History of CSJB
Important as the work was, it was not the center of the founders' vision. Canon Carter and Mother Harriet envisioned a blend of the active and contemplative life.
The heart of the Community was, and is, the life of prayer. The Sisters' daily lives included Eucharist, the Divine Office throughout the day, and private prayer and meditation.
Three years later, the Community built their first convent in New York City. From this base, the Sisters began work. They worked with immigrants through the Holy Cross Mission, with women from the streets through the Midnight Mission. Again they founded schools, convalescent hospitals, orphanages, and summer rest homes.
In 1900 the Community bought land in Mendham, New Jersey. In 1908 St. Marguerite's orphanage was built there, and a new convent followed in 1915. In 1929 St. John Baptist School moved from New York City to Mendham.
Changes in society led the Community to shift its focus from large institutional works to a more flexible ministry. The orphanage became a retreat house. The school now houses Daytop, a teenage drug treatment center. As we closed the big works, the Sisters made the convent and grounds a place of spiritual retreat and renewal. Visitors come from all over to both the convent and the retreat house. The work changes, but the spirit of the Community continues to call people to "prepare the way of the Lord."
"He must increase,
I must decrease"
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY OF ST. JOHN BAPTIST, YOU MAY ORDER VALERIE BONHAM'S NEW BOOK ON THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY, THE SECOND SPRING, BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW:
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY OF ST. JOHN BAPTIST, YOU MAY ORDER VALERIE BONHAM'S NEW BOOK ON THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY, LIVING STONES, BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW:
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH COMMUNITY OF ST. JOHN BAPTIST, YOU MAY ORDER VALERIE BONHAM'S BOOK, A JOYOUS SERVICE BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW:
To order Valerie's other books on CSJB, A Place in Life: The Clewer House of Mercy 1849-83, and Sisters of the Raj: The Clewer Sisters in India please click on the images below or contact Sister Pamela.