Welcoming The Dear Neighbor

St. Joseph College Long Island and the Sisters of St. Joseph Welcome Service Volunteers from Tzu Chi University


As part of their visit to SJCNY, visiting service volunteers from Tzu Chi University made a special trip to SJC Long Island to meet some of the members of the College’s founding order, the Sisters of St. Joseph at their motherhouse in Brentwood, Long Island.

“When our students were studying at Tzu Chi University two years ago, the TCU faculty showed them all of the special sites in the order’s history, including the famous Jing Si Temple,” said Dr. Peter Lin, Ph.D., professor of psychology. “To have our friends from afar go out to SJC Long Island and Brentwood to learn of the College’s founding order, their history and to see how their mission lives on today through their service to the community was inspiring, both as a visitor and a long-time member of the SJC community.”

The party from TCU started their day at SJC Long Island, where then interim executive dean and professor of philosophy Dr. Wendy Turgeon, Ph.D., presented a lecture on fairy tales and social justice. In her lecture, she discussed how seemingly innocent children’s stories addressed serious social justice issues of the period, with valuable lessons that resonate today.

After the lecture and a campus tour, the volunteers headed to the Sisters of St. Joseph motherhouse in Brentwood, where they learned of the College’s and history of the order from Virginia Dowd, the archivist for the order in Brentwood. They then proceeded on a tour of the complex, with Sister Mary Lou Buser showcasing the community garden and several animals to the guests. Following this, Phil Marinelli came aboard the van and conducted a driving tour of the complex, where he presented the massive solar array and several community farms on the premises.

“The Sisters are truly committed to making the world and their community a better place,” said Wen Chiien Cheng, an aspiring service volunteer from Tzu Chi University. “I appreciated how they share the food grown on their farm with the community and how they are trying to manage and live off their land without using the planet’s resources.”

-By Michael Banach, Director of Government and Public Affairs at St. Joseph College

-Photos by Dr. Peter Lin, Phd.