Journeying Together:

Julianne Shanklin Welcomed as CSJ Boston Candidate

Communciations Office

Participants gather for the welcome ceremony.

Recently, Julianne Shanklin requested to be received as a candidate with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. After a period of mutual discernment between Julianne and the congregation, the Leadership Team, and several who have journeyed with her, participated in a simple yet profound service to welcome Julianne as a candidate. What we call “candidacy” includes a period during which Julianne will live in community, get to know the sisters, and become familiar with the rhythm of prayer, community, and service which are part of each sister’s life. 

In her reflections, Kathy McCluskey, CSJ, drew on the image of hands from Brian Doyle in his book, One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder. After reading an excerpt, Kathy went on to say, “…as [Julianne] begins her candidacy, a time of living in local community and immersing herself in the larger community, I feel the image shifting, the hands unfolding as she experiences living community.

“This is a time for open-handedness, a time of giving and receiving, a time for learning the texture of one another’s hands. It is a time for learning the stories told in the lines in each other’s hands; what we have held along the way, what we are holding now, what we are letting go of, and what we are grasping; a time for reaching for the future together.

Left to right: Nancy Braceland, CSJ, Mary L. Murphy, CSJ, and Julianne Shanklin, CSJ Candidate, share a smile.

“It is, for sure, a time to be holding each other’s hands and to be held in each other’s hands, whether lightly or tightly, but solidly held in each other’s hands, giving God time to do God’s work – in Julianne, and in all of us.”

And, of course, during all of this, we are all resting securely in the palm of God’s hand. The prayer concluded with brief reflections and a blessing by each participant. Nancy Braceland, CSJ, then presented gifts both spiritual and practical as a sign of our mutual support as Julianne and all of us move forward on this journey with joy, creativity, and stretching as we live in community together.