The October 2017 Ministry Stories are features about the St. Joseph Worker Program. A fast growing community, the St. Joseph Worker Program empowers women committed to social change to respond to the needs of the times.

The St. Joseph Worker Program Mobilizes the Next Generation


See how the St. Joseph Worker Program mobilizes the next generation!

2017-10-09T19:21:39+00:00
The St. Joseph Worker Program Mobilizes the Next Generation See how the St. Joseph Worker Program mobilizes the next generation! [showhide type="20" more_text="Read More..." less_text="Read Less..."] [/showhide]

Just. Showing. Up.


Below is the speech given by Anna Zaros at A Taste of Thanksgiving 2016. She was in the St. Joseph Worker Program in 2008-09 and the following describes her experience in the program.

It was just day four at my placement site at Civil Society, just week three of the program, and I found myself in an Aldi parking lot, helping two police officers move the contents of their unmarked van into my car. Bedding, kid’s toys, a few clothes and cherished family items. From the back of the van peeked a set of eyes – watching me. Mai, with her toddler and newborn baby in tow, was escaping her trafficker. I was her new case manager, here to take her to a safe shelter.

2016-11-21T18:39:24+00:00
Just. Showing. Up. Below is the speech given by Anna Zaros at A Taste of Thanksgiving 2016. She was in the St. Joseph Worker Program in 2008-09 and the following describes her experience in the program. It was just day four at my placement site at Civil Society, just week three of the program, and I found myself in an Aldi parking lot, helping two police officers move the contents of their unmarked van into my car. Bedding, kid’s toys, a few clothes and cherished family items. From the back of the van peeked a set of eyes – watching me. Mai, with her toddler and newborn baby in tow, was escaping her trafficker. I was her new case manager, here to take her to a safe shelter. [showhide type="14" more_text="Read More..." less_text="Read Less..."] Most of the time I wasn’t sure what I was doing as a case manager. The women I accompanied had lived unspeakable trauma – forced to work in factories and give over their pay to their abuser, raped, forced into prostitution, smuggled across borders, drugged. I had just graduated college with a heart full of idealism and a head full of social justice, what did I know? But in the St. Joseph Worker program I learned to show up. With Mai, I helped her receive benefits so she could buy formula for her newborn. We went to the grocery store together. We went to her medical appointments. When she went back to her abuser – the father of her children – a common occurrence for abuse victims - I still showed up. I visited her home to give her some much needed clothing, and to reassure her I was still there for her, no matter what. This is what the Sisters taught me, and I’m sure...

Mentored by Leaders


I spent the first month and a half of my Saint Joseph Worker (SJW) year organizing, planning, and preparing for the 2014 US Federation Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSSJ) Justice and Peace Conference here in St. Paul. In October, 30 women from CSSJ communities all across the country, one who currently serves as the CSSJ UN-NGO Representative, Sister Justine Senapathi, arrived for a three-day conference. I learned about the justice work they lead across the U.S. and on the global level at the United Nations.

2016-03-01T16:58:13+00:00
Mentored by Leaders I spent the first month and a half of my Saint Joseph Worker (SJW) year organizing, planning, and preparing for the 2014 US Federation Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSSJ) Justice and Peace Conference here in St. Paul. In October, 30 women from CSSJ communities all across the country, one who currently serves as the CSSJ UN-NGO Representative, Sister Justine Senapathi, arrived for a three-day conference. I learned about the justice work they lead across the U.S. and on the global level at the United Nations. [showhide type="5" more_text="Read More..." less_text="Read Less..."] I experienced the presence of authentic women leaders, the power of the CSSJ community, and their impact on countless lives in the United States and throughout the world. It didn’t take me long to realize that this group of women not only worked for justice but lived and breathed it too. Every day, they advocate for economic and racial justice, environmental sustainability, and gender parity — educating individuals on local and global issues — taking action on the streets, at the Capitol, in courtrooms, in detention centers; they become the voice for those who are silenced. I left the three-day conference energized, enflamed with the Spirit of the CSSJ community, and with a new vision for my life’s work — to work for those who have been sidelined, marginalized, and forgotten. Today, I am finding ways to embody elements of global justice movements in the work in St Paul.  My passion for global education and cross-cultural learning has been sustained by my experiences in the CSJ Justice Commission and through enrichment opportunities given by the SJW Program. This year has been wholesome and has gifted me clarity, opportunity, and support for the path that I want to pursue after June — working for...

Support the St. Joseph Worker Program by attending the 2017 A Taste of Thanksgiving!