Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

Sister Loretta Jasper

By Sister Loretta Jasper

Do not consider unfortunate events as obstacles but as aids and cherish them whatever they may be as effects of the gentle and loving Providence of God.

— Maxims of the Little Institute, No. 63

Yes! I am a child of God, from whom I continue to receive the first and sustaining gift of the Spirit (Ephesians). I am a child of Leo and Cecelia Konzem Jasper — the second youngest of eight children — raised on a farm south of Cawker City, Kan. And I am a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kan.  In my family, our life and faith was nourished in our home, in St. Peter and Paul Parish, at St. Theresa’s School and with our neighbors.

“Union with God, with neighbor, and with one another!” This is the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  This gospel-based gift was planted early in my life, long before I even knew what charism was or how to pronounce it.

“Service to the dear neighbor!” This is how we put our charism into action. I learned the basics of the spirituality of unity and ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph (CSJ) within my family!

Neither my call (or vocation) to serve God as a Sister of St. Joseph nor response to the call is all that unique.  Yet it fits for me. This is how I am beckoned to be more: To be stretched, to be tempered and to be more loving, for the kingdom of God.

I was taught by CSJs from first-grade through Marymount College of Salina. I was always captivated by my teachers who lived the countercultural vowed life in very ordinary ways — with “sleeves rolled up,” delving in as needs unfolded. This fit with my family upbringing: We pitched in where and when necessary, with little room for fanfare.

I continue to receive so much. I am privileged to have faith, family, and friends. I am educated, and am blessed with diverse gifts. For all of this, much is expected of me in return. Such is the responsibility that comes with my spiritual birthright as I am called to serve God every day.

In my 40-some years as a CSJ, I have continued to be “with the dear neighbor” across the U.S., as a teacher, parish minister, chaplain, an addictions and mental health therapist… always with children and with adults.
I have been in the Kansas City area since 1991, serving in community mental health and private practice as an administrator, and as a behavioral therapist.

With God, for God and in God… serving with sleeves rolled up, delving in as necessary. What a gift to be a part of this life!

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