News & Events
the MORE… Online Updates Volume 6.1.1 November 24, 2020
Christmas Blessing 2020
Turning Toward The Light
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom,
a light has shone
…for a child is born to us…”
In this season, as Jesus is born
within us and around us,
turning toward the light.
We stand in the stillness
— reverent with awe.
May we be open
to the mystery of this season
that surrounds us.
May we recognize
the light of Christ within us
and one another.
May we reach out
to share that light with others.
Artifacts of the Month – Christmas Reflections
by Katie McNally, CSJ Archivist
The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston have been blessed to have among them a number of talented artists over the years. Artwork does little good in archival boxes – it is too beautiful not to be shared! I’d like to share a compilation of artwork from the Boston CSJ Archives for Christmas reflection. Featured is artwork by Sr. Antonine Egan, Sr. Marie de Sales Dineen and Sr. Adela Rodriguez.
Click here to view the video.
The Women’s Table: “Ever-Widening Circles of Love”
by Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA
“Ever-widening circles of love” was in evidence this December! And what a combined effort it was! Our Christmas outreach to homeless teens at Brighton High was kick-started by Mary Mitchell, an Advisory Committee member for The Women’s Table. Her daughter-in-law, Sara, organizes a Christmas party with gift bags for the students each year. This year was no exception, sans party, of course. Pat Daley, another Advisory Committee member, brought a total of 52 scarves, hats, and small afghans hand-crocheted by the Franciscan sisters at Mount Alvernia Convent.
Jo Perico, CSJ, Linda Boothroyd, CSJ Agrégée, and Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, assembled gift bags with the donated items. Additionally, several sisters from the Motherhouse and beyond donated gift bags and wrote notes of encouragement for the students. To our delight and amazement, we had a total of 65 gift bags and a full box of scarves and afghans for this Christmas effort. Peter LeRoy, a current counselor at Brighton High, came with his version of “Santa’s sleigh” and loaded the gifts into the back of his truck. Coincidentally, he reminisced about his time here many years ago as a custodian, working under Sister Valentina. “Six degrees of separation” persists, as does abiding love!
Associate News: “Lift Every Voice . . .” by Kathie Shute, CSJA
On November 21, CSJ Associates welcomed Melinda Adrienne Pellerin, ssj, as the presenter for our November Zoom gathering. Sister Melinda, a Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield, frequently speaks on various topics: Black Catholic Gifts in the Church, Race, and Activism, Black Lives Matter: A Gospel Message, and Conversations About Race. For our gathering, she shared her presentation, Lift Every Voice 1 A Reflection and Discussion on Race.
A reading from the Gospel of John 4, the Samaritan woman at the well, inspired quiet reflection and thoughtful conversation: How did Jesus break barriers in the Gospel? How did Jesus respond to racism?
Sister Melinda spoke of “radical racial reconciliation,” emphasizing that in breaking barriers, “. . . the person matters, conversation matters, personal relationship matters.”
Sharing moments of her own story, she recalled her roots in Louisiana and told of her family’s experience of racial discrimination. She reflected, “It is good to look backward and draw from the past. . . . The ancestors . . . help me to stand. It is their prophetic wisdom that guides me.”
Encouraging us to Lift Every Voice, Sister Melinda reaffirmed Maya Angelou’s powerful words of hope: “History . . . cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Gratitude to Sister Melinda for her presence and inspiration!
On December 9, associates gathered again via Zoom to celebrate the Advent season. Prayer, song, reflection and sharing — together, we experienced the hope-filled grace of Advent!
1 Lift Every Voice and Sing – song by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson, often referred to as the “Black national anthem” in the United States.
Rembering The North American Churchwomen of EL SALVADOR
What are these women calling us to today? By Betty Cawley, CSJ
Our commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of four North American Churchwomen was attended by socially distanced Motherhouse residents and streamed to our wider CSJ family. Betty Cawley, CSJ, welcomed all who gathered in person and virtually. Her introduction follows:
Forty years! I imagine most of us remember the shock when we learned of the event—the murder of four women whose only crime was to live among the poorest and most marginalized of El Salvador. Shock was quickly replaced by anger and a determination to find those guilty of such a crime.
How and why has the memory of these women been preserved and honored over these forty years? First and foremost, the people of El Salvador themselves have kept the memory alive from one generation to the next. Organizations such as SHARE, CISPES, LCWR and others have done so in various ways, such as SHARE’s delegations to the Holy Ground of El Salvador, generally held every five years.
And we CSJs have done so as well. Many sisters and associates have participated in the SHARE delegations. We have held our anniversary celebrations over the years. And we have advocated for an end to US aid to El Salvador until this aid is directed to help the people, not oppress them. In recent years we have advocated for the millions of Salvadorans and others from Central America who have sought asylum in the US.
And why have we and others preserved their memory? Because they continue to inspire us to live the Gospel in our present circumstances and look to what the future holds.
Specifically, we ask in this prayer “What are these women calling us to today?”
Audio Series: CSJ Boston Heritage Moments
Anabella Morabito, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Regis College, shares her CSJ Boston story.
Love and service of the Dear Neighbor without Distinction has been a core value of the Sisters of St. Joseph since the beginning. We asked some of our sisters, associates, agrégées, and partners in mission to tell how they live this core value. Go to https://youtu.be/14GhDYqmiGA to view.
Reflections can be viewed at: