Sisters Supporting Sustainability

By Christina Capecchi

The old farmers used to say you should leave a field better than you found it. Sometimes that called for heavy lifting. Other times it just meant picking up a rock as you crossed and placing it at the field’s edge.

That counsel stuck with Amy Hereford, who grew up on a 10-acre Missouri farm where sheep roamed and blackberries grew wild. She planted whatever vegetable seemed to be lacking. Read more…

Celebrating Joseph and Community

Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS, “Presentation of Jesus”

Happy St. Joseph’s Day to all! This is our day to celebrate who we are as Sisters of St. Joseph. Joseph is attributed no words in the Bible but only actions. We know he faithfully served God and was obedient to the call. He was the “foster Father of Jesus” who helped parent him on earth. We know that he did not belittle Mary when he found out she was pregnant. We know he was a carpenter. All of these actions reveal that he was a man of virtuous character.

The Sisters of St. Joseph look to Joseph and pray for his virtue of “Cordial Charity” as part of our prayer to the Double Trinity. We define the Double Trinity as: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. “Cordial” in French terms means true, real, or sincere. We look to Joseph for inspiration to be sincere and real about our loving charity. We pray to Joseph to help us practice this in our daily lives.

In a practical way aspiring to be more like Joseph affects my motivation and actions. It calls me to be true to God, myself and others. I go deep with God into my heart and mind and find out what is beckoning.  I ask for help and guidance so I will not waver in fidelity.  As Sisters of St. Joseph our common prayer is “Sharing the State of the Heart,” and so I not only share my heart with God, but I share my heart with my sisters. Doing both, sharing my heart with community and with God helps me remain faithful to my vocation.

St. Joseph’s day is a day we celebrate our community. We celebrate the fidelity we each have to our vocation. We renew our vows together. We re-commit ourselves to the mission, which is that of Jesus Christ and remember why we are here and what we are doing. We celebrate the love that flows from God and among us. Love and joy are palpable on this Feast day.

Today, reflect on your own faithfulness and celebrate it! Pray to Joseph for guidance and assistance. Blessings on your journey fellow pilgrim!

Novena to St. Joseph:

O glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor we now request. (Mention your request)

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions. Amen.


MORE Weekend

— by Sr. Amy Hereford
Come and See!
Come and Pray!
Come and Serve!
MORE Weekend – vocation discernment retreat.
June 9-11, 2017,
St. Louis, MO
The Sisters of St Joseph Vocation Team is inviting women interested in religious life to join us for a weekend event June 9-11, 2017 in St. Louis Missouri.
The weekend is to have an opportunity for sisters and interested women to share some time in community, prayer and volunteer ministry for a short period of time.

We will have a time for Ministry at volunteer sites where sisters are active.

We will explore the core value of the Sisters of St. Joseph: being One with God and Neighbor. Our congregation is oriented to the unifying love of God and to bringing about our oneness with God and oneness with neighbor.

There will be time for reflection and prayer with the sisters. We will focus on discernment and the call to unifying love.

And finally, there will be time to Engage with the sisters in community, meals and celebration.

With all these components, we are calling it our MORE weekend:

One with God and Neighbor
Reflection and Prayer

If you, or someone you know is interested in religious life, click here for more specifics. We would love to have you with us.

Contact Sr Clare Bass:  314-371-4667

Celebrating Sisters!

–by Sr. Amy Hereford

I was chatting with our Sisters 2.0 group about the possibility of hosting a public conversation about religious life as we experience it. We talked about the unique perspective of younger women religious, which includes those now in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. We have lived our entire religious life after that massive waves that entered in the 1940s-60s. We also lived our entire religious lives after Vatican II and after the renewal. We have always been few in number and have struggled to find our place in our communities with the overwhelming majority of sisters that are 20-50 years older than we are.

We decided to invite some of our members into the conversation which we will host online on March 8, 2017 at 7pm Central, the first day of National Catholic Sisters Week. We are grateful for a grant from NCSW to help promote this project.With all our sisters, we share community, we share life and spirituality, and we share a mission as wide as the world and as far-reaching as the gospel. Yet our experience and our culture are very different. Our experience of religious life and our hopes for the future are shaped by these differences as well as our shared reality.

On March 8, we will host an online panel of the newer generations of sisters from around the country, sharing their best memories of religious life, their enthusiasm for religious life today and their hopes for religious life going forward. The recording will also be available after the live event.

I am looking forward to moderating our conversation. I’m working with my community’s IT people to ensure that the technology works for us.

Our panelists will be:

  • Sr. Michelle Stachowiak, a Felician Sister for almost 29 years. She has served as a teacher and physical therapist, and has worked with the homeless and served in leadership in her own community.  Currently from Pittsburgh, she has lived and ministered in many parts of the US.
  • Sr. Ann Mare Paul, a Sister of Christian Charity. She too has served as a teacher, teaching theology at the high school and theology levels. Currently, she brings hope through her ministry in a Neighborhood center in one of the poorest cities of New Jersey.
  • Sr. María de Lourdes López Munguía, a Franciscan Missionary of Mary. She ministers as a psychologist and has served indigenous peoples, the incarcerated, victims of domestic violence and those struggling with drug addiction.

To find out more about the program and to register, click here.