CSSJ Association Virtual Meeting 2022

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
3:00 - 6:00 pm EST

Our ninth annual gathering of the CSSJ Association will be held virtually on February 2, 2022. This association is comprised of all schools sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters St. Joseph and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The purpose of the annual gathering is to promote the CSSJ charism, continue dialogue in support of leadership that furthers the charism of the Sisters, and provide a network of support to propel the Mission of our CSSJ schools.

Each school is asked to support the conference with a $50 fee for any number of participants who attend. For access to the online payment form, please have one representative per school email Rivka Bent at [email protected].

Keynote Theme

Loving Without Distinction: Responding to the Needs, Challenges, and Callings of Our LGBTQ Students

Keynote Speaker

Cristina Traina, Keynote Speaker

Cristina Traina, Ph.D. attended Princeton University, where she majored in Religion. She earned her M.A. in Religion and her Ph.D. in Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Professor Traina came to Fordham in 2020 from Northwestern University where she taught for nearly 30 years in the Department of Religious Studies. Her research focuses on critical and constructive Christian feminist ethics, with a specialty in Catholic ethics. Her areas of special expertise include sexuality, ethics of relationship, methodological questions, and moral agency, in particular children’s moral agency. She has additional interests in bioethics, migration, intersectionality, and economic and political justice. Professor Traina was recently featured by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood in their Spirit Alive Fall 2021 Loving Beyond the Limits, CSJ Institute for Faith Inquiry and Education in their October 27, 2021, "Loving Beyond the Limits of Gender & Sexual Orientation".

Professor Traina’s lengthy publication record, which includes two books and over fifty articles for both scholarly and popular publications, reflects her varied scholarly interests and areas of expertise.  Her next book, Children Out of Place and Moral Agency explores the implications for ethical conceptions of moral agency of children who are “out of place” according to Western liberal notions of childhood. Professor Traina is an active member of the Society of Christian Ethics and served as the Society’s President. She has served on the editorial boards of various journals and is an active member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the America Academy of Religion, and Societas Ethica.  She is also a member of the advisory board for New Ways Ministry, and writes occasionally for its blog.


The schedule below is based on Eastern Standard Time

3:00 pm      Welcome and Prayer
3:15 pm      Keynote: Dr. Cristina Traina, PhD
4:00 pm      Breakout Session 1
4:40 pm      Breakout Session 2
5:20 pm      ACSSJ Announcement about Upcoming Programming
5:35 pm      Affinity Group Check-Ins
6:00 pm      Closing Prayer

Breakout Session Topics

- CSSJ Charism Keynote Discussion Continued: Going Deeper with our Catholic Identity, Mission and Gender Identity in our Schools with Cristina Traina, PhD [Offered Only Session 1]

- CSSJ Charism - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Advancing Anti-Racist Work, Responding to Political Diversity and Leading with Gospel Values with Anita Thomas, PhD

- CSSJ Charism and Wellness: Addressing Anxiety and Mental Health with Christopher Burden, Psy.D.

- CSSJ Charism and Mission: The Challenges of Being Who We Say We Are in Questioning Times with Catherine Nerney, SSJ, PhD,

Breakout Session Speakers

CSSJ Charism - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Advancing Anti-Racist Work, Responding to Political Diversity and Leading with Gospel Values with Anita Thomas, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost at St. Catherine's University. As the chief academic officer, Dr. Thomas provides strategic leadership for academics at St. Kate's. Under Dr. She created and led the implementation of the University's first Academic Master Plan, which supports St. Kate's strategic plan and delivers on the legacy of academic excellence and commitment to women, Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts. Dr. Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in academia, both as faculty and an administrator. Her research interests include racial identity, identity socialization, and using culturally affirming counseling approaches with African American families.

CSSJ Charism and Mission: The Challenges of Being Who We Say We Are in Questioning Times with Catherine Nerney, SSJ, PhD, Director of Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation and Professor of Theology at Chestnut Hill College. Dr. Cathy holds a Ph.D in Theology from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. In addition to her work as a faculty in the Religious Studies Department at Chestnut Hill College, Sister Cathy directs CHC's Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Sister Cathy's area of specialization is the Theology of the Church. Her publications include "From Thinking to Practicing Reconciliation," Cambridge Scholars, 2014 and "The Compassion Connection: Recovering Our Original Oneness," Orbis Books, 2018. In this most recent book, Dr. Nerney explores the gift of and need for compassion, exploring the mission of Jesus and the life and work entrusted to us. She says, "What a challenge to realize that, like Jesus, we are called to be in the world who God is. None of us can respond to this invitation alone. We need each other; together we grow into God."

CSSJ Charism and Wellness: Addressing Anxiety and Mental Health with Christopher Burden, Psy.D., Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Student Wellness at the University of San Diego. Dr. Burden has been at the University of San Diego (USD) since 2007 and also works in private practice as a clinical psychologist in the greater San Diego area beginning in 2010. Having spent his undergraduate years at Xavier University studying in the Jesuit tradition and spirituality, Dr. Burden went on to receive his doctorate in psychology from the Illinois School for Professional Psychology, Chicago Campus. Chris was granted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University before joining the USD community and making San Diego his home.


Should you need support in any way, please reach out to the Chief of Staff to the Head of School at OLP, Mrs. Rivka Bent, at [email protected] or at 619-725-9148.

Registered Participants

All registered participants will receive an email confirmation from Dr. Lauren Lek upon electronically registering. On Monday, January 31, all registered participants will receive a link to the CSSJ 2022 Website with the Zoom Links for the conference. Only registered participants will be able to access the videos following the conference.