First published by Catholic Volunteer Network, April 11, 2018
In the months of serving with the St. Joseph Worker Program, I have been graced with the presence of the religious Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange (CSJ). The sisters have exemplified the beauty of religious life in the way they each uniquely live out their congregation’s mission. As advocates of social justice, the sisters are proactively present in the local communities where they reside, to be with and for our dear neighbors. However, their charism is not kept to themselves; they desire, and have succeeded, in extending their mission to other laity who partake in it.
I am always in awe when I learn about the history of the CSJ Sisters and the impact they have had in their local communities. For example, here in Orange County, St. Joseph Hospital is a renowned health-care facility. Founded by the CSJ Sisters in 1920, the original St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, CA has extended throughout the nation. In order to sustain and continue the legacy of the CSJ Sisters, those who work in such facilities are also called to take on the mission of the sisters and make it their own.
Through the St. Joseph Worker Program, I have encountered many CSJ sisters who have taught me the meaning of humility and compassion. I have found that humility and compassion are indispensable in the ministry of healing and reconciliation, which is the charism of the sisters. Humility has allowed me to be free from controlling situations and the results of my work, thus entrusting all to God and His Providence. In humbling myself, I am more disposed to embrace Christ’s Presence in others, and desire their good, rather than focusing on myself. Compassion towards others is rooted in self-compassion. In knowing myself and my own needs, I have found a balance to meet those needs while also ministering to the needs of those around me. Seeing not merely with my eyes, but with my heart, I have learned the art of loving the human person and the sacredness they embody.
As each sister has their unique ministry, each also models the different ways of saying “yes” to the Lord and His invitations. In this podcast, Sr. Katherine ‘Kit’ Gray shares with us her own “yes” to God and how she lives out her vocation as a Bride of Christ.