The Women’s Table: promoting connections, compassion, outreach, unity, and community
Five short years ago, The Women’s Table, the newest ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, came about through the collaboration of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a critical question posed to Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, by William Cafferky. Many Sisters of St. Joseph had influenced his life as well as the lives of his three daughters and he wanted to give back. Bill asked, “If you could develop a program that would empower women, what would you do?” This question inspired Sister Marilyn and others to dream into the future and engage in discussion, research, and prayer which gave birth to The Women’s Table.
On April 30, 2014, many sisters, associates, participants in The Women’s Table activities, and friends gathered to celebrate the outreach and networking that The Women’s Table has become known for throughout the Brighton/Allston area and beyond. Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, Director of The Women’s Table, welcomed the group with enthusiasm and gratitude and noted, “We would not be thriving without your help! Connecting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God is the clear mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the cornerstone of The Women’s Table. Mary Rita acknowledged those whose dedication and involvement contributes to the success of The Women’s Table by promoting connections, improving the quality of women's lives, and serving unidentified needs.
In particular, three individuals were honored during the evening. William Cafferky was honored with the Founding Sponsor Award. Although Bill could not be present, he forwarded a letter commenting, “I think about girls all the time. I'm surrounded by them. I’ve always believed women get the short end of the stick because they believe that's all they deserve. Education is the best way to change this. The Sisters of St. Joseph have the necessary venues to even the playing field. Let's hope you can empower equality through The Women’s Table.” Bill’s daughter, Corinne, accepted the award in his absence and remarked, “With all I've learned from the sisters at Fontbonne Academy and beyond, I've learned that this world can never have too much love. Through the ever widening circles of The Women’s Table, my hope is that women reach their full potential.”
In addition, Rev. Karen Fritz of the Brighton/Allston Congregational Church received the Community Partner Award. For Karen, “The most powerful thing is the love of God moving through all of us to every other person. Somehow the kingdom of God is truly felt in this community.” Priscilla Kelso was also recognized with the Community Partner Award not only for helping to initiate The Women’s Table Multicultural Circle but also for sharing her gifts with others, both internationally and “at home.” In speaking of the Multicultural Circle, Priscilla remarked, “I call it a little model of hope. We are here because we have the same heartbeat for Christ.”
Throughout the evening, reference was made to the many programs initiated by The Women’s Table during the past five years. At the conclusion of the evening, a “Rose Auction” took place as a lighthearted way of helping to fund these ongoing programs. Mary Rita remarked, “Women often have their most meaningful conversations around a table. The Women’s Table is about promoting connections, compassion, outreach, unity, and community. Without the collaboration of sisters, associates, local coalitions, area social service agencies, and individuals, we would not exist, let alone thrive!”