Sister St. Joseph Brennion, OSF, began her journey in ongoing conversion very young. Coming home from school one day, she decided to walk through the woods near where she lived. Her steps took her past a tree that made her stop and stare. In the pocket of a root grew a single flower. It struck her that no one but she might see this beautiful flower but God still put the flower there in that deserted spot. Even today, Sr. St. Joseph repeats what she said then: “Now that’s class!”
At age 14, despite the fact that she lived in a predominantly non-Catholic community and attended public school, she heard God’s call to become a religious. And at 17, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
Her journey—or her long, rich tramp with the Lord, as she calls it—took her into nursing in hospitals, clinics, and schools; teaching kindergarten through college classes; and social work with those who are prisoners, homeless, and dying.
Art is at the core of Sister’s journey. Perhaps it was that which lead her into the woods to find the flower. She has used art throughout her ministries, reaching into the hearts of many people and bringing out the beauty within. Even today, living in Assisi House, the Sisters of St. Francis retirement home in Aston, Pennsylvania, Sr. St. Joseph works with her fellow retired sisters doing art projects. With a smile, she says, “Art is like a language that everyone understands.”