Author Archives: aSisterOfStJosephBlog

March 3, 2016

National Catholic Sisters Week is March 8-12

Engaging, Supporting, and Exploring Life

as a Catholic Sister

During National Catholic Sisters Week

As we prepare to celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week March 8-12, we are reminded of how American Catholic Sisters are integral parts of our communities and our Church—generously serving, leading and praying in communities and ministries across the country. We invite you to become part of the hopeful and inspirational story of Catholic sisters and to share this message during National Catholic Sisters Week! One way you can do that is by tapping into a new report and website.

A new report (PDF) from Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA), Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today, helps to tell Catholic sisters’ story by challenging stereotypes, revealing a new narrative about Catholic Sisters, and drawing greater attention to the lived reality of Catholic sisters today.

Launched alongside the report is the website, designed to encourage engagement with sisters, support for sisters, and exploration of life as a sister. This website has a toolkit of recources and ideas for #NCSW2016. One resource in the toolkit is the poster pictured here. NCSW FADICA poster

Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today distills mountains of studies and data to produce something accessible yet sophisticated, representing both a resource for learning about religious life and a bridge between women religious and the general public. The report identifies 10 key themes of religious life today, candidly presenting the challenges, opportunities, treasures and relevancy of religious life for today’s women.

The comprehensive report and website ignites the past, present, and future of religious life by answering Pope Francis’ call to men and women religious to remember the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope. Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today and is part of a larger effort to recruit and retain new members who will become young leaders, carrying congregations and service to the Church into future generations.

March 2, 2016

Sisters of St. Joseph Maxims in Haiku

Maxims in Haiku

Haiku – Frances Agnes Blake, CSJ

Photography – Ann Marie Grady, CSJ

We are pleased to announce a new series reflecting the Maxims of the Little Institute. As many know, in 2014, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston published Maxims in Haiku, by Frances Agnes Blake, CSJ, and Ann Marie Grady, CSJ. As we enter this new year, a page of this book will be published on our website every other Monday. You are welcome to print these for your personal reflection. If you there is a reason to use the haiku, the images, or both for a wider audience, please contact the Sisters of St. Joseph Communications Office at


The Maxims of the Little Institute is a different document than the Maxims of Perfection which are also written by Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ. It’s believed that Father Médaille wrote the Maxims of Perfection as a personal retreat journal and then published them for a wider audience. The Maxims of the Little Institute were written specifically for the firstSisters of St. Joseph.

Haiku is a verse form of 3 unrhymed lines of 5-7-5 syllables. The use of this form offers an interesting way to present the maxims in a brief, concise mode, moving them from their 17th-century background to the 21st century.

The photography that accompanies the Maxims in Haiku is presented to evoke, to tease out, to hint at the many meanings embedded in the maxims for the 21st century. Nature imagery is used as a visual metaphor to set up a conversation between words and images and viewer.

In this Maxims in Haiku series, the images and verses will be followed by the original Maxims of the Little Institute written by Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ. We hope you enjoy viewing and reflecting on this wonderful expression of the spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph. ©2014 Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, all rights reserved.

For reprint permission of any pdfs or photography in this Maxims in Hiaku series,

contact us at

February 27, 2016

Brighton Main Streets Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse


Brighton Main Streets Annual Gerry McCarthy

Easter Egg Hunt at Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse

Join us on the front lawn of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse,

637 Cambridge Street, Brighton, MA, on Saturday,

March 26, 2016,  from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon 

…for the Brighton Main Streets annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Although this event has a 50+ year history, 2015 was the first year the event took place at the Motherhouse.

Each year, hundreds of children and their families are present. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will even make an appearance! 

This event was begun by the McCarthy family who is still involved in the event.

October 1, 2015

From the Boston Globe: Sister Eustace Caggiano, at 102; the ‘Saint of the South End’

From the Boston Globe:

Sister Eustace Caggiano, at 102;

the ‘Saint of the South End’

eustace in globe 10-01-15

As a Sister of St. Joseph of Boston, Sister Eustace lived the words of our Constitution: ”We strive in every aspect of our lives to be for others a visible sign of God’s presence and active love. We engage in spiritual and corporal works of mercy so that justice and peace, freedom and human dignity may prevail.”

