Category Archives: nun blogs

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.

March 28, 2009

Where are people getting news about religious life today?

The past two days have been spent at the Religion Communicators Council conference at the Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. This is a picture of the Boston skyline taken from the hotel on Thursday morning. The conference was a great opportunity for networking with communicators from other religious denominations. I decided to go because I wanted to support the members of the local Boston chapter of RCC who had done a huge amount of work in preparation for the event. But I gained so much more from the experience. While there was a vast diversity of religious denominations, there was a powerful unity in the desire to effectively communicate the message and mission our organizations. I learned a lot and really had a chance to look at our ministry as communicators for women religious through a wider lens.

While helping with registration I met several students who were at the conference on scholarship. The whole concept of offering scholarships to college and graduate students who are interested in faith-based communications is brilliant. It’s energizing to the veteran members and places these younger people in a professional environment where they can build a network of relationships for the future. One of these students was Meg. She’s studying in Indiana but it turns out that she has connections with CSJs. This morning when I checked my email, I discovered that she had written about me on her blog. Here’s the link: Who knows, maybe someday Meg will end up working in communications for some group of Sisters of St. Joseph.

Both the keynote speakers and the breakout speakers were excellent. I learned so much. This morning’s panel of speakers included Michael Paulsen from the Boston Globe, Rachael Zoll from Associated Press, and John Yemma from the Christian Science Monitor . Today is the last day the Monitor will produce a print edition. The whole newspaper is going online. John explained some of the changes and the long range strategic communication plan that brought this about. It was not a quick decision. It was a good illustration of the changing landscape of how news is delivered. Online newsletters, blogs, wikis, twitter, facebook, and social networking in general were all discussed from the perspective of faith based communication. Michael told us he reads 107 blogs each day just to keep up with what’s going on. He spoke of the transformation in the “religion beat” in the nine years he’s worked for the Globe. So many papers across the country have cut their religion reporters. Rachael is one of the two AP religion reporters in our entire country. That’s astounding! I wonder how many sports reporters they have. Michael explained how online news is raising new questions. He asked, “If we’re picking what we read online, where’s the common conversation?” I found myself really pondering something else Michael said: “We’re experiencing the loss of a collective consciousness.”

As I drove home tonight, I wondered about the impact all of this has on how or if women choose religious life as a viable option? The web is clearly a vehicle for discerning this choice…but there’s such a plethora of options out there. How does a woman who desires to live a vowed life in community find the place that is the best fit for herself?

A Sister of St. Joseph’s Blog
Connecting Neighbor with Neighbor and Neighbor with God

January 7, 2009

Introducing A Sister of St. Joseph’s Blog

My name is Joanne Gallagher, CSJ. I am a Sister of St. Joseph [CSJ]. We are a Roman Catholic religious community of women. I am based in the Boston area and am a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. But there are over 12,000 Sisters of St. Joseph and about 5,000 Associates all over the world. We are ordinary women from all walks of life. We are women of the church rooted in the Gospel. Our special focus, our mission, is to work for unity and reconciliation where there is brokenness, to help people become whole and holy, individually and together. Together with our Associates we are impelled by the active, inclusive love of God to deepen our relationship with God and neighbor without distinction.

I work as Director of Communication for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. I love being a sister and have always looked for ways to share our spirituality and rich heritage with others. In publishing newsletters and working with the press, I realize there is so much about the way in which sisters and associates live their day-to-day lives that does not make it into the news. A Sister of St. Joseph’s Blog is intended to be about our life as Sisters of St. Joseph in those ordinary moments you don’t usually hear about in the news.
You can learn about us at:

We also have two YouTube posts at

A Sister of St. Joseph’s Blog
Connecting Neighbor with Neighbor and Neighbor with God