Friday, June 21, 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 Marcia Allen’s work featured in international book of essays

Journeying with Joseph is a new collection of Josephite essays created especially to commemorate the Year of St. Joseph. It was compiled by editor Mary Cresp, RSJ.

Sister Marcia Allen, CSJ, was contacted in the spring to be a contributor to the book. Her chapter entited, Joseph, the Cordial Servant, is the third chapter featured in the section entitled, Part One: Joseph’s Foundational Inspiration.

Editor Mary Cresp, RSJ, is a Sister of St. Joseph from South Australia.

“It’s a book of essays about the Sisters of St. Joseph in Australia and it’s more focused on the Australian experience of St. Joseph,” Sister Marcia said.

“The editor asked me if I would do a chapter on the spirit and spirituality of the Community,” Sister Marcia said. “I agreed to do that. As it turns out, I’m the only person in the U.S. who actually wrote for the book — everyone else is a member of their Community in Australia. They call themselves the Religious of St. Joseph rather than Sisters of St. Joseph. So they are RSJs instead of CSJs.”

However, they are related to the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“They are like a second generation of the sisters of St. Joseph as they don’t come from Le Puy, France, but they do come from France through a priest who was taught by Sisters of St. Joseph. Julian Woods was impressed by what he experienced, he invited them to Australia as missionaries where he co-founded a community with Sister Mary McKillop,” Sister Marcia explained.

She was later canonized a saint.

Sister Marcia met Sister Mary in 2003 when she came to Concordia to attend the very first Bearers of the Tradition Institute.

“She came because she wanted to know if the Religious of St. Joseph were related to the Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S. and the rest of the world,” Sister Marcia said. “So she started here and she went to every archives in the United States and Canada. Then she ended up going to South America and Europe visiting all these congregations of St. Joseph. She ended up by saying ‘yes we are related’ to Sisters of St. Joseph.”

“Then she wrote a book called The Joseph Movement, an excellent, excellent book. This book was her next endeavor — gathering a group of essays together that explain the Sisters of St. Joseph of Australia. And she asked me to write for the book on the spirituality that goes with it.”

Sister Marcia said she found the other essays interesting reading as they explore the sisters’ work in Australia, New Zealand, Peru and East Timor.

“They are educators for the most part, but they do a lot of pastoral work as well,” she said.

A brief review by Patrick O’Regan, DD, Catholic Archbishop of Adelaine, reads, “It is often said that actions speak louder than words.’ In the case of St. Joseph this is so true. With no recorded utterances in the Scriptures, we have only to rely on his deeds. Journeying with Joseph is a timely publication not only for the Year of St. Joseph, but one which allows us to delve more deeply into how we might draw inspiration from him to follow more closely the path of being a missionary Disciple in a world deeply affected by Covid. The net is cast well and wide when you survey the topics contained in this book, and these show that while St. Joseph may not have spoken any words, his deeds were, and are, profound.”

A website for purchasing the book is available at

It also is available on most American book store websites such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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