I am writing to you at the end of a year that has seen extraordinary suffering, anxiety and
change. We must be asking ourselves, “where is God in all of this?” Yet, our faith tells us God
is here, in the midst of this uncertainty and fear, with unfailing love.
In times of pain and loss, we have always relied on our faith. The words from Ezekiel: “I
will put my spirit in you that you may live” give us hope and confidence. We know, in our
deepest selves, that God is with us and with all who are struggling with illness, deprivation,
exclusion and even death.
The Sisters of St. Joseph have always gone out into our world and have done whatever
needed to be done to witness God’s all-inclusive love. In previous years, when our Sisters
looked to explore new ministries to meet the needs of the times it was often said: “Where the
Sister is, there is the congregation.” Well, in this time we can adapt that to read: “Where the
Sister, associate, and partner in ministry is, there is the congregation.”
All of our Sisters, associates, and partners in ministry have been serving in the best ways
they can in spite of the challenges. With all of you who support and encourage us, we have
never been more convinced that our mission of unity through love of God and neighbor without
distinction is desperately needed in our world at this time. As we are overwhelmed with news of
division and discrimination, violence and scandal, sickness and death, we continue to live in
hope, through our faith in God’s unconditional love.
Those engaged in our young adult ministry have been reaching out to nourish those
deprived of food, clothing and basic necessities while nourishing the spirituality of each other.
New volunteers in our St. Joseph Worker Program continue to serve in various ministries.
Our Sisters ministering in parishes are present to nourish and deepen the faith of
parishioners. Most importantly they are responding to the needs of children, parents, the
homebound, the needy, the lonely and those suffering and grieving.
Administrators, teachers and staff of our sponsored educational ministries have actively
engaged in new and creative ways to meet the needs of students and their families during the
pandemic. They continue to build relationships that encourage learning, service and
collaboration among faculty, students and new partners.
Our commitment to our land ethic continues and has birthed many projects preserving our
land and the life it sustains. From our solar array and rain gardens to our thriving farmland, we
are truly seeing God in new ways.
Head-on we have faced the complexity of the coronavirus in our convents and in Maria
Regina Residence – our skilled nursing facility. In all situations, our health care staffs and aides
have provided unparalleled, excellent care while working long hours and exposing themselves
to the virus.
Committed to welcoming our neighbor, we continue to work with a number of religious
and civil organizations to build bridges counteracting fear, poverty and exclusion, especially for
our immigrant brothers and sisters.
Considering the rapid changes our world is experiencing and the very complex challenges
that exist, it is critical that we realize the power that resides in uniting with others whose talents
and gifts bring hope and new possibilities to sustain all life without exception.
You share our values and passion and help us to see new ways to witness to God’s
creative and enduring love. We are grateful to you who have united with us by offering
generous support and encouragement as we remain faithful to the call of the gospel.
Like so many organizations, the pandemic has had a financial impact. We have had to
cancel two of our most successful fundraising events that provided substantial revenue to
support our ministries. Therefore, I ask that as you have helped us in the past by providing
support for our Sisters and our ministries, please make your gift again to this year’s annual
appeal. We cannot do this important work without your help. Please consider making a larger
gift than last year, or becoming a member of the St. Joseph Society by making a monthly gift.
Please be assured of a constant remembrance in the prayers of the Sisters of Saint Joseph
for you and all those you love.
Gratefully in Christ,
Sister Helen Kearney, CSJ