I have been intrigued by the original title of the Congregation, given to us in 1884 by our founder, Mother Francis Clare–St. Joseph Sisters of Peace of the Immaculate Conception. I am also one who enjoys delving into archival material about our early history where I’ve discovered that in many of the letters and documents that went to and from Rome, most often we were referred to as “Sisters of Peace.” The title seems most authentic to who we are today. Yet Mother Clare in her wisdom chose to place the new congregation under the patronage of St. Joseph. What meaning can we find for ourselves today in having St. Joseph as our patron?
In spite of the yearly Feast on March 19th, I have never quite appreciated the profound gift that St. Joseph is to our spirituality of peace. What touches me most deeply about him is that he was a man who loved. It appears that relationship–right relationships–intimacy and faithfulness were his hallmarks. He loved his wife and he loved his son unconditionally. The inspiration behind our mission and charism is love. We know so little about Joseph yet his anonymity proclaims the strength of his character and legacy to us. “From the beginning of the congregation Joseph was chosen as our patron because he is a model of peace. His courage to live a life of faith inspires us to trust in God’s abiding love, especially in times of struggle and uncertainty.” (Constitution 36)
I hope that we continue to delve into the depth of his love and faith and in his patronage for our Congregation.
This reflection originally appeared in our CSJP 125th Anniversary Reflection Booklet
"It is most important to inspire the young with a great love of peace."
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)