I think the time will come when...all St Joseph’s children will be brought back together again.
Sisters from the various congregations have lived and ministered together in various places such as Aboriginal ministry in the Kimberley, spirituality centres and Mary MacKillop Place. Recently more formal associations have been developed to facilitate such sharing of resources.
At the 2007 meeting of Australian New Zealand Federation of Sisters at which the Central leadership were present the Josephite Journeying Group was set up with representatives from all Congregations and Provinces to promote a closer relationship and understanding between the sisters. It has promoted the sharing of the stories of the various groups through workshops of historians and has developed a series of retreats for 2008 and 2009. These will be presented by directors from the different congregations and focusing on Josephite spirituality.
Members of the JJG have articulated their goals:
We see ourselves as a combined group of Federation and Central Josephites
who will facilitate the further building of relationships among all Josephites,
using existing networks and providing new opportunities,
in order to create a unique way of being Josephite together
for the mission of God.
The Josephite Visioning Team (JVT) came into existence at an historic gathering of Federation and Central Josephite Leadership Teams in Hobart in April 2007. The occasion was the Twentieth General Meeting of the Australian New Zealand Federation of Sisters of St Joseph, and all members of the Congregational Leadership Team had been invited to it together with the Provincial and a Team member from each Province of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
One of the first areas explored by JVT was for new ways to minister in rural areas. A workshop called Josephites – Dreaming for Rural People, was conducted at St Joseph’s Convent, North Goulburn, in November 2007. Sister representatives from various Josephite Congregations participated. Far-reaching Recommendations from that Conference are being discussed amongst the wider Josephite family throughout 2008 and may open new doors for the future which may include many who share the Josephite charism for service in rural areas.
The Australian and New Zealand Federation and Central Josephites have established links with the overseas Federations at two gatherings in France in the area of justice. Together they fund a NGO at the United Nations. At the 2007 meeting in Le Puy a vision statement was established and this was to be carried out ‘by journeying with the poor - without distinction, and by working for new structures to remove oppression, uphold the dignity of human life and restore the integrity of creation.’