January 03, 2013

The Meeting Begins

Thirty-one of the youngest Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have gathered at the St. Rose of Lima Retreat Center in Lima, Peru to share who we are and how we want to be together as the future unfolds.  Many sisters spoke of the initial concern around the language barriers among us; we have sisters speaking English, Japanese, and Spanish, and for many of our Spanish-speaking sisters, Spanish is actually their second language.  We have been happy to discover that the language has not been the problem many expected.  The seven sisters acting as translators as well as the personal headsets are a great help, but, as one sister put it today, "We actually speak the same language--the language of the great love of God and the dear neighbor is the same in any language."
"Seeding Our Future" participants.
 The day's focus was around the question, "Who are We?"  In the morning, we shared about our families, our cultures, our customs as individuals and around the assumptions we held around those same items about one another and how we are challenged in those assumptions.  The afternoon led us to share around the common values we hold and that hold us as Sisters of St. Joseph, values including hospitality, service, prayer, simplicity, and communion among others.
Felicita, Maria Elena, Sonia, and Nancy teaching native dances.
This photo doesn't show the rest of us dancing with them in the audience.
Deanine Medina (LA) shares of the day:  "I had a great time today getting to know our Peruvian sisters.  The powerpoint packed with personal photos was better than a thousand words!  There are no language barriers when we share ourselves and our families."
Agrepina created the image for our gathering.  The ambiance is amazing! 
 Jill Underdahl (SP) writes:  "The values we hold as CSJs are manifest in word and action among the gathered:  inclusion, mutuality, hospitality, and care for those on the margins of church and society.  It is a positive experience of seeking and finding understanding and building relationships."
Rosa Luz celebrates her candy "wins" after our ice breaker this morning.  Notice the hand created, cut, and hung flowers on the windows in the background, the seeds on the table, and the translating headsets being used by all.  Sister Frances, a Holy Cross sister, is here as a translator.
I leave you tonight with the words from the song we sang for prayer today (in Japanese):  May Christ's peace, light, strength, life, forgiveness, fragrance fill our hearts as full as they can be.

Until tomorrow...


  1. Thanks for the blessing of 'new seeds' growint Marianne

  2. Sarah, Thank you for photos and comments. It helps me connect with all of you as you are connecting with each other.
    Blessings on all your days together.
    Peace, Cathy Steffens
    P.S. Special greetings to Jill and Teresa, too.

  3. Good afternoon, You and my daughter, Patti, know each other through Camp with Father Tim. I am just curious. You said it was the youngest members. What is the age spread? Thank you. Happy New Year. Donna Reiss

  4. I am really enjoying the blog. I am grateful that all of you are there who were able to gather in Peru. It seems that good things are happening among you, and therefore for all of us. Blessings to each and all.

    Masrian Cowan

  5. What a blessing for you to be there together in Peru, and what a blessing it is for us to share the experience with you in your communications. Happy New Year to all of you, and Happy New Year to all CSJ's around the world! May the Spirit be in your hearts and in your meetings!

  6. Together... we are more. Together... one is birthed through diversity. Togeher... nothing can stop us from being Gospel, church, the contagious hope of Emmanuel, God among us.
    Barb Dreher, St. Louis