Sister of Saint Joseph of Chambery

CSJ Life

We're All One

July 4th

Bringing back the “unity” in United States

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry came to the U.S. 135 years ago after five of us were summoned from Chambéry, France, to teach at a Catholic school in Lee, MA.

We went on to teach and serve as administrators at more than 35 schools in several other states, including Connecticut.

A former student of Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) school (now closed) in Hartford, where our Sisters taught and served as administrators, recently shared her experience as a 5-year-old immigrant from South America.

Back in the 1980s, when Maria Adriana Roscio (who goes by the name Adriana) was enrolled in OLS after her family moved to Hartford from South America, she remembers her classmates represented a variety of cultures:

Hispanic, African American, Irish, Italian, and more.

Racism didn’t exist, she said. A Puerto Rican classmate translated for her in class until she learned English. A Cuban classmate tutored her in reading. All of this orchestrated by the Sisters.

“The nuns at OLS really gave us that unity,” said Adriana, who today owns her own dance school.

The hatred, violence, disrespect and injustice we’ve seen over the past month didn’t exist at OLS, she said.

As Sisters, we may not be able to perfectly replicate that environment, but we are committed to trying to do better ourselves, and to urge our churches, Congregations, families and government to also try harder.

Reminded of the goodness of the past, we are encouraged that we can turn our societal failures around to foster - by example - greater equality and justice.

On this July 4th, we renew our gratitude for the privileges of living in the U.S. and we invite all to join us in striving to treat everyone with honor, respect and equality.

Maria recently returned to the closed school to post a photo of herself in a dance pose in her pointe shoes and to remind her former classmates of the warm OLS memories:

“We were all one, no matter color or race,” she posted.

Let’s work toward that again.