Neighborhoods

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Our convent in Salisbury, Maryland is in a neighborhood called Newtown. It’s named this because many of the houses were built in the aftermath of two devastating fires that swept through the community, one in 1860 and the other in 1886. We’ve seen photographs of our street after one of the infernos: only the chimneys and blackened tree trunks were left standing. Today, mature leafy trees and vibrant flower gardens frame the Victorian homes. Nature and time have erased the wounds.

We like the historical character of our neighborhood. Up the street from us is the Poplar Hill Mansion; completed in 1805, it is the oldest home in Salisbury. Down the street is the Chipman Cultural Center, the oldest African-American church building on the Delmarva Peninsula. Historians believe that before the church was built in 1838, local slaves congregated on that patch of land for Sunday morning worship services. We can only imagine the cries to Heaven that once filled the air. They were only a few blocks away from the mansion, but separated by a great divide.

The house we call our convent also holds some history. We once discovered, behind our basement wall, receipts from a hardware store going back to 1891. Other traces of past ownership were clear from the beginning. When Sr. Mary Elizabeth purchased the property in 1978, the previous residents had been a group of young people. They left behind walls painted black adorned with rock and roll posters! But nothing, least of all that, could ever faze Sister. The house was big enough for the community of sisters she envisioned and that was the most important consideration.

All in all, what we like best about our neighborhood are the people who live there. Our friendships with some of our neighbors can now be measured in decades. It’s like living on the same street with members of our extended family. There are bonds of trust and support that keep us going, which in turn help to keep the Joseph House going. The variety of people living in Newtown makes it a real patchwork quilt, and we feel very blessed to hold down our square on the corner of North Poplar Hill Avenue and Isabella Street.

Nevertheless, the sad fact remains: a city of neighborhoods is often a city of barriers. The situation is true no matter where in the country one may live, or what country one may live in. There’s always a part of town that is on the “wrong side of the tracks,” places that aren’t safe after dark, or where the people are different or have different ways. Unwritten laws inform people not to mix. Some localities may just as well have walls built around them. In fact, some of them do.

Whether real or imaginary, these walls can do more than separate people. They’re also good at hiding things, especially things we don’t want to see, such as poverty and injustice. And the invisible walls are just as effective at doing this as any other.

Our local paper once published a front page story, complete with a map, that highlighted the section of Salisbury burdened with high levels of prostitution, drug dealing, and gun violence. Only the busy commercial strip of Route 13 divides that neighborhood from ours.

Fault lines like this are common throughout America. Our faith tells us to cross them, not avoid them.

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus from the gospel of Luke, the rich man lives contentedly behind a gate, unaware that poor Lazarus is starving on the other side. The rich man never deliberately harms Lazarus, he simply ignores him. He lives his life as if Lazarus did not exist. He could have shared something with Lazarus and never even missed it.

What would have happened if the rich man had stepped outside his gate and opened his eyes? A little kindness on his part would have meant everything to Lazarus.

Borders, boundaries, walls, fences, gates… they have their place. But they limit our horizon and it is easy to get used to the view.

One must be especially careful about building them around the human heart. What was built out of fear, anger, hurt, or ignorance can have unintended consequences. C.S. Lewis wrote these memorable lines in his book, The Four Loves:

If you want to make sure of keeping [your heart] intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

Crossing boundaries can expand our world in more ways than one. During a period when he was searching for answers, the spiritual father of the Joseph House, Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), made a trek deep into the Sahara desert. He later wrote about his impressions:

Islam really shook me to the core. The sight of such faith, of these people living in the continual presence of God, made me glimpse something greater, truer, than worldly concerns. I started studying Islam, then the Bible.

If only we could inspire one another this way all the time. Each encounter with the “other” can be a gift. There is so much to learn, so much to gain, as we journey together to the place prepared for everyone, the place Jesus called “My Father’s house.” (John 14:2)

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Poplar Hill Mansion

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Chipman Cultural Center

Be At Leisure, And Know That I Am God

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In the economic world of today, “9 to 5” is being replaced with “24/7.” More and more people feel as if they are always “on the clock.” In fact, because of smartphones, they are discovering they can’t leave work when they go home. There’s no downtime, no freedom from an electronic distraction, no chance to just be.

