2019 Carondelet Magazine FINAL




7 A Consistent Ethic of

Solidarity: We Need to Do Better

10 Sister Voices: The Vow of Poverty

12 Solidarity with the Poor in Peru

VOLUME 4 | MAY 2019



Congregational Leadership Team



If you know a Sister of St. Joseph, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “dear neighbor.” We strive

always to love, welcome, and serve our neighbors. Our charism is to spread God’s Word and the

mission of Jesus through unifying love, to bring healing, hope, and justice to our world through the

lens of unity and reconciliation. In this way, we strive for solidarity.

10 13

15 16


3 From the Congregational Leadership Team

4 News from Across the Congregation

7 A Consistent Ethic of Solidarity: We Need to do Better

10 Sister Voices: The Vow of Poverty

12 Solidarity with the Poor in Peru

13 From I to We: The Practice of Contemplative Dialogue

14 Allies Practice Solidarity

15 Standing with Survivors of Human Trafficking

16 Solidarity in Sharing Time and Self

19 Reflections

The idea of solidarity is as old as the church itself. From the Acts

of the Apostles to the writings of our contemporary popes, we

have seen the concept evolve. Today, it is recognized as one of

the seven principles of Catholic social teaching.

Saint John XXIII called for “an active solidarity that cannot

be divorced from the common good of the entire human

family.” In 1967, Saint Paul VI released his encyclical,

Populorum Progressio, in which he said, “There can be no

progress towards the complete development of humankind

without the simultaneous development of all humanity in

the spirit of solidarity.” Saint John Paul II, who developed the

concept extensively, described solidarity as a Christian

response to Gospel love and “undoubtedly a Christian

virtue.” And Pope Francis defined solidarity by its lack:

“The many situations of inequality, poverty, and injustice

are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also

of the absence of a culture of solidarity.”

In this issue, you will learn of the many ways in which our Sisters

understand the concept of solidarity and work to put the core

values of this principle into action. Our vow of poverty increases

our awareness of our call to interdependence, interconnectedness,

and solidarity with our “dear neighbors,” the poor and oppressed

and the Earth. We realize also that true solidarity implies a bond

that moves us to action for the common good.

How grateful we are to all of you for supporting our mission

through your time, talent, prayers, and financial support. As

we walk in solidarity with all who seek reconciliation in a

divided world, please be assured that you and your loved

ones are remembered in our prayer each day.

With prayerful gratitude,

Congregational Leadership Team

Danielle Bonetti, CSJ, Barbara Dreher, CSJ, Mary Ann

Leininger, CSJ, Mary McKay, CSJ, and Miriam D. Ukeritis, CSJ


About the Sisters of St. Joseph

of Carondelet


May 2019

© Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Congregational Offices

10777 Sunset Office Dr., Ste. 10

Saint Louis, MO 63127

314.394.1985 | csjcarondelet.org

Publication Coordinator

Kim Westerman

Congregational Communications



Editorial Team

Sarah Baker

Jenny Beatrice

Jenna Bendel

Michaela Charleston

Barbara Dreher, CSJ

Meyling Eliash-Daneshfar

Mary Rose Noonan, CSJ

Cameron Parsons

Carol Louise Smith, CSJ

Ann L. Thompson

Additional Writing

Eileen Biehl

Sean Peters, CSJ

Marie Schuetze

Diane Smith, CSJ

Additional Photography

Teresa Lynch, CSJ

Marie Schuetze


Katie Robinson

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet is

comprised of four provinces: St. Louis, St. Paul, Albany, and Los

Angeles; and the vice province of Peru.

Our Sisters work always toward profound love of God and love

of neighbor without distinction.

On the Cover:

”The Banquet“ by Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ

“I feel that we should recognize and celebrate [the sacred world]

as a gigantic Eucharist in which each one feeds all the others

with each one’s own being.”

– Beatrice Bruteau, God’s Ecstacy

Congregational Leadership Team: (Back row L to R) Sisters Danielle Bonetti, Barbara Dreher, (Front row L to R) Mary McKay,

Mary Ann Leininger, and Miriam D. Ukeritis





Sister Rosemary Endres, CSJ, has received the Community

Service Award from the Schenectady, New York Inner City

Mission. In the nomination, Sisters Ann Christi Brink and

Linda Neil wrote:

“Sister Rosemary ministered on Hamilton Hill for 40 years,

beginning as principal at the former St. Columba’s School, and

then as a parish minister. In this capacity, she visited the people

living on Hamilton Hill and grew to know many of her neighbors,

serving them no matter their religious affiliation. Sacred Heart

Rectory became a place where people enjoyed stopping in

for coffee and conversation. Sister Rosemary ended her active

ministry as the director of the Sacred Heart Food Pantry, where

she and her volunteers worked to ensure that people received

the food they needed. When we opened St. Joseph’s Place in

2014, Sister Rosemary acted as our mentor. Her vision and her

wise advice and support helped us through our opening day!”

