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Visiting the Holy Land: Seeing Scripture Come to Life!

 By Sister Sallie Latkovich

I had a friend who was studying for a year in Jerusalem in the mid 1980’s, and she invited me to join her there during my Christmas vacation. My mother became quite ill, so I decided not to go at that time, but I was determined to go when the next opportunity arose.

In late summer of 1988, I was speaking with another friend who was excited to tell me about a trip she would be making to the Holy Land early the next year, and she invited me to go. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for!

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We left the United States on December 31, arriving in Israel on January 1; and arrived at Tantur, an ecumenical (that is, open for people of many faiths) study center founded by Pope Paul VI and administered by the University of Notre Dame. It is situated on the highest hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and we all went to the rooftop as the sun was setting. Lights began to flicker as we looked at Bethlehem.

We were silent as we savored the moment, until the silence was broken as someone began to sing:

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

Goose bumps rose on my arms and tears streamed down my face as it was dawning on me that I was really here: in the land of Jesus.

It was a wonderful, powerful journey. Upon returning home, I was happy to share pictures with anyone who was interested. One couple said: “If you ever hear of another trip like this. . .Sallie, why don’t you take a group to Israel?” The next day, I contacted the travel agent, and the following day, we had dates and a brochure. That was the first of five groups I gathered to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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Each group was different; and during each trip their was one place that was especially touching to me. How does one visit places so connected to our Christian history and not make connections to our own lives? Our own faith? I’d like to share just a few of my reflections from these special locations:

The Site of the VISITATION/ EIN KAREM: The place of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth brought my reflection of the dear women friends with whom I have shared life: my three blood sisters, my Sisters of St. Joseph, and women friends.

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Statue of the Visitation

SHEPHERD’S FIELD: Adjoining Bethlehem in the town of Beit Sahour is a site where shepherds had traditionally watched over their flocks. On one of my first visits, I could look across the valley and see small caves in the mountains, and I felt sure that one of those caves was the place where Jesus was born. Today, the site is overcome by a large housing settlement.

Photos of Shepard’s Field

THE WESTERN WALL/THE WAILING WALL: As a Christian, I was struck by the fact that we celebrate everything in light of the Resurrection. So, it was touching to me to have a ritual place to weep over the sorrows and sadnesses of our lives.

THE FRANCISCAN CHAPEL of the CENACLE: This Chapel is a place to recall the Last Supper; the “upper room” can be visited very nearby. Behind the altar, there is a beautiful bronze sculpture of the Last Supper, with Jesus at the center, and the Tabernacle in his very body. To the right of this sculpture is a doorway to the Sacristy, and on the other side of the door is a sculpture of a woman looking on. For me, she represents all of the women of the Church, looking on to the table where only men preside.

IMG_7104Sister Sallie with the singular woman,
looking into the last supper

These special places are all in the area of Jerusalem; but if I were to go North to the Galilee or South to the Negev, I could share their own places of remembrance as well.

In 2009, I was invited to become Director of the Biblical Study and Travel Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. In this position, I have had the great privilege of returning to Israel eight more times! Along with returning to the holy sites, I have become friends with so many of the people I see there, with ever deepening understanding of their lives.

I am ever grateful for the gift I have had to actually see and feel our Scriptures come to life!
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About the Author

sallie-sized-for-useSister Sallie Latkovich directs the Bible Study and Travel Program as well as the  Summer Institute at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. As a member of the Bible Deptartment, she teaches Biblical Foundations of Spirituality and The Bible For Ministry. She enjoys music, plays, and movies; and loves visiting family and friends.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine? Could you be mine?” – Fred Rogers

giphy (37)It’s hard for me to imagine a time when Mister Rogers Neighborhood (or its contemporary, animated spinoff, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood) didn’t exist. Clad in tennis shoes and cardigan sweaters, Mister Rogers sang his way into millions of homes, teaching us all some of the most important lessons in life: how to share, how to be kind, how to use our imaginations. And while all of these lessons still stick with me, and I would venture to guess with many of us, it’s the opening song that plays in my head when I think of Fred Rogers and his world. Would you be, could you be, my neighbor?

