the MORE... Online Updates

Volume 1.1.1 - December 2, 2015

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A new name?

Yes! Our print publications, Soundings and Connecting have become the MORE… We will continue to publish updates to the MORE… This title refers to a spiritual cornerstone of our charism, spirit, and spirituality that dates back to the seventeenth century roots of the world-wide family of Sisters of St. Joseph. If you did not receive a print copy of the MORE…, it can be downloaded at

Responding to the Ever-present Needs of Our World

by Rosemary Brennan, CSJA

In planning our celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, our hope was that it would be an opportunity for us to communally pause, honor, and celebrate our commitment to religious life, a life we each live with grace, meaning, purpose, and dedication.

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Over the years, when asked why I ever decided to become a sister, I have quite readily been able to say, “It was the right choice for me.” It was and continues to be true. I love being part of a community of strong, unique, and compassionate women who root themselves in a life of prayer in order to respond to the ever present needs of our world.

As Sisters of St. Joseph, we have and continue to be about many meaningful things. However, it is important that we don’t rest on our laurels. Pope Francis has clearly expressed his love, care, and appreciation for us, women religious, and yet he also continues to remind us that our place is to be on the margins. For us, that means being attentive to where our charism is needed next and how we might respond, be it individually or communally. This is a challenge and yet a quite exciting one.

In planning this liturgy, we could not have anticipated it would occur only a few days after the horrific tragedies which took place in Beirut and Paris this past week. We gather this morning with profound understanding of their pain and suffering. May we keep all victims of violence and their families in our hearts and prayers.

Sisters and Associates Join Quarterly Vigil at the Suffolk County House of Correction

Each day over 250 immigrants are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston. On November 15, 2015, ten Sisters of St. Joseph and associates gathered with others from the Boston area to bear witness to the pain, suffering, and loneliness of those detained and their families, and to call for just immigration reform.

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Denise Garcia, steering committee member of the Boston New Sanctuary Movement, led the vigil prayer and witness. The following is an excerpt from her reflections:

"¡Bienvenido! Welcome! Today we gather to reflect on the spiritual roots of the work we do in support of immigrants. We gather to reflect on the moral dimensions of the immigration issue. And we gather to acknowledge the real-life consequences of our failed immigration policies. As people of faith, we believe that no community and no person should be criminalized and detained in their search for a better life. We are gathered here to call for justice. We demand that ICE stop the raids, detention, and deportations, and we demand that the most vulnerable people be immediately released.

After this introduction, the group processed in silence around the courthouse to an area where the detainees could see participants waving and hear their singing. For almost an hour, the detainees knocked on the windows, waved, and held “Thank you” signs to acknowledge that they knew the group stood in solidarity with them. After the vigil, Denise Garcia wrote with these words, “Thank you sisters for joining us in prayer at the vigil in front of the detention center. Thank you for your beautiful voices and your solidarity with incarcerated immigrants and their families.”

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