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The Spirit

Spring 2013




Our Angel Unawares*

*Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. -Hebrews 13:2

Unbeknownst to Linda, a part-time employee of Emergency & Community Services (ECS) in Delanco, the widow she was helping out by driving her to errands was to later become known as an angel.

of a significant bequest. She indicated that she loved Catholic Charities and the work we did and wanted to contribute to its continuity. Moreover, as a savvy investor – Linda observed that Marion followed stock market activity on a daily basis – she also indicated that she appreciated our agency’s careful stewardship and knew the money would be stretched to its furthest extent.

Several years ago, Linda took a call from a friendly older woman who asked if ECS offered transportation services to residents such as herself. Marion explained that she never needed a driver’s license as her husband did all the driving. Her husband had been in the service and they moved around a bit, settling for a time in California before relocating to Burlington County.

Marion’s gift and lasting legacy will touch the lives of many struggling Burlington County families and individuals. Her kindness will not be forgotten and she surely is remembered by Linda and all who knew her as “our angel unawares.”

While ECS did not offer this type of assistance, Linda offered to help out, particularly since she was working part-time. Over the course of the next four years, Linda and Marion struck up a rapport. Marion, who never had children, especially enjoyed the occasions when she got to spend time with Linda’s two school-aged daughters. Linda drove Marion to doctor’s visits, the grocery store, to the diner to meet friends for breakfast and to the cemetery so that Marion could place a fresh wreath at her husband’s gravestone.

For information about planned giving opportunities at Catholic Charities, please contact Nancy Tompkins, Development Director, at 609-394-5181 ext. 1161 or

1913-2013 100 years of service

“Marion was a lovely, quiet and unassuming woman,” said Linda. “She lived modestly but gave generously of her time and treasure, helping others at her church, Our Lady of Good Counsel and at ECS.” She made a huge difference for the poor and struggling in Burlington through her generous efforts. Sadly, Marion stopped calling Linda for a ride and several years later, Linda learned that Marion had passed away.

Visit page 3 to read about our yearlong celebration.

But it is what happened soon after that sad news that Linda will never forget. Catholic Charities was notified that Marion had designated the agency as the recipient 1

From the Executive Director Charity Chatter

Dear Friends, I am excited to announce we observed the official date of the 100th anniversary of Catholic Charities in February with a special Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton. It was a stately and sacred way to start a yearlong celebration of our organization which helped more than six million individuals in our first century.

Robert Juliano (third from the left), Vice President of Community Development at Beneficial Bank, and several local bank team members volunteered to pack Thanksgiving baskets at Emergency & Community Services in Burlington County (BECS) on November 14. Mr. Juliano presented Bonnie Jordan, director of BECS, with a $2,500 check to support the food pantry. Employees at Beneficial Bank have been loyal supporters of BECS during the holiday season for many years. We look forward to seeing them each year helping in the food pantry and providing monetary support for the program as well. Thank you, Mr. Juliano and Beneficial Bank!

Please visit our special website, www. for videos and timelines chronicling our 100 year history and for a calendar of special events planned throughout this year. One of the first Centennial events is our 100 Years and Running 5k Run & Walk Race to be held at Mercer County Park on Saturday, April 6. For more information or to register, visit

Sue Hughson of Mt. Laurel, NJ, volunteered to coordinate “Operation Christmas Card” for victims of Hurricane Sandy. With the overwhelming support of her stamping club and St. John Neumann parish in Mt. Laurel, she collected over 2,000 Christmas cards! Many were made by Sue and her stamping club. She organized the cards in packets of 10, with each pack containing a pen, and delivered them to our central administrative office.

Throughout depressions and disasters, as well as family and personal crises, Catholic Charities has been a part of the lives of more than 6 million people for the last century. Our staff, Board members and volunteers can feel proud to be a continuing part of the dedication and compassion that is the legacy of our agency and mission.