This is one aspect of living in the age of machines. It also changes our mindset. The standards of function and profit are no longer applied to work alone. “What does this do for me? What do I get out of it?” are questions people ask of everything. They’re asked even of other people.

“One does not work to live, one lives to work,” goes the famous quote by Max Weber, the German philosopher of capitalism. That’s the rule of modern life, a rule that is very limiting.

There is an escape from the confinement of work: it is the idea of leisure, a word that is often misunderstood. Being at leisure is not the same as “killing time” or engaging in a hobby. Rather, true leisure shares an affinity with contemplative prayer. It requires us to step away from the daily pressures and obligations of work and all that is utilitarian. We need to slow down and open ourselves in a receptive way to reality, to creation, to that which God said, “It is good.”

To be at leisure means to join God in this affirmation. Leisure refreshes bodies that are tired and relieves senses that are over-stimulated. In its deepest sense, leisure is sacred time. We “waste” time with God instead of using it for a more “practical” purpose. Perhaps leisure can be described as that which exists for its own sake, that “something else” which makes life worth living and preserves our humanity. True leisure is akin to art.

The frantic pace of modern life threatens the existence of leisure. Many confuse it with the relentless pursuit of entertainment, others feel guilty when they make time for it. But leisure is more than an escape from work: it is a sanctuary for preserving the values of being human.

What follows is an excerpt from an excellent little book, Leisure: The Basis of Culture. It was written by Josef Pieper, a twentieth-century philosopher in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pieper describes leisure as a mental and spiritual attitude, characterized by non-activity and inward calm. Leisure means to not be busy, but to let things happen. It is a form of silence which is a prerequisite for the apprehension of reality. Only the silent hear. In a world of total labor, this contemplative attitude gets crowded out. With it goes the foundation for an inspired and life-giving culture.

His book is worth reading to digest the fullness of his message. Pieper can inspire us to heed the divine call that nourishes our lives: “Be at leisure, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:11).

From the 1952 edition published by Pantheon Books, New York:

“Leisure, it must be clearly understood, is a mental and spiritual attitude – it is not simply the result of external factors, it is not the inevitable result of spare time, a holiday, a week-end or a vacation. It is, in the first place, an attitude of mind, a condition of the soul, and as such utterly contrary to the ideal of ‘worker’ in each and every one of the three aspects under which it was analyzed: work as activity, as toil, as a social function.

“Compared with the exclusive ideal of work as activity, leisure implies in the first place an attitude of non-activity, of inward calm, of silence; it means not being ‘busy,’ but letting things happen.

“Leisure is a form of silence, of that silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality: only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear. Silence, as it is used in this context, does not mean ‘dumbness’ or ‘noiselessness:’ it means more nearly that the soul’s power to ‘answer’ to the reality of the world is left undisturbed. For leisure is a receptive attitude of the mind, a contemplative attitude, and it is not only the occasion but also the capacity for steeping oneself in the whole of creation.

“Furthermore, there is also a serenity in leisure. That serenity springs precisely from our inability to understand, from our recognition of the mysterious nature of the universe; it springs from the courage of deep confidence, so that we are content to let things take their course; and there is something about it which Konrad Weiss, the poet, called ‘confidence in the fragmentariness of life and history’….

“Leisure is not the attitude of mind of those who actively intervene, but of those who are open to everything; not of those who grab and grab hold, but of those who let the reins loose and who are free and easy themselves – almost like a man falling asleep, for one can only fall asleep by ‘letting oneself go.’

“Sleeplessness and the incapacity for leisure are related to one another in a special sense, and a man at leisure is not unlike a man asleep. When we really let our minds rest contemplatively on a rose in bud, on a child at play, on a divine mystery, we are rested and quickened as though by a dreamless sleep. Or as the Book of Job says, ‘God giveth songs in the night’ (Job 35:10). Moreover, it has always been a pious belief that God sends His good gifts and His blessings in sleep. And in the same way His great, imperishable intuitions visit a man in his moments of leisure.

