If you haven’t seen it, take some time to share the lives of five sisters – none of them are Sisters of St. Joseph, but they are all amazing women, living the gospel simply, radically, quietly. Today we see more and more that as Franciscans and Mercies and Dominicans and St. Joseph, we are all sisters, part of a larger sisterhood of Jesus Christ. It’s about an hour. Enjoy! #csjlife

Advent Discernment

Related imageWe are well in to our Advent journey, and it a great space for discernment. I would like to suggest four themes that guide me on my discernment journey.
Darkness – In our discernment, we may be in a whirl of confusion and feel like we’re in darkness. In Advent we sit with those raw feelings and emotions because discernment begins with observation.
Annunciation – God brings a light into the world through the Annunication. Mary’s yes comes in a place of freedom, hope, and not clinging. May we find this in our lives.
Preparation – People had to discern John the Baptist’s message. Was he the messiah? Discernment includes many signs, consolation and desolation, and movements from the spirits that prepare the way to a choice.
Nativity – God’s incarnation makes sacred our very decisions and even the process of discernment. Every discernment becomes an incarnation, a little Christmas through which God enters the world.
Blessings on your Advent journey and on your discernment.
Sr. Amy

Convent Camino

Religious communities are working a two-day vocation tour, the novely named “Convent Camino” on Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. Over 24 hours, interested women will explore how religious sisters live, pray and serve in St. Louis. The convent camino includes stops at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the School Sisters of Notre Dame among others. And many area sisters will participate.

The sisters appropriated the term from “Camino de Campostello” and adopted the social-networking and traveling aspects, and the journey of discovery and discernment. Interested women explore multiple communities instead of just one on an individual order’s come-and-see weekend.

With an event like this, you’ll get a bigger group, which is nice for the discerners. They can go around with other women kind of thinking like they’re thinking and build some relationships and support networks as well.

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My Deepest Truth

There is a quote that is making its round on the internet these days:

Vocation means fulfilling the original self-hood given me at birth by God
Thomas Merton

So true! Vocation can seem to be a new path and a grand adventure. Yet at the same time, it is a matter of discovering my own deepest truth, it is discovering a new and delightful aspect of what God has made me to be. And this never grows old. It is sometime that I can marvel at today, after decades in religious life, just like I could marvel at it in the heady wonder when I first sensed the call. Again today, I whisper: “Amen!”


Forever Vowed, Forever Wowed

I recently read in America magazine an article titled, “Dear Millennials: Run, Don’t Walk, to Your Vocation,” by Catherine Hadro. ( It is written not just to the Millennials, but to Gen X, Gen Y, i-Gen – all of us.

I am not a Millennial, but I empathize with this current generation. Like Hadro’s description of them, My vocational discernment also was riddled with “what ifs” – and lots of questions and unknowns. I was paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision and finding my life and good humor sucked out of me. After all, my single life was allowing me lots of self-fulfillment and world-expanding opportunities at work and with friends. I could not imagine what poverty, chastity and obedience could add.

But God does not give up easily. Faithful to prayer and my discernment, I finally realized, with the author, that “prudence is not holding back – it is discerning how best to move forward.”

Eventually, I did. In baby steps, as formation requires. Now, one year after professing perpetual vows as a Sister of St. Joseph, I find myself “living the dream” I could never imagine. Being “forever vowed,” I am finding, means being “forever wowed.” Being “forever vowed,” I have found, means forever free. It’s a freedom that enables me to not only know myself, but to share myself as genuinely as I am able, with my community, my family, my friends, with those whom I serve. It’s not a perfect freedom, but an ever-evolving one. That’s life – lived to the full.

Yes, I have not only entered, but embraced The Congregation of the Great Love of God. And I belong.

–Mary Flick, CSJ