Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate consecrated religious life

BRIGHTON -- The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston celebrated consecrated religious life with an evening prayer service on Feb. 11. Religious women from other congregations, priests from neighboring parishes as well as friends and neighbors, joined in this celebration at the sisters’ motherhouse in Brighton.

The sisters said the service was an opportunity for them to express their unity with God, each other and their neighbors. As women of the Church who are rooted in the Gospel, they see relationship at the heart of mission, they added.

Sister Josephine Perico, who ministers at Fontbonne Academy in Milton, said those in religious life are called to bring God into the world in a distinct way. The Second Vatican Council brought that mission to the forefront, she said.

“Vatican II was a kind of new frontier for religious life, and today is another kind of new frontier,” she said.

Sister Mary Cahill, SJ said religious life is still filled with challenges but facing those challenges begets wisdom.

“Every day brings new ways of growing,” said Sister Mary who has served in Peru, in Roxbury’s black community and ministered to the homeless.

The Sisters of St. Joseph have existed for three centuries. There are now more than 12,000 sisters in over 50 countries.

The religious community began serving in the Archdiocese of Boston in 1873. For the past 135 years, their mission has included works of service as well as participation in community life, prayer and religious vows. Currently, there are more than 450 sisters in Boston and more than 80 associates.

The World Day for Consecrated Life, initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1997, is usually celebrated on Feb. 2. This year, as part of the archdiocese’s bicentennial celebration, Boston has designated February as the month of consecrated life and invited each religious congregation to select a day for this observance. The day is an opportunity to pray with and for women and men who serve God by sharing in the mission of Jesus.