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Fred Rogers and Daniel Tiger share a sense of style

Of course I wanted to be Mister Rogers’s neighbor! Who wouldnt’ want to be invited into his cute little house, to feed his fish, get the mail from Mr. McFeely, and follow trolley to the neighborhood of make-believe? But as a child, I still thought of my neighbors as the people who lived on my block. I could tell you all about the Fernando’s, who lived next door and raised rabbits, or Harry O., who lived across the street and came over to visit and eat popsicles on the front porch. I wanted to be Mister Rogers’s neighbor, but I thought that meant that I wanted my family to move so we could live next door to him (maybe across from Sesame Street? I was always trying to figure out the geography of the PBS world my favorite characters inhabited to decide what real estate would be best.)

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Big Bird checks out real estate in the neighborhood

Now, as I think about Mister Rogers as an adult, I can’t help but wonder if he was ever taught by Sisters from the Congregation of St. Joseph. Committed to “move towards profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction,” the Congregation has been doing neighborly work for hundreds of years. The first Sisters of St. Joseph in LePuy, France, were tasked to go out and do whatever would bring about greater unity in society. These women worked to help all people, not just the person who happened to be next door. While they didn’t have Mister Rogers’s song to bring people together, they worked to bring harmony to the world in other ways.

 

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What makes a neighbor? It’s not just geography.

Today, we still work to “love and serve the dear neighbor,” much of it the same kind of work that Mister Rogers encouraged us to do as children: to be kind to the lonely, the alienated and the sick. To promote unity, peace and justice in society. To care for all creation in our universe. We understand that our neighbors are not only those from our block, from our city, or even from our country. The dear neighbor is all of us. Every person, in every city, in every country around the world.

Mister Rogers andhis neighbors

Mister Rogers loved all neighbors, kings and owls!

While Mister Rogers helped me learn how to tie my shoes and how to treat others, as a child I still didn’t understand the one important message that he was trying to convey in his song – we can all be his neighbor, because we are all neighbors with each other, no matter where we live. In this world, the unity and kindness that Mister Rogers encouraged can sometimes seem difficult to come by. But isn’t it easier to be kind to a neighbor, a person you share space with and greet with a wave as you get home from work? If we think of each other as neighbors, might it be easier to treat each other with the compassion and respect that we’re called to by God? And so I ask, in all earnestness, would you be, could you be, my neighbor? giphy (41).gif

About the Author

Elizabeth-Powers,-WebElizabeth Powers is the Electronic Communications Coordinator for the Congregation of St. Joseph and manages the blog, Beyond the Habit. She sometimes acts as a contributing writer when faced with a particularly poignant, sister-inspired moment. She loves reading, writing, Harry Potter, and PBS.

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Miss Clavel in Tanzania: Learning to See the World Upside Down

By Sister Jackie Goodin

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines”

I hold onto a favorite childhood memory, I think from when I was five years old. My mother held my hand as we crossed the broad downtown streets to the grand Columbus Public Library. There, we found Ludwig Bemelman’s classic children’s book, Madeline. This was the beginning of my love of books. (Never read Madeline or want a refresher? You can listen to the book being narrated here.)

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Somehow, the persona of Miss Clavel, the matron of those twelve little Parisian girls who “walked in two straight lines” during their time in Catholic boarding school, has stayed with me. (I’m still working on developing my Madeline persona—but that’s for another blog!)

Of course, don’t we all know that there is not too much in life that is as ordered, structured, and tidy as “two straight lines?” I certainly learned this lesson again and again during my five years in Tanzania, from 2010 to 2014.

Do you see two straight lines
Do You See Two Straight Lines?

Oh, I started out as a Miss Clavel at St. Joseph Hostel (“a boarding school without the school” as I describe it, since the girls at the hostel live and study their, but actually attend classes at a nearby school. ) But soon, I  had to abandon this persona as I guided teenage girls during their years of high school, and learned that nothing moves in “two straight lines” for teenagers! You parents of teenage girls are laughing at me now, I’m sure.

My time with the girls and the other Sisters of St. Joseph with whom I served, from India, Brazil, and Canada, transformed my life and gave me a world view that is much more up-side-down than from the perspective I had previously; one of a person from a first world nation.

