VOLUME 6 • NO. 2 • 2005
Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH OF THE THIRD ORDER OF ST. FRANCIS Dedication to Jesus Christ involves us intimately in the liberating and reconciling Gathering Place is published to keep
mission—to make God more deeply known and loved, and in so doing, draw all persons to fuller and freer life.
the public informed of the mission and ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the
Together with all our sisters and brothers who strive for a more just world, we undertake those activities which will promote the material and spiritual development of the human family.
Third Order of St. Francis.
Peace and Justice
EDITOR Reneta E.Webb, Ph.D., CAE
EDITORIAL BOARD Sr. Carlene Blavat Sr. Carolyn Bronk Sr. Judith David Sr.Valerie Kulbacki-Central Board Liaison Dr. Arlene Lennox Sr. Marygrace Puchacz Sr. MaryLou Wojtusik Sr. Jane Zoltek
One of the hardest things Jesus asked of those who would follow Him was to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.” (Matt 5:43) “Enemy
Sr. Mary Adalbert Stal Sr. Dolores Mary Koza Sr. Louise Szerpicki
love,” as Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit phrased it. That is the ultimate requirement of those who would break the cycle of war, disrespect and injustice. How can one person ever hope to approach this ideal? First, be grounded deeply in the Word of God. Second, realize that you are not doing it alone. Bringing Jesus’ message of peace into the world depends on individuals joining together in shared consciousness and unified efforts to change the systems that are violent and unjust to those that are peaceful and just — “swords into plowshares.” In this issue of Gathering Place, you are invited to let the messages of peace and justice resonate in your heart.
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VOLUME 6 • NO. 2 • 2005
Letter from the President
A Peace that Surpasses Understanding
Sr. Rosanna Hodik enters the novitiate; Sr. Barbara Anne Gluck professes Final Vows
In the News
The foundation of our decisions about peace and justice lie in the very definition we give to those concepts. From the eyes of persons committed to JustFaith, we are invited to shape our own vision of “What is Peace? What is Justice?”
Sr. Alice Myslinski - (Sarah) 2005 Peacemaker of the Year
Sister Bernadette Nowakowski
Peace and justice are common to the hearts of people over the entire earth.There is something truly human about peace and justice that, in spite of the differences, draws people to live in loving and caring community. Documents such as the principles of social justice of the Catholic Church and the SSJ-TOSF Core Values of Mission Effectiveness reflect this common spirit.
The 100th Monkey
Sister Alice Burmistrz (Sapientia)
Exerpt from the book by Ken Keyes, Jr.
Sister Carmelita Marie Lubanski
The Social Justice Commission
Sister Alma Kobylak
Sister Rudolphine Slarski Sister Carmelita Kus
The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis have been part of the 8th Day Center for Justice for twenty-five years. 8th Day Center is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, 2005. We join with them in pursuing their vision “...and on the 8th day God invites us to be co-creators in building a more just and harmonious world.”
Sister Alice Graniczny (Bronisia)
Sister Virginette Jedrzejewski
8th Day Center
Sr.Valerie Kulbacki - (Joachim) in “Go Back and Be Happy”
By Mary Koszarek Wuller & Jerry Wuller
The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis have a Social Justice Commission whose purpose is to promote the material and spiritual welfare of the human family. Their insights into the understanding of peace and justice guide the efforts of the congregation. Sister Dorothy Pagosa, Chairperson Sister Marcia Lambert Sister Rose Grabowski (Carolyn) Sister Mary Helen Jaczkowski
We Stand for Peace and Justice An international grassroots statement of peace and justice.
In response to readers’ requests, we are including the names of the sisters as they were known before the return to baptismal names.
The spirit of St. Francis is a spirit of peace, a peace that springs from justice—right relationship with God, with others, and with our earth, the setting where we live out our values. In some dramas, the setting is of little consequence—the actors’ script is so powerful that the setting doesn’t matter. In other dramas, the setting means everything, and provides the key for interpreting the relationship between the actors. The latter, I think, is the case in the unfolding, time-sensitive saga of human-to-human and human-to-God relationship on planet earth.The setting, the earth on which we live, is the very ground of our being.The human species is made of earth—it is our mother. Is it possible that the injustices in our relationships with each other (for example, the economic disparity between nations) stem from a misperception of our relationship to our world, our planet? If earth is our mother, then we are all sisters and brothers, and all that comes from the earth is kin. However, if earth is viewed simply as material to be used, subdued, and exploited, then conflict over who uses, subdues, and exploits it is inevitable. For their Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. Catholic Bishops selected as their slogan Pope Paul VI’s statement “If you want peace, work for justice.” But changing unjust structures can be dangerous work, and may even serve as a prelude to martyrdom, because those whose benefits are threatened respond in a swift and lethal counterpoint to anyone who challenges their supremacy in the global economy. The East-West global tensions today have stolen our peace, and threaten any future security. Poet-mystics, bridging not only East and West, but spanning centuries as well, have reached across the chasms of culture and time to show us the way. Illustrating this are lines from a Sufi poem by Hafiz of Shiraz, a poet of 14th Century Persia (modern day Iran), and some lines from William Blake, a British Christian poet of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. IN A HANDFUL OF GOD –Hafiz In a handful of the sky and earth, In a handful of God, We cannot count All the ecstatic lovers who are dancing there Behind the mysterious veil.
AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE –Blake To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
Our own poet-mystic, Francis, in his Canticle of Brother Sun, shows an even deeper reverence for creatures and for all of creation, acknowledging their intimate connectedness by addressing each with a title of kinship. To understand our stage, our setting, is to realize that we are on holy ground—it is neither mine, nor yours, but ours—and not ours to exploit but to cherish and respect.To understand our setting is to realize the peace that comes with justice.
Jeanne Conzemius, SSJ-TOSF President
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by Mary Koszarek Wuller and Jerry Wuller
Our friend William Jackson is incarcerated for life without parole in a Mississippi prison. In his weekly correspondence with us, he “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you. That is the Law of the Prophets.” Gospel of Matthew
often writes of a peace that surpasses understanding. In the midst of oppressive heat, inhumane treatment, and false accusations from fellow inmates, William finds inner joy because of God’s presence in his life. “Nothing can separate me from the love of God” is his theme, and he often finds himself thinking or singing about God’s amazing grace. Ten years ago we met William at a prison prayer service. Then strangers, we are now close friends—and what wonderful gifts of peace and understanding God has given us through each other! What is the source of peace? Where does one find the fountain that cleanses us of hatred, bitterness, envy, jealousy, greed, vengeance, recrimination, and a need to control others? What turns enemies into peace-seekers and strangers into friends? Where does one find the peace the world cannot give? We are finding answers to these questions. We have become members of a growing group
“The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to shake our ancient predjudices, and to build the earth.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
of peace-seekers. Every Sunday evening the group meets on the front steps of St. Francis Xavier Church, at a busy intersection in St. Louis. Together we pray silently for l5 minutes; then we share announcements, readings, and music to guide us in the ways of peace. Passing drivers often honk their horns or give us “thumbs up” signs. Infrequently we hear a shout of disapproval or derision. The “Hope in the Dark” readings we share at this vigil often quote Jesus of Nazareth, Mohandas Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, who remind us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. A few weeks ago two reporters from Brazil joined us and thanked us most sincerely for showing them that not all U.S. citizens are for war. At these weekly vigils, which have been taking place since 9/ll/01, we often experience a deep peace and harmony. Each vigil concludes with the evening’s leader reminding us, “Friends, this is joyous work!” We are fully convinced that our Loving Creator has gifted us and every living being with unconditional love. Each of us is made in the image and likeness of the One who is mercy. God loves us just as we are, with our strengths and weaknesses, our successes and failures, our holiness and sinfulness, our wheat and weeds. In fact, Jesus reminds us not to judge ourselves or others at all. God can draw forth good from evil. God’s love pours forth into our hearts, a love so lavish that we are encouraged and empowered to love others. But first of all love ourselves! So we are asked to stop beating on ourselves for our imperfections and failings. We are asked to accept those parts of our lives of which we have been ashamed. Holy Wisdom, the Divine Sophia, waits with open arms to invite us to her table, spread with fine wines and wonderful food, there to feast on divine mercy that heals our hurts and turns our sufferings and failures into compassion for others. The Holy One opens our eyes to see strangers as friends, enemies as fellow seekers for peace and inner harmony. Our ears are opened to hear the stories of the poor, the sick, the lonely, the homeless. We begin to recognize the awesome reality that God has truly made a home in each one of us. We are ONE—one with the divine and one with each other! When we are graced with this understanding, we have arrived. We are at home. We celebrate our family. It is a joyous work to share this understanding, to proclaim the good news to others. The gospel message of Jesus is, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you—a peace which the world cannot give” (Jn 14:27). After being nourished at the divine banquet, we feel impelled to go forth and share our experiences of God’s compassion and mercy with those who are still seeking, those who feel excluded, those who find no place at the table. So we are challenged to bring the excluded, the marginalized, the outcasts, the poor and broken to a place
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of respect and healing and belonging. This is difficult work. It is the work of justice. Love and compassion take us into the lives of the powerless, where quick fixes and easy solutions are impossible or counterproductive. Jesus reminds his disciples,“Some evils are only cast out by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:21). Sometimes our only recourse is to fast with the hungry, to weep with those who weep. But like Mary Magdalene meeting the risen Jesus, we are happily amazed to experience Jesus in the least of his sisters and brothers. We stand in solidarity with those who hold candles in the darkness of this night, a night where our taxes buy weapons of war and destruction, a night where the rich get richer but the poor get poorer. We seek to reduce our own consumption of resources, to avoid stores which pay low wages and deny employees health benefits. [The Franciscan Sisters of Mary, both as a Congregation and as individuals, no longer purchase from Wal-Mart or its subsidiary, Sam’s Club, after research into their management and operating practices. (FSM Magazine, Fall 2004, p. 10.)] We “That nature only is use alternative news sources to inform ourselves about unjust world congood when it shall not ditions and the U.S. role in terrorism. Thus we try to avoid the “manufacdo unto another whatever is not good for its own self.” tured consent” to consumerism, capitalism, and international violence Dadistan-i-Dinik: which is obvious in most U.S. media sources. We use money and time to Zoroastrianism promote works of peace and justice. We participate frequently with other peacemakers and justice seekers in prayer vigils, fundraisers, and actions in support of immigrants, the homeless, the jobless, and the abandoned. The works of peace and justice are holy and joyous. We feel privileged to share our gifts and to thank the Giver of all good gifts. Sometimes we peacemakers embrace each other as we share the kiss of peace; sometimes we celebrate by sharing food, song, even dance! We know a peace that surpasses understanding. Marvelous indeed. God be praised!
