Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate transfer of leadership

BRIGHTON — On June 25 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston participated in the Transfer of Leadership for their congregation. Over 650 sisters, associates, colleagues, friends, and family members were present at St. Ignatius Church, Chestnut Hill for the Mass of celebration. The women who have been elected by the Congregation to serve in the ministry of leadership for the next six years are: Sisters Mary L. Murphy, president; Lee Hogan, assistant president; Marilyn McGoldrick and Rosemary Brennan, general councilors; Brenda Forry, Helen Sullivan and Ellen Powers, area councilors.

Mary L. Murphy, CSJ, moves into her position as president of the Sisters of St. Joseph from her current position as a general councilor. Other members of the leadership team completing their six-year term are: Sisters Joan Duffy, president; Elizabeth Cawley, assistant president; Margaret L. Sullivan, general councilor; as well as area councilors, Ellen Pumphret, Mary Ellen O’Connell, and Margaret Nichols.

During the past year, Sisters of St. Joseph and associates entered into a year of discernment called “Chapter 2005-2006.” A chapter year, which takes place every six years, is a time when all members of the congregation evaluate the past and envision the future; a time of prayer, reflection, and action; a time that sets the direction for the congregation.

In her reflections at the end of Mass, Sister Mary L. Murphy said, “Ours is an age of tremendous contrasts … One filled with hope and despair, wealth and poverty, possibility and impossibility. As women of the Church, rooted in the Gospel, together with our associates, we will grow and we will act out of who we are: women of unity and reconciliation impelled by the active, inclusive love of God to always reach for ‘the more.’”

Sister Mary continued, explaining, “Since 1873, the Sisters of St. Joseph have ministered in the Archdiocese of Boston — 133 years of devoted, consistent ministry of service to the ‘dear neighbor’ in education, social work, outreach programs, healthcare, pastoral care-wherever we were needed. We build on our rich heritage as it informs and shapes our identity because we are, from the very beginning, ‘sisters of the neighborhood,’ ‘sisters of the universe’ and, as such, it is our responsibility to continue the vision of our foundressess. As the world becomes smaller, our world vision needs to become larger. We must be a community who believes that possibilities can become realities; that within a culture of violence and terror we stand as peacemakers and unifiers.”