the MORE… Online Updates Volume 6.1.7 May 18, 2021

THE LITERACY CONNECTIONOpening Our Doors to the Dear Neighbor by Pat Andrews, CSJ

The Sisters of Saint Joseph and The Literacy Connection assisted in the fight against-COVID-19 by opening our doors to the neighborhood.

Soldiers from medical unit stationed at Otis Air Base.

For the third time, our neighborhood community arrived for their COVID-19 vaccine shots. On May 14, we surprised when the van arrived from the Whittier Street Health Center, Dorchester, MA – a contingent of Army and Air Force medical personnel exited the vehicle! (Being an Air Force brat all my life, I saluted!)  This group of soldiers belong to a medical unit stationed at Otis Air Base on Cape Cod that was formed to assist the Commonwealth in its battle against the virus.
The Literacy Connection has been working with Heloisa Galvao, Director of the Brazilian Women’s Group in Brighton, MA. Heloisa has been able to contact the medical staff needed and The Literacy Connection has been able to provide the space and protocals needed to follow all COVID-19 procedures. This is one of many examples of the commitment and collaboration among programs here in the Allston-Brighton Community. We are grateful to be an active member of this community.

Soldiers preparing to administer COVID-19 shots.

We can’t do all this alone. I am exceedingly grateful to these pandemic angels who have graciously welcomed nervous older visitors, cranky children (placated with lollipops) and the younger generation. Thank you to Sisters Jo Perico, Rosemary Brennan, Carlotta Gilarde, Elizabeth Toomey, Kay Decker, Gail Donohue, Kathy Berube, Mary Rita Grady,Cathy Mozzicato as well as CSJ employee Chi Leung.


ASSOCIATE NEWS The 2021 CSJ Associate Commitment and Recommitment by Carolyn Mahoney, CSJA

I t was with gratitude and joy that we gathered on May 1, 2021, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker,
to celebrate our CSJ Associate Ritual of Commitment and Recommitment.
During the virtual ceremony, Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ, welcomed over 125 participants from Boston and New Mexico. She introduced Ellen Gunning and Maureen Smith, our new associates, and wished them grace and blessings as they proclaimed their first commitment as CSJ Associates.

Sister Lee Hogan, CSJ President, welcomed Ellen and Maureen, and acknowledged their desire to be united with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston in living our charism of unity and reconciliation, “. . . striving to bring all people into union with God and with One another.” Their mentors offered words of support and affirmation, and all present welcomed them as they began their journey with us.
In addition, we acknowledged and celebrated the first public commitment of Associates Mary MacGillivray, Mary McShane, Mary Lou Seitz and Rose Yesu. Finally, Lee Hogan, CSJ, joyfully accepted the ongoing recommitment of all CSJ Associates.

   Immediately following the Commitment Ceremony, Liturgy celebrated by Father Ron Coyne was streamed from the Motherhouse Chapel. Cathy Clifford, CSJ, welcomed the new associates, and Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ, invited all to enjoy a slide presentation offering a glimpse of associates throughout the years. We are blessed with prayers, companionship, and love! With gratitude and appreciation, we thank you for the privilege of this joyful day!

The slide presentation is available at

THE WOMEN’S TABLE Place at the Table Virtual Fundraiser by Mary Rita Weschler, Director of The Women’s Table

The Women’s Table held its first virtual fundraiser on May 5, 2021. The video highlights the various programs that empower women through education, social support, spiritual development, and outreach. Stories of resilience and hope, compassion, and care were told by guest speakers and honorees Helen Thomas Colbert, CSJ, the “Compassionate Strength Award” recipient, and Rita DiGesse, the “Connecting Neighbor with Neighbor Award” recipient. The event was dedicated “in loving memory” to Sister Helen Thomas who passed away on May 1, 2021, from complications of ALS. You can help support The Women’s Table programs by going to: To view the video go to

ARTIFACTS OF THE MONTHBasketball Season by Katie McNally, CSJ Archivist

Basketball Season
Larry Bird’s signature is an unexpected memento to find in a religious collection, but sure enough, one lives here in the
Boston CSJ Archives! Along with the basketball legend, other members of the glory-day Boston Celtics signed a basketball which was donated to the Archives by Sr. Thomasette Duffy, CSJ (née Irene Catherine, 1909-1997). The basketball’s signatures include: Larry Bird, M. L. Carr, Carlos Clark, Chris Ford, Dennis Johnson, K. C. Jones, Greg Kite, Cedric Maxwell, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Jimmy Rodgers.

Sports in Education
Sports-related materials are plentiful in the Archives thanks to a focus on education in the ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The Boston School for the Deaf athletics collection includes vintage basketball team portraits. The Sisters of Saint Joseph ran the Boston School for the Deaf in Jamaica Plain from 1899 to 1904, and then in Randolph from 1904 to 1994. Early records of the baseball, basketball and football teams still exist. A brochure commemorating the 75th anniversary of the school in 1974 describes its approach to athletics:
“Development of the whole person includes athletics as an important tool toward the attainment of that end. Participation in this area develops a sense of pride and accomplishment in the child, teaches the value of physical fitness and the importance of teamwork.”
People who are deaf have not historically been treated with inclusivity, so the development of BSD’s athletic program likely faced unique challenges. It was not until 1924 that an international sports event mirroring the Olympics was created for deaf athletes and not until 1935 that the U.S. sent teams to participate. But, by 1907, the Boston School for the Deaf girls’ basketball team faced off against Randolph High School. In 1963, the school joined the New England Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association and a few years later won the boys’ basketball championship. By including sports in the Boston School for the Deaf curriculum, students had the opportunity to play sports just as their public school peers did.
High school athletic directors often stress that student-athletes are “students first, athletes second”. Sr. Thomasette, the original owner of the signed Celtics basketball, seemed to have followed that same philosophy in her teaching role at various Boston parish schools. One of her former students described how, at St. Mary’s in Brookline, his grades had suffered as he focused more on sports and less on academics. In response, Sr. Thomasette encouraged him to apply to college and tutored him in math and English in preparation for the entrance exam . . . which he passed! The development of the whole person is a key ideal in Catholic education, making athletics a part of the educational history of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston.

There is Still Time to Be a Part of the Year of St. Joseph by Joanne Gallagher, CSJ

Stained glass image located in the library at St. Joseph Spiritual Ministries in Newton, MA.

As you know, Pope Francis has designated this year as the Year of St. Joseph.
Did you know that images of St. Joseph did not begin to emerge until the 10th Century? He was a quiet man in many regards. Most of you reading this have images of Joseph in the form of statues, paintings, wall hangings and more. Many have already contributed, and I thank you.
On May1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we began our “Year of St. Joseph Virtual Celebration” with a social media campaign. From now until December 8, 2021, a Joseph image will be posted each week along with a reflection quote and/or question.
If you still have a picture to send, be sure to secure written copyright reprint permission from the owner of the image. Not only is it being a “dear neighbor”, it’s also the law.
If you are taking the photo yourself, you can take it with a mobile phone and text me at 617.699.7429 or email the image.



In Memoriam To view all memoriams go to

Volume 6.1.7 –  May 18, 2021

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