Mary Koszarek Wuller (formerly Sr. Clare) was a SSJTOSF member from 1953 to 1971, then moved to St. Louis and worked as a religious educator and spiritual advisor. She received a PhD. in Theology from St. Louis University in 1989. Since her retirement she has been involved in parish leadership, peace activities, and prison ministry. Her husband Jerry, a retired pharmacist, volunteers in immigrant legal aid and other social justice ministries.
The web site for JustFaith is: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/justfaith
Right Relationships Peace and justice are common to the hearts of people over the entire earth. There is something truly human about living in peace and justice that, in spite of differences, draws people to live in loving and caring community. That is why when people clearly state their fundamental beliefs about the relationships they strive to maintain with God, the Church, other nations, and people they meet every day, the statements have a similar spirit.
“No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Hadith: Islam
The Catholic Church has articulated its social teaching in a variety of documents beginning with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (May 15, 1891) through Pope John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus (May 1, 1991) and his message to the faithful for the World Day of Peace (January 2004). The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis have articulated their stance regarding the values upon which they conduct their mission and ministry. The key principles of Catholic social teaching and the fundamental values of the SSJ-TOSF congregation resonate a common Spirit. All the statements carry a message grounded in the message of Jesus, “Peace I give you, my peace I leave with you. A peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Key Principles of Catholic Social Teaching
Core Values of Mission Effectiveness of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
HUMAN DIGNITY The Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the person is the foundation of our moral vision for society. The late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin challenged us to have a reverent regard for life in all its aspects, to see it as “a seamless garment” from conception to natural death. COMMUNITY AND THE COMMON GOOD
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The common good is a value that works together with the good of the individual. The role of government and other institutions is to protect human life and human dignity and promote the common good.
DIGNITY OF EACH PERSON We reverence the sacredness of all life. We believe in the potential, uniqueness and worth of each individual. We treat people with fairness and respect, work to assure their rights, and nurture relationships which enhance each person’s well-being.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES Healthy community living requires loving give and take. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human dignity. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families and to the larger society. HOSPITALITY OPTION FOR THE POOR AND VULNERABLE When Jesus spoke of the Last Judgment, the standard of virtue was the treatment of the poor and the powerless. Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring — those with special needs, those who are poor and on the margins of society.
We provide welcome, acceptance, and places of prayer to people in need, especially the poor and the marginalized. We open our hearts and services to people, committing ourselves to efforts that both affirm and empower. We respond to the whole person, addressing the needs of those we serve.
PARTICIPATION PARTNERSHIP It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured participation in the economic, political and cultural life of society. Conversely, it is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. DIGNITY OF WORK AND RIGHTS OF WORKERS The economy must serve people, not the other way around. The dignity of work is to be protected and the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property and to economic initiative.
We affirm our mutual relationships in a shared call to ministry. We value our partners and co-workers in ministry, and the time, talent and gifts which are shared in the continuation of mission. We foster the strengthening of local leadership which enables the creative and innovative development of gifts, the modeling of respect and cooperation in relationships with co-workers and the practice of participative decision-making.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” Gospel of Matthew
STEWARDSHIP OF CREATION We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. Through our responsible stewardship of the environment and all its gifts, we show respect for the Creator. STEWARDSHIP SOLIDARITY
“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire law, all the rest is commentary.” The Talmud: Judaism
We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic or ideological differences. Solidarity means that “loving our neighbor” has global dimensions in an interdependent world.
