A Word from Mr. Nunan
That all may be one. (John 17:21)
This summer, the Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph provided my wife, Nancy, and I the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to participate in a weeklong pilgrimage/conference in Le Puy, France, the original home of the first Sisters of St. Joseph. What an enriching, inspiring journey and what a blessed, transformative time.
One of the most moving sites was “the kitchen” in Le Puy, the place where the first six Sisters gathered together to begin their ministry of unifying love (see photo below). What a powerful moment. As those women in 17th century France once revealed the presence of God to so many who were in such desperate need, we could feel their presence in that sacred space… and in our work at Saint Joseph Prep.
At the heart of that experience was the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph—the prayer of Jesus that all may be one. Everything we did and saw and heard was rooted in the CSJ mission to unite neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.
As we begin our 5th year at Saint Joseph Prep, let us reflect more deeply on that charism, on that deep desire for unity… among one another… and with the One who loves us. As we know, despite our human longing for acceptance and affirmation and despite our spiritual hunger for peace and justice, we live in a world that is decidedly not united. Whether in war-torn cities or on social media sites, whether in negative political campaigns or on emotionally charged issues, our world is too often divided and broken. So how are we to respond?
Let us respond by being instruments of healing and signs of hope. People—and the conflicts we have created—do not need to be fixed. We need to be healed. Our sisters and brothers—and the sufferings we both inflict and endure—call out for mercy and compassion, for respect and reconciliation. May we, by our care and concern, provide a reason to hope.
In this way, our community of Saint Joseph Prep should be both a witness and a refuge. May we be a witness to the world of unity and community, of diversity and difference, of common bonds and shared values. May we build that “beautiful city” so wonderfully described in the closing song from Godspell, “slowly but truly mending, brick by brick, heart by heart.”
And may we be a refuge for one another, a place where each of us can be freely and fully who we are; where we can grow and develop into who God calls us to be. May Saint Joseph Prep be a second home and a second family, where everyone is known and loved. In this way, we will live our charism… and change the world.