Category Archives: sisters of st joseph

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’



May 2, 2015

Sisters of St. Joseph honor Hynes family with The Dear Neighbor Award

Living the Dream: Sisters of St. Joseph Connecting Neighbor with Neighbor and Neighbor with God

Brighton, MA: Approximately 400 friends, former students, and supporters attended the second annual Living the Dream dinner held on April 30, 2015, at the Seaport Hotel.  For 141 years the Sisters of St. Joseph have educated countless students. In the year 2015, they continue with enthusiasm and dedication to “connect neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God” within the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond.

During this event, The Hynes Family of Boston was the honored with the Dear Neighbor Award.  This award was

The Hynes family of Boston receives Dear Neighbor Award

The Hynes family of Boston receives Dear Neighbor Award

given in recognition of the outstanding contributions they have made to the growth and prosperity of Boston and, especially, for their contributions to the poor and disenfranchised through their compassionate philanthropy. Bostonians fondly remember Mayor John B. Hynes and popular TV anchor, Jack Hynes. Co-chairs of the evening, Barry, John, and Tom Hynes, were present to receive the award, speak on behalf of the family, and congratulate the Sisters of St. Joseph for their decades of service and presence among the people of Boston.

During the evening Mike Sheehan, CEO of the Boston Globe and MC for the event, introduced Sisters Cathy Clifford, Mary O’Rourke, and Pat Andrews who were featured in a brief video about the way in which the Sisters of St. Joseph “connect  neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.”

The guest speaker was Kristen Donoghue McCosh, an active and vocal member of the disability community for over 30 years beginning in 1983 when, as a freshman at Mount St. Joseph Academy, she sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. Kristen explained that, “Nearly a decade before the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, the Sisters of St. Joseph made my return to school possible.” She continued, “They did not need a federal law to tell them what to do, because they followed a divine law.”

Kristen is pictured here with Sister Ellen Pumphret, CSJ, the principal of MSJA who made Kristen's access to school possible.

Kristen is pictured here with Sister Ellen Pumphret, CSJ, the principal of MSJA who made Kristen’s access to school possible.

Today, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, provide support for countless individuals in need throughout the Boston area and well beyond. Many sisters, associates, and lay partners minister in schools and parishes, volunteer as literacy and citizenship tutors, advocate for survivors of human trafficking, and companion the aged and infirm. Others provide counseling and spiritual companionship for those who desire to deepen their relationship with God. A few of these ministries include St. Joseph Retreat Center, The Literacy Connection, Casserly House, and The Women’s Table.

Thanks to Co-Chairs, John, Barry, and Tom Hynes and their enthusiastic and dedicated committee, this event raised over $630,000. This is testimony to the support needed for these ministries to grow as the Sisters of St. Joseph continue to connect neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.  To view the dinner video and learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph and their ministries visit

November 22, 2014

Happy Feast of Mother St. John Fontbonne

msjf statue for webToday, November 22, is the anniversary of the death of Mother St. John Fontbonne. In this post I offer a prayer that I wrote for Fontbonne Academy, my Alma Mater. as we celebrate our 60th anniversary; and a reflection that was done for staff prayer at our Motherhouse. It is gleaned and adapted from a variety of sources.

Prayer in the Spirit of Mother St. John Fontbonne 

God of wisdom and grace,

we pray in the spirit of Mother St. John Fontbonne.

May our lives model her humility, fidelity and courage

as we embrace this present moment.

With an expansive heart,

Mother St. John Fontbonne opened herself

to the unfolding mystery of God’s call

in herself and in the dear neighbor.

Inspired by her vision, strength, and compassion,

may we live and work

with the Zeal of Christ Jesus, “that all may be one.”



Reflection on Jeanne Fontbonne

Today we remember the 171st  Anniversary of the death of Mother St. John Fontbonne.

Even before she entered religious life, Jeanne Fontbonne had begun to adjust her plans and dreams to respond to the needs that surrounded her.  The chaos of the French Revolution affected the personal life of almost every faithful Catholic. It violently disrupted the lives of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Their ministry was destroyed, they were imprisoned without trial, and some were guillotined.

