Sister Josephine Stewart, SSMN

josephineOne of the founders of the Beginning Experience ministry, Sister Josephine Stewart, SSMN, was born October 12, 1931 in El Paso, Texas. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur at the age of 22. She taught at Our Lady of Good Council High School in Dallas, Texas. In 1961, she became the Superior of Our Lady of Victory Convent and earned her master's degree in education from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1970, she attended "The Happening," a program of encounter with self, others and God, which had a profound impact on her spirituality.

She worked on Marriage Tribunal cases in Fort Worth and did counseling, learning of the stress and grief of divorced Catholics. Along with Jo Lamia, a divorced friend, she wrote and developed the Beginning Experience┬« program; the initial weekend was presented Oct. 18-20, 1974. By 1977, Sister Josephine was devoted to the Beginning Experience┬« ministry full time. In 1981, after the ministry spread to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand as well as many American states, Sister Josephine stepped aside, leaving the ministry in the capable hands of Fr. Guy Gau. She then spent her time traveling, working with abused children and people with developmental disabilities, and wrote a book, We Are All Connected. She lived in Fort Worth, Texas.  She wrote an autobiography, Letting Go: The Way Into Abundance, in 2009.  She passed away on May 8, 2014, after a long illness.