At age 91, Sister Rosemary has spent nearly 70 years

standing in solidarity with those in need, driven simply by

the selfless desire to make the world a better place.

Sister Rosemary Endres (center) with Sister Linda Neil and Sister Ann

Christi Brink.


The cold wind was fiercely blowing and drops of rain showered

the earth, but all of those gathered had a warm and joyous

jubilee celebration this past February. The Hawai`i Sisters, along

with their `Ohana, gathered for a spirit-filled liturgy at St. Theresa

Co-Cathedral in Honolulu.

Following the liturgical celebration, all carpooled to a very

windy Waikiki to enjoy a buffet meal, where the tables had

been elegantly decorated by Sister Ann Fabler Chang.

Conversations and laughter filled the restaurant with joy.

The famous “Hula Pie,” which fed a whole table, topped

off a great celebration. We thank the Hawaiian jubilarians for

their 60 years of service, commitment, and perseverance!

Sister Katie Hoegeman submits a copy of her new book to

Congregational Archive Director Catherine Lucy.


Sister Katie Hogeman co-authored the newly published book

Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership

in the Third Millennium. It uses interviews and survey data

to examine the U.S. bishops’ individual experiences, their

day-to-day activities, their challenges and satisfactions

as church leaders, and their strategies for managing their

dioceses and speaking out on public issues. In recent years,

their leadership has been tested by changes including the

movement of Catholics from the U.S. Northeast and Midwest

to the South and West, the arrival of huge numbers of

Catholic immigrants, and the ongoing decline in the number

of priests and Sisters serving the Catholic community.

“Our goals for the book were to provide a profile of the

bishops and give people a sense of what they think and feel

about their ministry and issues facing the church,” said Sister

Katie, who is an assistant professor at Missouri State University

for the last six years. The book is available now from Oxford

University Press.

The Hawaiian jubilarians: Sisters Sara Sanders, Margaret Perreira,

Francine Costello, and Jean Larm. Sister Sarah Talite could not attend.

Our Japanese Sisters celebrated a Mass of gratitude and farewell.


In February, our Japanese Sisters gathered in Tokyo for a Mass

of gratitude and farewell to our Tokyo Convent, which opened

in 1965. For 54 years, our convent welcomed not only Sisters

of St. Joseph, but also Sisters from other congregations, many

friends, and dear neighbors. They had even welcomed three

young women who fled from Vietnam.

“All of us had the chance to live there, so our affection and

gratitude to the house was very deep,” said Sister Maria

Teresa Mitani. “All of the guests shared with us in many ways.”

Sister Brigid McDonald holds a photo of herself and her three

biological sisters on their family farm.



In spring 2019, the Minnesota History Theatre showcased

the lives of Sisters Brigid, Jane, Rita, and Kate McDonald.

Biological sisters and Sisters of St. Joseph, all four women

have devoted their lives to teaching and peace activism.

Their love, compassion, and sense of humor were brought

to stage highlighting their journey from the security gates of

Honeywell Corporation to the School of the Americas and

back to the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Then and now,

those who pass through the Lake Street Bridge may spot the

McDonald sisters with their colorful signs calling for peace.

Readings of the play were done at area schools, including

Sister-founded Cretin-Derham Hall High School. Sisters

Brigid and Jane answered student questions and sang

powerful songs of protest.

“I find hope in the peace movement. You can’t do it alone.

There’s no way to do it without community,” said Sister Brigid.

But with only two Sisters living there, the time had come to

leave Tokyo. Our Sisters wanted to celebrate Mass there to

offer thanksgiving for the house before the last Sister leaves.

Franciscan Father Takeuchi offered a simple and meaningful

prayer service. After the priest left, the Sisters moved to

every room to pray and share their good memories.

“We miss Tokyo House,” said Sister Maria Teresa, “but we

believe it is a good decision and the providence of God.”

