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Covenanting Day in the Eastern Region

On Sunday, March 11, the words of our Gathering Song echoed in the chapel at St. Michael Villa - “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”.  We gathered to celebrate nine Associates who renewed their covenant and/or committed to Lasting Covenant.

Eileen McCann, CSJP-A , Associate Co-Director, set the tone for the gathering: “We are a Beatitude people who have our hearts set on having God’s reign come about. We are a pilgrim people who will not rest until peace through justice becomes a reality.”

Ann Wagner, CSJP-A provided us with a very moving and thought-provoking reflection. “We celebrate our founders and the fact that we were touched by their Spirit.”  Ann invited us to “honor those from the CSJP Community who are no longer with us … after your own inner silence and focus, their faces, words, and actions will come forth. You can see yourself waving or embracing each one. At this time your silent THANK YOU to them can be shared.”  Download Ann’s entire reflection.

Susan Whitsell, CSJP, Associate Co-Director, invited all those who renewed their covenant to stand and face the congregation. Celine Fowler renewed her covenant for one year; James McDonald renewed his covenant for three years; Mary Burke, Patricia Holliday, Nancy Lavoie, David Mehr, Jennifer Mehr, and Sandi Pieroni renewed their covenant for five years; and Jacqueline Brunetti made her Lasting Covenant.

Their response is a challenge to all of us: “As an Associate I commit myself to the charism of peacemaking in my daily life, a life of prayer, participation in appropriate ways in the life, spirit, and mission of the Congregation, and to strengthening the bonds of mutual relationship. Trusting in God, I promise to promote peace in family life, in the Church, and in society. I will strive to respect the dignity of all persons, to value the gift of creation, and to confront oppressive situations. I commit to God’s people in need and to promote social justice as a way to peace. This may challenge me to prophetic risk in my life so that God’s reign may be fully realized.”

After Sheila Lemieux, CSJP, congregation leader, affirmed the covenants, all present pledged our support: “We will assist you to fulfill your Covenant as Associates of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and renew our own commitment to peacemaking. As a Congregation, we commit ourselves to support you in our mutual promise to live the gospel of peace in daily life. We rejoice and celebrate our commitment to God, the Congregation and our world. May we together remain true to our charism of peace through justice.

May the vision of Mother Clare, the faith of Mother Evangelista and the generosity of the women and men who have gone before us in the Church, our congregation and the world fill all of us with deep hope for the future.”

After Communion, we paused to remember the life of Gladys Van Langen, a long-time Associate who died this year.

We ended the liturgy singing “Sing! Sing a new song! Sing of that great day when all will be one! God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other as sisters and brothers, united in love!”

The spirit and energy of the liturgy carried over as we continued our celebration by sharing a delicious meal and great conversation at St. Peter’s auditorium!

Thanks to Peter Pieroni for the photographs!

Click on a photo to see it enlarged!


Covenanting Day in the Eastern Region

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

Bishop Bagshawe