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

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Sister Loretta Jasper

60 Years

At the celebration of my parents, Leo and Cecelia (Konzem) Jasper’s 45th Wedding anniversary in our hometown of Cawker City, KS, with my seven siblings, spouses, and children gathered around the banquet meal, my Dad stood at the head of the table and tearfully stated: “You kids have brought your Mother and I nothing but joy.” Needless to say, each of us with reciprocating tears respectfully chuckled at that comment. Without a doubt, each of us, throughout our lives, created challenges, pain, and sleepless nights for our parents; yet, joy and gratitude were Dad’s poignant memories at that moment.
So it is as a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia. With the exception of serving 13 years in formal Church related ministry in the classroom/religious education/pastoral ministry in Silver City, NM, Aurora, IL, and Fairbury, NB, living the Mission of the Congregation of St. Joseph has been directed toward ministry in the marketplace, continuing to believe that “wherever there is a Sister of St. Joseph there is the Congregation (of St. Joseph). In addition, our Mission and charism are gospel-based: “Loving God and Neighbor without Distinction.” Remaining fully aware, the marketplace was Jesus’ place of ministry.
My life remains filled with challenges and blessings that come with living the gospel. I am among the privileged who have yet to be concerned about the source of my next meal, lack of quality health care, affordable housing, lack of family/friends, and, of course, the fullness of God’s love in every moment. I am also privileged to have an education and mentors who hopefully continue to provide me with the grace and choices to discern and engage in the right direction in the moments: Joy!
The marketplace of my day-to-day has provided me with the undaunting opportunities to serve folks with addictions/mental health concerns as a Licensed Mental Health clinician, as a program director/department head in community mental health, as a Disaster Mental Health worker with Red Cross responding to needs affected by floods, fires, and tornados throughout the USA; as a Military Family Life Counselor serving military households in the USA and internationally; service in Sri Lanka during the civil war, following the tsunami; as director of Manna House of Prayer, Concordia; and now serving as Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor Abilene (KS).
Surprises, expected/unexpected opportunities …each in God’s time continuing to be lived as best as possible. That is my call as a CSJ of Concordia while remaining totally privileged in the midst, unlike many folks with whom I come in contact.
“Loving God and neighbor without distinction.”
Thanks, Mom and Dad,
for showing me the way! Joy!