Sue said the following in an email about the project: “I thought it would be something folks would still want to do at Christmas time but they will be so overwhelmed to have to shop for and or pay for Christmas cards. I am so glad to be able to help our fellow New Jerseyans who are suffering so much. It’s just devastating to see.” Emergency and Community Services in Ocean County received a donation of 12 handmade blankets from the 8th grade Cadette Troop 60278 at Academy of Our Lady, Glen Rock, New Jersey. OECS in Lakewood continues to assist families and individuals displaced by Hurricane Sandy, many of whom are still being temporarily sheltered.

Thank you for helping us continue to renew lives and restore hope for another century! Sincerely,

Pictured (back row, from left): Megan, Devin, Jill, Veronica, Olivia and Emma; sitting in front are Mariana, Sarah, Fiona and Samantha.

Marlene Laó-Collins Executive Director 2


Catholic Charities Celebrates Its First Century

6 million helped in central New Jersey What has 1,200 legs, helped more than six million people so far, and celebrated its 100th birthday on January 25, 2013? Employing a staff of 600 and scores of volunteers all sharing the mission of alleviating human suffering, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton observes its centennial in 2013 and will celebrate throughout the year with a variety of special events.

It is 1913



Pictured here: Marlene Laó-Collins, Executive Director, and Dick Gillespie, chair of the Centennial Planning Committee Photo courtesy: Jeff Metzner/The Monitor, Diocese of Trenton


The U.S. Post Office begins parcel post delivery, Grand Central Terminal opens, Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the 28th president, the Internal Revenue Service begins to levy and collect income taxes, the zipper is patented, the first paved coast-to-coast highway in the U.S. is opened, the continuous moving assembly line is introduced by Ford (produces a car every 2+ hours), and Charlie Chaplin begins his film career for $150 a week. It is during this exciting, dynamic year that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton was established, among the first five Catholic Charities agencies to be created in the U.S. “This is an exciting year for our organization and a time to reflect and give thanks for the more than six million individuals who relied on us for assistance and compassion during the last 100 years,” said Catholic Charities’ executive director, Marlene Laó-Collins. “We hope to inspire others to adopt our mission to alleviate suffering in any way they can throughout this year and to join us at our community events.” Community events and special celebrations are planned throughout the Centennial year. The kick-off event took place on February 1 at a special Centennial Mass held at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton followed by a reception for the community, staff and volunteers. Catholic Charities also launched a Centennial website featuring a video, timeline of milestones in the organization’s first century and a calendar of events, The next community event is 100 Years & Running 5K Run/ Walk! The 5K will be held on Saturday, April 6 2013 (rain or shine) in West Windsor’s Mercer County Park. The race is open to athletes of all levels, and pre-registration is encouraged to be guaranteed a race shirt and finisher’s medal. Individuals can register online at Committed sponsors to date include PNC Bank, Reilly Financial Group (an office of MetLife Financial Services), Wegmans, and Roma Bank. For sponsorship information, please contact Jennifer Leip at 609-394-5181 ext. 1137 or We encourage anyone who was directly or indirectly helped by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton to share their story with us! Contact Lisa Thibault, Communications Manager at or 609-394-5181 ext. 1153.

Join us in our celebration! 100 Years & Running 5K Run/Walk April 6 Mercer County Park West Windsor, NJ Ray of Hope Gala April 26 Eagle Oaks Country Club Farmingdale, NJ Guardian Angel Dinner Dance Kick-Off May 16 Hyatt Regency Princeton Princeton, NJ Providence House Ocean Gift Auction June 7 Georgian Court University Lakewood, NJ Visit for more information!


Donation Station Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. -Buddha Re-Gifting for Good Have you received gifts that you really don’t need or can’t use? Put them to good use by re-gifting for a cause! Donate gifts that you can’t use to Providence House. We will provide them to families being sheltered or will auction them off to raise the funds needed to continue providing our services at no cost to those in need. Please consider re-gifting new items and/or gift cards to Providence House in Ocean County to support the 13th Annual Gift Auction to be held on June 7th at Georgian Court University. Contact Marcia Fishkin for information at or 732-350-2120. Donations of new items are accepted at 88 Schoolhouse Road, Whiting, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Consider “re-gifting” new items and/ or gift cards to Providence House in Burlington County to support the Taste of Burlington to be held on October 9 at the Merion, Cinnaminson. For information, contact Rachel Johnston at or 856-824-0599.

