reflection by Little Servant Sister of the Immaculate Conception

Order’s ministry focuses on needy, especially children, poor, sick
Imagine, the Little Servant Sisters of ters arrived by steamship at Brookthe Immaculate Conception owe their lyn, N.Y., from their Motherhouse in
origin in 1850 as a congregation to a Stara Wies, near Brzozow, Poland,
remarkable lay apostle of the landed at the invitation of Father Wojciech
gentry in Poland, Blessed Edmund Malusiecki, pastor of St. Mary Parish
Bojanowski, celibate, (1814–1871). in Reading, Pa., where they opened a
Their founder’s
kindergarten and
great love for
youth ministry in
God and devotion
a former rectory.
The hallmark of the
to Mary bore fruit
Five years later,
in compassionate
including almost
present St. Joseph
service
toward
two years at an
Senior Home on
orphaned and unorphanage on an
cared for children,
old farm in WilmSt. Joseph Terrace with
the disadvantaged
ington, Del., the
its beautiful chapels
and the sick. As
community was
a precursor of
providentially led
and facilities is comVatican Council
to purchase the
II, Blessed EdHampton Cutter
passion and caring
mund’s witness
mansion property
with the
and service of
in Woodbridge,
love of neighbor
with
charitable
Sisters faithful to
had its source
funds and the
Blessed Edmund’s
in the Gospel,
added help of
dependent on a
Father Joseph Urfounding charism.
living union with
ban, pastor of St.
Christ, especially
Stephen Parish in
Every good person is
in the Eucharist,
Perth Amboy. The
like a candle burning
and His Church.
new
residence,
He was beatified
a
prayer
center,
for others
by Pope St. John
became St. Jo—Blessed Edmund
Paul II in Warsaw
seph’s Home for
in 1999.
orphans
from
Today, the Little Servant Sisters 1931 to 1945. Local vocations were
continue to witness to Christ world- accepted. Religious education was
wide, living the evangelical law of conducted in nearby parishes and
total love of God and love of neigh- still continues. During World War
bor, in imitation of Mary, the humble II, countless refugees were assisted
handmaid of the Lord, and ministering at the convent, clinic and adjacent
to the needy, especially children, the hall. The existing Mt. Carmel Home
poor, the sick and the elderly. This Visiting Nursing Service was started.
mission through baptism and religious Various functions were held and St.
consecration with public vows and a Joseph’s Charitable Society was acreligious habit, in a community of tive until the 1990’s.
prayer and works of mercy, is a parIn 1968, St. Joseph’s Home beticular relationship with Christ in their came the Provincial House with the
vocation.
establishment of Holy Trinity ProvIn 1926, five Little Servant Sis- ince, until 1987 when the center of the
Heal a child’s heart
Prepare a teenager for a successful future
Make a difference that will last a lifetime!
Become a Treatment Parent
Child’s Expenses Reimbursed
TREATMENT FAMILY HOMES PROGRAM...
Where Children Grow Best in Families
Reflection by a
Servant Sister
Feeling estranged and alone in a foreign country, I turned to God for help. I
found it at the Our Lady of Czestochowa
Sanctuary, where the Most Sacred and
Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary
waited for me. Steadily my heart was
¿OOHGZLWKJUDFHVRWKDWLWEHJDQWRUDGLate with love. As my fervor for prayer
increased so did my thoughts about religious life. I began to comprehend that
Little Servant Sister of the Immaculate Jesus was inviting me to a more perfect
Conception Sister Joanna Sopala
life. Jesus’ words “come and follow me”
were persistently on my mind. This is
By Sister Joanna Sopala, LSIC
what I wanted and desired with all my
KHDUWEXWIRXQGLWGLI¿FXOWWREHOLHYH-R\
$WWKHDJHRI,KDGP\¿UVWFKHULVKHG intermingled with fear.
encounter with God after the tragic death
Consequently, in Czestochowa I
of my younger brother. Despairing and met the Little Servant Sisters of the Imwith a broken heart, I searched for con- maculate Conception, whose charism is
solation and healing in prayer. God in to love God above all and follow Jesus’
his fatherly goodness dried my tears and example in serving the needy, especially
strengthened me.
the children, the poor and the sick. This
Sadly, the love and faithfulness of charism perfectly matched my yearnmy young heart began to diminish. Slow- ings! Finally, I understood that this was
ly, my religious devotions took a back my vocation — to be a Little Servant
seat as I became totally absorbed by my Sister.
studies. However, God waited patiently
What can I say or do in response to
for me and did not allow me to forget the Jesus’ love? On my knees, I can repeat
precious experience. He poured into my with Mary, “I am the handmaid of the
heart an increasing desire to return to his Lord, let it be done according to your
Eternal Love. In turn, I choose nursing as word,” and with a grateful heart whisper
a means to express my love to God by – thank you, Jesus.
ministering to my neighbor, but it was
Sister Joanna Sopala serves as dinot enough. My heart felt empty, so in rector of nursing at St. Joseph Senior
my search for happiness, I emigrated.
Home, Woodbridge.
MAY 7, 2015
1 866 247 HOME
Saint Joseph Senior Residence for
60 residents. Today, the facility is an
Assisted Living Home. In 1992, the
adjacent Saint Joseph Nursing Center
was added for 51 residents. In 2005, a
new annex was opened at St. Joseph
Convent. Thus the dream of the Little
Servant Sisters was realized through
trust in Divine Providence, hard work
and fundraising with the collaboration of the religious community, the
Church and benefactors.
The hallmark of the present St.
Joseph Senior Home on St. Joseph
Terrace with its beautiful chapels and
facilities is compassion and caring
with the Sisters faithful to Blessed
Edmund’s founding charism. Every
good person is like a candle burning
for others (Blessed Edmund.)
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Open Your Heart and Home
to Foster a Child
American Province was transferred
to the new Provincialate in presentday Cherry Hill, where the Novitiate
was established in 1942. It is near
St. Mary’s Catholic Home, which the
sisters pioneered on a diocesan farm
from 1940.
In 1973, the hall in Woodbridge
became Strawberry Hill Senior Day
Center, welcoming up to 100 guests
until inevitable demolition in 2004.
From 1973 to 2013, the Little
Servant Sisters staffed Our Lady of
Lourdes School in Milltown and from
1994 to 1996 St. Stanislaus Kostka
School in Sayreville.
In 1981, the Little Servant Sisters
of the Immaculate Conception entered
a new venture in Woodbridge, with the
dedication of their newly constructed
OUR DIOCESE
Part 4: Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
11
Religious Communities serving in Diocese of Metuchen
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