“It is in these silent and receptive moments that the soul of man is sometimes visited by an awareness of what holds the world together, only for a moment perhaps….

“Leisure appears in its character as an attitude of contemplative ‘celebration,’ a word that, properly understood, goes to the very heart of what we mean by leisure. Leisure is possible only on the premise that man consents to his own true nature and abides in concord with the meaning of the universe (whereas idleness, we have said, is the refusal of such consent). Leisure draws its vitality from affirmation. It is not the same as non-activity, nor is it identical with tranquility; it is not even the same as inward tranquility. Rather, it is like the tranquil silence of lovers, which draws it strength from concord….

“And we may read in the first chapter of Genesis that God ‘ended His work which He had made’ and ‘behold, it was very good.’ In leisure, man too celebrates the end of his work by allowing his inner eye to dwell for a while upon the reality of the Creation. He looks and affirms: it is good.

“Now, the highest form of affirmation is the festival… To hold a celebration means to affirm the basic meaningfulness of the universe and a sense of oneness with it, of inclusion within it. In celebrating, in holding festivals upon occasion, man experiences the world in an aspect other than the everyday one.

“The festival is the origin of leisure, and the inward and ever-present meaning of leisure. And because leisure is thus by its nature a celebration, it is more than effortless; it is the direct opposite of effort.

“Because Wholeness is what man strives for, the power to achieve leisure is one of the fundamental powers of the human soul. Like the gift for contemplative absorption in the things that are, and like the capacity of the spirit to soar in festive celebration, the power to know leisure is the power to overstep the boundaries of the workaday world and reach out to superhuman, life-giving existential forces that refresh and renew us before we turn back to our daily work.

“Only in genuine leisure does a ‘gate to freedom’ open. Through that gate man may escape from the ‘restricted area’ of that ‘latent anxiety’ which a keen observer has perceived to be the mark of the world of work, where ‘work and unemployment are the two inescapable poles of existence.’”

Pieper, Josef. Leisure: The Basis of Culture. New York: Pantheon Books, 1952.

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The Two Feet of Social Justice

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To walk forward, we place one foot in front of the other. The walk toward social justice in the world requires the same effort.

Two feet are needed for this movement: one is “Direct Service” and the other is “Social Change.” Both are needed to achieve justice, both are needed to stay balanced.

Direct Service addresses the needs of people here and now. When a person is suffering, when he or she is cold, hungry, or homeless, we cannot tell that person to wait. Sr. Mary Elizabeth, the founder of the Joseph House, once said, “If a man comes in and tells you he has no job and hasn’t eaten in two days, you don’t give an in-depth analysis of his socio-economic hang-ups. You give him a bag of groceries and a dollar if you have it. If you don’t have a dollar, you keep asking people you know until someone gives it to you.”

There are many ways we can directly serve the needs of the poor. Here are a few examples that call for our support:

  • food drives and food banks
  • community gardens
  • homeless shelters
  • weatherization projects
  • instruction on tenant rights
  • thrift shops
  • transportation for the sick and elderly
  • literacy programs
  • job skills training
  • youth programs
  • after-school care

Social Change involves changing structures and removing the causes of poverty and other social problems. This type of work seeks to educate people and bring them together. Its action must be non-violent; otherwise, there is the risk of replacing one oppressor with another.

Here are ways to work for social change:

  • read about and critically evaluate the issues
  • register to vote and then vote
  • through letter writing and boycotts, change corporate policies that hurt the poor
  • participate in peaceful protests to help give voice to the voiceless
  • write to legislators on behalf of the poor and marginalized
  • use public forums (letters to the editor, social media) to educate others about the needs of the poor and the reality they face

The goals of social justice are to reduce poverty, protect human rights, and promote peace. We can only make this journey using “both feet.” In all that we do, the advice of St. Paul will serve us well: “Conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

The photograph shows the sandals that belonged to Sr. Mary Elizabeth. She left them pretty worn out in her work for justice.

