The Multicultural Women’s Circle
By Priscilla Kelso
It started with a lunch conversation between Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, Director of The Women’s Table, and Priscilla Lasmarias Kelso, a member of Sacred Threads and retired professor of international education.
For the past five years, The Multicultural Women’s Circle, offered by The Women’s Table, a Congregation Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, has been a blessing to women from several countries where the Christian faith has taken root and flourished.
We meet once a month for sharing, conversation, and reflection. A typical gathering includes a guided meditation that often allows us to share sacred space where we can laugh and cry and tell stories about our faith journey in our countries of origin and in America, our adopted country. Wendy from Hong Kong, Francisca from Guatemala, Susan from China, Elizabeth from Kenya, Priscilla from the Philippines, Agnes from Uganda ‐‐‐ these are some of the women who have found the Multicultural Women’s Circle a safe place to explore issues and challenges related to finding a life in another country as mothers, professionals, church women.
At a time when immigration has become a politicized issue, it is heartening to know that many women who have come to the United States, particularly in the Boston area, have brought with them a wealth of experience, culture, and spirituality. The Multicultural Women’s Circle is a microcosm of women’s lives that started in other parts of the world, transplanted to America, and IS blessed by the opportunities to grow and flourish in another land.
Praise God for every model of hope in the spiritual journey of all God’s children and for the Multicultural Women’s Circle as a gathering place for women of faith from many nations.
God’s Inclusive Love within Our Aging Process
By Suzanne Bradford, CSJA
Each year, sisters and associates look forward to our November Associates’ meeting at St. Joseph Hall. We feel blessed to spend time with the sisters who live there, to share lunch together, and to hold our monthly meeting in community with them. This year, during lunch, we helped celebrate the 80th birthday of Cecile Darcy, CSJA, and the November birthday of Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ, and wished them many blessing for the coming year.
During our November meeting, we collect wrapped gifts of clothing for the Solomon Carter Fuller Center in Boston. Associates bring these gifts along with homemade cookies to the Center in December.
Our topic for this meeting was How has God’s love helped you in your aging process and what does it mean to age well in this world today? Associates Catherine Sabatini and Michelle Audet planned and led the program. Regina Harrington, CSJ, Barbara Reney, CSJ, Ellen Pumphret, CSJ, and Virginia Kelleher, CSJ, shared their reflections with us.
I wish everyone could hear these sisters’ thoughts and stories. They inspired us, made us laugh, humbled us, and made us even more thankful than ever that we know the wonderful women of St. Joseph Hall and Bethany Health Care Center. These are a few of the sisters’ paraphrased thoughts from our meeting;
- In our aging if we share our gifts through helping and reaching out to others, we will enrich our own lives.
- Being open to the lessons we can learn from others at whatever time in our life can give us strength, wisdom, and direction that we carry with us always.
- Aging well is, in part, accepting our aging and our disabilities.
- God’s inclusive love for us and our love for God can strengthen and guide us along all of life’s journeys.
- Keep your sense of humor and stay engaged with life around you. God’s love is unfailing and is there for us throughout our lives.
- The aging process is not limited to those of great years - no matter what our age we are in a stage of the aging process. Life is a journey of many turns and twists and each step is enriched through our faith in God.
- There is no end to the good that we can do.
A grateful ”thank you” to all who planned and participated in this day of sharing and to the food service staff at St. Joseph Hall and Bethany for our wonderful meal.