Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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.


January 13, 2015

Boston Area Catholic Sisters Host Prayer Vigil for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Boston Area Catholic Sisters Host Prayer Vigil for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

traf prayer 1-11-15 kyong-terryJ-mtor-md

Click on picture above to view a short video of our Human Trafficking Awareness Prayer Vigil.

Boston, MA: In 2007 the U.S. Senate designated January 11th as a National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness in an effort to raise consciousness about this global, national and local issue. In 2010-2015, President Barack Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. For the eighth consecutive year, local  Catholic Sisters representing sixteen congregations in the Greater Boston Area gathered with over 150 sisters, associates, and many friends on January 11, 2015, to mark this national day and pray for an end to human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery.  This Boston Anti-trafficking Coalition, which is a collaboration of congregations of women religious in the Boston area, believes that in addition to words and actions, prayer and silent vigil are powerful tools to eradicate human trafficking.

During the introduction to the prayer, participants were reminded of Pope Francis’ 2015 New Year’s World Day of Peace Message in which he calls on all nations to fight “modern forms of enslavement” and human trafficking. Francis continues, “…millions of people today are deprived of freedom and are forced to live in conditions akin to slavery.”

On this national day of awareness, participants know that they do not stand alone. In cities all across the country, similar groups gathered in solidarity, in prayer, in vigil-keeping throughout the country. The group is also heartened by the words and efforts of many civic and church leaders across the commonwealth, the country, and the world who realize that the $150 billion dollar worldwide ‘industry’ of trafficking of  more than 21 million persons runs counter to basic tenets regarding the dignity and value of each person.

Roman Catholic women religious have been key leaders in the national and international movement to stop human trafficking. Each year they have been joined by associates, co-workers, relatives, friends, students, and other concerned citizens to give witness to the dignity of each person. In prayer and silent vigil they stand with and for those children, women, and men who are exploited for labor and for sex through the evil of  human trafficking, modern day slavery. They also pray for the conversion of traffickers themselves.

As Pope France’s 2015 World Day of Peace Message reminds us, all peoples are our family, and together, we need to cry out and act to end the human trafficking of our brothers and sisters.



The Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious includes several religious congregations representing over 800 women religious in the greater Boston area.

Background Information

An estimated 850,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide, according to the U.S. State Department, 20,000 of them into the United States. Human trafficking forces men, women, and children into pornography, prostitution and other sexual exploitation, as well as labor exploitation. In 1998, the realization that trafficking was a growing problem around the world—and that it was being largely unaddressed—led to the formation of a, broad-based coalition of women’s organizations, faith-based groups, children’s groups, labor groups, and health groups. Together this bi-partisan coalition drafted and helped pass the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The law provides a comprehensive approach to elimination of trafficking in persons through a three-pronged strategy—prevention, prosecution, and protection. In 2003 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services began educating segments of the public about the horrors of human trafficking. Their efforts began with members of women’s religious communities who have the potential to educate and influence others on behalf of victims of trafficking.

 Contact: Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston,  617.746.2110

October 26, 2014

Le Puy, France: Around the town

Well, it all seems to be about adaquate internet access. I can’t get online via my laptop at the moment so these are a few (very few) pictures taken with my phone. If our IT people worked here, it would be a different story. On Saturday, Philippe gave us a little walking tour of LePuy and then left us on our own to visit the lace shops and have lunch.

In the afternoon, we visted the ancient kitchen — this never ceases to be a powerful experience. Sister Simone of the LePuy congregation hosted the visit.  Even though the floor and stone fireplace are the only parts that date back to our beginning in 1650, it was still powerful to know that the energy of our first six sisters was in this place.

Some of us walked the 260-something stairs to the top of Rocher St. Michael. We exercised muscles we never knew we had but it was well worth it!image

this is a window in the chapel at the top.


Today we visited the cathedral. After a tour and a chance to visit their gift shop, we joined the parish for 11:00am Mass. We were publically introduced and welcomed in French and English.



In about an hour, we head back to the CSSJ International Centre for more group prayer and dinner with the sisters there.

Thank you to those who have expressed an interest in these updates. Pray for better internet so more pictures can be sent.

October 24, 2014

CSSJ Pilgrimage: Lyon to Le Puy en Velay

Here are a few pictures of today’s pilgrimage path from Lyon to Le Puy en Velay.



We traveled first to St. Didier, a very small town. Here we stopped to see the place that marks the site where Jeanne Fontbonne and her sisters were imprisoned during the French Revolution.

Our next stop was Monistrol. This is where Jeanne Fontbonne and her blood sister entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. The church in the pictures is where the sisters refused to support the revolution’s attempt to take control of the Catholic Church.

10-24-14 monistrol church

10-24-14 monistrol candles brenda-margaret

Just sitting in this church our group felt a powerful connection with Mother St. John Fontbonne. Many lit candles in the church.


The countryside in the Loire Valley is spectacular. Just driving through it is a feast for the eyes and soul.


After lunch in Monistrol [every meal, no matter how simple, is delicious in France!] we headed to Bas-en-Basset, the birth place of Jeanne Fontbonne. In August, 2008 the town named a street after Mother St. John Fontbonne. We found the street and Philippe, our guide, translated the words under the street sign. It was simple but powerful.


On this street is the house that is presumed to be the Fontbonne family home. It’s the door with the stone framework.

10-24-14 lepuy sunset

Finally, we arrived in Le Puy. The sun was setting on Rocher Ste. Michele when we as we approached the International Centre. Mystical! After a welcome from the sisters at the centre, we spent almost an hour in a profound sharing of all that is in our hearts after these two very full days.

10-24-14 lepuy prayer

Tomorrow we explore Le Puy and visit the ancient kitchen.

CSSJ Heritage Pilgrimage 2014: Lyon, France

pilgrimage 3a

pilgrimage 4

It’s been a long and wonderful two days. So I’ll just present this slide show. We prayed in the Chapel at the Motherhouse in Lyon. After the prayer, I learned that the song we used, “I See Myself In You” was first sung in that chapel back in 2008 for the 200th anniversary of Mother St. John coming to Lyon.

pilgrimage 3

pilgrimage 5

We visited Mother St. John’s grave where we had another short prayer and placed flowers on her grave. Then it was off to Old Lyon for lunch and some shopping. Finally we visited the Silk Museum where we learned about the history of the silk industry and how Lyon came to be such a world-wide center for the silk weaving.

pilgrimage 3a

pilgrimage 6

pilgrimage 7

pilgrimage 8

pilgrimage 9

The day was topped of with a perfect dinner in the hotel restaurant. On Friday, we leave for Le Puy via St. Didier, Monistrol, and Bas-en-Bassett

September 17, 2014

Celebrating Hildegard of Bingen – a saint for graphic designers!

Today our Church celebrates the feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen. She was a very gifted woman who lived from 1098-1179, in  Germany’s Rhineland.  Many celebrate her as a Naturalist, Philosopher, Herbalist, Healer,Visionary, Artist, Author,  Composer, Mystic.

hildegard mandalaWhen I googled “patron saints of graphic designers”, it said there were none. So I’d like to suggest that Hildegard’s art…mandalas in particular, qualify her as a possible patron saint of graphic designers.

September 12, 2014

Sisters of St. Joseph Retreat Center on WCVB-TV Chronicle

Sisters of St. Joseph Retreat Center on WCVB-5 Chronicle

Deep Thoughts by the Sea:

Cohasset Chronicle filming 8 11 14

Follow this link to the WCVB-TV Chronicle segment about the Sisters of St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset.!bSdxIq