The Love of All Human Beings Without Exception

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Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is celebrated on the Friday following the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ), which is the second Sunday after Pentecost. Both of these feast days are solemnities (celebrations of the highest degree).

Article 478 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the meaning of the Sacred Heart in this way:

Jesus knew and loved us each and all during His life, His agony, and His Passion and gave Himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God… loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20) He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, (Cf. Jn 19:34) “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that… love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings” without exception. (Pius XII, Haurietis aquas, 1956)

Brother Charles had great devotion for the Sacred Heart. After arriving in Béni Abbès, Algeria in 1901, he built a hermitage and chapel. Behind the altar he placed an image of the Sacred Heart, an image he painted himself. It is pictured above.

A few years prior to this, while living in Nazareth, Brother Charles wrote several spiritual meditations in his journal. He composed this act of confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

When I think of the infinite graces You have heaped on me and the unworthiness of my present life, You forbid me to say to myself, “I have gone too far in misusing my graces; I ought to be a saint, but I am a sinner; I cannot correct myself, it is too difficult; I am nothing but wretchedness and pride; after everything God has done, there is still no good in me; I shall never go to heaven.”

In spite of everything, You want me to hope, to hope always that I shall receive enough grace to be converted and attain glory.

What is there in common between heaven and me — between its perfection and my wretchedness? There is Your Heart, O Lord Jesus. It forms a link between these two so dissimilar things.

There is the love of the Father who so loved the world He gave His only Son. I must always hope, because You have commanded me to, and because I must always believe both in Your love, the love You have so firmly promised, and in Your power.

Yes indeed, remembering what You have done for me, I must always have such confidence in Your love that, however ungrateful and unworthy I may seem to myself to be, I can still have hope in it, still count on it, still remain convinced that You are ready to accept me as the father accepted the prodigal son — and even more ready — and still remain convinced too that You will not stop calling me to Your feet, inviting me to come to them and giving me the means to do so.

(Retreat at Nazareth, November, 1897)

Like Jesus at Nazareth

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Br. Charles desired to imitate the hidden life of Jesus, the life of Jesus at Nazareth. In a journal entry dated May 17, 1906, he listed 14 resolutions that reveal his understanding of this life:

1.  I must remember to what kind of life it is I have been called: the imitation of Jesus at Nazareth; the adoration of the sacred Host exposed; the silent sanctification of unbelieving peoples by carrying Jesus among them; adoring Him and imitating His hidden life.

2.  I must remember always to imitate Jesus in His life at Nazareth.

3.  I must remember penance, the narrow way, Jesus’ cross at Nazareth.

4.  I must remember Jesus’ poverty at Nazareth.

5.  I must remember the lowliness and humble manual labor of Jesus at Nazareth.

6.  I must remember the withdrawal, the silence of Jesus at Nazareth.

7.  I must remember Jesus’ distance from the world and the things of the world at Nazareth.

8.  I must remember Jesus’ life of spiritual communion, adoration, interior prayer, petition and vigils at Nazareth.

9.  I must remember to have a zeal for souls, seeking to bring them together around the Sacred Victim in these lands of unbelievers, to build up a small family in imitation of Jesus’ life at Nazareth.

10.  I must remember to show zeal for souls in charity, goodness and well-doing towards all human beings, like Jesus at Nazareth.

11.  I must remember to show zeal for souls by gentleness, humility and forgiveness of injuries, the quiet acceptance of ill-treatment, like Jesus at Nazareth.

12.  I must remember to show zeal for souls by giving a good example, like Jesus at Nazareth.

13.  I must remember to show zeal for souls by prayer, penance and personal sanctification, like Jesus at Nazareth.

14.  I must remember to let the Heart of Jesus live in my heart, so that it may be no longer I who live, but the Heart of Jesus living in me, as it lived in Nazareth.

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The image is from a bas-relief located in a chapel in honor of Br. Charles at the Abbey Notre Dame des Neiges (Our Lady of the Snows). In 1890, Br. Charles entered this Cistercian monastery in France and was a monk for several years. The chapel was built in 2006 and houses his relics.

