Diocesan News

Sister Liz Dodd Professes First Vows as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP) joyfully celebrated here in the Diocese of Nottingham

Saturday, October 14, 2023

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP) joyfully celebrated the first profession of vows of Sister Elizabeth Anne (Liz) Dodd on Saturday the 14th of October. The profession took place during a Eucharistic liturgy held as part of the Congregation’s Autumn Assembly in Nottingham, England.

In the presence of all gathered, Sister Liz said: “Living out of a radical dependence on God’s love for me, and understanding this love is universal and priceless, I will live against the lie that anyone is unloved or unlovable. I will depend on my sisters, our charism and God’s love to hold me to the covenant that God makes with all life, and with a particular solidarity with the poor.”

“We are blessed to celebrate Liz’s profession of vows during our community assembly,” said Sister Andrea Nenzel, Congregation Leader.  “Assemblies are a time when we gather to celebrate our unity and renew our life and spirit.  Liz’s choice to commit herself to live the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience in the context of community is a powerful witness in today’s world.”

Sister Liz recently completed her novitiate programme, which extends over a period of two years.  The novitiate is an opportunity for the novice to deepen her experience of God through prayer, reflection, study, community life, and times of ministry. It is also a time to deepen her understanding of the Congregation’s history, spirit and mission as peacemakers. The congregation novitiate house is located at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality in Carlton, Nottingham.

Sister Liz and the other sisters living in the novitiate house provide hospitality to asylee women and young people experiencing homelessness. She also spent six months during her second year of the novitiate living with CSJP sisters in the United States, where she volunteered in an adult medical day care for people experiencing learning difficulties and disabilities in New Jersey and at a shelter for homeless families in Washington State.

During her novitiate, Sister Liz has found herself drawn to what she describes as the “expansive spirituality” of the Congregation. “A very great part of my discernment has been noticing what moves me ‘closer,’ to God, rather, what frees me to experience God more fully,” said Sister Liz. “Living as a Sister of St Joseph of Peace has done that abundantly. For me, I find that spirituality to be most fully expressed in work among those experiencing poverty and people on the margins.”

Sister Liz, 37, was born and grew up in Oxford, England. She studied Theology at Magdalene College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career in journalism: first as a music journalist, then as a travel writer for National Geographic (Traveller UK), The Guardian and Independent.  She was home news editor at The Tablet, the International Catholic weekly, between 2016-2021, with a brief sabbatical to bicycle around the world. She became a Candidate for the vowed life with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in November 2020 and a Novice in October 2021.  During her second year of the novitiate, which focuses on ministry experiences, Liz returned to writing for The Tablet as a regular columnist.

“Formation is a life-long process as Sisters participate in the mission of Jesus Christ through the vowed life,” said Sister Margie Fort, Congregation Novice Director.  “As a professed sister, Sister Liz will respond to this opportunity daily by the continued integration of her prayer life, community life, and ministry.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, founded in 1884 in Nottingham, England by Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack), are an international community built on a rich heritage of promoting social justice as a way to peace.  Sisters and associates minister in education, health care, religious education, parish ministry, social justice, spiritual direction and peace ministry in the United Kingdom and United States. For more information, visit the Congregation website at www.csjp.org

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