We recognize our responsibility towards creation and the just use of resources. We pursue resources to meet the needs of the underserved and the poor. We evidence Christian stewardship by just and fair allocation of human, spiritual, physical and financial resources, and conservation of resources.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT Government is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. The functions of government should be performed at the lowest level of social organization possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. If they cannot, then a higher level of government should intervene to provide help.
COMPASSION We empathize with another’s suffering. We act with non-judgmental understanding, encouraging reconciliation in relationships. We actively listen and are present to those we serve. We commit our energies to non-violence.
PROMOTION OF PEACE Peace is an interior state of being which spills over into positive action. Pope John Paul II said,“Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements.” Peace is the fruit of justice and right relationships. 7
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These core values can be found on the SSJ-TOSF web site. Click the “Vision & Mission” button at: www.ssj-tosf.org.
8 Day Center for th
For thirty years, the staff of 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago, Illinois, has been doing together what they would not be able to do alone. “...and on the 8th day God invites us to be co-creators in building a more just and harmonious world,” says their tag line. Thirty years ago, six congregations of women and men religious “(Peace) is the abundance joined together to network in their efforts toward justice of life which Jesus Christ promised he had brought. It has all to do and harmony. Today there are over forty communities with an harmonious co-existence working through the 8th Day Center to address the issues with one’s neighbors in a wholesome of violence and injustice. They join together to assure that environment allowing persons to become more and more justice work has a future. fully human.”
As the first staff members drew together in 1975 to establish the 8th Day Center, there were common understandings of how the group would work together. To this day, there is no “executive director” of the Center. All members work collaboratively in an organic, consensus based network. “We hope to model what we say,” says one staff member. “There is a commitment to the wisdom of the group.” “Together the outcome is qualitatively different,” says another. The approach that is taken in the internal dynamics of the 8th Day Center is reflected in the way the staff works together with external entities for sustainable peace and justice. They seek out people and organizations that can bring about change in the systems that perpetuate destruction, violence and injustice. Together with these kindred spirits, they seek to coalesce the movements that influence systems toward peace and justice.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
To this end, the staff formulated the mission and vision of 8th Day Center: As religious communities of men and women grounded in the hope of the Scriptures and our Christian faith and tradition, we collaborate in the struggle to provide a critical alternative voice to the systems that suppress the human community and environment, and to work for the structural changes which will hasten the arrival of a more just world. The spirituality of justice calls the staff of the 8th Day Center to envision a world of right relationships in which all creation is seen as sacred and interconnected. In such a world, all people are equal and free from oppression, have a right to the just distribution of resources, and are called to live in harmony with the cosmos. For twenty-five of the thirty years of the 8th Day Center’s existence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis have been a part of its staff. The congregation’s involvement began in 1978 with Sister Rosita Wisniewski and her vision of the role that the SSJ-TOSFs could play in furthering the cause of peace and justice. She invited Sister Sandy LoPorto to serve on the staff of the 8th Day Center, financially supported by the congregation. Sr. Sandy was keenly aware of the importance of the work of 8th Day Center having dedicated herself to service of the economically deprived of inner city Detroit. She knew the injustices of the systems that keep people in the cycle of poverty. At the time of Sr. Rosita’s invitation, Sr. Sandy was working in a hockey sock factory, immersing herself in the day to day struggles of the working poor. She brought her experience to the 8th Day Center and dedicated herself to the causes of women’s issues and the issues of peace. She spent seven years developing coalitions to prevent the production of the MX missile, creating a sensitivity to sexist language, championing the Equal Rights amendment, working against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and raising consciousness about the militarization of society. “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Udana-varqa: Buddhism
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Sr. Sandy left the 8th Day Center in 1985. She became the Chair of the Social Concerns efforts for the Sisters of St. Joseph, TOSF. In that capacity, she organized the Social Concerns Commission, developed criteria for responsible investing, established the parameters of the congregation’s Social Concerns Contribution Fund. When the groundwork was laid for these projects, Sr. Sandy returned to working directly with the minores. For several years, she provided healthcare to AIDS patients. Today, she provides health care for homeless men with health problems at St. Joseph Home in Cleveland, Ohio.
At the time that Sr. Sandy left the 8th Day Center, Sister Jane Blabolil joined the staff. She served there for a year (1985-86) before she left for Peru to continue her ministry with the SSJ-TOSFs in Tahuantinsuyo near Lima. Sister Dorothy Pagosa joined the staff at the 8th Day Center in 1986. The quest for peace and justice shook to importance when, in her second year of novitiate, Sr. Dorothy spent three months at the 8th Day Center, working along with Sr. Sandy. When Sr. Dorothy made her final vows, she took an additional vow of non-violence. Except for two years of parish pastoral work, all of Sr. Dorothy’s ministry has been spent as a staff member of the 8th Day Center. Over the last nineteen years, Sr. Dorothy has been a persistent voice for those who have no voice, a non-violent person in the midst of anger and greed, a reconciling spirit in the human community and consciousnessraiser for us all. On the occasion of her being selected the 2003 Peacemaker of the Year by the Franciscan Federation, Sr. Dorothy stated,“This is exactly where I see the ideals of Francis and Clare being lived. Francis always sided with the poor and the marginalized. He left the protection of the city to live among the outcasts. In a world where money and consumerism were taking hold, he took a stand for Gospel living. This flowed from his conviction that there is a connectedness, a oneness with all creation. His Canticle of the Sun praises God in ALL of creation. Thus, there was no distinction between rich or poor, Sultan or leper, Pope or peasant.”
