Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

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Edition No. 114 — December 12, 2019 
Retreat Day for Women
Savannah, Georgia
October 26, 2019
By Jackie Griffith  SSJ
Inner Path  began in 2001 as a retreat day for women thinking about a vocation to religious life and has evolved over the years to a twice a year event. These women express an interest in gathering for prayer, ritual, input, sharing and contemplative practices of walking, art expression, tai chi chuh, the labyrinth and journaling with music. The day takes place at the Savannah Diocesan Villa Marie Conference Center on the Isle of Hope in Savannah. The day is planned by a committee of sisters, SSJ and Mercy associates and other women from the Savannah area. 

In October, Sister Maria Mc Coy SSJ  was the retreat facilitator and presenter. Maria spoke about the "Women at the Well", encountering the Divine Spirit within the well of our being and discovering inner resources for living more freely and fully. 

It was a valuable and enriching day for all of us
Pictured from left: Donna Jo Loeper SSJ, Jackie Griffith SSJ and Maria McCoy SSJ
Photos courtesy Jackie Griffith SSJ
Vietnamese Sisters Update
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
December 2019
By Jeannette Daily SSJ
It has been more than a month since our sisters from Vietnam have been with us at the Motherhouse: Sisters Khuyen, Huong, Phuong and Dung.
On the day of their arrival after a tour of the Motherhouse, so many of our sisters gave their time to welcome and serve our guests a Vietnamese meal. Thank you to all of those sisters from various communities here at the Motherhouse and to Sister Paula Knox for coordinating the event.

Thanks, too, to Sister Carole Pollock. You may have seen some pictures of “our sisters,” but I thought I would share a few more and add a little of what this time has been for them, and us, at the Motherhouse.

I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t share what a tremendous gift of LIFE the sisters have been for us since their arrival.

Equally important is the GIFT our sisters have been for our Vietnamese sisters. So many of you, especially here at the Motherhouse, have shared the gift of teaching English, with Sister Margaret Mary O’Connell taking the lead. The sisters meet in small groups, as well as one on one, to practice English in conversation. 

Our sisters have taken “the sisters” to Mass at the Villa and St. Philip Church, visited The Morris Arboretum and recently went on the Christmas Trip to Lancaster, thanks to Sister Eileen Dorothy Maguire.

They have participated in Centering Prayer at the Villa after having supper in the dining room and spending time visiting the sisters there.

At two of our liturgies in our beautiful Chapel, the sisters sang with our Liturgical ensemble. Thank you to Sister Betty Meizinger for inviting them, as well as to Sister Lisa Olivieri for giving flute lessons in the hope of having another participant in our chapel ensemble. Soon we hope to have another guitarist with Sister Rose Reda’s help.

Last weekend the sisters joined our sisters at Caroling Night at the College and met Sisters Anne Myers and Carol Vale ( number one,  as they call her). They couldn’t stop talking about that evening as they listened intently to the amazing Orchestra in the Rotunda of the College.

A Vietnamese family, who attends St. Philip Church in Lafayette Hill, have taken the sisters to a Vietnamese Restaurant and Market. The sisters often prepare food native to their culture, to share with us. 

At Thanksgiving, the sisters danced and sang for those having dinner at the Motherhouse. Everyone received “a specially created gift” to light up their holiday from our Vietnam friends. 

A special “thank you” to the Newman and Lourdes Communities where the sisters enter into prayer, conversation and “party along” for celebrations such as BIRTHDAYS.

Lastly and certainly not least, thank you to the Council for the many ways they have supported “our friends from the East,” especially to Sister Eileen Marnien.

As you can see there are so many who have contributed to this venture to BEHOLD THE OTHER, …too many to know you are remembered in prayer.

In a few days, the sisters will travel to Texas to attend a National Conference with other sisters in their program. You are in for a treat when you click on the video below to listen to a beautiful “Love Song to our God” in Vietnamese, which they will perform at the Conference.

Blessings during this Advent time of welcoming.
Remembering Father Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ
Mount Saint Joseph Convent
December 11, 2019
More than three centuries ago, a Jesuit priest in the city of Le Puy, France, met a group of women who wished to serve God by living openly in the world and helping the poor. They wanted to combine the spirituality and piety of cloistered groups with a life of apostolic service. Father Médaille called this idea “The Little Design.” The group founded with his guidance became the Sisters of Saint Joseph. They spread from France across several continents and are still ministering today.

The first women who became Sisters of Saint Joseph did not have their founder present with them for very long. However, he did leave them a book called “Maxims of the Little Institute.” Designed to help people grow in virtue and experience God’s love in work, the maxims of Father Médaille encourage humility, patience, hope and, above all, love of God. 

Always fragile in health, Father Médaille was quite ill in his last years. He died on December 30, 1669, in the Jesuit house in Billom. He was 59 years old. His name and memory live on primarily in the hearts of over 10,131 Sisters of Saint Joseph from 30 different Congregations in 49 countries on six continents around the world.

In recognition of the 350 th  anniversary of the death of Fr. Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ a newly planted tree was blessed on December 11, 2019. 

The tree is a “Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase,’” a shade tree that blooms from March to April. It is planted by the labyrinth behind the Motherhouse Chapel.
"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 | |