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Thanking the sisters who guide us

Mount Saint Mary’s celebrated its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ), with a week-long commemoration of the order’s significant contributions to the University and to the communities across the country that it serves.

The Mount opened CSJ Week with a March 13 liturgy and open house at Carondelet Center, the provincial motherhouse to the Los Angeles province located on the Chalon Campus. That was followed by an annual honor mass on March 15 at Mercy Chapel at the Doheny Campus.

CSJ Appreciation Day, March 16, was marked with a reception in the Chalon Campus Center that featured an exhibit showcasing the scholarship of Sr. Mary Gerald Leahy, a microbiologist whose studies in the 1960s and 1970s directly affect current research into mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

The festivities closed with a bread blessing honoring St. Joseph and the Sisters of St. Joseph’s food programs, and a CSJ Jubilee Mass celebrating the combined 385 years of service by six CSJs:

Fifty years – Srs. Sandra Williams ‘70 and Judy Molosky
Sixty years – Sr. Joan Henehan ‘63
Seventy-five years – Srs. Cecile Therese Beresford and Regina Clare Salazar
Eight-five years – Sr. Mary Constance Fitzgerald 

Campus Ministry, University Archives and the new CSJ Institute collaborated on the week-long commemoration, which was presented in conjunction with National Catholic Sisters Week and funded in part by the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph.

National recognition for CSJ
CSJ appreciation is not limited to the Mount’s campuses. This month, the National Women’s History Project — the driving force behind March’s National Women’s History Month — recognized the community service traditions of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet by honoring Sr. Mary Madonna Aston, CSJ, for her leadership in public health. She was one of 16 women honored nationally for their contributions in public service and government. Before her retirement in 2000, Sr. Aston served as CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis and as Minnesota health commissioner before joining other CSJs in founding St. Mary’s Health Clinics to serve uninsured individuals and families living in the St Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area.

About the Sisters of St. Joseph
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph was established in 1650 in Le Puy, France, and in 1836 formed a small community in Carondelet near St. Louis, Mo. The order’s Los Angeles province has sponsored institutions across the Western states, including: Mount Saint Mary’s, which it founded in 1925; Carondelet High School in Concord, Calif.; Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego; St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, Calif.; and numerous hospitals, medical centers and social service programs in Arizona, California, Idaho and Washington.

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