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Another sister from the hostel,
with a kindergarten student

So, it was with great excitement and gratitude that I was able to return to my second “home” in southwestern Tanzania for two months at the end of 2016. I was asked to fill in at the Hostel for a Sister who had returned to her home country for medical treatment. Fortunately, I knew what to expect this time around, so I left my Miss Clavel identity back in the U.S. (Well, I did feel like I was forever straightening desks and tables into nice lines in the Hostel’s classrooms and dining room! But otherwise, I kept Miss Clavel in check!)

It's been a long day!
It’s Been a Long Day!

The girls were studying frantically towards their final examinations since the school year  in Tanzania runs from January to December. I was there to help them stay on task, but certainly not to keep their spirits in two straight lines. In fact, the girls have taught me over the years to find your own lines–whether they be dashed, squiggled, curvey, and yes, sometimes straight!

And what happens at the end of a school year? Of course, graduation! It was my joy to attend two kindergarten graduations, and to be with Tanzanian children who took me back to my Madeline years—but, oh, in a very different setting!

Madeline has the giggles
Which Girl Might be Our Own “Madeline”?
Maybe the One with the Giggles?

Not one darn straight line in sight, with children running around, one hand grabbing their flying-off-the-head graduation caps. Wonderful free-form dancing by the children and their families that had even this old Miss Clavel moving her hips and clapping her hands.

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Everyone Dances!

Delighting in watching even the smallest graduate keeping rhythm on a goat-skin covered drum. Sharing in the parents’ pride in their children, particularly in a country where every year of education is a privilege.

Keeping the beat!
Keeping the Beat!

Congratulating the teachers and staff for their love of the children and their hard work teaching them ABC’s and numbers in Swahili. And finally, loving the Sisters of St. Joseph who work so hard each and every day in an adopted culture to support the dream of universal education for Tanzanian children. All culminates in graduation day!

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A Big Accomplishment!

The country, the language, and the culture are not my own. However, there is no better way to experience the one-ness of the human family than to be immersed in a different culture or place. Once again, I experienced our Creator’s divine dream to bring all into one family—and what a fun way to dance into this reality!

Proud mother with graduate
A Proud Mother and her Graduate!

Parents are parents, children are children, teachers are teachers, and Sisters of St. Joseph are all the same wherever we are! And this Miss Clavel will never be the same for it!

 

About the Author

Sr JackieSister Jackie Goodin worked as a librarian at the Cleveland Public Library for 10 years prior to joining the Congregation of St. Joseph (and is still a pretty good whiz at book trivia!) Since receiving her Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University, she has held several positions as a Clinical Social Worker. She is a darn good cookie baker, and loves to read detective stories from around the world.

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Sisters Wear An Invisibility Cloak Every Day!

Confession: I am a Harry Potter fanatic. I have read the books and seen the movies more times than I can count, and could recite most of the lines for you if asked (no one does :-). So, it should be no surprise that in a recent meeting when a sister said, “I’m just going to put on my invisibility cloak,” my mind immediately went to young Harry, opening his first ever Christmas present, and finding an invisibility cloak inside. If you’re unfamiliar with the movies or this particular scene, you can watch it here.

giphy (27)The cloak ends up playing amajor role inHarry Potter lore. Harry, along with fellow wizards-in-training Ron and Hermione, use the cloak to get into all manner of mischief, from sneaking around the castle to playing pranks on friends, but then ultimately using it in their quest to defeat the villain of the series, Lord Voldemort. But the sisters’ comment that day got me thinking. The invisibility cloak from the Harry Potter series is very much like the “invisibility cloaks” often worn by women religious as they move about and minister in our communities.

Here are 5 things Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and sisters have in common:

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  1. They move around the world unseen.
    While they are not using their invisibility to sneak past teachers in the hall, the invisibility cloaks of sisters do allow them to move through the world without being noticed. Since Sisters of St. Joseph no longer wear the habit that many people still associate with women religious, they are once again able to move through our communities without calling attention to themselves, as they did way back in 1650 France when they first formed. Wearing plain clothes means sisters are no longer seen as “separate” or on a “spiritual pedestal,” but it also means you may not know when you are seeing a sister.
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  2. They work for the good of others.
    More often than not when employing the invisibility cloak, the characters in Harry Potter have altruistic goals. They are trying to uncover the keys to a perceived danger or help a friend escape trouble. In this same way, the invisibility of sisters is used for good. The Sisters of St. Joseph’ mission is to bring all into unity with God, with one another, and with all creation. They, along with their partners in mission, do this through prayer, direct service and ministry, standing with and for the poor and vulnerable, and advocating for systemic change. By putting themselves in the background, they are able to focus on the needs of others and our world.giphy (24).gif
  3.  Many people don’t know about them.
    “There are still nuns?” “How would I have known you’re a sister?” “Why don’t you wear a habit?” You’d be surprised how often we hear these questions. We know that there are many sisters living and working in communities all over the country and the world. But many people’s idea of what a sister is, or should be, means that they don’t see sisters in their lives. Just as many of the adults in Harry Potter don’t suspect that the students are using an invisibility cloak to get around undetected, many people don’t realize that sisters are around either! In fact, you’ve probably talked to or seen a sister out in the community and not even realized it.
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  4. They helps us in our most human moments.
    Ok, so I know that humans are not actually invisible. But in a poignant scene, Harry has just learned that his parents were betrayed by one of their best friends. Upset, he uses the invisibility cloak to seek solitude in his pain. Who hasn’t wished for the ability to disappear from the world in times of trouble? But what is even more important about this scene is that Harry’s friends don’t just let him go off on his own. They follow him, letting him lean on them for support. While sisters may seem to wear an invisibility cloak to much of the world, they are also always surrounded by a community of other sisters who understand their struggles and support them in their most human moments.giphy (34).gif
  5. They are an unexpected gift.
    When Harry comes downstairs on that first Christmas morning at the castle, he does not expect to receive any presents. He has never received Christmas gifts at all, let alone a gift that is such a magical, and ultimately important, one. When one becomes a sister, the gift of invisibility is not one that is expected. But their ability to do good in the world, to move through our communities and help others sight unseen, is a true gift.giphy (35).gif

So the next time you watch Harry Potter, remember the Sisters of St. Joseph and how, like Harry, they sometimes wear invisibility cloaks. While you may not always be able to see them, they are still here, working in the world and praying Jesus prayer, “that all may be one.”

About the Author

Elizabeth-Powers,-WebElizabeth Powers is the Electronic Communications Coordinator for the Congregation of St. Joseph and manages the blog, Beyond the Habit. She sometimes acts as a contributing writer when faced with a particularly poignant, sister-inspired moment. She loves reading, writing, and Harry Potter.

Welcome to My House: An Anthropological Study

By Sister Carol Crepeau

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Welcome! I want to invite you into my house, my home. It’s actually an almost-100-year-old-farm-house-turned-rectory that the Sisters of St. Joseph rent from an Episcopal parish. Two of us live here in Helena House, Sister Jackie and I, but in reality many in our Congregation and neighborhood have experienced this homes warmth.

Thinking about our house I started wondering, what would an anthropologist, that is, one who tries to figure out what makes humans human, who studies the origins, the behaviors, the physical, social, cultural reality and the developments of humans, say about Sister Jackie, me, and our house?

I’ll bet that an anthropologist (let’s name her “Ms. Anthropologist”) would concentrate on three aspects of Helena House:

  • The Dining Room
  • The Deck
  • The Refrigerator Door

These three areas could serve as symbols, or even better, examples, of what make my housemate and I most human, most whole, and, hopefully, most holy.

I would imagine that, upon visiting our home, Ms. Anthropologist would have questions for us about these three areas. For example, why, since there are two sisters living in the house, do you have a dining room table that seats ten?

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In a very real way, our dining room table is as sacred as an altar in a church. The Sisters of St Joseph was first founded in 1650 in Le Puy, France by a Jesuit priest and six women in a kitchen that contained a large table. For Sisters of St Joseph, gathering for a meal is an extension of Jesus dining with friends. If we squeeze together at our table, we can even seat 12!