A Consistent Ethic of Solidarity:



Candidate Kristina DeNeve and Sister Teresa Horn-Bostel organize the women’s clothing room at the Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas.

In an effort to encourage thought and reflection on the areas of polarization among us, including

gun control, abortion, and the death penalty, Sister Pat Kozak, CSJ, a member of the Congregation

of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Editor Eileen Biehl reached out to Dr. Steve Millies, director of the

Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union, as a source of information on the consistent ethic of

life, sometimes referred to as the “seamless garment.” The following interview with Dr. Millies was

informational and inspiring and encourages all of us to look more closely at the interplay of values

involved in critical life decisions.


Sisters and associates from the St. Louis Province have

responded to the needs of the times by supporting the

humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border.

In El Paso, Texas, they continue a relationship with

Annunciation House, joining the collaborative efforts of

local and national volunteers and serving to “welcome the

stranger” with kind faces, helping hands, and pastoral hearts.

As many refugee families struggle with limited financial resources,

we have been able to help the children get ready for school thanks

to the generosity of donors.

The province also donated a van to the cause to help carry

asylum seekers on their way to their families.

In San Diego, Sister Patrice Coolick, a registered nurse, ministered

at the Rapid Response Network, a coalition of organizations

aiding immigrants at the largest border crossing in the world.

She was a part of the night shift team providing medical

evaluations of the asylum seekers as they come to the shelter.


Our Sisters in Peru have rallied to support an influx of

migrants as the country has welcomed approximately

400,000 Venezuelan immigrants who are fleeing the

economic and humanitarian crisis in their country. They

interact with the refugees on a daily basis on almost every

bus and street corner.

Our Peruvian Sisters of St. Joseph are participating in the

collaborative efforts of the Conferencia de Religiosas y

Religiosos del Perú and have donated mattresses and other

material goods that are needed by the recent arrivals.

Several Venezuelan children have found their way to our

Salón San José in the Canto Chico neighborhood. Our

Sisters have assisted parents who do not know how to enroll

their children in school and are helping the children with

schoolwork and tutoring. “The children miss their home,

their toys and one child told us how much she misses her

bed,” said Sister Yolanda Arribasplata.

Biehl: There’s some

confusion out there

about what the

‘seamless garment’ is

or what a consistent

ethic of life is. How

would you explain

this approach to

life issues?

Millies: Not only is there

confusion, there’s inaccuracy.

The first and most important

thing to do with the

definition is to try as hard

as possible not to use the

phrase ‘seamless garment’

at all. Cardinal Bernardin

evoked the image of the

seamless garment during a

question and answer session

after he introduced the

consistent ethic in a 1983

speech at Fordham, and the

New York Times published

it. The problem with calling

it the ‘seamless garment’ is

that it tends to feed directly

into the most common myths

and apprehensions about

the consistent ethic, which

is that it equalizes all issues.

So the terminology problem

is one that the consistent

ethic never particularly

recovered well from. What

the consistent ethic is about

is, in a comprehensive way,

always valuing the dignity

of human persons first.

When Cardinal Bernardin

first proposed it in 1983, it

was not only in the context

of Roe vs. Wade abortion

politics, but it was also in the

immediate aftermath of the

U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter

The Challenge of Peace that

addresses the threats of the

nuclear age.

The question Bernardin

raised was, ‘What is the

purpose of a baby being born

into a world that could see

civilization ended by nuclear

annihilation moments later?’

The nuclear question begged

a consideration of the dignity

of all human persons. It

certainly doesn’t mean that all

issues are equivalent. Some

things are more important

than others. And Cardinal

Bernardin and many others

have struggled with the right

way to formulate that.

Biehl: So understanding the

history of this is important?

Millies: Yes, and the

reason is that history

is never irrelevant.

We have been

derailed by the ways

that partisan political

arguments have

infected how

Catholics have

talked about these

issues for the last

50 years or so. We

have to deal with

that history –

whether we want to

or not – to get past

the baggage of it.

“By calling it solidarity, we have

a deep root in our Catholic social

teaching to how we think about

applying a consistent ethic of life

comprehensively and consistently.”



Christian faith tells us first not

to worry about the political

fights in the world. But, the

idea of winning, especially

in politics, has become

so ingrained in how many

Evangelical Christians and

Catholics think; we don’t

even reflect over how we

got to this point. We have

absorbed this so deeply for

two generations. There’s an

opportunity now to reflect

on the history and take the

time to ask some questions,

especially when our country

is led by a controversial

figure like Donald Trump.