Help Support Our March Against Hunger Hunger in New Jersey. It’s very real. That’s what our March Against Hunger Drive is all about – depending on the support of friends like you to help us reach out to people in need. A simple meal can open the door for healing and hope – for the training and counseling people need to find jobs, break addictions, get back on their feet, start over in life. Your tax-deductible gift will also be stretched even further, because every gift received between March 1 and April 30 to our March Against Hunger Drive will be supplemented by a donation from the Alan Shawn Feinstein Foundation’s hunger relief fund. Contact Barbara Clancey, Community Affairs Manager at Emergency & Community Services, at 609-599-1246 or for food items needed and drop off locations, or with questions.

Help Riverbank Self Help Center in Burlington go green!

Please help them eliminate the need for paper and Styrofoam by donating flatware and plates. To arrange a drop-off, contact Diana Pasca, Program Supervisor of Vocational Services and Riverbank Self Help Programs at

Help for Sandy’s Survivors The Disaster Response Program is grateful for any donations of gift cards to Walmart, Target, Shop-Rite, Acme, Wawa and to gas stations. These gift cards (denominations no greater than $40 are preferred) will be provided to eligible families and individuals still impacted by Hurricane Sandy. For information, contact Maria Nikolatos, Program Coordinator, Disaster Response Program, at Donations can be mailed to: Disaster Response Program Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Attention: Hurricane Sandy Relief Services 721A Mantoloking Rd. Brick, NJ 08723 4

Hurricane Sandy

THANKWeYOU are indeed grateful to have supporters in Lakewood who

In response to Hurricane Sandy, Emergency & Community Services in Ocean County, received in-kind donations of food, clothing, and household items from individuals and groups from all over the country. The value of the donations is over $500,000. During the months of November and December in 2012, 130 people volunteered at Emergency & Community Services in Ocean County to help sort all these donations and distribute them into the community. Monetary donations from all over the country came pouring in as well.

volunteered to store the many truckloads of donations: Performance Training Institute, J. Knipper and Company, Quikrete, and Blue Claws First Energy Stadium.

We are continuing to assist the many individuals and families affected by the storm and are extremely grateful for the generosity and commitment of all our supporters at this time of difficulty.

Getting New Jersey Back on Its Feet After Sandy

By: Maria S. Nikolatos, Program Coordinator, Disaster Response Program Much has changed for many New Jersey residents in the are not limited to: Catholic Charities USA, The Children’s last five months - some lost homes, jobs, belongings, and Health Fund, The Church of the Visitation in Brick, Knights now some are beginning to lose hope. of Columbus, Ocean First Foundation, Ocean/Monmouth Legal Services, The United Way of Ocean County, Wakefern Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29-- Food Corporation, federal, state and local government and marking one of the most damaging disasters in state his- many more. We extend heartfelt thanks to them for their tory, battering our coastline with greater than 14-foot vital contributions to Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery waves and wind gusts up to 88 mph -- 122,000 structures efforts. were damaged or completely destroyed. We continue our work through direct service and comIn the aftermath, emergency responders and volunteers munity partnerships, including serving on the executive traveled to the hardest hit neighborhoods to help. They committees of the Ocean, Monmouth and Mercer county met with individuals and families who lost their homes; long-term recovery committees, remaining active memtalked to children who were out of school; and images bers and participants of the NJ Voluntary Organizations from these encounters were in various media, touching Active in Disaster (NJVOAD), as well as the Monmouth, all of us. Many had offered help in the form of opening Mercer and Burlington County Community Organizations their homes, warm meals, showers, clothing, and clean Active in Disaster (COAD). up efforts. With each passing day, less media attention is focused on the continued needs and destruction left by Please start talking about Sandy and the devastation that Sandy. By keeping the Sandy recovery efforts in the head- is still prevalent; there are too many who are still in need lines more funding becomes available, more donations of assistance as they begin their long-term recovery. Let us are made, and more volunteers come forward to help with show the world the real New Jersey, the New Jersey who rebuilding. There is still much work to be done to begin takes care of its people, the New Jersey that presses forrestoring lives upended by Sandy. ward no matter the challenges. If you or anyone you know was directly affected by Hurricane Sandy and needs assistance, please call:

