Meeting of the CSJ Collaborative

From Thursday, November 17 through Sunday, November 20, 2016, Sisters of St. Joseph from Maine, Boston, Springfield, Philadelphia,
St. Augustine, and Brentwood gathered at St. joseph Villa, Hampton Bays.
This marked the fourth year that the sisters have gathered together to pray, to engage in conversations, and to share insights and dreams in light of our call to Union with God, and with the dear neighbor, including our sacred Earth.

Janet Mock CSJ returned to facilitate the weekend and directed various sessions on religious life in our world. The goals for the weekend were:

–to build on previous gatherings in order to deepen and strengthen relationships within and across congregations;

–to contemplate the relevancy of our CSSJ Charism and Mission in today’s national and global reality;

–to review the organizing structures of this gathering and adapt as needed

During last year’s gathering, Janet reminded us time and time again:

“As religious life returns to its origins and the freedom of its founding, you can’t be seen just as the future.  You are the present.”With that reality ever before us, the sisters worked during the weekend to contemplate ever new ways of presence and collaboration for the present. A new way of Unioning was gently held and worked on; thus the Collaborative of the CSSJs came into being.

The action steps surrounding this new entity include:

–Hub Hopping whereby sisters will be linked together in conversations via Zoom Conferencing

–Connecting Conversations will occur to discover what is happening and emerging in the Atlantic region and in other regions

–Ideas for Collaborative Ministry will continue to be generated with an eye toward future gatherings

Sisters also worked to select members who would continue the work that has been done by the original Steering Committee. After working as Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the past four years, Peggy Conway will complete her service.  Kerry Handal will also complete her service of four years; however, she will remain as coordinator of all St. Joseph Villa gatherings.

Suzanne Franck will represent Brentwood and will serve as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee with Lisa Breslin SSJ of Philiadelphia. Susan Wilcox will also represent Brentwood.

As the group departed on Sunday morning, they left knowing that relationships had indeed been deepened and strengthened in many ways.As the days continue, we know that the Mission is stronger than ever in the hearts of the sisters and all those with whom they live and work.

Sister Peggy Conway CSJ

January 2017