Sisters of St. Joseph: Mission, Maxims, History, and Legacy

We believe in the power, presence, and love of God working through an evolving universe and in God’s self-communication through Jesus Christ. We are committed to Jesus’ mission and seek to promote justice, to live lives of non-violence and to respond to the needs of our time. Our goal is to foster love, unity and reconciliation among all people.

As women of the 21st Century, we continue to respond to needs, especially in the areas of justice and the environment. Strengthened by an energy rooted in prayer, we continue to advocate for the poor and oppressed and to work for the care of the earth and all creation.

Maxims of the Sisters of St. Joseph

(Adapted by the Students of Susan Wilcox, CSJ, from Love's Design by Marcia Allan, CSJ)

  1. Stay focused on what’s important in life. Don’t let the crazy stuff distract you.
  2. You are made in God’s image. It's a pretty spectacular heritage. Live up to it!
  3. Learn to see your ego and how it operates and then choose love. Gentleness can rule the day!
  4. Keep your relationships sacred!
  5. Don’t worship money, status and power. It always ends badly.
  6. Keep evolving yourself.
  7. Be courageous! Don't wimp out just because something seems impossible.
  8. Nobody achieved anything all alone. A gratitude check is standard wellness practice.
  9. Avoid the plague of the unaware self. It can be very ugly.
  10. Forget yourself. Be transparent. It's so much easier.
  11. Look for the good in people. Even if it's hard. It's there somewhere.
  12. Adopt a positive worldview.
  13. Go out there and make the creator of the universe look amazing! You can contribute something to 14 billion years of evolution!
  14. Remember, God's love is holding you up, every second, no matter what.
  15. Wait for it...Listen for what you are being called to. Then just do it!
  16. Practice love and gratitude. Everywhere. All the time.
  17. Abandon the desires of the ego. Be led...by love.
  18. Be ONE with Love's design. (History and Practice of Joy 101)
  19. Synchronicity happens. Cherish it and it will keep on happening. (synchronicity: meaningful coincidence)
  20. Be serious to the task of being awake to your soul. Seriously!
  21. Don’t worry about getting credit for your good work; just enjoy the beauty of it.
  22. Desire a sense of self that doesn't need publicity.
  23. Seek a heart fully engaged!
  24. Find God in all things. It's like being a treasure hunter.
  25. When someone takes off with what you have started, be grateful and joyful!
  26. Keep heart, action, and desire in alignment with Love's design.
  27. Avoid mediocrity. It's really boring.
  28. On occasion, give yourself a reality check: "I am not the center of the world."
  29. In times of darkness, dig in deeper to find the light within you. It's there. Really!
  30. When someone tells you, “It can’t be done,” prove them wrong :)
  31. In times of trouble, just open yourself to be an instrument of Love's design.
  32. Don’t reject or judge what life is offering you. Be present to it. It makes all the difference.
  33. Do have role models, but choose enlightened ones.
  34. Nothing that you do for good is wasted, even if it seems like it fell flat.
  35. God knows you fully.
  36. Tell yourself stories that keep your goal in sight. Stay on track.
  37. Do the best you can, and then let it go.
  38. Don't complain about anyone else except yourself.
  39. Be of service to the world! The best service is one that shares your gifts and gives you life!
  40. Devote yourself to what lasts forever.
  41. Be gentle with yourself, the dear neighbor, and creation. We are all still evolving.
  42. Live in the creative tension rather than your own headstrong impulses.
  43. The way to the front of the line is to keep putting others ahead of you.
  44. Remember, you're in a journey of love, not a rat race.
  45. Mind your intentions when you are with others, but DO have parties!
  46. Let go of your ego to free your whole self.
  47. Let someone else be the star! (It won't kill you.)
  48. Don't forget the end game: Love's Design.
  49. Act, if only in behavior toward everyone, the same way you would act towards your beloved.
  50. Orient yourself towards giving. It can be contagious!
  51. If someone disregards you, know that they probably have issues. Meet their disregard with regard! (It changes the dynamic.)
  52. Interpret all things from the best possible point of view. The universe will return the favor!
  53. Don't judge good or bad. Remember, God knows something you don't know.
  54. Yeah, you look good and are doing well, but strive for greatness of heart! It's way less trivial.
  55. Be of service to the dear neighbor without reward. Love's Design has its own reward!
  56. Don't go along to get along. It's more trouble than its worth.
  57. When things are popping in your life, don't think it's you that made it happen.
  58. Laugh at yourself. It frees the heart for service.
  59. Being with God and the dear neighbor and all of creation is the same movement.
  60. Life has tension. Choose peacefulness.
  61. Be present to the moment. The goal is a social order of love.
  62. You're an incomplete work of art. Don't ever stop working on yourself.
  63. Don’t consider unfortunate events as obstacles. Be creative. Ask yourself--what is the opportunity here?
  64. Make a practice of being kind all the time.
  65. Be a responsible person. It pays off in the end.
  66. Don’t give up on Love’s Design until it’s totally obvious that this is the wrong direction. (Obstacles are to be expected when you’re trying to change the world.)
  67. Remember who you are.
  68. There are a lot of distractions out there. Try not to get caught up in them. (Tweeting it is not the same as doing it.)
  69. Stay present to the moment, and the future will take care of itself.
  70. God’s timing is the priority. You will know what you need to at the right time. (It’s still a good idea to turn your assignments in on time.)
  71. Generally, respond to life with a joyful simplicity and a sense of contentment. (Needless worrying and complexifying solves nothing, anyway.)
  72. Align your desires with Love's Design: Be Peace! Nothing is so strong as gentleness...
  73. Get caught up in Love's Design and revel in it!
  74. Don't resist Love's Design.
  75. Resist being put on a pedestal!
  76. Keep your rewards to yourself unless you are asked. (Bragging is not attractive anyway.)
  77. Always keep in mind the goal of creating a social order of love, and don’t get lost in details!
  78. Embarrassment and criticism sometimes serve to temper the ego. Don’t worry or stress; it pretty much happens to everyone.
  79. Don't stress if you notice that others are doing a better job than you in Love's Design. It's a joint effort, not a competition.
  80. When good things happen to you, pay it forward!
  81. Always remember that God knows something you don't know. This is what we call a mystery.
  82. We are all subject to the flaws of being human. God empowers us anyway.
  83. Have good intentions in whatever you do, but always mind your ego.
  84. Put on the brakes! And wait for grace.
  85. Lead a project through, and then step out and let someone else finish and get the credit. It’s too cool for words.
  86. Be reasonable, and don't go off the deep end unless it's for Love's Design.
  87. Don't project on yourself or others. (Projections aren't accurate, anyway.)
  88. The moments of your life are precious. Use them well.
  89. Be your best as much as possible. The returns are highest.
  90. Love’s Design calls you to your whole self to the best you are able. The best things always do.
  91. Creating a social order based on love is the big time, so bring your A game!
  92. God is never finished with you. So never think that you've arrived.
  93. Be dynamic: Keep focused, see God in all things, and embrace what comes. (Being static is boring, anyway.)
  94. Deceit is out there, so be awake! (Don't overly stress about it, though.)
  95. Develop yourself as fully as possible!
  96. All your beauties and talents are just borrowed. Remember who owns them.
  97. Sometimes life is tough, but you can handle it. Develop a courageous heart.
  98. When times are tough, find solidarity with those who suffer without having a voice.
  99. God has a continual evolutionary, unfolding love!
  100. Everything in balance: heart, humility, ego, obedience, detachment, peace, gentleness, solitude, prayer, love of neighbor and God.