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton re-activated its Disaster Response Program and has been assisting individuals and families by offering advocacy, case management, counseling, information, referrals and other basic needs. We have partnered with parishes, agencies and organizations. Through these collaborations, we are better able to meet the needs of the many, while trying to fill potential gaps in services. Many of these partners include but

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Disaster Response Program 1-800-652-2080 5


100 Years & Running 5K Run/Walk

Saturday, April 6 | Rain or shine!

Scan here or visit to register!

Join us as we sprint into our second century by participating in our inaugural 5K run/walk on April 6! Make a day out of it with your family- dogs included- at West Windsor’s Mercer County Park. Questions? Contact: Christa Marzan, race director 609-394-5181 ext. 1154 Schedule of events 7:30-8:30 am: on-site registration & packet pick up 9:00 am: race start time Refreshments to follow for runners only

Thank you to our committed sponsors to date! Centennial PNC Bank

Gold Roma Bank

Diamond Reilly Financial Group (an office of MetLife Financial Services)

Silver Wegmans Bronze Saker ShopRite

Contact Jennifer Leip at or 609-394-5181 ext. 1137 for available sponsorship opportunities.

Race entry $30

13th Annual Gift Auction

to benefit Providence House in Ocean County Come out for a night of fun, great prizes, refreshments and hope for those trying to break the cycle of domestic violence! When: Friday, June 7, 2013 Where: The Wellness Center at Georgian Court University 900 Lakewood Avenue Lakewood, NJ Parking: Near the Wellness Center & A&S Building Doors open at 5:00 pm Winners announced starting at 7:30 pm Raffle tickets on sale now! Only $2 each and 3 chances to win! Winners need not be present to win.

Thank you to our sponsors to date! Gold Sponsor Renaissance Women’s Club Silver Sponsor Georgian Court University Bronze Sponsors Central Self Storage Hecht Trailers Service Sponsors Jersey Shore Running Club Fossils of South Jersey, Inc.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact Marcia at For more information, please contact Marcia 732-350-2120 or mfishkin@ at or 732-350-2120 or visit

Event tickets go on sale April 2. Only $15 each!

Super Raffle 25%, 15%, 10% 3 chances to win! Last year’s first prize winner won over $1,500! 6

Guardian Angel Dinner Dance

The 24th Annual Guardian Angel Dinner Dance Kick-off reception will be on Thursday, May 16 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. The Guardian Angel Dinner Dance will be on September 21, also at the Hyatt. We are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Catholic Charities and we will be honoring past honorees with a special cocktail reception. This year’s honorees are: Humanitarian Award J. Mark and Ann D. Baiada Light of Hope Awards: Burlington County St. Mary of the Lake – Medford Mercer County Honorable Anthony Persichilli Monmouth County M. Barbara Willis Ocean county Monty Williamson Centennial Award Daniel F. Lundy

Who’s Got Spirit? Ray of Hope Gala Committee Announces 2013 Community Service Award Honorees

The 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee in collaboration with the Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities, today announced that Middletown residents Pat and Larry Durso (pictured, at left) were selected as the recipients of the 2013 Ray of Hope Community Service Award in recognition for their contributions to Catholic Charities programs in Monmouth County, as well as several other local organizations. The Dursos will be honored at the 16th annual Ray of Hope Gala on Friday, April 26, 2013 at Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club in Farmingdale, N.J.

nual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Run/Walk and has served on various committees for Catholic Charities of Monmouth County including Ray of Hope Gala Ad Journal Committee Co-Chair, Parish Outreach, Christmas Mission, Beacon House and the annual back-to-school supplies drive for Project FREE. She is a past president of the Parent Teacher Association at St. Leo the Great School and was active in the CBA Mother’s Club. Larry currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Two River Theater Company and The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund. He is also a member of the theater’s Finance Committee. Previously, Larry was the president of the Saint John’s University Staten Island Alumni Association.

