bySister Joanne Gallagher Special to The Pilot
BRIGHTON -- Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and associates gathered in at their Motherhouse in Brighton March 8-11 for the election of the six-member leadership team who will serve the congregation for the next five years. The members of the new team who will begin their term of leadership at the end of June are Sisters Lee Hogan, CSJ, President; Catherine Clifford, CSJ, Assistant President; Marian Batho, CSJ, First Councilor; Judith Costello, CSJ, Second Councilor; Betsy Conway, CSJ, Third Councilor; and Denise Kelly, Fourth Councilor.
The election process began on Thursday, March 8, with two days of prayer, discernment, and contemplative dialogue. On Saturday morning, in the name of all who gathered, Sister Rosemary Brennan, CSJ, the current president of the Sisters of St. Joseph, welcomed Bishop Mark O'Connell, who presided at the 9 a.m. Mass of the Holy Spirit.
During his homily Bishop O'Connell said, "We summon the Holy Spirit....May (the Spirit) burn in our hearts, purifying each of you to listen to all voices -- all colors. May you be like candles that give of themselves for the flame. To shine so that you may indeed strengthen your mission today, strengthen your spirituality, strengthen your relationships."
In looking ahead to her ministry as president of the congregation, Sister Lee said, "We live in a divided world and know our charism is so needed in our Church and world. So we take it as a solemn obligation to further our charism in the world. We're living in that middle space between a past over and gone and a future yet to come. While none of us can see the future clearly, we are pilgrims with a purpose and a journey toward the God of the future."
The March 8-11 election weekend was part of a year-long process that also included weekends in September, October, January, and February. The theme for the year-long Chapter, "Impelled by God's Inclusive Love," centered around prayer, discernment, and discussion about how the mission and spirituality of the congregation is to be lived during the next five years. Through this process, the sisters and associates reflected on their life, mission, and ministry as Sisters of St. Joseph in response to the needs of today's Church and world.
During the October weekend, participants reaffirmed their vision for the next five years and identified their commitment to strengthen mission, strengthen the spiritual, strengthen relationships for mission, and tell the story of how they are impelled by God's inclusive love. The selection process for new leadership focused on who are the women who can best empower all sisters and associates to live this vision at this time in history.