Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate transition of leadership

On June 25, 2023, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston participated in the Transition of Leadership Prayer Service for their congregation. Sisters, associates, agregees partners in mission, friends, and family gathered at Regis College for a Celebration of Leadership. The women elected by the congregation to serve in the ministry of leadership for the next five years are: Sister Mary L. Murphy, president; Sister Marian Batho, assistant president; and Sisters Kathleen McCluskey, Elizabeth Conway, Gail Donahue, and Mary Ellen O'Connell, all counselors for community life.

Sister Marian Batho moves into her position as assistant president from her current position as general councilor and Elizabeth Conway has been re-elected as a counselor for community life. Other members of the leadership team completing their five-year term are Sister Lee Hogan, president; Sister Catherine Clifford, assistant president; and Sisters Denise Kelly and Judith Costello, both counselors for community life.

In January 2023, the congregation entered into a process of discernment called Chapter 2023, a time of evaluating the past and envisioning the future. It is a time of prayer, reflection, and action; a time when all gather in prayer and deep listening to envision the future of the congregation and "move forward with confidence."

A significant moment during the prayer was the transition ritual when each new leadership team member received a blessing and a lighted lantern to symbolize that unifying love continues to flare as this team assumes leadership.

As part of the service, Sister Mary L. Murphy spoke with conviction and enthusiasm saying, "Throughout our lives, we cross many thresholds ... Today is a threshold; an opportunity to move into the future full of hope. Pope Francis challenges us to live in this spirit as he calls us to remember that, 'the future does have a name and its name is hope.'"

Sister Mary continued, "The sisters are celebrating 150 years of presence in the City of Boston and beyond . . .We acknowledge with gratitude the many people who have influenced our lives and whose lives we have influenced...True to our heritage, we will respond to the ever changing needs of the times... We will continue to widen our circles, welcoming all without distinction. We will continue to care for our Common Home in light of the challenges of Laudato Si', for our neighborhood is the neighborhood of the Universe."

A well-received part of the prayer was the presentation of a video, which illustrated the breadth and depth of these 150 years. This video can be viewed via a link on the CSJ home page:

Sister Mary concluded her reflection, stating, "We are on the edge of a new flare! What newness are we willing to embrace?"

Moments of communal prayer and song led by the CSJ Chorus as well as the Regis Glee Singers and Alumni Chorus punctuated the service. At the conclusion, all went forth singing, "Women of courage, of peace, and of pride, we share this journey with God at our side."