This summer, I have had the unique experience of interning as a Compañera at Taller de José while receiving spiritual development and leadership training one day a week through the Congregation of St. Joseph (CSJ). I have the opportunity to actively practice the values of CSJ every day and clearly see the ways that Taller de Jose carries out their mission. Three of CSJ’s six core values stand out to me in bringing about unity at Taller: faithful listening, inclusive love, and zeal.
Faithful listening is crucial in our work of accompanying clients. Sometimes having someone to walk alongside you is just what a client needs, and we have the privilege of bringing comfort in moments of fear and uncertainty. I have learned to seek first to understand and then to be understood, not only when working with clients but also in adjusting to a new work environment.
Inclusive love has been most evident between the staff at Taller. Everyone makes a point to check in with each other, celebrate birthdays, have meaningful conversations, and leave the office together at the end of the day. This spirit of cooperation rather than competition motivates me to support clients in the same way with persistence and compassion.
Zeal is the spark that ignites the flame within each of us. Last month, I accompanied a client to his oath ceremony where he joined 34 people from 18 different countries in officially becoming citizens. I felt a renewed hope for the future and shared in the celebration of their accomplishments. Through this internship at Taller, I have seen the ambition required to make social systems work for everyone and the pure joy when it finally pays off. The best work comes from a desire to better the lives of those around us with the quality of our presence. We aren’t just doing a job, but a ministry.
Written by Bridget Curran (she/her/ella)
Bridget is a summer intern at Taller de José through the Congregation of St. Joseph Leadership through Ministry internship program.