Biehl: How do you

assure people that

they are not out of

sync with the church

if they support a

consistent ethic

of life?

Millies: There’s no short

answer for this. As a church,

we have failed to absorb

what the Second Vatican

Council said about the

apostolate of the laity, and as

a result, we do not attend

very much or very well to the

process of adult formation.

However, recently, there has

been progress. Cardinal

Blaise Cupich of Chicago has

reframed the consistent ethic

of life as a consistent ethic of

solidarity. Reframing or

changing the name might

seem trivial, but it opens the

opportunity to talk about this

in a new and fresh way. A

consistent ethic of life

remains vulnerable to the

possibility of saying that it

makes the issues equivalent.

By calling it solidarity, we

have a deep root in our

Catholic social teaching to

how we think about applying

a consistent ethic of life

comprehensively and

consistently. I think that’s a

positive development

because of this rooting in our

traditions and teachings on

solidarity. And, I think that

with this there is no question

that you are called to

recognize in yourself that

solidarity as a relationship of

mutual responsibility for

every other human person.

This shift to emphasizing

solidarity helps escape the

argument that we are making

issues equivalent to one

another and proposes the

responsibility and challenge

of being responsible for and

with each other.

Kozak: This shift to

solidarity is exciting to me

and it makes an incredible

amount of sense in that all

the issues wind up on the

spectrum. I have this image

of lace-making from our

congregation’s own historical

foundations and all the many

strands that come together

“This shift to solidarity is exciting to me

and it makes an incredible amount of

sense in that all the issues wind up on

the spectrum. I have this image of lace

making from our congregation’s own

historical foundations and all the many

strands that come together become

interconnected to make a piece of lace.”

become interconnected

to make a piece of lace.

Solidarity and the demands

of it force me to put my feet

down somewhere. Maybe I

put them down on the death

penalty. Or abortion. Or birth

control. Or education. Or

poverty. Or the environment.

There’s a judgment that has

to be made because I only

have one set of feet. So, this

ethic of solidarity recognizes

that if everyone puts down

their feet on whatever value,

I should be able to see that

everything is attended to

and everything is connected.

Millies: I think that’s exactly

right. This is the best thing

about the consistent ethic

of solidarity. Bernardin

always emphasized that it

isn’t about policy solutions

or about what to vote for.


That’s a matter of prudential

judgment. Make up your

own mind and understand

how to think through the

ethics of an issue. You’ve

got to cultivate an attitude

towards making decisions

that honor how persons are

always first, and accepting

the interconnectedness of all

these issues is part of your

obligation to others. It’s an

ethic. Not a set of solutions.

Not a ‘to do’ list.

Yes, we inherit history

and we must deal with it.

Passivity will not make the

problems go away. We have

to do better.

People make mistakes, we

all make mistakes, and we

all seek forgiveness, and

forgiveness is available

to all of us. A consistent

ethic of solidarity helps us

resolve the hardness of

our hearts to enable us to

empathetically imagine our

way into someone else’s

circumstances. A consistent

ethic of solidarity enables

each of us to be agents

of grace and, possibly,

to prevent mistakes and

grievances. When we talk

about an ethic of solidarity

versus an ethic of life, we

are responsible to and for

each other. Solidarity always

comes back to the two

greatest commandments:

love the Lord your God with

all your heart and mind and

soul, and love your neighbor

as yourself.

We are in several moments

of transition in America and

in the church. Thanks to

Pope Francis and Cardinal

Cupich, we have a new

opportunity to take a fresh

look at Cardinal Bernardin’s

legacy. Looking at a

consistent ethic of solidarity

is something we need to

take advantage of.

Kozak: There is a

power in solidarity

and our relationships

to one another. It

may take years to

realize it, but there’s

something powerful

to it.

Millies: My work

at the Bernardin

Center enables

me to develop

the legacy of

Cardinal Bernardin.

I see that there are

possible partners

and conversations

everywhere. If we

are to take the

consistent ethic

of solidarity seriously,

we cannot afford to

exclude anyone from

the conversation.

Kozak: Basically, the only

person you would not want

to have a conversation with is

somebody who doesn’t want

to have a conversation.

Millies: Those are the people

who I personally seek out

with the most determination!

That’s where the work really is.

