By: Sr. Patty Johnson

Sr. Mary Flick provides valuable information on discernment.The Lifelong Formation Committee is taking a new tack to provide programs and resources for those in initial formation and ongoing formation for agrégées, associates and sisters. Recognizing the increasing problems of travel, taking time off from work, and expense, programs and resources are being developed that can bring more U.S. Federation programming right to your doorstep.  Additionally, some programs for those in initial formation that relate to our charism and spirituality are being offered to agrégées, associates, and candidates for religious life together.

Sr. Mary Flick kicked off the new series of offerings to three agrégées, two formation directors, and a novice in her non-canonical year.  She provided a day-long workshop on "The Art and Habit of Discernment." One participant shared, "I don’t think I ever really understood what discernment meant.  This has really helped me." Another offered, "I do some things that I now see as discernment. At the end of the day, I review how I could better show God’s love."  "I appreciated the three types of discernment.  I had never seen it laid out that way," shared Sr. Linda Buck.  

Sr. Mary McGlone on Facebook Live.The following morning the group walked to the site where the first sisters landed and then toured the Old Cathedral in St. Louis where the first sisters went to pray immediately following their landing. Then we were off to Cahokia, Illinois to the site of our first mission. They were guided through the grounds of the original Motherhouse in St. Louis. This was followed by a presentation on our early history in the U.S. "A History Only God Could Have Created" Sr. Mary McGlone quipped as she began her presentation on the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S. To read more about the book that inspired the talk, you can click here to read a synopsis and/or purchase "Anything of Which a Woman is Capable."

These presentations led the participants to discuss how do we partner together to create the synergies that used to happen naturally in our early history? What is emerging for us now? How do we remain flexible and discerning to meet the needs of our times? 

Two other opportunities to hear about our early history with Sr. Mary McGlone occurred in mid-May with a Facebook Live Presentation on Mother Delphine Fontbonne, Missionary and Medic and a YouTube presentation on our early history in Philadelphia.

Sr. Patty Johnson had the opportunity to meet with Vocation and Formation Directors at their annual meeting in Canandaigua, New York to present the 2019-2020 schedule of programs and resources. 

Some upcoming events that may interest you:

Resources you might appreciate: 

The Handbooks for Initial Formation for Sisters (newly updated), for Associates, and for Agrégées are now available in the Members Only section of the website.

[Sr. Patty Johnson is executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph]