In 1978 God led me from the campus of Slippery Rock University to the campus of the Sisters of St.Joseph in Baden. I recall the feeling of “falling in Love” as I walked onto the premises. Over the past 40+ years that Love has only deepened.
I recall a song that I used to teach children “Love is only Love when you give it away, you end up having more.” Those words were more than lyrics to a children’s song, they have become a way for me to understand and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through times of joy and times of struggle, I have been energized by the Love of God made manifest through the gift of community.
On Ash Wednesday, 2020, our Leadership Team shared the following quote from Pope Francis:
“Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus … the mystery of a love ‘so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue.’ (Christus Vivit, 117) Whoever believes this message rejects the lie that our life is ours to do with as we will.” (Pope Francis, 2-26-2020)
We were invited to spend time in “contemplative silence” daily for our world and for each other. Who knew that such a prophetic invitation would become a source of strength for us during the pandemic of 2020?
I was blessed to move into the Motherhouse during the early days of the pandemic and spend time in our chapel every night in contemplative silence before the blessed sacrament. Through this time of prayer, I felt so deeply connected with the suffering world and was aware that my Sisters throughout the Congregation were united in prayer for the global community.
As a Congregation, we continue to draw strength from the Love of God, the love of each other and the love of the dear neighbor, living in joyful hope that someday we shall overcome and all may be one.
-Sister Colleen Crossen, CSJ