Ms. Anthropologist might then ask, why the deck? The deck is our outside gathering place for experiencing life in Spring, Summer and Fall. Often times we are visited by seven deer, including a buck, two pairs of mourning doves, countless warblers, one yellow tail hawk and of course robins, cardinals and blue jays, chipmunks and squirrels. There is something wholly perfect about wine, cheese, close friends, neighbors and nature.

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Finally, Ms. Anthropologist might ask about the refrigerator door. After all, aren’t most people interested in the contents of the refrigerator?

But for us, our refrigerator door is really an illustration of our lives. It is our bulletin board, art gallery, and where we post artifacts of significant people, places and things in our lives. When Ms. Anthropologist studies the refrigerator, she will see a number of magnets, each symbolizing some significant realities in the lives of myself and Jackie. Magnets from places we’ve been: New Orleans, Le Puy, Seal Beach, Tanzania. In the center of the door, right now, is a photo of an Air Force Doctor hugging his daughters’ good-bye as he leaves for deployment in Afghanistan – he is Jackie’s nephew, Matt.

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Ms. Anthropologist might notice a couple of magnets with quotes on them:

“You would make a great nun.”

And my favorite

“DANCE as though no one is watching you, LOVE as though you have never been hurt before, SING as though no one can hear you, LIVE as though heaven is on earth – Souza”

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On one side of our refrigerator lives our list for the store. On the other? The refrigerator bulletins the photos of the next generation of children in our families – Ms. Anthropologist might see Mason, Charlie, Gracie, Jack, Lila…the most recent photos, all depending on our families’ current Facebook activity.

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Finally, Ms. Anthropologist should know that there are two principles of spirituality that underpin life at Helena House:

St Irenaeus in the third century proclaimed, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

Jean Pierre Medaille SJ, our Congregation’s primary founder, wrote: “Let the Sisters live that they will become fully human, in glory and grace, with God and the dear neighbor.”

Hopefully, Ms. Anthropologist’s study, and our own, concludes that Helena House is truly a warm, welcoming, unpretentious, real home, and that hospitality, a core value of the Sisters of St Joseph, is an important reality for the two humans who live in this home.

About the Author

Sr. Carol photo editedSister Carol Crepeau, CSJ ministers as a facilitator and leader of group dynamics for non-profits. Guiding the annual Congregation of St Joseph Pilgrimage to LePuy and Lyon, France is one of the most wonderful activities of her life. She also enjoys a good book and gathering with friends for prayer and conversation.

 

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Keeping Focus During First Communion

By Sister Jean McGrath

After many years as principal in a large parish school, spring time has become synonymous with First Communion. For weeks preceding the celebration, the anticipation increases exponentially for our second graders. Because I began my career in education as a second grade teacher, the event always holds special significance and an awareness that although times have changed, the day is always a memory maker.

Despite my best attempts to provide age appropriate theological reflection on the significance of the sacrament, attention to other details often took precedence over my desire to plan grace-filled days of preparation.

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First, there was the dress.  Would the church be filled with mini brides and prom queen wannabes? Move over Louis Viutton, our communicants had beautiful white plastic purses with mini missalettes and tiny white gloves inside.

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The boys were at their sartorial best, often in bow ties and suits that suggested a board room position at the local law firm.

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First Communion cakes were adorned with lilies, crosses, and gold cups the size of small kettles.

My how things have changed!

Today, First Communion gifts like silver miraculous medals have been replaced with iPhone 6s.

Perhaps the greatest evolution has been in the way we encourage the communicants to be on their best behavior. “Be good because your guardian angel is on your shoulder” is now, “Be good, the videos are capturing every moment.”

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One could easily be discouraged. Did we lose the beautiful meaning of this precious sacrament to the commercialism of pretty dresses and after mass parties?

Absolutely not!

On the Monday after First Communion I ask the second graders to tell me about the most special part of the day. “When I went to Mass yesterday, I had my second Holy Communion with my mom and dad.” “My Nana gave me her rosary.” My personal favorite from last year: “When I was in Church, I felt like Jesus really loves me even more.”

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Each year at the beginning of the First Communion Liturgy, our Director of Religious Education invites all present to close their eyes and think about their own First Communion and about the child who invited them to this very special Mass. Each year it is a moment of grace for me as I think about the thousands of Communions I have had since my first. I invite you to do the same. You may be amazed at the graces and blessings you will remember.