Since 1978, Larry has built his career in the financial services industry, focusing on wealth management and retirement planning. He is currently the executive director of Investments for the Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley in Red Bank. New Jersey Monthly magazine selected Larry as one of the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers, an elite group that represents less than two percent of the top wealth managers in the N.J. area. He has also been quoted in many finance magazines and was recently featured in Living Media magazine in the “Ask the Expert” section.

Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities Chair and 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Co-Chair, Barbara Willis, said, “Pat and Larry truly enjoy helping others and can always be counted on to lend a helping hand. They exemplify the true spirit of giving and volunteerism; we are proud to honor their service to the community this year.” Married for 36 years, the Dursos are both originally from Brooklyn, N.Y. They met at St. John’s University (the first day of their freshman year) where they both graduated in 1975. Larry went on to earn a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1977. In 1986, the Dursos moved to Middletown and that same year, joined Saint Leo the Great in Lincroft. In addition to raising their two sons, Michael, 28, and Joseph, 26, both graduates of St. Leo the Great School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), they have managed to juggle careers and volunteer for numerous organizations. Throughout the years, Pat and Larry have lent their support to St. Leo the Great, CBA, Catholic Charities of Monmouth County, American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Ball, St. Leo’s Lunch Break Program, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Daughters of St. Paul and The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.

His honors and achievements include Prudential Securities Director’s Council, President’s Council and Chairman’s Council. He was a member of the Prudential National Mutual Fund Council and the Prudential Speakers Bureau. He was also a Wells Fargo Premier Advisor and a member of their Chairman’s Council. In 2004, Larry was a recipient of the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Medal from St. John’s University, an honor bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the life of the Staten Island campus. In spite of their busy schedules, the Dursos find time to travel and are currently preparing for Michael’s wedding later this year. Ray of Hope Gala sponsorship and ad journal opportunities are available and donations for the silent and live auctions are also being accepted.

Although the Dursos volunteer together as a couple, they each individually give their time to support many other organizations. Pat is a volunteer at Riverview Medical Center. She knits hats for California-based Knots for Love, an organization that supplies cancer centers across the country with knitted hats for women, men and children. Pat has been actively involved since 2009 and has knitted more than 200 hats. She has been a registration aide for the an-

To learn more about the Gala and Catholic Charities, please visit For more information, contact Barbara Willis at (732) 9956893. 7

The Spirit Staff:

Editor in chief: Lisa Thibault Graphic designer: Christa Marzan Contributors: Barbara Clancey, Marcia Fishkin, Jane Hargraves, Pam Marshall, Christa Marzan, Lisa Thibault Printing: Garrison Printing Company Pennsauken, NJ This publication was created at Catholic Charities’ Central Administrative Services. 383 West State Street Trenton, NJ 08607 609-394-5181

Good news about depression? Mercer outpatient staff offers information and support More than 20 individuals attended a free presentation given by Mercer Outpatient Services Program Director Chris Mussell, ACSW, LCSW and Patricia Wieliczko, APN earlier this month and held at the NAMI Mercer office at 3371 Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville. The presentation was coordinated by NAMI Mercer and those attending represented consumers and family members of consumers. Chris and Patty created a friendly, conversational environment to encourage those in attendance to feel at ease. Several audience members actively participated by sharing their own experiences and asking questions. The presentation included information about the continuum of depression, symptoms, matching medications to symptoms, evidenced-based psychotherapies, levels of care, new treatment developments, and the components of a wholistic approach to recovery.

383 West State St. P.O. Box 1423 Trenton, NJ 08607-1423

Publisher: Marlene LaĂł-Collins

The Spirit, Spring 2013  

Our Spring 2013 newsletter!