“Peace is a state of mind, not a state of the nation.” Marilyn Ferguson
The spirit of the 8th Day Center for Justice flourishes at this milestone of its 30th Anniversary. And after twenty-five years, the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis continues to blend with those of other religious communities in the efforts toward peace and justice.
The web site for the 8th Day Center for Justice is: www.8thdaycenter.org
Monkey A story about social change by Ken Keyes, Jr.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne (Devotions XVII)
The Japanese monkey,Macaca fuscata,had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers, too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958, all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
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Then something startling took place. In the summer of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning, there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.
THEN IT HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough! But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea. Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which, if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone! This is an excerpt from the book by Ken Keyes, Jr.,“The Hundredth Monkey”
What is Peace? What is Justice?
by Sister Dorothy Pagosa
What is peace? I am still striving to learn, but this is what I have discerned so far. Peace is a sense of completeness — of wholeness. It is a sense of connectedness with all of creation and God. It is recognizing that there is more similarity between us than there are differences. We get spurts of feeling peace. Sometimes it happens during prayer. Even when we are uncomfortable, we can be at peace, for it is a state of our soul’s being. St. Francis of Assisi, I believe, understood that. Living among those impoverished in his society could not have been easy, but there was something about him that drew others to him. I believe that was his sense of peace. I am sure parents get that sense of connectedness and peace when their child is born. Justice is constitutive to preaching the Gospels. This was stated by the Vatican II Council. Jesus gave us some clues as to what justice is. Matthew 25 speaks of giving to others if you have and they do not. Visit prisoners and make the connection with them. Make sure people have clothing and shelter. Everything that is needed for people to live a decent life has been provided as long as everyone shares. Love your enemies. Forgive at all times. Do not judge. Yet, that very message brought Jesus to the cross. For justice means balance. Our world was not in balance then. It is not in balance now. Some have much more than others. We do not always love our enemies.We do not always forgive. To do so might have consequences. I am striving for justice, knowing that I more often fail than achieve. But if we all keep striving for justice, perhaps the end will be a world/universe of peace. Sts. Francis and Clare would like that, for it was to that end that they devoted their lives. Sister Dorothy Pagosa is on staff at the 8th Day Center for Peace and Justice. She was recognized as the 2003 Peacemaker of the Year by the Franciscan Federation. Sr. Dorothy is chairperson of the Social Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Gospel of John
Make Gentle our Words
by Sister Rose Grabowski (Carolyn)
One day, while singing the song “City of God,” the words “make gentle our words” woke me up to the reality of how and what I say can either make peace or be violent. Jesus described this when He was challenged by the Pharisees who saw the disciples eating without washing their hands,“Listen and understand. What goes into the mouth does not make anyone unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes someone unclean.” And what comes “out of the mouth” comes from one’s heart. “This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.” The Mahabharata: Hinduism
I pray for a peaceful heart. I fast and try to be aware of peaceful living. Besides recycling material, I try to choose foods that are not violent to my body. I search for books that can feed my mind in peace and justice. Working for justice and peace came through loud and clear when I journeyed to Lima, Peru, this past year. We worked along side other volunteers to provide eye glasses to hundreds of villagers. Even though our exchange of words was minimal, the joy on the faces of those who could see was dialogue enough. One youth, 16 years old, came with a “what-can-you-do-for-me” attitude. When he put on the glasses and began to see, really see, he gave everyone a round of hugs. When I consider the vastness of trying to change the world, I can become overwhelmed. My space is here at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, Nursing Home and Hospital. My approach is to reach in peace those who I meet daily. Sometimes just a smile can bring peace to a distraught resident. Sometimes, just a peaceful presence can calm a crisis situation. St. Francis prayed,“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” These are just some of the ways in which I, as a Franciscan, can nurture peace and justice. Sister Rose Grabowski (Carolyn) is Chaplain at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare - Arcadia Campus in Arcadia,Wisconsin. She is a member of the Social Justice Commission of the Sisters of St.Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis.
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A View of
by Sister Mary Helen Jaczkowski
Some may say that peace is the absence of war.