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But be careful, the videos will be rolling.

About the Author

JeanMcGrath

 

Sister Jean McGrath is principal at St. John Fisher School in Chicago and enjoys a good book, a good conversation, and a great bargain.

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Can We Talk? Speaking the Language Known ‘Round the World

By Sister Mary Jo Curtsinger

Oi! That’s Portuguese for “Hi!” I’m writing today from Itu, Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Sisters of St. Joseph have just finished hosting an encontro, or gathering, of younger sisters and mentors in Latin America.

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You can find Sisters of St. Joseph
all over Latin America, and the world!

What’s a sister from Chicago doing at a meeting for Latinas in Brazil? Happily, I was invited (I didn’t just crash the party!) and I jumped at the chance.

It turned out there were almost a hundred of us—many from Brazil, as well as some from Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, and Haiti. There was also a sister from Mozambique, one from India, myself from Illinois as well as a sister from West Virgina. Yes, Sister Barb McCartney and I were the only two from the Global North. We were welcomed with love beyond imagination, yet it was an enlightening experience to be the relative “outsiders” as English speakers.

All sisters
We all came together,
and learned to work through the language barrier!

So, okay, let’s talk “language.”

Our presenters spoke Spanish, which was mostly understood by the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians. Every once in a while, the women listening to Spanish with Portuguese “ears” would raise their hands and say the Portuguese equivalent of “wait, wait, I don’t know what the heck you just said!” The Haitian sisters spoke French and Creole, but their mentor understood Spanish, and so translated for them.

Sister Barb and I knew enough Spanish between us to get us into conversation with other sisters, but nowhere close to enough to get us all the way through. So luckily, we were provided with the translation services of Brazilian Sister Bette. Other sisters sometimes pitched in to help Sister Bette get ideas across to Sister Barb and me (It took a village!)

 

Mary Jo and other sisters

That’s me, on the left, with Sister Barb (right),
smiling because Sister Bette (middle) had our back!

Sometimes we could feel the discombobulation of it all. But, for the most part…it worked! It’s amazing how quickly sunny smiles and warm hugs break the ice! And the Latina sisters communicated unsparingly with these affectionate media. Song and dance-y movement introduced every session.

The purpose of coming together, after all, was to open ourselves more deeply to our common spirituality and life: echoing together the prayer of Jesus that all might be one, ourselves with the dear neighbor “without distinction,” even as we are one in God (John 17:21). One could expect a good bit of relating in such a group, right?

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Communication can come
in many forms, even a conga line!

The ingenuity of the organizers was in fashioning many of the prayer times such that they were less dependent on words. Prayer was often centered on gesture and music, images and imagination, symbol and gazing. In so doing, we were able to share our hearts without the frustration of the language barrier. Upon reflection, I realized that this freed up some of my energy while staying totally engaged. It was quite moving, really.

And heavens to Betsy! These Brazilian sisters knew a LOT of songs in common! It felt like we were hanging out with Maria and the von Trapp family singers. There were also evening dances that were crazy fun. For one, sisters wore traditional ethnic dress; for the other, the Brazilian sisters kept the contemporary tunes flowing. We didn’t need to speak the same language to understand the joy in song and dance!

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Song and dance is joyful,
no matter your language!

So, what I observed is that my Latina sisters’ spirituality is very much embodied. They are very comfortable in their own skin, and relate to one another with touch, embrasos y besos (hugs & kisses) as well as pats on the shoulder and hand-holding. And there are always vibrant smiling eyes to meet one another.

What an amazing trip! What a wonderful way to remember and deepen our understanding that we are “bearers of the tradition,” carriers of the charism of unity and reconciliation, at the same time as our Sisters and Associates of St. Joseph all around the world. We are all more the same than we are different, all speaking in the language of unity and love. I’m leaving Brazil with a deeper sense of gratitude for the gift of belonging to the “Congregation of the Great Love of God.”

Obrigada! That’s Portuguese for “thank you!”

About the Author
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Sister Mary Jo Curtsinger is a former school psychologist and high school teacher of theology. She is now working on a doctoral degree at Catholic Theological Union. She loves movies, dancing, and little kids.