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Our Roots: St. Joseph’s Messenger by Sister Mary Kuiken, CSJP


The history of St. Joseph Messenger is a long and memorable one that had its roots in 1886 with the Congregation’s very first publication, “The Dove of Ireland.” It was a little paper issued every year in connection with the Union of Peace and Prayer, a network of prayer for peace in homes and families. Today the prayer network continues as the Pious Union of Prayer, uniting its members with the ministry and prayer of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Margaret Anna Cusack, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, was dedicated to the ministry of the written word and used her gift of writing to communicate the message of peace.

The “Dove” was renamed “The Orphans’ Messenger and Working Girls Friend” and debuted as a newspaper with eight pages. The earliest issue still in existence is No. 8, dated March, 1894. In the year 1899, when the Sisters began their work with persons who were blind, the form of the magazine was altered and received the title Orphans’ Messenger and Advocate of the Blind.

The magazine was well established by the early 1900s and in 1912 a Printing Building was constructed at the corner of York and Washington Streets in Jersey City, New Jersey. For many years it was at the Printing Building that the Messenger was edited, printed, folded, stitched, cut, addressed, wrapped, bagged, tagged and sent on its way. The numerous facets of this laborious work were done primarily by the Sisters.

The final name change for the magazine, St. Joseph’s Messenger and Advocate of the Blind, occurred in 1977. Over the years, numerous Sisters, Associates and others have contributed articles that have spoken to the magazine’s Mission Statement: “To share with our readers a sense of hope and of God’s abiding presence among us…” In this way we honor our long history and tradition of being united through writing and prayer for the promotion of our various ministries for the benefit of God’s people.’ This mission continues with our Congregation Magazine, Living Peace.

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of Living Peace.

Our Roots: St. Joseph’s Messenger by Sister Mary Kuiken, CSJP

"You will hope if God blesses your work to sow the seeds of peace in modern society."

Bishop Bagshawe