Beyond the Vowed Sisters

Mary MacKillop always coopted whoever she needed in order to make a solid response to the needs of the day.

Josephite AssociatesThe Sisters have only been able to do the work they do because of the support of the people in the local community – from providing food, to doing maintenance jobs, to driving Sisters when they had no cars etc, etc…. a very long list could be compiled! Since the 1980s many of these people became the first Josephite Associates who now number across all congregations approximately 4750 women and men. Associates across the globe, support one another by Friendship, Prayer and Service to make a difference in their local area and so further the reign of God.

Today the Congregations honour, nurture and recognise the many ways people are sharing in the legacy of Mary MacKillop. A new form of belonging is that of Covenant Josephites. A Covenant Josephite is called by God to live the charism of Mary MacKillop in communion with the Sisters of St Joseph for the sake of mission. This pathway is open to women and men, single and married and is a growing form of belonging.

Since the 1980s many of the major works of the Congregations became incorporated entities. This need was a wonderful opportunity to go beyond the vowed Sisters and engage other people as directors of the boards of these incorporated works. These very committed people share so willingly and voluntarily their time and skills. Over time these people have become immersed in the Josephite charism and make a significant contribution to the ongoing work that Mary MacKillop began.

The results of a search on Mary MacKillop on the internet today highlights just how far Mary’s influence has spread – there are dioceses having her as their patron, schools and child care centres and ministries taking her name, some of which are formally attached to the Sisters of St Joseph, others not.