A mere seven years after the order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph was founded in 1650 by Father Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ, he presented them with 100 maxims, or short prayerful guides, to live by.
Father Medaille wanted the first Sisters to develop certain virtues. He wanted them to develop the habits of heart and mind that were in Christ Jesus and to live within the experience of God’s unbounded love for them and then, in turn, live that love in the service of the dear neighbor.
When walking around campus, you may have seen new art on some of the walls; three of these maxims have been painted in two areas of Martino Hall, and one large saying, has appeared on the wall at the end of the first floor hallway outside the Rotunda.
When you serve the dear neighbor, do it with an unselfish love & generous heart.
--Maxim 55, Sisters of Saint Joseph
“The Mission and Legacy Committee saw this as one of several ways to keep the mission of the College and of the Sisters visible and to deepen and promote them,” says Joannie Cassidy, SSJ, director of Campus Ministry.
The committee, composed of students, faculty and staff, read through two dozen maxims that were reflective of service and an active, inclusive love for all. Then they scouted out several potential areas for placement around campus, and then once everything was approved by Sister Carol, the maxims were adhered to the walls.
“We wanted those that are most relevant to today’s students and that reflect the heart of the mission,” says Sister Joannie. “They are a form of art that reflects our mission, and are a beautiful addition to campus.”
She adds that many students have already told her that they appreciate the mission alive through these visible signs on campus; that they have caused them to stop and are reminded about why we do what we do.
Maxim 4 — Live in such a way that your life may be a continual act of love — can be found in the lounge area on the third floor of Martino Hall.
And Maxim 1 — Your call is sublime … become what God dreams for you — is found in an alcove on the second floor.
The Mission and Legacy Committee also promotes the 1650 Society and Mission Alive, the annual retreat for faculty and staff in Cape May Point.