But it goes much further than that. We need to have peace in the places that we live and work — peace in our country, peace in our church, and peace in our families. Peace in the city dictates how we live with one another — our neighbors — on the street, in the community. It means working together to make our areas better places to live, where everyone makes an effort to see that we work together to improve our neighborhoods. Presently, my view of Social Justice is focused on where I live and where I work. I work as an Assistant Principal, Secretary in a diverse community, and I see how people of different color, race, nationality and faith can live in peace and harmony. The children of Immaculate Conception School in Cleveland, Ohio, are very proud of their multicultural diversity. I live in a rapidly changing community where people were originally from different Slavic countries and built churches for their specific nationalities. The area has been changing into a very diverse community. This diversity has caused some problems. The struggle, on the other hand, has caused a large group of us to recognize that diversity is good, and working together can make a viable, liveable, strong, diverse community. Social justice, to me, is living and working where I am doing the best work I can, laboring together with the people in the community by cooperating with each other, improving and maintaining the pride in the community where we live. Social justice is where I am — where I live and work. Social justice means caring, and standing up for what is right and good for all. In the community where I live, social justice is in our efforts to work together with everyone to make the area a better place to live. Sister Mary Helen Jaczkowski is Assistant Principal at Immaculate Conception School in Cleveland, Ohio. She is active in several community projects,most recently in establishing low cost housing for seniors in her neighborhood. She serves on the Social Justice Contributions Fund Board for the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis.
“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” Paul to the Philippians
Peace and Justice
by Sister Marcia Lambert
“What God requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live humbly with God.” Micah 6:8
When I try to think about what peace and justice means to me I find myself faced with a dilemma. It requires a great deal of personal soul-searching, even when it comes down to what it isn’t. When people are forced to make decisions like: abandoning a sick child suffering from a life threatening illness because they are illegally in the U. S. and afraid of the consequences; when a mother can be sentenced to two years in jail for shoplifting food for her hungry children; when a child is put up for adoption in a poorer country to have the possibility for a better life; when a food pantry continues to see increases in the people who must come for help while many people throw food away; when the rich seem to become richer while the poor are becoming even poorer; when a senior citizen or handicapped person must make a decision whether to eat or to purchase medication. In a just society no person should be forced to make these decisions but many are, each and every day of their lives. In my opinion, justice flourishes when ALL people having the right to living wages, adequate health care, housing and the freedom from being persecuted for their beliefs. I feel that we will never come close to this until we realize that everyone is entitled to humane treatment–in all countries and all cities. What have we learned from the history of the treatment of aliens, Native Americans, and our own immigrant families? What is our treatment of those who are different than us? Are we truly following the example of Jesus in our treatment of each other? I have come to realize that true justice and peace will only be accomplished when we are willing to look at the needs around us and respond in whatever we can do. Let us be the ones to turn toward loving all our worldly neighbors just as God has love for us. Let us be reminded of the love within us, the peace within us, and the spirit of giving that God has created in us and allow it to continue to grow in us as we share it with others. Sister Marcia Lambert is a member of the Social Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. She currently resides in De Pere,Wisconsin, and serves as pastoral minister at St. Patrick Church.
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We stand for
People worldwide desire peace and justice. This is reflected in the organizers of a movement called “We Stand for Peace and Justice.” It is not a petition. It is not an organization. It is simply a statement of values and a pledge to work toward those values. It is a consciousness raising project, the details of which you can find at www.zmag.org/wspj. The statement is as follows: I stand for peace and justice. I stand for democracy and autonomy. I don’t think the U.S. or any other country should ignore the popular will and violate and weaken international law, seeking to bully and bribe votes in the Security Council. I stand for internationalism. I oppose any nation spreading an ever expanding network of military bases around the world and producing an arsenal unparalleled in the world. I stand for equity. I don’t think the U.S. or any other country should seek empire. I don’t think the U.S. ought to control Middle Eastern oil on behalf of U.S. corporations and as a wedge to gain political control over other countries. I stand for freedom. I oppose brutal regimes in Iraq and elsewhere but I also oppose the new doctrine of “preventive war,” which guarantees permanent and very dangerous conflict, and is the reason why the U.S. is now regarded as the major threat to peace in much
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
of the world. I stand for a democratic foreign policy that supports popular opposition to imperialism, dictatorship, and political fundamentalism in all its forms.
â€œTogether with all our sisters and brotherswho strive for a more just world, we undertake those activities which will promote the material and spiritual development of the human family. Mission Statement of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
I stand for solidarity. I stand for and with all the poor and the excluded. Despite massive disinformation millions oppose unjust, illegal, immoral war, and I want to add my voice to theirs. I stand with moral leaders all over the world, with world labor, and with the huge majority of the populations of countries throughout the world. I stand for diversity. I stand for an end to racism directed against immigrants and people of color. I stand for an end to repression at home and abroad. I stand for peace. I stand against this war and against the conditions, mentalities, and institutions that breed and nurture war and injustice.
