“Through Mary to Jesus”
The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception is a religious order found by Blessed Edmund Bojanowski in Poland in 1850. Since the time that the sisters arrived in the United States in 1926, they have been working heartily for the good of the American Catholic community. Since 1981, The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception have devoted their work to running the St. Joseph’s Senior Home facility located in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Although St. Joe’s is one of many senior home facilities dispersed throughout the United States, St. Joe’s is a special one because it offers its residents much more than only basic care and services. It is truly a Church at Home. St. Joseph’s Home has two beautiful chapels open to all residents who wish to participate in daily Holy Masses It offers a variety of religious services, such as Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross and the most important event for all residents – Crowning of Mary.
The month of May is a special time for all Catholics to pay homage to our Blessed Mother Mary. It is an especially meaningful time for The Little Servant Sisters of the
Immaculate Conception, whose devotion to the Virgin Mary is encapsulated in the motto of the Congregation -“Through Mary to Jesus”. To honor the long-standing tradition of May Coronation, each year The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception organize a festival dedicated to the celebration of our Lady. The event takes place in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and for over a decade it has enjoyed great popularity among children, their parents, and the local community. Through this celebration, The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception seek to uphold deep-rooted Polish traditions and bring together the Polish-American Catholic community in a mutual act of honoring the Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. The climax of the celebration takes place on the convent grounds surrounded by a beautiful park, where all participants join together in common prayer, followed by the coronation of the statue of Mother Mary with a flower crown.
The act of coronation is an expression of genuine piety and a token of Marian devotion in America. It is especially close to the hearts of St. Joe’s residents, who each year gather together in a chapel, and honor the age-old tradition in the community. Unfortunately this year, due to the rigid restrictions, it was impossible to hold the celebration in its conventional form, and since the residents could not come to see and honor Mary in the chapel, Mary came to see them. Seeing the statue of Mother Mary was an emotional experience for all residents. For some, it put a wide smile on their faces, for others, it brought tears of joy. The residents were standing at their doors, waiting to offer flowers and find themselves in Mary’s loving gaze. Everyone joined together praying and singing Marian songs as Sister Leila made sure that the statue visits all residents, as well as the staff. These small gestures reinforced the sense that despite social distancing, we are one family, we are all Mary’s children, and that feeling is what makes St. Joe’s a true home. Together we have invited Mother Mary to enter our hearts, thanked her for being with us, and trusted her with all our fears and sorrows.
Mary is Mother – your mother, my mother, everyone’s mother – and because she cares for all of us day-in-and-day-out without fail, interceding for us in even the tiniest matters.