Sisters Carol Brong, Jeanne Marie Gocha and Chizuru Yamada with a painting of the Trek of the Seven Sisters at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona.

 

“After bidding adieu to our good Sisters in Carondelet, we started on our long and perilous journey to Arizona.” (Sister Monica Corrigan, Trek of the Seven Sisters)

 

by Jeanne Marie Gocha, CSJ

In some ways, there are a lot of similarities between the journey of Monica Corrigan and her six companions to Tucson, Arizona and the journey Sisters Carol Brong, Chizuru Yamada and I began on March 27th of this year. Both required a spirit of adventure, complete trust in God’s providential graces, the support of our Sisters and a reliance on the goodness of those we journey with to begin a new mission within the congregation.

Though Carol and I prepared for months to welcome Chizuru Yamada into the newly formed Congregational Novitiate here in Porter Ranch, California, it all became real when Sister Miriam Ukeritis, in the name of the Congregation, accepted Chizuru Yamada’s request to enter into the next step of her discernment journey to become a Sister of St Joseph of Carondelet. The candidate became a novice whom we now call “Sister.”

After celebrating the Triduum and great feast of Easter, our first “field trip” took place as we set out on a “half Trek,” echoing the trek of seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to begin a mission in Tuscon in 1870. We drove out to Phoenix to celebrate with Sister Adele O’Sullivan and other Sisters in the annual Circle the City Tea. Then we took some time to see for ourselves the wonderful ministries that Circle the City supports to serve the homeless population of Phoenix.

Sister Mary Murphy, the aficionado of the history of our first sisters in the West, joined us to begin a “mini-Trek” through the deserts between Phoenix and Tucson to visit the holy places where our early Sisters first ministered back in the 1870s, some of which continue today. We rested at Picacho Peak, felt the presence of our early Sisters as we prayed in the chapels of St. John’s in Komatke and San Xavier del Bac, and experienced first-hand how our charism continues to be lived in the staff and patients at St Mary’s Hospital in Tucson. Our journey was sweetened by the gracious hospitality of our Sisters in Tucson: Marge Foppe, Michelle Humke, Irma Odabashian, and Barbara Sullivan. A wonderful mixture of past history and present realities all lived for the sake of the Mission!

Returning home, novitiate life began to find its rhythm of prayer, classes, community life, and personal reflection. Sister Darlene Kawulok offered Chizuru insightful classes on Vatican II and its documents. Sister Ingrid Honore-Lallande shared her expertise on Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment. We are in the midst of weekly classes with Sister Anne Hennessey, CSJ from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange on Fr. Jean Pierre Medaille and our first Sisters in France in the 1600s.

We grow in relationships with those who come share a meal and insights too. The Northridge Caritas community of Associates meet at Caritas for their monthly gatherings. A Readers Circle of Sisters meets monthly for a meal and sharing highlights of their latest spiritual reading. There is also a Friday night gathering once a month of Sisters who come for dinner and theological reflection.

Sally Koch, a candidate here in Los Angeles, will join us in July as a novice. Both novices will be heading out to Rochester to participate in the Federation Novitiate beginning in August. Though you all can’t come to visit, share a meal, or teach a class, we certainly need and rely on your prayer-filled support. We promise you our prayer-filled support in return and will keep you updated on our journey.

“Now that we are settled in our new home, we trust our good Sisters will continue to pray for us, recommending the success of our mission… to our dear Lord, to the end that we may labor earnestly to promote His greater glory, and have this, alone, in view, in all our undertakings.” (Sister Monica Corrigan, Trek of the Seven Sisters)

Sisters Carol Brong and Chizuru Yamada prepare for their journey creating a timeline of events of our early sisters. and missions.

 

Off we go! Sisters Jeanne Marie Gocha, Carol Brong and Chizuru Yamada begin their “half trek” to Arizona.

 

Sisters Mary Murphy, Carol Brong, and Chizuru Yamada at St. John’s Mission in Komatke, Arizona.

 

Sister Adele O’Sullivan tells stories of patients who have received care at the Medical Respite Center for those experiencing homelessness in Phoenix.

   June 1st, 2018      Posted In: Congregation, Featured Stories, General, In The News


 

Throughout Advent, we’ll be sharing reflections on the day’s readings written by a few of our Sisters. Each will share something she is thankful for during this season of preparation, that is, her Advent Appreciation. Share your own #AdventAppreciation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Today’s Advent Appreciation: Home

December 24, 2017 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Read today’s scriptures

by Sister Sara Sanders

David lived in his palace; Mary lived with her family in a simple village home. And where do I live? Is my home large and well-appointed or small but cozy with furniture handed down over time; or is it a room in someone else’s house, a shelter bed or just my car (like the prophets who were “homeless” in the desert)?