I stand for sustainability. I stand against the destruction of forests, soil, water, environmental resources, and biodiversity on which all life depends. I stand for justice. I stand against economic, political, and cultural institutions that promote a rat race mentality, huge economic and power inequalities, corporate domination even unto sweatshop and slave labor, racism, and gender and sexual hierarchies. I stand for a policy that redirects the money used for war and military spending to provide healthcare, education, housing, and jobs. I stand for a world whose political, economic, and social institutions foster solidarity, promote equity, maximize participation, celebrate diversity, and encourage full democracy. I stand for peace and justice and, more, I pledge to work for peace and justice.
Vol. 6 No. 2
VO C AT I O N / F O R M AT I O N
Sister Rosanna Hodlik SSJ-TOSF Novice The first time that Rosanna Hodlik was officially called Sister Rosanna Hodlik was when she was received into the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. The ceremony was held at Marymount Congregational Home on June 11, 2005. During the liturgy the candidate is anointed into Franciscan Gospel living, and receives a pin bearing the congregational symbol. For approximately two months of the first year of novitiate, Sr. Rosanna will be part of the formation house in Kimberly, Wisconsin. On August 25, 2005, she will join five other women at the Common Franciscan Novitiate in Joliet, Illinois, for nine months of study about St. Francis. After nine months of study about St. Francis and St. Clare, she will learn to integrate into her religious and spiritual life all that she gleaned from her experience.
Sister Barbara Anne Gluck Forever On Saturday, July 9, 2005, Sister Barbara Anne Gluck pronounced her final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. The ceremony was held at Marymount Congregational Home where Sr. Barbara Anne was surrounded by loved ones witnessing her life commitment. Following the gospel and homily, Sr. Barbara Anne made known the reasons for her desire to pronounce final vows. The congregation joined in the Litany of the Saints in prayer for Sr. Barbara Anne. With a voice filled with conviction, she pronounced her vows, followed by a happy “Amen” and “Alleluia!” The Central Board was there to applaud in affirmation with the congregation. Sr. Barbara Anne received a simple gold ring as a sign of her commitment, and a candle symbolizing the living of a Gospel life. She then signed the Book of the Professed, recording the event in the archives of the congregation. The celebrants of the Mass placed their hands on her, praying for fidelity and joy. The members of the Central Board blessed her, praying for perseverance and peace. The Mass was followed by a banquet and time for enjoying the happiness of the day. Sr. Barbara Anne is residing at Marymount Congregational Home and is continuing her ministry of home health care and serving as sacristan at the Congregational Home.
Vol. 6 No. 2
Sister Alice Myslinski 2005 Peacemaker of the Year The image of the dove is a symbol of the Spirit of God as well as of peace. There’s something significant about that. It becomes very apparent in the life and ministry of Sister Alice Myslinski (Sarah). She is a woman steeped in God who exudes peace with her very presence. In all her ministries, even those that were challenging and crisis-laden, Sr. Alice met the situations with admirable equanimity. That’s what made her ministry to God’s “little ones” so successful. Sr. Alice entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis from Queen of the Universe Parish in Chicago, Illinois, and was invested on August 10, 1964, receiving the name Sister Mary Sarah. The dove was already hovering as she completed her novitiate, and went on to complete her degree at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She began her teaching experience in 1969 at St. Jude School in South Bend, Indiana. In three years, she became a principal at St. John the Evangelist School in Streamwood, Illinois. How would any 24 year old respond to such a challenge? It was Sr.Alice’s opportunity to say a modest “yes” and take on the responsibilities of a large and growing school. Only a person with divine resources could have met the situation with such peace. The children and the faculty sensed it. People know when they’re loved. After thirteen years at St. John’s,
she accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Lourdes High School in Chicago, Illinois. This was to provide an orientation for her assuming the role of Principal the following year, 1985. The high school was undergoing several changes demographically. It was facing financial challenges. It was the dove again, providing a faithful and solid grounding in peace, that helped Sr. Alice through each day of her seven years as Lourdes High School Principal. Each day that she dedicated her energies to her ministry, the students, the faculty, the parents, all benefited from the excellent education received. Quietly, with perseverance and grace, Sr. Alice made each day count for good in the lives of those she met. When she left Lourdes High School in 1992, Sr. Alice became principal for one year at St. Daniel the Prophet School in Chicago. In 1993, she answered the call to serve the little ones at Good Shepherd School, Chicago, Illinois, and remained principal there until the school was closed in 2005. It was largely through her efforts that the school remained open for those twelve years. She gently dealt with each crisis and showed by example how to love another in all situations. At the annual conference of the Franciscan Federation held in San Diego, California, in July 2005, Sister Alice was presented with a citation that read: Franciscan Peacemaker, Sister Alice Myslinski Alice, whose name means “noble truth,” your life has held the quiet living of the liberating and reconciling mission of Jesus. As educator, leader, and pastoral companion, you have inspired many and stood as sister with your neighbors and friends in striving for a more just world. Optimism, joy, and hard work have marked the days of your Franciscan commitment with us. As with Sarah of old, may God’s promises continue to come true for you, our noble woman of faith. The dove is still encircling Sr. Alice.
