It Took a Village

Ann Kaufmann, CSJ

The combined efforts of Boston sisters, associates, and agrégées gifted twelve associates from New Mexico with experiencing the Boston Community from September 27-October 4. For years, the Northeast-to-Southwest bonds have strengthened through exchange visits, video-streamed events, Zoom prayer, emails, and more. When the idea of including NM Associates for the 150th Anniversary celebration arose, it seemed an impossible dream. However, with the offer of the Neighbor to Neighbor grant to Associates from Albuquerque, Clovis, and Santa Rosa, all who chose to travel could do so.


During lunch at St. Joseph Hall, Della Rodriguez, CSJ, explained techniques she used in creating the glass etchings for NM Associates. Charlene Chavez, CSJA, shares:“My piece is even more precious because I’ve met you, Sister!”

Former Associate Director Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ, shouldered the initial planning. Last spring, volunteer drivers, cooks, and helpers were sought. More volunteers chose sightseeing options in Boston, Salem, and Marblehead, scheduled visits with Sisters at St. Joseph Hall and Bethany Health Care Center, prepared a day of prayer for all Associates and Sisters, and arranged transportation to the 150th Mass and reception. No detail was overlooked. As each event was arranged, the excitement both in NM and in Boston kept building. It took a village of generous hearts and minds to welcome the NM group to their Boston roots and key Community locations.

Doris Houlihan, CSJA, wrote, “I feel I made a new and close connection with others I had only heard of or seen on Zoom, and also became closer to the NM Associates on our trip. This experience made me feel more a part of our Family of Joseph.” For Grace Chavez, CSJA, taking part in the offertory procession on the first of October was “. . . an honor to be walking up with our Constitution and feeling such a part of the 150th celebration.”

May the unifying love of community building draw us closer to one another as we go forward together!


NM Associates Jo Burns, Doris Houlihan and Yvette Griego add their squares to our Associate quilt.