The St. Joseph Worker Program empowers women to respond to the needs of the time in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The St. Joseph Worker Program creates a year-long service opportunity for women in preparation for a life-long commitment to social change and personal transformation. Individual growth and development is built on the values of leadership, spirituality, social justice and intentional community grounded in living simply and sustainably. Rooted within the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Joseph Workers live the mission: “Love of God and the dear neighbor without distinction.”
Women ages 21-30 are welcome to become St. Joseph Workers. Every volunteer is matched with a placement, where they spend a thirty-six hour work week. One night a week is designated for Sharing of the Heart, in which each household spends an evening with spirituality, listening and learning from one another. In addition, the program includes weekly community nights, multiple retreats, social justice opportunities, and other development activities to make the year a truly transformative experience.
The St. Joseph Worker Program is committed to Diversity, Inclusivity and Justice. Rooted in the charism of the Sisters of St Joseph, we move always toward profound love of God and love of Neighbor without distinction. Grounded in this mission and charism, we commit ourselves to examining the root causes of injustice in all forms- particularly racism. We acknowledge our own complicity as a program and we strive to effect systemic change, through our work for social justice and human rights.
We are committed to creating inclusive and diverse communities in the broadest sense by embracing differences in racial identity, generational history, culture, socio-economic class, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, political perspectives, geographic origin, and ability. Our program strives to create safe spaces and communities in which all people feel welcome to be present with their whole selves. We understand that fostering relationships with all people from a variety of different backgrounds improves and enriches our communities.
We are on the ancestral homelands of the Dakȟóta. We desire to honor and respect the first people and recognize their caring for our common home. Other sovereign Indigenous nations including the Anishinaabe also have a long history with these sacred lands: past, present, and future. We, both personally and institutionally, continue to have a deepening awareness of our complicity, of the complex history of colonialism, genocide and broken treaties. We seek to understand the troubled acquisition of this land by unjust U.S. Government practices including the stealing of these lands and the forced removal from the birth place of the Dakȟóta without any compensation to the Indigenous communities. We acknowledge the past, current, and future impacts of this history on our relationship with our Indigenous sisters and brothers.
In our commitment to social justice and the “love of dear neighbor without distinction,” we are called to acknowledge and to deepen our understanding of our participation in interlocking systems of oppression. We seek to journey farther together to respond boldly in working toward dismantling these systems.
We, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates [and St. Catherine University], know that these words are inadequate, imperfect and must extend beyond this verbal Acknowledgment. This is only our beginning of a much larger journey of listening, learning, building relationship and advocating for and with Indigenous nations for a more just world for all. Living Document – April 5, 2022.