Our Presence in Chile
Our congregation has been serving the dear neighbor in Chile since the 1980s. The first sisters set up a mission there in 1987, to live amongst the people and help them strengthen connections and community. They were asked by a local bishop to minister there because of our charism of unity, reconciliation and hospitality. The sisters opened two missions, one in Talca and the other in Curepto. Between the beginning of the mission in 1987 and the departure of the last sister in 2013, 12 sisters served in Chile in a variety of ministries.
“The sisters made a difference in the spirituality of the people there. They helped Chileans view God as loving, rather than punitive. They helped women value themselves more and consider ways to better their existence. They helped disabled children and their parents overcome stereotypes, and they decreased the incidence of domestic violence in Curepto.”To Walk with the People: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Mission in Chile by Christina Cavitt and Geni Cavitt
Familia de San José
While sisters may no longer minister there, the charism endures through the lives and works of a group of associates, the familia de San José (Spanish for the family of St. Joseph).
“Our spirit, that’s what’s being carried on in Chile today. Just as we were invited to do, we went in to live among the people.”Catherine McNamee, CSJ
The familia de San José can say it started in 2000 at a birthday party for one of the sisters in Curepto. The attendees enjoyed the community of the celebration so much that they were determined to continue it. After meeting over several months, they found so much in common with the charism, they discussed becoming a formal group of associates for the congregation. When the last of the sisters left Chile, the familia asked the congregation if the sisters of the Peru Vice Province could accompany them as they continued to live the charism.
The familia de San José lives the charism in their everyday activities. They do not think of the group as something separate in their lives, but as something that reinforces all aspects of their lives, their work in the church and social commitments. It is also in the intention of the familia to help each person to deepen their spirituality of loving God and the dear neighbor, to promote right relationships and to live their commitments to the Church and to social justice with greater zeal.