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Volume 1.2.4 - September 21, 2016

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A Celebration of Gratitude for God's Loving Presence

By Anne D’Arcy, CSJ

Sisters, Associates, and members of Holy Name Parish, West Roxbury, gathered for a light lunch and prayer to celebrate 63 years of life at Holy Name Convent. The pictures and the article tell the story.

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On July 26, 1953, Archbishop Richard Cushing presided at the laying of the cornerstone for Holy Name School and Convent in West Roxbury. Since that day, 222 sisters have shared life together on these holy grounds. Many of those sisters are now part of the Communion of Saints and intercede for all of us. For 63 years, sisters and parishioners have prayed in the convent’s beautiful chapel renovated a few years ago.

As we move on from Holy Name Convent, where we have shared joys and sorrows, laughter and tears, our hearts are filled with gratitude to God for so many blessings of compassion, forgiveness, and loving support. We are grateful to all the priests and staff of Holy Name Parish past and present: from the legendary Monsignor Charles A. Finn who opened the convent and school, to Father George Carlson, Father Oscar Pratt, and Pastoral Associate, Mrs. Fran Hauck whose compassionate support has carried us through recent years.

The people of Holy Name Parish are the best! They have been our friends and partners in mission. Both Holy Name Convent and Holy Name Parish have been home to us. So after 63 years, the Sisters of Saint Joseph left Holy Name Convent on June 30, 2016, grateful for God’s loving presence and the many blessings of these years.

Human Beings Not Aliens

Based on Introduction and Conclusion by Pat Andrews, CSJ, 9/17/16

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston have been involved with our immigrant neighbors for 143 years, since we were invited to Boston in 1873 to teach the immigrant population arriving in Boston at that time. In 2012, we challenged ourselves to respond in new ways to the needs of people who are poor and marginalized, especially immigrants, and to broaden our internal and external collaborations.

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We have done this by joining with other groups for public witness, speaking to groups, and being present at planned demonstrations advocating on behalf of immigrants. In November 2015, we became involved with Catholic Charities’ “Welcome Basket Program” to help refugees with basic necessities as they resettle in their new environment. Through this project, we came to know Marjean Perhot, director of refugee and immigration services with Catholic Charities of Boston.

On September 17, Marjean joined with over 75 sisters, associates, and friends, to explain the Refugee Resettlement Program, one of the many programs of Catholic Charities. She described how newcomers are provided with a modest apartment furnished with basic necessities and assisted with acculturation, job placement services and English language training. Along with this critical assistance, refugees receive compassion, understanding, and positive reassurance from the staff to help in the attainment of independence and self-sufficiency.

“These are human beings not aliens,” Marjean remarked. The facts she shared and the needs that exist are overwhelming but Marjean encouraged us to consider concrete ways we can help. We can welcome refugees at the airport, help them furnish their new home, obtain a library card, practice English conversation skills, accompany them to appointments, and much more. When Marjean explained the challenge of finding suitable housing, Rosemary Brennan, CSJ, suggested that we consider ways we can network with others to help in this area. Her suggestion met with applause.

Our meeting to examine what action we can take to follow the Gospel mandate of “welcoming the stranger among us” [Mt. 25] coincides with the United Nations Summit for refugees and migrants to be held on September 19 and followed by President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on September 20. It was fitting that we have our own “summit” on the 17th to look at how we, as a faith community, can put our words into collaborative action and collaborative voice to welcome refugees.

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