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Jubilarian - Judy Boisvert (50 years)
"...I have called you by name; you are mine."
Yes, God did call me, but I did not listen. I had already made plans of my own, marry and have at least ten children, and I knew these were the plans that God wanted me to pursue. Unknown to me, God had made plans for me long before I came into being, and those plans included being a significant part of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
God did not take any chances, for these plans started at my birth, when I was born at Holy Name Hospital. Then came my very first job at the age of 14 as a dietary aid at that same hospital. During my high school years, the concept of giving my life to God as a religious had crossed my mind for some time, but I quickly dismissed them because they interfered with my own plans. After I graduated from high school, I became interested in helping out at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Englewood Cliffs, not knowing that the same religious community that sponsored Holy Name Hospital and the orphanage were one and the same. By the time my nineteenth birthday came around, I was exhausted fighting God. I needed to prove to God that the religious life was definitely not for me, and that I did not belong in a convent. I decided to write three letters to three different communities and told myself that I would respond to the first group that called. That was Sr. Madeleine of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark from St. Michael’s Novitiate. I entered two weeks later with the intention that I would certainly be asked either to leave by the end of the week or leave on my own free will . . .That was 50 years ago. (I never was good at math.)
My first teaching position was while living at the Juniorate and commuting each day to St. Elizabeth’s in Wyckoff. I barely survived that first year. However, as the years went by, I found that education became my first love. I have taught from fourth grade to seniors in high school. All I am and all I have accomplished I owe to God, my family who gave me a strong spiritual foundation, and my religious community who continues to strengthen me.
Truly, God’s plans were vastly different from my own, but they are so much more enriching.
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Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
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