After the revolution Mother St. John Fontbonne responded in new ways to meet the needs of the neighbor. Before she died, she had founded or reorganized more than 240 houses of the Congregation throughout France, not to mention those in foreign lands.

At 77 years old, she engaged the congregation in a new expression of its Catholicism: a foundation in America. Instead of conceiving a plan and making it happen, she opened herself so that the plan of God could take flesh and become history – in her and in the neighbor.

May our prayer today, deepen our awareness that our work is a ministry that weaves the story of inclusive love throughout the neighborhood of the universe.

October 21, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph Heritage Pilgrimage: preview & prayer

Today is the day! 24 Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates from across the United States and Canada depart for a pilgrimage to the sacred sites of our common history. While over half the group is comprised of sisters and associates from the Boston Congregation, the others come from eight different CSSJ congregations of provinces. That’s a total of nine congregations of Sisters of St. Joseph from the U.S. and Canada.

As most readers know, the Sisters of St. Joseph began in France about 364 years ago in Le Puy-en-Veley. Just yesterday, Go France, a popular online travel site named Le Puy as one of the top 10 underrated travel destinations in France. Click here for more: Go France

Stay tuned to this newly updated blog. I will try to add updates every couple of days.

Please pray for us as we set out on this “pilgrimage of the heart.” In a very real way we are all on pilgrimage. Whether you are able to travel to France of to a local site that holds sacred memories, entering into the spirit of pilgrimage has the power to transform our heart and soul. The prayer below was written for our pilgrimage but all are invited to pray this prayer in the days ahead — not only for those going to France but for each of you as you journey each day to the center of your heart.

We walk this day  with our God of Inclusive Love

We walk this day with Christ of Outpouring Love.

We walk this day with the Spirit of Communal Love.



with the zeal of Jesus,

the fidelity of Mary,

and the cordial charity of Joseph

may we walk with the Trinity and the Trinity walk with us

as we journey along life’s way.

Bless us, O God, our pilgrimage path.



CSSJ Heritage Pilgrimage — Oct. 21-Nov. 1, 2014

October 17, 2014

“Age of Instability” by A Sister of St. Joseph from Philadelphia

gsr Horizons masthead

On Friday, October 10, The Global Sisters Report launched an email alert for Horizons, a popular column on their website. This is a column written  by younger sisters. Today’s article is by Colleen Gibson, a Sister of St. Joseph from Philadelphia. Here is the link to her article. GSR Colleen Gibson SSJ

Age of Instability – by Colleen Gibson, SSJ/Philadelphia

Surely, the convent must be a safe haven from the ills of the world, a place one can enter to escape, an escape from hard life decisions and transitions – that’s what my reporter friend seemed to be saying. In reality, though, religious life and the formation of young women religious is a mirror of our times.

The indecision in our world and ongoing need for dialogue is not left at the doors of religious congregations. Conversations in congregations revolve around how to be prophetic in our world today and how to bring about change in a world torn by inequality, prejudice and violence.

Read More…


October 8, 2014

Fontbonne Academy Celebrates New School Leadership

Today was a big day for Fontbonne Academy, a CSJ Boston sponsored ministry. View the slide show above for a few highlights of the event. Susan Degnan, FBA ’79, was formally installed as the new Head of School for Fontbonne Academy at a liturgy with all students and faculty as well as many trustees, parents, sisters, and alumnae, and members of Sue’s family,

It was a touching moment when Sue remarked how aware she is that she stands on the shoulders of some amazing women and glanced over to look directly at Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, former FBA President, and Mary Ellen Barns, the most recent Head of School.

I’m sure there will be a lot more to report from Fontbonne and I’ll try to share it here. Fontbonne Academy celebrates 60 years of excellence in education and faith formation for young women and this was also highlighted during the celebration.


September 16, 2014

A Sister of St. Joseph Blog: Now in WordPress

Hello friends,

So many people have followed this blog since it began in 2008. This week we have migrated the contents of the blog over to WordPress because it can be better integrated into our CSJ Boston website.

While this was in process the blog has been rather dormant…on an extended summer vacation! Now it’s available on our website at a tab near the right.

SU 2014-9-17-14 thumbnail Click on the words September 17, 2014 Soundings Update to view the latest issue of our online newsletter.