Kozak: I love the

line that you said

earlier: we can

do better.

Millies: We have to do

better. Our job, my job, is

to tend to things here in the

world for as long as I can

and to bring about as much

mercy and justice as I can.

This goes back to the idea

of why I think solidarity

is such a good way to

approach things. Pope

Francis in Laudato Si says

we all have to live in this

world together. So we

should act that way. I would

rather concentrate on what

we share, which includes

history and the needs of

the planet and the societies

in which we live and the

responsibilities that we have

to each other. Pope Francis,

over the last five years, has

“If we are to take the consistent

ethic of solidarity seriously we

cannot afford to exclude anyone

from the conversation.”


given us documents that

frame things in this way

and demand that we pay

attention to how inescapably

related we are to and

through one another.

Dr. Steve Millies is the

director of the Bernardin

Center at Catholic

Theological Union and

the author of the book,

Good Intentions: A

History of Catholic Voters’

Road from Roe to Trump,

in which he reflects on the

political actions taken by

Catholics across five

decades that converged

in the election of the

current president. He

shows how Evangelical

Christians and American

Catholics found

themselves allied for a

candidate who answered

their need for security

and helped to foster

polarization and isolation.

Dr. Millies synthesizes a

complicated but

important history of the

development of Catholic

thought, policy and

political influence in the

last 50 years.

Reprinted with permission

from the Fall/Winter, 2018

issue of imagineONE,

the publication of the

Congregation of the Sisters

of St. Joseph.


Sister Voices:



My vow of poverty calls me to be willing and

open to the needs of others. This call urged

me to say yes to living and ministering in one

of the state of Hawai`i’s largest low-income

housing projects. For 20 years, I lived out my

vow of poverty by living and ministering there

with families and children in need. We had few

amenities in our small apartment. We converted

our living room into a children’s library and a

place for families to come to seek assistance.

Our blessings were the happy faces of the

children and the gratefulness of families for our

presence. Isn’t this a significant part of our vow

of poverty, the giving of oneself to walk and be

one with others, especially with those in need?



Sister ministering

to those living

in poverty

As Sisters of St. Joseph, when we consider our call

to strive to exemplify Jesus’ prophetic solidarity

with the poor and oppressed, our vow of poverty

gives us direction. Through this vow, we are

challenged to recognize the interconnectedness

and interdependence of nature and humanity,

given such dignity through the Incarnation

of Jesus. Our vow of poverty prompts us to

remember that God’s gifts are meant to be shared

and that God’s people and God’s creation are to

be treated with respect and care. It inspires us to

act in solidarity, to serve with generosity of heart,

and to live without privilege and entitlement.

Hear the voices of some of our Sisters who

uniquely weave together the threads of our

solidarity with God and neighbor!



Sister and


What that commitment means to me is that a person

promises that she is going to live out the reality

that God is first. And if God is first, nothing else

is first. So the vow of poverty means letting go of

the importance that lots of us individually — and

certainly the U.S. culture and probably all western

culture — place on the importance of things and stuff

and an economy based on having goods. It becomes

less and less important than the reality of God as the

source of our life, our vitality. The essence of God is

love, which means outpouring, giving, sharing life.

And if that’s real in my life, and that comes first —

that I know God and I want to be more and more like

Christ — then everything else takes second place.

” ”


One aspect of the vow of poverty for me is to

try and hold whatever is in my life lightly. Not to

cling to certain ideas, desires, wants, outcomes,

etc. It is knowing what desires and outcomes I

have that are resonating in my heart, then out

of love, offering this to God and surrendering to

what happens, so I am free enough to take the

next step in love with God.



Novice and


When we first come into the community, we’re

trained in the vows. We’re given more of what

the strict meanings of the vows are, according to

canon law and the way they’re carried out in our

congregation. What it means to me now is not so

much that strict, theological, canonical meaning, but

what poor people have said to me throughout my

life, beginning when I was quite small. That moves

me into the spirit of poverty, which I think really

helps you keep the vow of poverty because it helps

your choices.

It’s very counter-cultural, because in our culture,

especially in the United States, gain is important.

Gain is not important in our lives. The accumulation

of stuff is contrary to what we have said we want to

live. There are so many examples in the Scriptures

of Jesus saying to the apostles, ‘Leave all and follow

me.’ The Gospels are the source of our living, of our

vow of poverty. The spirit of poverty is important.




