Left: Marian Batho, CSJ, delivering her reflection. Right: communion taking place.

Gratitude to People of Our Archdiocese:

We Never Did This Alone

Reflections by Marian Batho, CSJ

Good afternoon. It is wonderful to look out and see so many gathered here today. For us, the Sisters of St. Joseph, it is a great joy and blessing to be with you. Thank you, Bishop Reed for being with us and your wonderful homily, your kind and very inspiring words. Sincere thanks to Father Dan Riley, pastor, the staff, and parishioner of Our Lady’s for your warm welcome.

The sisters of St. Joseph celebrate 150 years of ministry and presence in the Archdiocese of Boston in the year 2023. At the invitation of Archbishop John Williams and Father Thomas MacInnis, four sisters of St. Joseph from New York arrived in Boston on October 2, 1873, and four days later opened a school in the basement of St. Thomas Church for two hundred students.

Since 1873 we have been abundantly blessed in our service to…

130 schools

30 health care ministries

85 service ministries

Missions in California and Peru*

* We have been in mission in California and Peru and continue to serve in New Mexico.

Our service includes administration, teaching, religious education pastoral ministry, AIDS Ministry, retreat ministry advocacy for the homeless and At-Risk youth, grief counseling and so much more.

We recognize that we never did this alone. We are here today with grateful hears for all who have accompanied us during these past 150 years. The Constitution of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston includes these words “we acknowledge humbly and gratefully that from those to whom we minister we receive more than we give, indeed in full measure and flowing over.”

We can never forget the generosity, love, prayers and friendship of all who have been part of our lives in Boston and beyond. All are visible signs of God’s loving presence in our midst. Your loving support has made us faithful to our mission and the call to serve. The scripture readings today speak of the responsibility we have to love one another. When there is a break in a relationship, we must always work toward reconciliation. The gospel reminds us of Jesus fervent prayer at the Last Supper as recounted in the 17th Chapter of John’s Gospel “that all may be one.”

The life and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph since their founding in LePuy France in 1650 has always been rooted in the “love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.” As sisters of St Joseph, we believe that the work of reconciliation and unifying love is our mission.

Words again from the Constitution of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. We strive in every aspect of our lives to be a visible sign of God’s presence and active love (Spirit and Purpose #5). We look to Joseph as our model of justice, gentleness and humility, extending as he did, a cordial charity toward all.

Celebrating in the West region brings wonderful memories of serving here at Our Lady’s and Sacred Heart. We continue to sponsor Jackson and Walnut Park School, neighbors just across the street. We have served in Watertown, Framingham, Norwood, Dedham, Waltham, Marlborough, Natick and Franklin. We continue to sponsor Regis College, Bethany Health Care Center and Bethany Hill Place.

The Archives of the Sisters of St Joseph contain beautiful memories of years of dedicated service – the many ways that we feel forever blessed in our vocations because of you. I share with you words of gratitude taken from the writings of a few of our Sisters.

“I could have never imagined how wonderful this life would be. Teaching children was challenging at times. But, watching them grow to achieve their God-given potential has always touched my heart. God is so good.”

“God’s providence has followed me throughout my life. I always experienced a little bit of heaven wherever I was missioned.”

“God’s promises are ever new each day and I have found them one hundredfold in all the places that I have served. Thank you God”

I recall entering the Congregation because I felt God called me, and I loved God; but what happened over the years is that I have grown in the deeper realization of being truly loved by God.

My memories of wonderful people have had a deep impact on me. I was nurtured by this Body of Christ everywhere that I was missioned.

My heart is very grateful for people who provided me with these experiences of knowing God in a very real way.

We are here today to say we love you and thank you for the many ways that you have been part of our journey. We look forward to the future with great hope because of you. Let us continue to pray for one another.

God bless you and thank you.