Five short years ago, The Women’s Table, the newest ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, came about through the collaboration of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a critical question posed to Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, by William Cafferky. Many Sisters of St. Joseph had influenced his life as well as the lives of his three daughters and he wanted to give back. Bill asked, “If you could develop a program that would empower women, what would you do?” This question inspired Sister Marilyn and others to dream into the future and engage in discussion, research, and prayer which gave birth to The Women’s Table.
On April 30, 2014, many sisters, associates, participants in The Women’s Table activities, and friends gathered to celebrate the outreach and networking that The Women’s Table has become known for throughout the Brighton/Allston area and beyond. Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, Director of The Women’s Table, welcomed the group with enthusiasm and gratitude and noted, “We would not be thriving without your help! Connecting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God is the clear mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the cornerstone of The Women’s Table. Mary Rita acknowledged those whose dedication and involvement contributes to the success of The Women’s Table by promoting connections, improving the quality of women’s lives, and serving unidentified needs.
In particular, three individuals were honored during the evening. William Cafferky was honored with the Founding Sponsor Award. Although Bill could not be present, he forwarded a letter commenting, “I think about girls all the time. I’m surrounded by them. I’ve always believed women get the short end of the stick because they believe that’s all they deserve. Education is the best way to change this. The Sisters of St. Joseph have the necessary venues to even the playing field. Let’s hope you can empower equality through The Women’s Table.” Bill’s daughter, Corinne, accepted the award in his absence and remarked, “With all I’ve learned from the sisters at Fontbonne Academy and beyond, I’ve learned that this world can never have too much love. Through the ever widening circles of The Women’s Table, my hope is that women reach their full potential.”
In addition, Rev. Karen Fritz of the Brighton/Allston Congregational Church received the Community Partner Award. For Karen, “The most powerful thing is the love of God moving through all of us to every other person. Somehow the kingdom of God is truly felt in this community.” Priscilla Kelso was also recognized with the Community Partner Award not only for helping to initiate The Women’s Table Multicultural Circle but also for sharing her gifts with others, both internationally and “at home.” In speaking of the Multicultural Circle, Priscilla remarked, “I call it a little model of hope. We are here because we have the same heartbeat for Christ.”
Throughout the evening, reference was made to the many programs initiated by The Women’s Table during the past five years. At the conclusion of the evening, a “Rose Auction” took place as a lighthearted way of helping to fund these ongoing programs. Mary Rita remarked, “Women often have their most meaningful conversations around a table. The Women’s Table is about promoting connections, compassion, outreach, unity, and community. Without the collaboration of sisters, associates, local coalitions, area social service agencies, and individuals, we would not exist, let alone thrive!”
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Women’s Table is pleased to welcome Tayika Joseph as a summer intern. Tayika is a junior at Regis College, majoring is social work. Pictured above: Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA, Tayika, and Wendy Luk (a volunteer from the Multicultural Circle) fill gift bags to be distributed to mothers at the Bridge-Elliot House.
Thursday, April 19, 2013
The Women’s Table sponsored a 6-week Writer’s Workshop for women. This series helped women explore their life through writing prompts and provides an opportunity to connect with others in a meaningful way. No prior writing experience was necessary, just a desire to learn more about one’s life. The instructor was Mary Caruso who is trained in writing, education and law. The class met for six weeks. Two attendees share their thoughts:
This has been a transformational experience for me. It offered a place of refuge, where we could step out of the chaos of life and reflect on the meaning of life. The culture was warm and inviting, judgment was suspended, we were all welcomed to share our inner most selves and to do that we became a community of kindred spirits. – Sheila
It was very interesting to me how easily, because of the dynamics of the group that I could share. Normally, it would have taken me weeks to talk about myself. I just want to say thank you – I never had any sense of fear coming here. – Julie
December 18, 2012
A special thanks to members of our Multicultural Circle for giving back. Members volunteered to help fill gift-bags with sample soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc., that were donated throughout the year. The bags will be distributed to those in need.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Advisory committee members Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, and Sharon Gouveia represented The Women’s Table at this years Massachusetts Conference for Women. The conference offered community and connection, information and inspiration, motivation and momentum. Marilyn and Sharon greeted women of all ages, answering questions about The Women’s Table’s services. A sign-up sheet was available for those wanting to volunteer, donate Christmas gifts, or for those wanting more information.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Belmont Hill School (BHS) prepared and delivered Thanksgiving meals for over 20 families associated with The Women’s Table (TWT) and The Literacy Connection. This was coordinated by Janice Grady, a parent of a BHS student and daughter of Sharon Gouveia of TWT Advisory Board. The baskets arrived today, and were distributed to families in time for Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
On Tuesday, November 13, business leaders and neighbors of the Brighton/Allston communities gathered with sisters and associates at the Motherhouse for the fifth annual Fall Luncheon 2012. The luncheon benefits the Brighton/Allston ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The unwavering support of these businesses and the groups who sponsor this luncheon has enhanced the work done by the Sisters of St. Joseph through The Women’s Table, The Literacy Connection, and the Anti-Trafficking Coalition.