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Shannon Green is the director of the new CSJ Institute at Mount Saint Mary's University.

Mount launches CSJ Institute to preserve, advance founders’ legacy

Mount Saint Mary’s founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs), set the standard for unstoppable women.

Now, the Mount is preserving — and advancing — its founders’ visionary work through the newly established CSJ Institute at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Launched as part of the Mount’s 90th anniversary this school year, the Institute’s aim is reflected in its mission statement: 

“Rooted in the rich history and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Institute provides the forward momentum to advance the CSJ commitment to serve all persons without distinction, to respond to the needs of the times and to prepare fearless visionaries for a just future.”

And the Institute has taken a giant step forward with the January appointment of Shannon Green as its first director. Green brings 15 years of experience to the Institute’s leadership position, including stints directing university religious, spiritual and pastoral outreach and volunteer programs. Most recently, Green was director of campus ministry at Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Earlier, among other posts, she served as director of university ministry at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill.

“We have all benefited from the work of the CSJs,” Green says. “They established universities, high schools, hospitals and social service agencies, including St. Joseph Center and Alexandria House here in Los Angeles. Our mission with the Institute is to educate, train and inspire a new generation to carry forward the CSJs’ vital tradition of community service.”

Green envisions that the CSJ Institute — to be housed on the third floor of the Doheny Mansion at the Mount’s downtown Doheny Campus — could eventually become the primary home for national resources related to the CSJ heritage. 

Thanks to support from the University community and a fundraising challenge in motion, several initiatives are being developed that will more deeply weave the traditions and mission of the CSJs into campus life. These actions include:   

 

  • Service learning and social justice leadership training programs; 
  • Student and alum outreach and organization network-building; 
  • Public forums focusing on pressing social issues; 
  • A history and scholar research center that will support national CSJ ministries and the CSJ Archival Collection in Los Angeles, as well as the development of short films, documentaries and museum-quality exhibits; and 
  • Religious pilgrimages to Le Puy, France, where the order was founded, and St. Louis, Mo., home of the CSJs’ American congregation. 

 

In fact, this summer, Green will help lead a pilgrimage to France, alongside University President Ann McElaney-Johnson. “The CSJ Heritage Tour to France: In the Footsteps of the Founders” will commemorate the Mount’s 90th anniversary and celebrate the CSJs’ legacy, which dates back to their beginnings in Le Puy-en-Valey, France, in 1650.

The journey to France takes place May 26 to June 5, and will include explorations of the CSJs’ origin, as well as plenty of time to enjoy the country’s culture, cuisine and history. The trip is open to all in the extended Mount Saint Mary’s community. For information, call 213.477.2512 or email jaruiz@msmu.edu

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