Sister and Justice


Pope Francis said, ‘We must have solidarity with the

poor…it is the path to real wealth and greatness.’

This is the type of wealth our vow of poverty offers

us. By it, we hold all things in common. We have no

exclusive right to the resources of the congregation

or of our created world. We share them with each

other and with those who have less. We live in

solidarity with the poor. Solidarity is the unity that

binds people together as one. It is a central concept

in Christian ethics. It is an expression of the unifying

love and oneness that is our CSJ charism.




Sister and Advocate

for Refugees

Solidarity with the Poor in Peru


Imagine yourself scared, lonely, humiliated, with no sense of dignity, feeling hardly like a

person at all. That’s the way inmates arrive at the men’s prison in Lima, Peru. Then someone

steps forward with a message of hope. Sisters Maria Schuh and Anne Davis welcome the

men and show their solidarity with the inmates.

“Through our words and

actions, we try to tell them

that they matter,” says Sister

Anne of her experience. “We

want them to know that they

are not alone, that we will

be with them as they go

through this process.

To start to restore some of

their dignity they give them

each a plastic plate and spoon.

The prison meals come in a

big pot. Without the plate

and spoon, they would have

to eat with their hands.”

At each meal, then, these

simple implements remind

them that they are not

alone, that others care for

them and pray for them

each day, that others see

their dignity in spite of their


As the men sit on the floor,

awaiting their classification


as a prisoner, Sister Maria

sits right down along with

them. She then speaks

powerfully from her heart.

“I want each of them to

remember that he is a

unique person created by

a loving God and that no

one else can ever take his

place.” She encourages

each man to use his time

in prison to strengthen

his special gifts. She tells

them to show kindness to

one another and to be the

person they want to become

in God’s eyes.

Hearing that Sister Maria

and others will not forget

the prisoners, that they will

think of them and pray for

them during this time, strong

men find themselves in

tears, believing that they are

indeed part of something

bigger than this prison.

“These prison volunteers see the

face of Jesus in each man and live

our charism of serving God and the

dear neighbor without distinction.

After this encounter, the men enter

the prison with hope for the future.

Such is the power of solidarity with

the dear neighbor, regardless of

how the world sees him.”

These prison volunteers see

the face of Jesus in each

man and live our charism of

serving God and the dear

neighbor without distinction.

After this encounter, the men


enter the prison with hope

for the future. Such is the

power of solidarity with the

dear neighbor, regardless of

how the world sees him.

From I to We:



In our culture of noise, it can be challenging to hear one another, much less ourselves and

God. Conflict shouts the loudest and creates deeper divides among those who are already

locked into their perspectives. One way we can bridge these divides is through a practice

called contemplative dialogue.

Contemplative dialogue offers

us a common purpose and

direction as a way through

conflict. It makes room for all

persons and points of view

to be heard, allowing God’s

desire for us to emerge in a

shared outcome.

“It’s a contemplative way

of being together, a way

of engaging meaningful

conversations that are

rooted in deep listening,”

says Sister Liz Sweeney,

SSJ, who is an expert in the

practice. “We listen from an

inner silence that creates a

space where something

new can emerge.”

Contemplative dialogue is

not an arena for debate to

be won. Nor is it a way of

getting a point across to

convert someone to your

way of thinking. Instead, it

fosters solidarity by honoring

each individual’s point of

view, deepening the bond

between us, and calling

us to create outcomes

that reflect the good of

the whole.

It’s a shift in perspective from

“I” to “we.” Sister Liz says

it creates a “‘We’ space”

that “requires an individual

to transcend their own

thoughts and feelings.”

Contemplative dialogue is

most useful when discerning

issues of meaning and purpose,

such as making a significant

decision or coming to a shared

direction. The Sisters of St.

Joseph practice contemplative

dialogue when engaging in

communal conversations as a

way of making decisions that

shape the life and future of

our community.

When used in a formal setting,

contemplative dialogue

is directed by a facilitator,

begins with a period of

silence, focuses on a question,

and allows all participants

the opportunity to share

their insights. By identifying

commonalities, participants

find themselves coming to a

consensus different from the

original positions of anyone in

the dialogue.

However, the principles are

useful in any environment

where different points of

view are present. Here are

some simple (but not always

easy) techniques that you

can adopt to improve your

communication with

people, whether in the board

room or at your kitchen table:

Breathe Deep: Enter into

the conversation after a

pause and a prayer.

