the MORE… Online Updates Volume 4.2.1 May 29, 2019

Connection, Love, Community

by Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, The Women’s Table Director

The Women’s Table hosted its sixth annual fundraiser, “A Place at the Table,” on May 8, 2019. The Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse foyer, fireside room, and chapel came to life as more than 170 attendees mingled over hors d’oeuvres and wine, and engaged in lively conversation. High-top tables decorated with white tablecloths and a large spiral image featuring faces of participants, donors, and volunteers added a touch of class as well as subject for further conversation. Background music added to the warmth and conviviality of the evening.

Eight beautiful place settings, each unique and created with loving care, adorned two large tables. All were encouraged to vote for their favorite place setting, no small task given the ingenuity of each creation! Advisory Committee members, Pat Daley and Mary Mitchell, strolled through the crowd with a large basket containing more than 100 “mystery bags” containing gift cards from local businesses and restaurants, as well as other surprises available for purchase.

Three wonderful women: Lisa Connor, Helen Connolly, and Irene Desharnais, were honored for their active witness to The Women’s Table mission, connecting women from all walks of life to promote compassion and mutual support. The evening concluded with awarding of prizes for the place settings, as well as the now traditional Rose Auction that supports programs and advocacy of The Women’s Table. Connection, love, and community were ever present at this special event, “A Place at the Table!”

Pictured: Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, greets familiar members of the Mother’s Circle with husband, Doug, and daughter, Emma, in background. Carol Mack assisted by St. Joseph Prep students during the Rose Auction. Advisory Committee members and Honoree, Irene Desharnais, (center) with Mary Lou Von Euw and Denise Kelly, CSJ; Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, with Honoree, Helen Connolly; Honoree, Lisa Connor; Marnie McGoldrick and daughter, Tess, celebrate the conclusion of a great evening!

View a video slide show of the evening at

“Doing” Race: Who Do You Think You Are?

Pictured: Maureen Walker, PhD; One of the many PowerPoint slides that accompanied Maureen’s presentation; Lee Hogan, CSJ, Maureen Walker, PhD, and Cathy Clifford, CSJ

Maureen Walker, PhD, a licensed psychologist, speaker, educator, and writer spoke to sisters and associates on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Her topic: “Doing” Race: Who Do You Think You Are? When Maureen was asked why she agreed to offer this presentation, she responded, “I like to be in the presence of courageous women.” These words are both a challenge and an affirmation of those of us who profess to “challenge structures wherever they oppress or imprison people.” [Constitution, Spirit and Purpose #9]

Maureen’s work focuses on helping people bridge cultural differences such as race, religion, gender and other markers of social status. She does this by teaching and inspiring people to transform the barriers that prevent them from truly connecting with each other and living a fully authentic life. Maureen encourages people to transform fear into and courage to create the fullest expressions of who they are and can be in the world. []

As she spoke, Maureen told us that her “…highest hope is that what happens here today will be carried forward and that our conversations, although incomplete and imperfect, would be fertile. Ours is a God of understanding, not uniformity.” She went on to develop the ideas writers such as Bryan Massingale who writes about racial justice and the Catholic church and Peggy McIntosh, a leading voice on white privilege and anti-racism.

Her key points echoed our CSJ spirituality as she asserted that we are all connected. We come to be who we are to the extent that we engage with each other. She made reference to Richard Rohr when she said, “The nature of the universe is a relational interpenetrating ecosystem.” Maureen encouraged us to practice “disruptive empathy” through a process of awareness, respect, and compassion. To do this she said we need to become curious about the other person and listen deeply. We need community, role models, and spirit guides along the way.

Celebrate the summer with
Casserly House
at our annual Driveway Picnic!

June 9, 1:00-4:00
Join us for food, fun, and fellowship!
Bring your family and friends!
Please bring a dish to share!

Volume 4.2.1 – May 29, 2019

PDFDownload entire Volume 4.2.1 – May 29, 2019