Work is a Good Thing

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A number of years ago, a young man went to work in a limestone quarry. He worked all day outdoors in all types of weather. He broke up stone and carried buckets of lime on a wooden yoke across his shoulders. His hands cracked from the labor and bitter cold of the elements. He was a smart man, capable of many things, but harsh circumstances left him few options. He later recalled this time as one of hardship and monotony, the work as alienating and frustrating.

The man persevered, the times changed, and with the grace of God he went on to greater things. From his experiences he learned the value of meaningful work. He would later write:

Work is a good thing for man. It corresponds to man’s dignity, expresses this dignity and increases it. Work is a good thing for his humanity because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but also achieves fulfillment as a human being, and indeed in a sense becomes ‘more a human being.’

These words appeared in the encyclical “On Human Work” written by Pope John Paul II. The document expresses how the Church sees work as fundamentally important to living a fully human life. When a person works, the work in turn “works” on the person. Work shapes us, it forms us, it builds character. Work can also destroy us. Work can be used to degrade and oppress people. The type of work we do, or the lack of work at all, can leave a gaping hole in our humanity. Then we do not experience the dignity of people created in the image and likeness of God. The Pope saw this himself when he became a working man during the Nazi occupation of his native Poland.

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(Pope John Paul II during his time working in a quarry, 1940’s.)

Work is serious business. Ideally work should be an invigorating challenge. We are lucky if it seems like play. Unfortunately for many people, work is a “problem.” Getting trained for work, getting transportation to work, finding work that provides security, work that pays the bills, work that realizes our potential, work that is a blessing to us and to others, work that supports our dignity — these are serious problems for many people today.

For help with these problems, we look to our patron, St. Joseph. God chose Joseph to be a father to Jesus for a reason. God knew that in his workshop, Joseph would not only teach Jesus how to be a carpenter, but how to be a human being. Working side by side with Joseph during the long years of His hidden life, Jesus learned the life of virtue.

Jesus blessed the working life through the Incarnation. Work can be redeeming. It can bring healing and growth to a person’s life.

May 1 is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. We pray:

Good Saint Joseph, with your abilities you supported your family and served your community. In your daily work you made more than tables and chairs; you crafted virtue, and forged your soul. Help me to make my work a means of holiness, too.

Saint Joseph, carpenter of Nazareth, come to the aid of those who are unemployed and those burdened with oppressive work.

Amen.

If Today You Hear His Voice

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Here is a story from our founder, Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling, about her discernment to leave the Little Sisters of the Poor and begin a new ministry with the poor. Pictured above is the promise she professed to God after starting the Joseph House as a layperson.

“I felt that if God asked me to go in [the Little Sisters of the Poor], I left the other things I was doing to go, so if He asked me to come out I should come out. I was 50 years old when I came to that conclusion [in 1964]. And I had been in there for about 21 years.

“I had this confessor who was of a French order also so he was kind of the same culture mind as I was trying to escape. And I went to him and said that I really feel God is calling me to leave here and to go and work with the poor where they are, and not have them come in and only be able to handle this small number because we had to have them come in to help them. And he said, ‘I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t have much time today to hear confessions. I just don’t want to hear about it.’ So I thought I guess God doesn’t want to hear about it either.

“I waited for a while. In fact, I waited for almost five years. I was so troubled by it, I was so pushed by some force to leave there and start something myself. I had no idea how to do it or when to do it or how I was going to go about it. But I had this impulse that I couldn’t seem to overcome and I got tired of battling with it. So I said to the Lord, ‘Look, I’ll do anything You want me to do but I have to know that You want me to do it and I want You to at least give me the assurance that this is something You want and not just something that I dreamed of.’ So I kind of put Him to the test.

“I went to confession to the same priest who told me he didn’t want to hear about it, and that gave me a kind of safety because I said to myself I am not looking up someone who agrees with me, I am not going outside of here to find someone who I think will find these nuns old-fashioned and agree that I should go. I am going to the same guy who told me he doesn’t want to hear about it. I went back to Father and I said to him, ‘I talked to you about five years ago about the fact that I think God is calling me to leave here and to go work with the poor differently.’

