Peace Begins with Each of Us
by Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA
"Come to the feast of heaven and earth; come to the table of plenty!” Twenty-seven women from greater Boston and beyond did just that by attending The Women’s Table “Peace Begins with Me II” on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Thanks to a Unity and Non-Violence Grant from the Congregation, women relished a day of self-care including head and neck massage, foot reflexology, yoga, Zentangle, adult coloring and quilling. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” took on new meaning! Women connected, quieted, relaxed, stretched, sighed, laughed and took time to love themselves. What an important reminder that care for ourselves is critical for caring for others! God will provide for all that we need, here at the “table of plenty!”
View a brief slide presentation of this day at https://thewomenstable.org/.
Ever-widening Circles: Third Annual CSSJ High School Conference Meets in Boston
This is an excerpt of a longer article about the CSSJ High School Conference. The full version with information about keynote speakers and other pieces of the conference can be found at http://csjboston.org/news‐and‐events/press‐releases/ and the CSSJ Federation website at http://www.cssjfed.org/ . The coordinating team for this conference included Tom Brodnicki, Gita Kupcukinas, Maura Spignesi, and Betsy Conway, CSJ, from Fontbonne Academy, Tom Nunan and Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, from St. Joseph Prep, as well as Suzanne Kearney and Rosemary Brennan, CSJ.
Born of the desire to connect, empower, and energize one another for mission and ministry, the third annual gathering of CSSJ High School Leaders met in Boston, MA from November 2‐4, 2016. The conference was hosted by Fontbonne Academy and Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, both CSJ Boston sponsored ministries, with the support and presence of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston.
Ever‐widening Circles, the theme for the gathering, focused the time together and emphasized the essential role of relationship. It also honored participants’ awareness of the importance of keeping the CSSJ charism and mission as that very center of the Conference and of all that happens in our CSSJ high schools.
Approximately 50 attendees representing 19 CSSJ High Schools from 10 CSSJ U.S. congregations came together. There were also representatives from two international schools: Ensemble Scolaire Saint Jacques de Compostelle, Le Puy‐en‐ Velay, and Saint Joseph Joshi Gakuen, Tsu, Mie, Japan. In addition, representatives were present from the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph [ACSSJ] and several CSSJ Sponsored Ministry Offices.
As the time together drew to a close, questions that surfaced during Thursday’s “affinity groups” and Friday’s “strategic planning” included: What are the central questions we face? How do we stay connected? How can we share resources? When and where will we meet again? Does this group need a larger umbrella or a more established structure, i.e., in the context of the CSSJ Federation?
During the closing prayer and gathering of graces, words and phrases that emerged included: “the deepening dynamic of our shared charism, called by the future, strength to do the work, not strangers but friends, and the deepest motivation inside of us is something we share.” As the days together ended, participants left feeling energized, inspired, and connected to something larger than their particular schools. These days of being steeped and immersed in our CSSJ core values called forth the prayer of Jesus at the heart of our CSSJ charism, that all may be one, and uplifted participants to a future that keeps the CSSJ language and vision at the center of ongoing collaboration.