This spacious community room will be a comfortable gathering placeAt the Leadership Council meeting in Rochester, New York the leaders toured our new novitiate and interacted with our soon to be Federation Novice Directors, Sisters Barbara Staropoli and Michelle Lesher.  Sr. Cecilia Magladry said, “I am impressed with the energy and joy of the novice directors. They are enthusiastic about welcoming our new members.” Sr. Joan Gallagher offered, “It’s a perfect structure. The intentionality behind the planning is so well thought out to address the needs of what a novitiate should be. The house has good space, conducive to community building. The presence in Our Lady of Lourdes parish adds to the experience.” Speaking about the programming, Sr. Miriam Ukeritis noted, “This plan is respectful of the significance of this novitiate year, a time for discerning the call to religious life.” The Leadership Council continued to offer superlatives about the diversity of speakers of high quality, the welcoming spirit of the pastor and staff, and the adult living space at Our Lady of Lourdes convent.Sr. Barbara Staropoli and Fr. Gary Tyman pastor welcome the Leadership Council on their tour of the novitiate

For the last three years the Federation Novitiate has been in Concordia, Kansas. This August it will begin another three year stint, this time in Rochester, New York. This will be more than just a physical move. The novitiate will expand from an eight month to a ten month program. There will be a greater emphasis on integration and discernment that the extended time will allow.

The kitchen has great space for multiple cooks

Sr. Barbara Staropoli, Novice Director described the programming saying, “The programming will emphasize the essentials of religious life through prayer and communal living. There will be more time to be with each of the topics. Each week of presentation followed by deepening days so as not to move too quickly from one topic to the next.”

Bedrooms are small but there is good storage space throughout the home

Sr. Michelle Lesher, Assistant Novice Director, described the plan saying, “The first semester will emphasize prayer, discernment, and the vows, then the second semester moves into the spirituality of the Sisters of St Joseph. For some presentations there will be intergenerational presenters using newer and more seasoned members as a team doing input.”

Sr. Barbara shared, “There will be one day a week for ministry and the Novices will have a day for reflection. The novice directors will guide these reflection day until the point the novices are ready to have the day of quiet to themselves.”



The downstairs will provide classroom and recreation space                  The dining area will serve 10 sisters for the first year in Rochester

Later in the year, the novices will participate in weekend presentations with intercommunity groups (other congregations). Two trips are planned, one to learn about the international work of the Sisters of St Joseph at the UN and one to Canada for a workshop with Sr. Mary Rowell of the Canadian Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph focusing on charism in light of all creation and Laudato Si.

Professed sisters Mary Lou Mitchell and Mary Klossner will be members of the local community.