepen and concretize our commitment to the flourishing of Earth?”

Sister Kathleen Anderson SSJ, facilitator,
addressed the representatives. “Your task is to share the insights and wisdom from our centers and circles. Listen for the common ideas and threads as we begin to hear a collaborative voice emerge.”

At the conclusion of the day, Sister Anne Myers SSJ, Congregational President, expressed her appreciation to all present. “This is a service to our entire Congregation and all of our sisters are grateful to you. And thank you to all who are with us on live stream!  Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love) says that ‘each of us, by our love and care, leaves a mark on the lives of others.’ Hopefully, our presence to one another today has done just that; and, certainly, the topics discussed— sharing our SSJ spirituality and the flourishing of earth—will leave a mark on the lives of many well into the future. Our mission of unity animates us to create bonds of love and care.

Let us go forth, in deep trust that God is with us, as we strive to live our mission, this mission of unity for the life of our world.” 

Pictured from top:

From left, Mary McFadden SSJ, Joanne Ferenbach SSJ and Madeleine Franz SSJ

From left: Claire Digregorio SSJ, Pat Hickey SSJ and Pauline Plefka SSJ.

From left: Pauline Plefka SSJ, Regina Bell SSJ, 
Helen Clifton SSJ and Kathryn Miller SSJ.

Pictured bottom two: Discussion Groups

Celtic Golf Raffle 2016
Winner Announced
On May 2, 2016, at Saint Joseph Villa, Sister Kathleen Pales SSJ, Director of Development, expressed her thanks to all who were part of the Celtic Golf Fundraiser. “This has been a very successful fund raiser, in large part, thanks to our event coordinator, Maggie Myers. This year we sold more tickets than we ever have before!”

The Southwest Ireland Deluxe Golf Program includes four rounds of golf, airfare, hotel, transportation and daily breakfast … all to support Saint Joseph Villa.

Sister Eileen Marnien SSJ drew the winning ticket. Congratulations to Mary Jo Dagney of Norristown, Pennsylvania. Enjoy a wonderful trip!

Pictured from top:

Kathleen Pales SSJ

From left: Kathleen Pales SSJ, Eileen Marnien SSJ and Maggie Myers

Retirement and Service
Awards Celebration
Chestnut Hill College • May 4, 2016
Sister Carol Jean Vale SSJ, Ph.D., President, Chestnut Hill College, welcomed faculty, students, staff, family and friends to the annual Retirement and Service Awards Celebration, held in the
Redmond Room, on April 4, 2016.

Among those retiring:
Marie Bambrick SSJ, M.Ed., Philadelphia Teaching Fellows Coordinator

Recipients of Service Awards included:
15 Years:
  • Joan Mickey SSJ, M.A., Director of the Math Resource Center
  • Jean Faustman SSJ, D.M.L., Associate Professor of Spanish

35 Years: 
  • Rita Michael Scully SSJ, M.A., Associate Professor of English
  • Kathryn Miller SSJ, Ph.D., Assistant to the President for Administration and Special Projects

Congratulations to all the honorees!

Pictured from top:

From left: Carol Jean Vale SSJ and
Marie Bambrick SSJ

From left: Carol Jean Vale SSJ and
Rita Michael Scully SSJ

From left:Jean Faustman SSJ and
Joan Mickey SSJ

From left: Carol Jean Vale SSJ and
Joan Mickey SSJ

From left: Regina Bernhardt, A.S., Executive Assistant
to the President, Carol Jean Vale SSJ and
Kathryn Miller SSJ

From left: Dorothy Bredehoft SSJ and
Marie Bambrick SSJ

From left: Rita Michael Scully SSJ
and Jean Faustman SSJ

“In response, and with a discerning heart, we make choices to further the Reign of God both in local community and in the wider human community. Thus our presence in the world will reflect the zeal, interior freedom, and joy of Jesus.”

— SSJ Constitutions #44
Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | |