Donna Cicalese Left Philadelphia SSJ serves as a frequent translator to keep the US and Latin America connectedPeople often ask if there is a Federation in Latin America like we have in the United States and Canada.  The answer is no but the logic behind it is complicated.  Federations are church structures which became popular in the 1960s.  At that time many groups who shared the same charism and history joined together as Federations.  However, membership in Federations is composed of Congregations that have Motherhouses or Provincial Presence in a country. Nilva Dal Bello attending the Global Coordinating Group in 2016 to update us on the work of RED

In Latin America and the Caribbean, although there are over 800 Sisters of St. Joseph and 1,024 associates, there is only one Motherhouse and that is the headquarters of the Sisters of St Joseph of Buenos Aires.  Several international and US congregations have a presence in Latin America.  They include Chambery (Bolivia, Brazil,) Lyon (Honduras and Mexico), Brentwood (Puerto Rico), Carondelet (Peru, Nicaragua), Concordia (Brazil), Congregation of St Joseph, (Nicaragua), Rochester (Brazil), Orange (Mexico, El Salvadore), and Baden- (Nicaragua).

Here are some interesting facts about our Sisters in the south. The have an organization called “Red” which is Spanish for network. Their principle works are social and parish pastoral work, human rights promotion, hospital services including alternate health, ecological projects, prison ministry, and migrant ministry.  Empowerment of women is a major theme of many of the works they do.The Italian Federation also has sisters in Latin America

They face many challenges including responding to a youth culture that faces multiple and increasing violence, migration, corruption, and the ongoing sustainability of the planet.  They continue to renew themselves so that they can be open and creative.  They wish to witness to our Trinitarian spirituality and be a welcoming presence to all.  They strive to live with audacity and risk dreaming and believing that a better world is possible.  They have a strong laity formation program to assist their Associates in living their faith.

In this coming five years they hope to initiate a Justice and Peace, Integrity with Creation Commission for Latin America and continue to build bonds with the Federations and the International Congregations of the Global Family of St. Joseph.