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Roots Alive! In the 21st Century



Roots Alive! In the 21st Century probes the inspiration in the Primitive Documents written by Father Médaille and the inspiration and significance we hope to discover for today’s challenges. 

We aim to motivate sisters and partners in mission of all ages and backgrounds to engage in a collective experience that will inspire participants to engage deeply in understanding our core roots in order to find them alive and needed for today and to share this tradition and meaning with next generations. 

To provide opportunities for:

  • bringing our charism and mission to life in a renewed and deepening manner in ways that are significant for our times and our capacities;
  • exploring at depth who we are as communities of St. Joseph and what we are for now; 
  • creating ways in which we can share our legacy and pass it on!

The program will include an introductory presentation followed by six monthly sessions of detailed study including input and dialogue in which we explore how our yesterday is foundational and timely for today.

The workshop is open to ALL: sisters, associates, agrégée, St. Joseph Worker community, and partners in mission 



Sr. Marcia Allen and Sr. Pat Byrne will lead all sessions except the last, led by Sr. Carol Quinlivan. 


  • Sr. Patricia Byrne: taught at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; did extensive research on the Sisters of St. Joseph in French archives; with the help of Marcia Allen translated Sr. Therese Vacher’s ground breaking history, Nuns Without Cloister: Sisters of St. Joseph in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (2010);  worked on  Bearers of the Tradition in Concordia and India; involved in Federation programs for five decades; STB from Gregorian University, M. A. from St. Louis University, Ph.D. from Boston College; post-graduate fellowship,  Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame.
  • Sr. Marcia Allen: served as teacher, school administrator, process guide and facilitator, retreat director, spiritual companion, and more; contributed chapters to several books, two of which she co-edited; served in congregational leadership as Vice-President and President for 24 years; LCWR President for three years.  Current staff member of Manna House of Prayer in Concordia; BA in French and History, MS in Administration and Curriculum; DMin in Spirituality with specialty in Communities of St. Joseph and Ignatian Roots.
  • Sr. Carol Quinlivan: served in educational and pastoral ministries in parishes and at regional, archdiocesan, and national levels; currently teaches Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University and conducts Spiritual Direction Formation Program at Mount St. Mary’s University, both at graduate level; M. A. in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate School,  her dissertation on revitalizing our religious imagination through Celtic Spirituality through the lens of Jungian psychology.
  • Sr. Beth LeValley: while serving 16 years in congregational leadership (council and as president) accompanied renewal processes, ending with the promulgation of the Constitution; worked with neighborhood people to return a thriving inner city supermarket and Rochester’s first low-income credit union; continuous membership on service boards; chairs New Era for Mission (Collaborative Partnerships) Committee and serves on Reimagining Mission Team; MA in Theology from Notre Dame; MA in Culture and Policy from Empire State.
  • Sr. St. Luke Hardy: teacher, principal, director of pastoral care in parishes; served 15 years as licensed real estate agent; participated in month-long Federation Life Program; is co-director of the Associate program and recently returned to a second term as Motherhouse coordinator; she will involve these groups in Roots Alive; BA in History from Nazareth College of Rochester; MS in Education and Supervision, SUNY College at Brockport.