In November, 2013, Sisters of St. Joseph of the Atlantic region under the ages of 62 gathered at St. Joseph Villa, Hampton Bays. Originally scheduled for March but rescheduled because of weather, this gathering afforded the CSSJs opportunities to meet, to pray, and to have conversation about our shared Mission. As we left that weekend, we knew that this Federation group would gather again to share hopes, dreams, and concerns.
In addition, as the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood left, we planned to meet together as a group by January 2014.
On Saturday, January 25, nineteen of us met in TMLA to pray, to reflect on that weekend and its richness, and to look ahead at the responsibilities and challenges that we face.
The agenda was a simple one. Selections from the book, Religious Life at the Crossroads by Amy Hereford CSJ (2013) concerning prayer, community, and looks to the future were sent out prior to the meeting for our reflection as we continued to ponder what challenges us? Inspires us?
In addition, the book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone (2012) was surfaced as yet another vision of how best to seek solutions for the future.
The meeting consisted of CSJ conversation at its very best! We affirmed the fact that we look at the future while living our lives in the present…with the essential aspects of prayer and community sustaining us along the way. As we reflected, we realized once again the richness of presence. At the end of the gathering, we realized that it is important to continue our conversations together. Therefore, we agreed we will meet again as a group at some point after the March 22 Assembly.
Reality based, we are aware of the challenges ahead. Yet, we know that even as we walk toward an unknown future, we offer hope.
We offer hope because we work in ministries with people who seek to make this a better world.
We offer hope because we know that we stand on the shoulders of the women who go before us…with the knowledge that anything can be accomplished when we work together.
We offer hope because the connections and relationships that exist within our ministries will serve to broaden our vision as how best to offer our time and talents as we work to divide the city.
The closing prayer included the hope: “We pray that we are aware of all the Spirit can do in each of us…and to this, we say, Amen.”
May that continue to be our prayer as we journey through the days ahead of us.
Peggy Conway, CSJ