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Sister Valerie Kulbacki A Presence of Peace In May of 1993, one of Sister Valerie Kulbacki’s (Joachim) counseling clients at St. Mary of Gostyn Parish in Downer’s Grove, Illinois, was a victim of a terrible car accident. When she was brought to Loyola Hospital’s trauma center, the neurosurgeon on call did not expect her to survive the night. The newly published book, Go Back and Be Happy: Reclaiming Life after a Devastating Loss, by Julie Papievis, tells the story of her miraculous recovery, and her struggle to rehabilitate after that accident which left her with a brain stem injury, paralyzed and comatose for over a month. At some point between the accident and waking from the coma, Julie met her deceased grandmothers who told her she would heal and “go back and be happy.” In trying to understand why she was given the gift of life a second time, Julie again sought out Sr.Valerie. Chapter 9,“Healing My Heart:The Act of Forgiveness,” recounts her weekly meetings with Sr.Valerie over a period of two years, and her forgiveness of the young man who caused the accident. On Mother’s Day of 1999, five years after the accident, Julie ran a 5K race in 30 minutes. This was especially significant because Julie was in training for a biathalon which was to take place in two weeks at the time of the accident. The ripples of peace expand with time. The peaceful and reconciling spirit with which Sr.Valerie interacted with Julie is now finding shape in Julie’s life. She is working as an advocate for others who face a sudden change in life. Between her work as a community relations advisor for a law firm specializing in victim’s rights, she volunteers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Brain Injury Association and Spinal Cord Injury Association. Sr.Valerie serves on the Central Board of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. The beauty of her ministry is that she carries a presence of peace wherever she is. “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt 5:9)
Peace and Justice! Peace and Justice permeate to a great extent, the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis.Whether it is educating, serving those in need, counseling, aiding the homeless, working off the mainland, etc., and most importantly, the special ministry of our elderly and infirm Sisters, prayer ministry. Since all of you are partners with us in our service to all Godâ€™s people through your prayers and support, we invite you to continue praying with us that peace and justice prevail throughout the world. We pray that those in our armed services return safely home; that those who are treated unjustly will receive justice; that our prayers and efforts toward peace and justice create a world filled with individuals who live peace and justice. One of the patrons of our Community, St. Francis, is a perfect model of Peace and Justice. Let us together pray: PEACE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is dying that we are born to eternal life. Sincerely in Christ.
Sister Denise Seymour, SSJ-TOSF Director of Development
Vol. 6 No. 2
Sister Bernadette Nowakowski Born to this life: March 8, 1911 Born to eternal life: May 31, 2005 Teacher, principal, school supervisor, social worker, Sr. Bernadette served God’s people in Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut.
Sister Virginette Jedrzejewski Born to this life: May 18, 1910 Born to eternal life: July 15, 2005 Throughout her entire teaching ministry, Sr. Virginette put into practice her words of advice, “Try to be loving, kind, considerate humble and faithful. Be grateful for one another’s love, presence and support as you travel on your journey to eternity.”
Sister Alice Graniczny (Bronisia) Born to this life: August 29, 1915 Born to eternal life: June 3, 2005 High School teacher of home management, sewing and cooking, Sr. Alice dedicated fifty-one years to educational ministry in the Chicago area.
Sister Alma Kobylak Born to this life: December 11, 1920 Born to eternal life: July 18, 2005 Teacher, college professor, diocesan curriculum advisor, Provincial treasurer, Sr. Alma applied her many talents to the service of God’s people with joy and generosity.
Sister Alice Burmistrz (Sapientia) Born to this life: December 9, 1916 Born to eternal life: June 12, 2005 Sr. Alice spent fifty-seven years serving as teacher and principal in Wisconsin schools until she retired as assistant SSJ-TOSF archivist.
Sister Rudolphine Slarski Born to this life: March 14, 1917 Born to eternal life: July 25, 2005 A high school business teacher, Sr. Rudolphine was a caring steward of human and financial treasures.
Sister Carmelita Marie Lubanski Born to this life: January 26, 1910 Born to eternal life: June 15, 2005 A teacher, congregational leader, high school attendance director, Sr. Carmelita Marie’s final prayer was answered, “May God in His kindness help me die peacefully.”
Sister Carmelita Kus Born to this life: December 23, 1911 Born to eternal life: July 25, 2005 In her ministry as teacher, diocesan supervisor, educational consultant, principal and pastoral minister, Sr. Carmelita nurtured both teachers and students to full life.
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