Laura Brown came to know of the Sisters of St. Joseph through the retreats, seminars and talks that used to take place at St. Joseph's Centre. When she was telling her friend Winnie how much she admired the Sisters, her friend asked if she would like to become an associate. She describes what happened this way:
I went to an orientation meeting. They reviewed what the expectations would be: the yearly retreat, the 10 meetings a year, the yearly commitment and the social event. It wasn't difficult for me to commit — I was very taken with the program.
From out of nowhere — I had to become a Catholic. This feeling just nagged at me till I did something about it. Put it down to the Holy Spirit. So I went to mass, that kind of thing. But I still needed more. When I heard about this group, I thought that's what I need, to be closer to people very active and dedicated to the church.
Growth as an Associate
During the monthly meetings, Associates take turns leading meetings using the Evening Prayer of the Day. The use a book called The Shorter Christian Prayer which they also use for daily prayer at home. Quiet time follows, when associates apply the prayers and readings to their own lives. If they wish to, they share their thoughts with the group, who listen closely and don't comment or give advice.
What you learn there, you take away. I do a lot less judging of people because that is the charism: don't judge. In the nine years, I have gone through very difficult situations as a wife, mother and grandmother. I can accept things, that is, I have the strength and faith to keep going and not question why these things happened to me.
What we do mirrors what Sisters do. It is life changing — it changes your whole attitude. What I stumbled into, I am sure I was being directed by the hand of God.