Novitiate in Rochester, NY

The Federation Novitiate is moving in a couple of different ways. In 2018 we will be physically moving to Rochester, New York and implementing program changes proposed by the Life Long Formation Committee and approved by the Leadership Assembly in 2016.

The Federation novitiate will be a two-year program consisting of a 10 month residential component (in New York) and supplemental programming when the novice is residing in her home congregation. In the Federation residential program, all the canonical norms for novitiate are observed. Some classes will be held in common among all the novices while some programs would be offered separately for the residential and non-residential novices. The curriculum will be comprehensive, offering an in-depth look at the history, charism, and spirituality of the Sisters of St Joseph. 

Sr. Barbara with youth at the Nazarth Neighborhood Arts ProgramThe novice director, Sr. Barbara Staropoli, (Rochester)and assistant novice director Sr. Michelle Lester, (Philadelphia) will live communally with the residential novices and two other professed sisters all experiencing a shared common life.

The 10-month residential component will be conducted in a contemplative environment in order to build skills for living the charism for our time and into the future. The overarching emphasis of this time is to further develop skills for being a discerning woman with a developing relationship with God. This interior movement compels the novices towards compassionate engagement in mission.  Coming to know oneself as a Sister of St Joseph is the primary goal of this time.

In reflecting on her willingness to assume this ministry, Sr. Barbara shared, “I am honored to be the Novitiate Director for the Federation Novitiate to be located in Rochester beginning in 2018.  Our Rochester Congregation is vibrant, involved, and serious about the future of religious life.  I promise to do my best to help each novice grow in her relationship with Jesus and become more knowledgeable about consecrated life and the challenges for the present and future.”  To the future novices she says, “There is joy in my heart at the prospect of meeting you and walking with you!”Sr. Michelle Lesher Assistant Novice Director

Sr. Michelle offered, “The Federation Novitiate continues to be a touchstone for me personally; I often draw on the insights gained during that year from prayer, rich programming, and meaningful relationships. The experience invited me to grow in love for God and neighbor, while forging lasting connections with our sisters throughout the federation, a total gift as we move together into the future. What a privilege to be part of shaping this kind of experience for others. I hope that it will indeed provide a space for our sisters to deepen in their relationship with God and their love for our mission and charism. I look forward to the adventure!”

The Rochester congregation has secured a 12 bedroom convent at Our Lady of Lourdes parish which offers us great space for our three years in Rochester.

Another new component will be programming that the US Federation will offer for sisters who are living with those in the candidate, novitiate, and initial formation stages to assist them in understanding the material that those in initial formation are being exposed to and to help them find a common language to enhance their communal life