Are you asking, “What’s the best way to catch the Christmas Spirit?” The 39 Sisters of Saint Joseph and 9 Bethlehem Village Residents, who boarded a yellow school bus Saturday, December 10, 2011, have a ready answer for you: Go to The Kimmel Center where you can enjoy the sure-to-please performance: The Holiday Pops.
Virtuoso pianist and conductor Peter Nero leads the Philly Pops at the annual crowd-pleaser, Holiday Pops. Featured in the 2011 Christmas performance are Ashley Brown, who has played the lead in Broadway’s Mary Poppins, Peter Conte, grand court organist of the Wanamaker organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir. A visit from Santa and a Christmas Medley sing-along add to the festivities.
(Everyone wears a bright smile following the Philly Pops Holiday Pops Concert.)
Those who took advantage of the Holiday Pops Trip sponsored by Senior Services were humming tunes they had just heard at the concert as they left Verizon Hall.
Driver “Mr. Harvey,” topped off the afternoon by carefully navigating his bus past all the gingerbread houses outlined in lights along Philly’s Boat House Row and by choosing streets that twist and turn through several neighborhoods so his passengers could see some beautifully decorated row homes and stately mansions as they wended their way home.
Filled with Christmas Spirit, Sister Agnes Leona Arnold assured Director of Senior Services Sister Eileen Dorothy Maguire, “This trip was a great idea.” Sister Anne LaHart said, “The Philly Pops holiday show was both enjoyable and inspiring. Peter Nero not only conducted, he also interacted with the audience drawing us into the entertainment in a playful, inviting way.” Sister Catherine Dolorine Fitzpatrick added, “What a wonderful celebration of Christmas joy! It was a real treat,” and Sister Agnes Marie Gunn whispered, “Thank you for great memories.”
“Being at Holiday Pops was awesome,” said Sister Eileen Keane, “We all gained a tremendous spirit of Christmas.”
Bethlehem Village Receives PHFA Award
for Excellence in Housing Management
Congratulations to Bethlehem Village and the Saint Joseph Housing Corporation on the Pennsylvania Finance Housing Agency (PHFA) Award for Excellence in Housing Management. The award recognizes Bethlehem Village for its overall excellent performance as a provider of affordable housing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1984 Bethlehem Village is supported by funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and directed in the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The 100 apartments at Bethlehem Village offer housing to seniors living on a limited income.
Colleen Gibson Enters Candidacy II
Colleen (shown in photo below on right) is living with our sisters at the SSJ Welcome Center. Please keep her in your prayers as she continues her discernment.
The time spent in the Second Stage of Candidacy enables a woman who desires to enter the Congregation to make a free response and permits the Congregation to assess her degree of readiness to begin religious life. She is not yet a member of the Congregation. While this stage is designed to meet her individual needs, it gives the woman an extended experience of community living, an opportunity to come to the conviction of her call, and an interior readiness for the time of the novitiate. Learn more about the Discernment Process at http://www.ssjphila.org/becomesisterssj.html
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia Congratulate
S. Linda Larsen SSJ - Principal of the Year
Congratulations to S. Linda Larsen SSJ, on being named Principal of the Year in the Archdiocese of Baltimore!
As principal of St. John the Evangelist School in Severna Park, Maryland,S. Linda’s ministry in education is well known in the archdiocese for her academic excellence, enthusiasm, and her personal touch in everything she does.
SSJ Nurses: Called to a Mission of Charity Presentation by S. Roberta Archibald
As the United States commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Sisters of Saint Joseph honor the memory of their sister nurses, who with hundreds of other women religious, cared for wounded military personnel on both sides of the conflict.
Using her presentation, SSJ Nurses: Called to a Mission of Charity, Sister Roberta Archibald shared the story at Saint Joseph Villa on November 7, 2011.
(Pictured below: Sisters gather in the Villa auditorium to learn about sisters who served in the Civil War.
In the foreground are Sisters Agnes Marie Gunn, Ann Walter McClister and Mary Theresa Ducie.)
Sister Cynthia Ludwick said, “I was privileged to be in attendance at Roberta's excellent presentation on Sisters of Saint Joseph who served as nurses in the Civil War. I was enlightened as Roberta spoke about our sisters’ service at Camp Curtin and aboard floating hospital ships. I had not realized so many of our sisters sacrificed so much. Hearing their story made me more aware of how proud I am to be a Sister of Saint Joseph with these great women of our past.
(Pictured below: From left: Sisters Marie Clare Kleschick, Jane Day chat with Sister Roberta Archibald
before her presentation.)
Sister Mary McGrath said, “Roberta transformed the familiar phrase, our sisters served as nurses during the Civil War, into an unforgettable jewel of our history. She stirred within me deep gratitude for their courage and for the inheritance that enriches us today.”
Diamond Jubilee Honors Four Sisters with 75 Years in the Congregation
On Sunday, October 23, 2011, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia honored four Sisters who have been with the Congregation for 75 years! The Diamond Jubilarians are Sisters Frances Grisillo, Margaret Monica Tyrrell, St. Hubert O'Rourke, and Ann Marguerite Kearns.
In this photo, General Council Members pose with Diamond Jubilarians. (Sisters Jubilarians seated from left, Frances Grisillo, Margaret Monica Tyrrell, St. Hubert O'Rourke, Ann Marguerite Kearns. General Council members (standing from left) Sisters Connie Gilder, Mary Dacey, Carol Zinn and Anne Myers.)
Sisters of Saint Joseph, SSJ Associates and friends of the Congregation joined gathered for A Holy Hour of Prayer for Vocations at Saint Joseph Villa on October 23, 2011.
Using the theme, Mary: Model of Prophetic Call, Sister Kathleen Leary prepared a simple service honoring Mary’s “free and full response” to God’s call. Sister Mary Elizabeth Gebhart opened the prayer, noting that among the people of the scriptures, Mary stands out as one who responds readily,” and Sister Kathleen Moriarty led prayers of petition.
As she offered a reflection, Sister Charlene Diorka, who is in formation ministry for the Sisters of Saint Joseph, called attention to a print she had placed on display — Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Annunciation. Tanner, Charlene said, painted Mary as a very human, very ordinary, young Jewish girl — a young woman who listens attentively and who attempts to comprehend a call to relationship with the Divine.
Charlene likened Mary’s experience to that of young women today, suggesting that the call to participate in community life and mission usually comes through relationship with someone who is living happily, faithfully, and joyfully. “Young adults today hunger for relationship with the Divine,” Charlene said, pointing to “zeal, joy, and down-to earth humanity” as an effective draw. “Young adults,” she added, “want to make a choice worthy of the gift of their lives.”
Sisters of Saint Joseph who formed a House of Prayer to support Chapter 2004 experienced a particular call to pray for young women and men who are discerning a call to religious life or to the priesthood. They continue to live that grace, bringing prayer for vocations to their personal and local community prayer. Twice each year, Sister Pat McClure announces an invitation to come to the Holy Hour held at the Villa. Pat encourages those who cannot attend to join in the prayer from their homes.