“And before I went to him I went up to the altar rail and I said to the Lord, ‘Look I have to settle this, I can’t stay here unsettled like this. I am going to give You 5 minutes to get him ready for me and to give him the answer that You want him to have for me and then I am going in there and I am going to ask him does he think I should do this or doesn’t he. And whatever he tells me to do I am going to do and I don’t want to hear from You again.’ [laughter]

“And so I waited and then I went back to confession and I said to him that I had been there 5 years before and he said, ‘Yes, I remember that.’

“And I said, ‘I really feel God is calling me to leave and to start something that would take care of the poor where they are. Because you could do a lot more for them, and it is not necessary for them to give up what they have.’

“And he said to me, ‘Well I think God is calling you to that.’

“And I thought, ‘Now why did he have to say that? Now I have to.’ [laughter]

“And I am thinking of all of this stuff, ‘Now what do I do? What do I do?’”

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Always say yes to God and He will fill you with His happiness.

– John Paul II

Hail the Cross

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Msgr. Thomas Craven, who was a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was known to some of us at the Joseph House. When he died in 2004, he was buried in a handmade wooden casket. As per his wishes, a Latin phrased was inscribed on the casket lid: Ave Crux Spes Unica. In translation, “Hail the Cross, our only hope.”

How can we begin to make sense of this phrase?

Charles de Foucauld meditated frequently on the cross. In a letter to his sister, he wrote:

“Through the cross we are united to Him, who was nailed on it, our heavenly spouse. Every instant of our lives must be accepted as a favor, with all that it brings of happiness and suffering. But we must accept the cross with more gratitude than anything else. Our crosses detach us from earth and therefore draw us closer to God.”

The cross has meaning only in its relationship to Jesus. It is a mystery of faith, but to share in the cross is to share in the love of Jesus, who is our hope — for this life and the one to come.

Holy Week is a special time to consider the cross, the one that Jesus carried and the one fashioned for each one of us.

St. Joseph: Patron of Vatican Council II

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Saint John XXIII had a great devotion to St. Joseph and was sometimes called the Pope of St. Joseph.

On this day in 1961, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, he named St. Joseph as the patron and protector of the Second Vatican Council.

The Council, an opportunity to “throw open the windows of the Church,” addressed the renewal of church life in the modern world. The role of the laity received attention, and it is fitting that St. Joseph was declared to be the Council’s patron.

Consider this passage from Lumen Gentium, one of the principal Council documents. It pertains to the universal call to holiness:

“The classes and duties of life are many, but holiness is one — that sanctity which is cultivated by all who are moved by the Spirit of God, and who obey the voice of the Father and worship God the Father in spirit and in truth. These people follow the poor Christ, the humble and cross-bearing Christ in order to be worthy of being sharers in His glory. Every person must walk unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity.”

As the Head of the Holy Family and the carpenter of Nazareth, St. Joseph is the prime example of the holiness found in everyday living.

The above picture shows a mosaic from the sanctuary dome at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC (nationalshrine.com). It depicts St. Joseph as the protector of the church and the patron of families and working people. On the right is John XXIII presiding at the Second Vatican Council.

Our eyes are always drawn to the strong hands of Joseph as he holds the Child Jesus in his arms. We too can rest in the heavenly protection of St. Joseph. Perhaps if you have never been to the Shrine you will one day make a visit and see this magnificent mosaic in person.

Beautiful Names

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Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling was very deliberate in choosing the names of the two organizations she founded.

The Joseph House was named in honor of St. Joseph. Sister said that if God trusted Joseph to care for Mary and Jesus, then she could trust him, too. She always referred to St. Joseph as our provider and protector.

The name of the religious community Sr. Mary Elizabeth founded was also carefully chosen. In her words:

“The beautiful name God has given us of ‘Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary’ should be the explanation of our lives. We must become true ‘little sisters’ of Jesus present in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in the world and present in the Eucharist. We must look to our Mother and older Sister Mary as a model of how to live with our brother and Lord Jesus. And in company of Joseph and Mary our lives should be directed towards and emanate from the Eucharistic Jesus who lives in our midst.”