the MORE… Online Updates Volume 4.2.2 June 12, 2019

Ever-Widening Circles:
Bonds that Take Root, Grow, and Blossom

On May 13, sisters, associates and agrégée candidates from Maine, Springfield, Boston, Concordia, and Egypt gathered in Winslow, Maine, for a lacemaking workshop hosted by Judy Donovan, CSJ, and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Lyon, Maine. Guided by Janet Lander, CSJ, Concordia, our week was full as we discovered the basics of lacemaking.

For Linda Boothroyd, CSJ Agrégée Candidate, “. . . a special memory of that week is a deep sense of community — a bond that took root, grew, and blossomed during our time together. The warmth of our welcome was a sign of who we are and the charism we share. We now enjoy shared memories to treasure!”

Suzanne Bradford, CSJA, reflects, “For me the trip was a piece of bobbin lace . . . many threads coming together to create something lovely: a week of connection, relaxation, and peace. We worked side by side developing skills, sharing meals, stories, and a common interest in connecting to our history. We shared struggles, successes, and elated joy as each new piece finally emerged!”

Jean Plausky, CSJ, recalls, “My experience of the bobbin lacemaking workshop was truly a deep experience of community – of warm welcome and hospitality, sharing with other lace makers, connectedness to our early sisters, and a daily reminder to stay with grace in the process of learning.”

We are grateful to Annie Kaufmann, CSJ, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, who has been instrumental in teaching us the history of our roots in the art of lace making. Margaret Lelakes, CSJA, reminds us, “Annie has shared her enthusiasm, and has set us on our path.” As we embrace ever-widening circles, we look forward to gathering on a regular basis, and welcoming others to share in this experience of work, history, and art and that unites us. Truly, a bond has taken root, grown, and blossomed!

As lace makers gathered in Winslow, Judy Swett, CSJA, and Kathy Tighe, CSJA, traveled to Houston, Texas, to participate in a meeting of The North American Conference of Associates and Religious [NACAR]. Twenty-seven associates and sisters representing twenty-four religious communities gathered for the NACAR Retreat: Living the Charism in Turbulent Times.

The retreat’s mission encouraged all “to befriend the times we live in, and to practice virtues with intentionality.”1 Facilitator Janet Mock, CSJ, embodied and modeled authentic leadership which serves, empowers, and connects with all women and men of the Gospel. Participants experienced opportunities to witness and dialogue without judgment while practicing deep listening, and to learn from others. As Kathy and Judy share, “In our brief time together, close relationships evolved. We left Houston with wisdom, and a loom woven of kindred spirits with hearts ablaze to advance the Associate-Religious Movement.”

Pictured: Loom from NACAR website. Used with permission. Linda Boothroyd, CSJA, Jean Plausky, CSJ, Suzanne Bradford, CSJA, Janet Lander, CSJ/Concordia, Kathie Shute, CSJA, Margaret Lelakes, CSJA who participated in the lacemaking retreat in Winslow, Maine. Kathie Shute, CSJA, learning the art of bobbin lacemaking. Participants in the 2019 NACAR Conference in Houston, Texas; Judy Swett, CSJA, Janet Mock, CSJ/Baden, and Kathy Tighe, CSJA. Learn more about NACAR at
AUTHORS: Participants in both events contributed to this article.

Spurred on by Hope

By Jill Uchiyama, Director of The Literacy Connection

Pictured: Pat Andrews, CSJ, welcomes Adriane Stevens; Jill Uchiyama greets those assembled; Pat and Jill with citizenship students: Adriane Stevens, Loretta Cedrone, Mario Guerra, Adriana Acypreste; Pat and Jill introduce the award ceremony; Rose Canney, CSJ, explains the gift presented to tutors; Jim Spinale (tutor) Lucila Aguirre (Student) Kevin Aguirre (son) Nayeli Aguirre daughter)

The awesome power of a united spirit coming together in the form of dedication, consistency, and perseverance – this is what was celebrated on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at the Motherhouse in Brighton. The annual Celebration of Gratitude and Accomplishment honors the hard work of students and tutors who take part in educational opportunities of The Literacy Connection. TLC is a CSJ congregation ministry, which offers volunteer services to the immigrant community. ESOL, literacy, GED, and citizenship preparation – all are gains for the dozens of adults who participate regularly in The Literacy Connection’s programs. As each student received a Certificate of Achievement, many were surrounded by their families and tutor who helped them move forward in their education.

As tutors and students stood arm in arm, the depth of their shared journey came through their words and shone through their faces. “It’s amazing to see my mother is now able to have deep conversations with me in English,” said Arely’s daughter Emily as she watched her mom receive her certificate.

In her remarks Assistant Director, Pat Andrews, CSJ, shared a timely quote from Dr. Maya Angelou, which aptly described those who gathered: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Pat went on to say, “You have endured hardships, set-backs and for some, violent situations but hope for a better future and opportunities for your families has spurred you on.”

The eco-friendly “green” theme of the gathering put into action our CSJ Corporate Stance on Behalf of the Earth and was coordinated by Rose Canney, CSJ. Tutors received a potted seedling as a symbol of growth and nurturance – both qualities which describe the tutor-student relationship. Tutor Maria Termini led everyone in her original “Green” song after which
everyone convened in the dining room for lunch and more words of gratitude. The ceremony was filled with appreciation given by students and tutors to each other, to The Literacy Connection, and to the Sisters of Saint Joseph who support us with their time, talent, and treasure. Near the end of the afternoon, Marian Batho, CSJ, Liaison from the CSJ Leadership team summed up the spirit of the day saying, “I keep hearing the words in my mind, a feast of friends.”

Volume 4.2.2 – June 12, 2019

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