Stay Open: Leave behind

your preconceived notions

and judgments.

Talk Less: Use your words

economically, sharing only

the heart of what matters

Listen More: Listen without

thinking about what you will

say next.

Sister Laura Bufano listens contemplatively.

Leave Space: Pause after

someone speaks to offer

a response rather than

a reaction.

Make Room: Make room

to accept and explore


Say Yes: Commit to

affirming the shared

direction that emerges.

Learn more about contemplative dialogue

at lcwr.org/contemplative-dialogue



Allies Practice Solidarity


Standing with Survivors of Human Trafficking


One of the buzzwords of our current moment is “ally.” In so many movements for justice, we

hear about people who are marginalized and their “allies.” An ally might be a white person

who works for racial equity alongside their Black and brown brothers and sisters, a straight

person who supports LGBTQ+ causes, an able-bodied person who advocates for people with

disabilities, or any person with power who partners with people who are without it.

But being a true ally requires more than just supporting a cause. It requires solidarity.

To be in solidarity with

someone means that an ally

must consciously listen to

those who are affected by

injustice. If race, gender, or

abilities provide someone

with privilege and thus

power, solidarity calls them

to allow those without power

to do the talking.

“I will move from comfort

to uncomfort, from

comprehension to ignorance,

from security to insecurity,”

said Sister Nancy Corcoran,

who allies herself with people

who are Latinx, Muslim,

Black, and transgender. “If I

am to bind to others, I must

listen, be uncomfortable and

become more conscious of

our differences.”

“From my perspective as

an African-American,” said

Sister Sharon Howell, CSJ,

“an ally is someone who is

willing to stand with you,

knowing that they don’t

know what it means to live

your life. They have enough

empathy to know that work

needs to be done to create

an inclusive environment,

what and wherever that is.”

Learning about oppression

and other people’s pain

can be difficult. “What

stands in our way is often

our fear of the unknown,”

said Sister Nancy. “Our

inability to tolerate being

uncomfortable and our being

blind to the existence of our

ignorance and our privilege

in oppressive situations.”

Once allies have listened

and learned, they can

truly stand in solidarity

and support these other


Being an ally sometimes

involves using one’s power

to help those without it. “I

believe that an ally supports,

upholds, assists, defends,

and speaks out on behalf of,

when this would be helpful,”

said Sister Ida Robertine

Berresheim, who is an

advocate for immigrants

and refugees.

The phrase “when this would

be helpful” is the key. If

members of a community

ask an ally to speak on their

behalf, the ally can use

their power to amplify the

community’s voices.

At the root of all of these

ideas of solidarity, deep

listening, empathy, and

advocacy is love. As Sisters

of St. Joseph, our love of the

dear neighbor compels us to

be their allies.

At a rally in Albany, New York, Sisters Fran Dempsey and Honora

Kinney stand in solidarity with our Muslim and immigrant sisters

and brothers.

“I will move from comfort to

uncomfort, from comprehension

to ignorance, from security to

insecurity. If I am to bind to others,

I must listen, be uncomfortable

and become more conscious of

our differences.”


The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet envision a world without slavery, and we are working

with many partners to make that a reality.

When we think of human

trafficking, we often

picture women forced into

prostitution, but this is just

one type of trafficking.

Victims of any age and

gender may be forced

into a wide variety of labor

including agricultural work,

manufacturing, janitorial

services, hotel work,

construction, domestic

servitude, health services,

hair and nail styling, and

strip club dancing.

Poverty, lack of education,

immigration policy,

environmental conditions,

fractured families, and a

lack of good job

opportunities are the real

causes of human trafficking.

Human traffickers prey on

their victims by promising

a life of hope and greater

opportunity. Instead of

delivering people to better

lives, traffickers unjustifiably

profit from the labor and

toil of their victims, who

they force, through violence

and intimidation, to work in

brothels and factories.

Fortunately, there is more

awareness among law

enforcement agencies,

emergency room personnel,

and those who deal with

the public like airline

employees to recognize

possible victims. Hotel

chains are taking steps to

partner with ECPAT-USA,

a child right’s organization

focused on ending the

sexual exploitation of

children, to establish

policies and procedures to

address trafficking and train

employees to recognize

the signs.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of

Carondelet, Los Angeles

Province are members of

The U.S. Catholic Sisters

Against Human Trafficking.

