A Day in the Life: Christmas Messages from Committee Chairs

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have committees covering different aspects of the Congregation such as communications and justice.

For this month’s A Day in the Life feature, the Chairs from the Committees were asked to provide a Christmas message. You’re invited to view the messages below:


Congregational Immersion and Discernment of Call (CIDC) Team

The Gift of You and the Gift of Me

Of all the feast days that Christianity celebrates Christmas is the one that has a clear focus on humanity – you and me. We are Gifts – the spark of divinity shines in each one of us. That is what the story of Christmas tells us. That is what the ‘gift-giving’ surely means. We treasure each other as ‘gift’ and at Christmas we have a chance to express this to others as they do to me. Oh how careful I’m becoming with my words in the Christmas card to let another know how she/he is ‘gift’. That is far more important than the ‘present’ accompanying it, I believe.

A simple poem says it:

What do we love about Christmas?
Does our delight reside in things?
Or are the feelings in our hearts
the real gift Christmas brings?It’s surely seeing those we love
and sending messages too.
Appreciating people as they are.
Special people just like you.

The Congregational Immersion and Discernment of Call (CIDC) Team send everyone heartfelt blessings and gratitude for the gift each of you are and pray that peace and joy raise your hearts this Christmas.

Katrina Brill rsj


Congregational Communication Team (CCT)

Gathered together, we await the light.

Standing together, we trust in the light.

Praying together, we hope for the light Seeking together, we step into the light.

Singing together, we are blessed by the light.

Wishing each reader a blessed and peace-filled Christmas.

Kath Hitchcock rsj


Eco-Spirituality Team

The Angels greeting to the Shepherds was of course, ‘Peace to all people of good will.’ That’s the greeting the Congregational Eco-Spirituality Team wish for all at this blessed time of Christmas.

Recently commenting on Pope Francis’s 2019 visit to three African countries, Tablet journalist Christopher Lamb summed up Pope Francis’s core priorities as  ‘a seamless garment’ in defence of the poorest and most vulnerable that embraces the protection of the planet.’ (Tui Motu InterIslands October 2019)

That’s the constant refrain of our Team – the interconnectedness of life. As our report to the recent Josephite Chapter noted:

We recognise the growing awareness we are called to is lived in our every day attentiveness and presence to the ordinary – grounded in the now, this garden, these trees, this small bird…This Universe. Sisters of Saint Joseph – 27th General Chapter 2019

Please continue reading below:

Eco-Spirituality Team Christmas Message (PDF)

Eco-Spirituality Team Members


Josephite Justice Network (JJN)

In this sacred season,
we stand conscious of the huge disparities in our world.
And we are both called and blessed.

Confronted by family and global violence, the frightening reality of the arms race, the accelerating wealth gap and the ongoing shattering of lives,
we are blessed by the witness of Pope Francis and all those who call for peace and transformation.

Listening to our First Nations brothers and sisters, who long for truth to be told and their legitimacy recognised, so that we can live as one.
we continue to be blessed by our First Peoples.

With those pushed to the edges of our world and the more than 64 million who remain displaced in this season,
we are blessed in the birth of a child who was himself displaced and who attests to our belief that love continues to be born.

Faced by the absolute futility of a broken political system, which uses human beings as political pawns and denies welcome to those who seek safety on our shores,
we are blessed by the reminder of the Good Samaritan to be neighbour to all.

Faced with the obstacles to justice, equity and kindness which face us in a material-centred world space,
we are blessed by the love and support we find in one another.

In the challenge to care for our common home beyond the disruption and damage of greed and power,
we are blessed by those who call for protection of Earth.

And so,
As we listen for Christmas
in the fabric of our hope
and the realities that confront us –
…In the stillness of our waiting
and our fear for those
who suffer most at our hands
you call us O God
to make room for all
in our hearts
and in our world

FOR IN ALL OF THIS,
YOU CONTINUE, O GOD, TO BE BORN

Jan Barnett rsj and JJN


International Josephite Associates Leaders Team (IJALT)

Christmas Blessings

A blessing is the gift of God’s grace.

At Christmas we celebrate the greatest gift that God has given us, that of his Son.

We celebrate this Gift in offering God’s grace through words of blessings to others… in a greeting card, a word spoken, an email greeting…

Josephite Associates are truly blessed to share, with many others, in the spirit of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods. In this season of Hope and Peace we share this blessing with all:

May the wonder and awe that radiates from delighted children touch our hearts
May the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph inspire us to be people of faith
May the babe born in Bethlehem bring renewed hope into our world
May the coming year be one of peace and fulfilment

Mary Hemmings


Conference of Josephite Leadership (CJL) Archivists’ Committee

As the Conference of Josephite Leadership Archivists’ Committee reflects on its ultimate mission to safeguard and share the Josephite story, our gift to you this Christmas is a poem preserved in the Sisters of St Joseph Congregational Archives, written by Father Founder, Julian Tenison Woods.

The Committee wishes everyone the best of blessings for a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

The Infant Jesus

Who is this with heart so warm,
Fills my soul with peaceful calm?
‘Tis the Infant King of heaven,
Unto all poor sinners given,
Round Him loudly, loudly call
Sweet mercy, Lord, on all.

Who is this with smile so sweet,
Plays at Joseph’s lovely feet?
‘Tis the little Child of heaven,
Unto all His children given;
Call upon Him louder still,
Ask for nothing but His will.

What is that enchanting grace
Playing round His lovely face?
Telling us to call Him brother,
Pointing to His darling Mother.
Let us have no prayer but one,
Only Thy sweet will be done.

Waiting, I have waited long,
With the same unceasing song,
Hear, Oh Child, my piteous cry,
Let me love or I shall die,
Let me love along with You,
Mary and Saint Joseph too. From ‘Hymns and Sacred Poems by Father Julian E. Tenison Woods published 1890. Sisters of Saint Joseph Congregational Archives.

Crib, Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, Christmas 1992. Congregational Archives.
From Series 318 Collection of Postcards. Congregational Archives

CJL Archivists’ Committee