Living a Sacramental Life

Father John Forliti’s relationship with the CSJ community reaches back to the 1960s when he began teaching high school religion at the CSJ-founded Derham Hall.

Since then, he has worked closely with CSJs in his roles as director of religious education for the diocese and as pastor of St. Olaf in downtown Minneapolis. After retiring from St. Olaf in 2004, he remained connected with the CSJs while serving part time as chaplain for Cretin-Derham Hall and St. Catherine University until just a few years ago.

He presided over the first mass in the Carondelet Village Chapel when Carondelet Village first opened. And then, in 2020, just before the pandemic struck, he moved to the Village, beginning a new journey with the CSJ community.

Today, he is a regular presider at mass at the Chapel. He also administers last rites, anoints the sick, and presides over funerals for the Sisters.

As Fr. Forliti reflects on his long history with the CSJs, he notes, “We have lived through a lot in our time together. We have lived through a lot of change and weathered the storms of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. We all have scars from the battles that we fought, but we share a deep belief in Jesus Christ, in God, and in the Christian gospel.”

More than ten years ago he began pondering where he would live when he was not able to stay in his own home. He put his name on the Carondelet Village waiting list and, after more than eight years, moved in just a day before the Covid shutdown.

“Carondelet Village itself was designed with the help of the Sisters and it shows,” he says. “Physically, the building is very comfortable and filled with color and art and plants and flowers. Spiritually, there is a sense of community, pretty much sustained by the Sisters. There is a real spirit of friendliness. Mass is offered every day except Saturdays in the chapel. Daily mass combined with the many other things that go on in the chapel, it’s truly a spiritual center — in the actual center of the building.”

Fr. Forliti has deep appreciation for the CSJ’s commitment to social justice. “It is very strong and very compelling,” he says.

He says that the Sisters inspired him to join the Women with Walkers protests.

“The impact of the Sisters’ commitment to the works of the church, in education and health especially, lives on. I appreciate the many connections I have had and now the opportunity to preside over mass and offer the sacraments to this faithful community.”

The impact of the Sisters’ commitment to the works of the church, in education and health, especially, lives on.