A wonderful article in the October 1, 2015, Boston Globe begins: “I am just doing God’s work,” Sister Eustace Caggiano would say as she gathered groceries for an immigrant family or found fresh clothes for a homeless man.

May God now gift you, Sister Eustace with eternal peace and joy.

Click here to link to the Boston Globe article

Sister Eustace Caggiano, at 102; the ‘Saint of the South End’



September 24, 2015

Two Boston CSJs were at the Papal Mass at Catholic University

Two Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston had the opportunity to participate in the Papal Mass at Catholic University on September 23, 2015. Sister Kathleen Carr, CSJ, was there as an alum of Catholic University. Sister Rosemary Brennan, CSJ, our president, attended as a major superior of a religious congregation.

Here are a few pictures they took before and during the Mass:

Kathleen and Rosemary inside security area

Kathleen and Rosemary inside security area

KC w pope's mass program

waiting at security checkpoint

waiting at security checkpoint

Rosemary's view of altar before Mass begins

Rosemary’s view of altar before Mass begins

Mass begins

Mass begins

September 20, 2015

Watch Papal Visit Live Streamed

I’m sure, there are lots of websites covering the Pope’s visit to the United States this week.

I’ll mention two:

The Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Not only will they be live streaming the whole visit. They also suggest lots of ways to participate even if you can’t see Pope Francis in person.

10 Ways to Participate in Pope Francis’s US Visit

Hundreds of Thousands are expected to see Pope Francis when he visits the US. Even if you are not among those who will see the Holy Father in person, you can still make his visit a time of spiritual renewal and evangelization by following the suggestions below.

The Archdiocese of Washington DC also has a very comprehensive site dedicated to Pope Francis’ visit.

Scroll down to the section that says “Media Center” and it will link you to all manner of great resources including their YouTube channel with some short but really engaging and informative videos.

I particularly like this one:  Pope Francis in DC | Priest On the Street 

use their hashtag #PopeInDC to stay up to date


September 19, 2015

New mailing list process for Soundings Update

su Sept 9-9-2015

Soundings Update will be coming to subscribers in a slightly new way. We have created a MailChimp email list for our current subscribers. New subscribers can receive Soundings Update by filling out a simple subscription form on our website at:

You can still download our pdf version of Soundings Update. But the information is also available in a mobile responsive, easy to read format.

Don’t worry! We have no intention of using your information for any other purpose. It is only for the delivery of our electronic newsletter.


September 16, 2015

49 years…called to be a vivifying leaven!

With all the social media platforms available, this blog seems to keep slipping off the bottom of my “to-do” list. Here is an attempt to get it up and active again.

49 years ago, on September 15, 1966, I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. Need I say it was the best choice I ever made. Did I know what I was really doing? no! Did I imagine religious life as we know it today…well mostly no…but I will never forget an assignment I was given as a senior in high school.

The teacher asked us to reflect on a quote from Gaudium et Spes. It went something like: The Christian should be a vivifying leaven in the Church and society. I happened to be on the train that day and wondered what this could mean. I looked around at others and thought to myself, this is where we need to be a vivifying leaven. The Church is going to change and I’m going to have to change with it.

As a 17-year old, I really didn’t know what all that meant but in the past 49 years I’ve learned a lot as the Church has changed. Our present pope is certainly calling us to be that vivifying leaven. And the reality is, although many who entered with us have since chosen different paths, we have all been vivifying leaven where ever our journey brought us.

June 25, 2015

Sisters of St. Joseph Volunteers in Mission [VIM] Week

Pat Quinn, CSJ, lights candles as VIMs prepare for Evening Prayer

Pat Quinn, CSJ, lights candles as VIMs prepare for Evening Prayer

VIMs gather for Evening Prayer after a full day of work at their volunteer sites.

VIMs gather for Evening Prayer after a full day of work at their volunteer sites.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston Volunteers in Mission [VIM] is happening this week. It’s a time of sharing prayer, community, and service with sisters and associates. VIM week is an apt expression of Pope Francis’ words announcing the Year of Consecrated Life and challenging religious congregations to “Wake up the world!” During this week of service at St. Francis House, Casserly House, and The Women’s Lunch Place, participants dare to “Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living!” and broaden the circle of love poured out toward every kind of neighbor without distinction.

We are grateful for the hospitality of the sisters at Fontbonne Convent that enables the group to share community life with the sisters there and with one another.