I am grateful that it doesn’t seem to matter to our God; grateful that God extends an invitation to people who live in elegant or simple houses or are without permanent homes. David, the prophets, Mary — all heard God’s call in their “homes” but the important thing was not where they lived, but how they responded to God’s invitation.

As I approach the joyous days of Christmas, I want to make my simple, plantation house a home where God is welcomed and responded to.

So I ask: How am I answering God’s invitation as it comes to me in the family and friends who gather in my house? As I share the resources of my home with those whose names are on the Giving Tree? As I celebrate Emmanuel who makes a home in us?

   December 24th, 2017      Posted In: Featured Stories, General, In The News


 

Throughout Advent, we’ll be sharing reflections on the day’s readings written by a few of our Sisters. Each will share something she is thankful for during this season of preparation, that is, her Advent Appreciation. Share your own #AdventAppreciation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Today’s Advent Appreciation: Purpose

December 21, 2017 – Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

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by Sister Char Madigan

I confess neither the idea of God as a lover nor myself as a bride of Christ, work for me. Yet, I love how the Bible writers use metaphors to express their faith about who and where God is. They name cliffs, wombs, song, gazelles. The list goes on, interspersed with story after story. More, I hear them say Emmanuel: God’s abode is us and our home, Earth.

So for me, the heart of our city and all hearts are sacred, wounded, battered, broken…from attacks, loving, losing. Through the cracks in the concrete, a rose blooms somehow.

I bow down, cry thanks. My heart soars, sings, and at once rages at violence and domination. For me, in Advent, I don’t wait for God to come. Jesus didn’t bring God to earth 2,000 years ago. Eons earlier, before our Earth was born, God implanted God’s self in the DNA of all life.

A gift and a challenge.

Instead, God waits for broken, wounded me to receive holy communion every minute, everywhere, and then, go, do as Jesus did: feed as I have been fed. That’s the theme I found, the purpose of life. I wonder what you found.

   December 21st, 2017      Posted In: Featured Stories, General, In The News


Throughout Advent, we’ll be sharing reflections on the day’s readings written by a few of our Sisters. Each will share something she is thankful for during this season of preparation, that is, her Advent Appreciation. Share your own #AdventAppreciation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Today’s Advent Appreciation: Challenges

December 19, 2017 – Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

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by Sister Jean de Blois

Remember a time when you grappled with one of the most challenging issues you have faced in your life. One that defined you as a person … as an insider or outsider … as a success or failure. One that may have caused profound doubt about the faith you have embraced for as long as you can remember.

This was what confronted Elizabeth and Zechariah in today’s Gospel. They lived in a highly patriarchal society where having offspring, especially male heirs, was the definition of success, of being in “God’s favor” or not. They must have been consumed with anguish over what they probably interpreted as “failure.”

So along comes an angel who speaks to Zechariah and says simply, “Don’t be afraid.” God is going to take care of this issue for you. And so it goes, and it was done.

Doesn’t that seem so simple, so straight-forward, and to many people too ridiculous to believe? So what is your issue? And what will it take for us to wait patiently for the voice of an angel … a friend… a spiritual director … to allow us to trust in God’s care for us?

   December 19th, 2017      Posted In: Featured Stories, General, In The News


Throughout Advent, we’ll be sharing reflections on the day’s readings written by a few of our Sisters. Each will share something she is thankful for during this season of preparation, that is, her Advent Appreciation. Share your own #AdventAppreciation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Today’s Advent Appreciation: Expectancy

December 3, 2017 – First Sunday of Advent

Read today’s scriptures

by Sister Mary O’Brien

“O come, O Come Emmanuel” is the oft-repeated hymn of the Advent season. “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down…” But when and how does Jesus come?

A quick glimpse into my last few days offers ideas for quiet mulling:

  • We host a nutrition class in our food pantry; I recommend possible attendance at an upcoming Health seminar. One first-time attendee who has a heart condition responds that it’s too far for her to walk; another immediately replies that she has a car. “I can pick you up and we can go together.”
  • I spend the weekend with a precocious two-year-old. Like a sentinel on duty, he stands at the front window, with seemingly every fiber of his being on alert, as he waits with eagerness and delight for the arrival of a beloved relative.
  • A local Presbyterian woman, commitment in full bloom, organizes her 17th annual CROP Walk to raise funds for the hungry, both near and far.

Gratitude flows and grows for everyday graces received. Look… and you will find! Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Open my eyes, Lord, that I may seek your face in the ordinary extraordinary moments of my day.

   December 3rd, 2017      Posted In: Featured Stories, General, In The News

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