This group envisions a world

without slavery with a network

of services and resources to

inform the public, prevent

the crime, and assist survivors

to achieve a fulfilling life. As

a collaborative, faith-based

national network, it offers

education, supports access

to survivor services, and

engages in advocacy in an

effort to eradicate modernday


You can avoid being an

unwitting contributor to

human trafficking/slavery by

being aware of the products

you purchase. Boycott those

goods that you know are

likely touched by slavery and

replace them with products

that are certified Fair Trade.

Not every industry uses

the Fair Trade certification,

but you can start with small

purchases, such as coffee,

body care products, cocoa,

and garments.


Catholic Relief



Stop Trafficking



Polaris Project:



Solidarity in Sharing Time and Self



As a St. Joseph Worker in St. Paul, Minnesota, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a

caseworker at a refugee resettlement agency. I gained so much during that year and

enjoyed connecting with clients beyond words since we often did not share a common

language. I felt inspired to pursue intentional and meaningful connections by living in

solidarity with refugees and migrants by completing another service year as a live-in

volunteer at Annunciation House of Hospitality in El Paso, Texas.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia with Marie visiting Annunciation House on a Border Awareness Experience trip. During the trip, the

Sisters shared community life with the migrant guests and attended various presentations on immigration in the El Paso community.

The Annunciation House exterior.

I thought that simply living

with migrants, guests at

Annunciation House, placed

me in solidarity with those I

was serving. I assumed that

moving closer to the margins

of society would begin

to erase them. However,

despite living in the family

dorm and sharing meals with

Annunciation House guests, I

felt deeply challenged by the

idea of solidarity. I shared

a physical space, but I felt

strikingly separate as well.

I could cross the border

into Mexico on my days

off and then come back to

Texas without question. I

could travel anywhere in

the United States without

restriction, while many of the

undocumented guests had

to carefully plan how or if

they would leave El Paso and

potentially risk getting caught

at interior Border Patrol

checkpoints. I asked myself if

I was truly living in solidarity

with the guests when I had

privileges they did not.

One day, I was feeling

homesick during a shift at the

house. One of the teen boys,

a guest at that time, asked me

if I was okay because I looked

sad. He asked if he could help

me with chores. I was surprised

that he noticed how I was

feeling and by his kind offer.

We ended up sitting sideby-side

quietly sorting beans

together. His actions lifted my

spirit by showing compassion

when I was feeling down.

St. Joseph Workers, Maria, Marie, Kiki, and Svitlana taking a

community hike together through California mountains.

“Despite living in the family

dorm and sharing meals with

Annunciation House guests,

I felt deeply challenged by

the idea of solidarity. I shared

a physical space, but I felt

strikingly separate as well.”



When I think of solidarity

in those terms, it opens a

new way of seeing. During

my St. Joseph Worker year

in Minnesota, I can think of

many times my housemates

demonstrated communal

compassion and presence. I

think of the intentional space

we created together through

one another’s joys and

struggles during our weekly

Sharing of the Heart ritual.

I believe our open-hearted

listening broke down the

barrier of our separate dayto-day

lives and allowed us

the opportunity to share in

one another’s humanity.

I’ve learned that solidarity

does not just mean sharing a

common physical space with

those who are marginalized.

Rather, it’s what is done

within that shared space

that is important. I’m

reminded of the simple

action of the teen boy who

kindly asked me if I was

okay and shared his time

with me. I believe that

solidarity is found within this

sharing of time and self in

order to create communities

of genuine friendships.

Marie served as a

St. Joseph Worker

from 2016-2017. She

currently works as a case

manager with the CES

for Families team at the

St. Joseph Center in

Los Angeles, California.

Learn more about the St. Joseph Worker

program at:


A communal art piece made by Annunciation House guests and

volunteers using their fingerprints and paint. The art was sent to a

former Annunciation House volunteer who was missing Annunciation

House after recently transitioning to a new life adventure.


Blessed are women who join together with hearts and souls as one — to laugh,

to cry, to dream, to pray — a world of peace and hope for all children.


Marie and her St. Joseph Worker community, Maria, Svitlana, and Kiki as they wait in Minnesota for the metro train to take them to the

airport where they will travel to California for a retreat in January 2017.


We pray for you!

Submit your prayer request through our website

OR our free app, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of

Carondelet will be honored to pray for you.

Brief submission form at prayersplease.com

10777 Sunset Office Dr., Suite 10

Saint Louis, MO 63127




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