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A blessed Christmas to all! Development Office of the Salesian Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians •


Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter Dear Friends: Amid gloomy news from various media sources, and as we pray for victims of terrorism around the world, we find a message of hope and love during this season of Advent and Christmas. Our cover photo was captured as Sr. Lise Parent, the returning principal of Corpus Christi-Holy Rosary School in Port Chester, NY, assists the children preparing the Christmas manger. The children prayed their favorite hymn, “Joy to the World, The Lord is come! Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing.” The little ones continue to lead us in faith, hope, and love, and a much-needed message of peace. Some news to report:

Save These Dates in 2016! Sunday, April 17, 2016

Salesian Sisters’ Annual Spring Party a benefit for Mary Help of Christians Academy North Haledon, NJ

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Dames of Mary Help “Women of Distinction” Luncheon

• Thanks to you, we met the match for the Pond Restoration in Haledon, NJ, and work has begun. See page 7.

a benefit for Mary Help of Christians Academy

• Thanks to you, renovation of St. Joseph’s Chapel at Mary Help of Christians Academy will begin this month, with completion scheduled for (fittingly) the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19, 2016.

Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2016

• The “Thanksgiving Basket” fundraiser for the Salesian Youth Center and Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL, was the best ever, grossing a record $125,000! See story and photos on pages 4-6.

Mary Help of Christians Academy’s 75th Anniversary Reunion North Haledon, NJ

• Need an end-of-year tax letter? Please contact the Development Office. • Don’t return those unwanted Christmas gifts! Please consider donating them to our 2016 Spring Party, to benefit Mary Help of Christians Academy’s Financial Aid Fund. Thank you! On behalf of Salesian Sisters, thank you for your loyalty and generosity throughout 2015. We have so much to be thankful for, and you are at the very top of our list of gratitude. We wish you and your loved ones a Blessed and very Merry Christmas and a healthy, fruitful, and joyous 2016! Peace,


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Mary Helpers Rock Radio City Music Hall!


he Salesian voices of Mary Help of Christians Academy opened for the Rockettes in “The Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall on December 4. The choir was selected through a video audition in September. Music Director Mrs. Lucia Cardona, a Mary Help Alumna, Class of 1990, conducted two a capella pieces, “Carols Three” and “Bring a Torch,” in four-part harmony. Tenth-grader Emma Manzella exclaimed, “Wow! That was such a great feeling to be on the Great Stage at Radio City!” And how! Congratulations!

Mary Helpers pose outside the iconic Radio City Music Hall (above) before checking their makeup (right) in the Rockettes’ dressing room. Congratulations, ladies!

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In Tampa, Giving Thanks for Salesians!


n November 21, the 12th annual “Thanksgiving Basket” fundraiser for Villa Madonna School and the Salesian Youth Center/Boys & Girls Club was held in Tampa, FL. More than 400 people came to support our wonderful honoree, Joe Chillura, for his dedication and devotion to the Salesian Sisters, the children, and the community. Adriana Colina, a graduate of Villa Madonna and host of the ¿Que Pasa Tampa? radio show, was once again our gracious emcee. As always, we thank Richard Gonzmart of Columbia Restaurant, who provided an outstanding Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, overseen with efficiency by Caroline O’Conner and Chef Gerry.

Our committee worked hard once again to make sure the evening was a success, and a success it was! We raised a record $125,000 from sponsorships and a silent auction with 80 themed baskets. Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Farrier and Katy Seib, both of Tampa, who were the winners of the Amazon and Publix gift certificates, respectively. Everything for the Thanksgiving Basket was donated, which allowed all funds raised to go directly to helping the children at the SYC and Villa Madonna. As the photos on these pages show, a grand time was had by all. Thank you to everyone for helping us reach our goal! – Theresa Anderson

Our honoree, Joe Chillura, is surrounded by Sr. Rosemary Cordes, Sr. Mary Jackson, Sr. Elfie DelRosario, and Sr. Myriam Meus. (PHOTOS BY KATHY WINTER)


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Above, Chris and Lauren Schellman and their son Alexander are ready for family game night! Right, enjoying the party are Leo Diaz, Eddie Garcia, Jack and Cindy Amor, and Villa Alumna Elaine Diaz. Below, Lisette, Sebastian, and Gabriella Hernandez pose with their winnings.

Sr. Mary Rinaldi with her brother, Philip, of San Antonio, FL.

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Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


Above, our proud honoree, Joe Chillura, and his lovely wife Mary Helen, the “wind beneath his wings.” Left, Carl and Yvette Hinson. Carl did a great job introducing our honoree!

Above, Sr. Elfie and her best buddy, Marisa Jurado, enjoy their time together. Left, Joe Garcia, Dick Stowers, and Cami Gilbertini complimented the Columbia Restaurant staff on their fabulous meal and service. Below, Joe Guidry and Lenora Lake offer their best wishes to Joe Chillura.

Our fabulous emcee, Adri Colina, greeted the guests with gracious enthusiasm!


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Our Pond Appeal Runneth Over!

On the Mary Help of Christians Campus, the pond has been drained and is ready for dredging, all part of the restoration effort.


he pond on the grounds of Mary Help of Christians Academy has been enjoyed by children and Salesian Sisters alike ever since it was created 70 years ago. It is an oasis for the elderly Sisters at St. Joseph’s Provincial Center who often take time out to sit near the pond and feed the family of ducks and fish. The pond is also the mecca of activity for the summer camp children. Boating, fishing, and skipping stones are among the favorite pastimes of our campers. In recent years, wear and tear as well as forces of nature devastated the pond, which drained, leaving just mounds of dirt and leaves. What an eyesore! All pond activities for camp were put on hold until a major renovation could take place. The projected cost neared $170,000. A helping hand came when a private family foundation

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in New York pledged $75,000 with the condition that we matched it in 60 days. We accepted the challenge and hit the ground running. Within 59 days of the match, with help from Partners like you, we had exceeded the $75,000 match! A huge boost came from our dear friend Jim Sausville of J&K Ingredients in Paterson, NJ, who donated nearly $20,000! Work has already begun on the pond and will be completed before camp begins in 2016. We thank each and every person who donated to our Pond Appeal and cannot wait to see our beloved pond returned to its former glory! – Elsie DeJesus, Development Office

Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


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Be Missionaries of Hope and Joy


ctober 16-18, 2015, will likely stay as one of the best weekends of continued Salesian Formation for me. Twenty-three Salesian Sisters from the United States and Canada, along with five lay collaborators, one Salesian priest, and one Novice, gathered with joy and gratitude in North Haledon, NJ, for the opportunity to be together and share what makes our hearts beat – our youth! Sr. Runita Borja, our General Councilor for Youth Ministry, took us on a life-giving journey, deepening the understanding of our educational mission as Salesian Sisters today, through the lens of the invitation posed by our General Chapter to broaden our horizons as missionaries of hope and joy with the young. We began the weekend by meditating on the Emmaus journey, comparing the disciples of Emmaus with the deepest yearnings of our youth today and then analyzing Jesus’ concrete response to them, recognizing in Him our model of accompaniment which leads to fullness of life. Int he following days, two figures helped us deepen the meaning of pastoral conversion: our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and a 17-year-old Pakistani girl named Malala Yousafzai.

Salesian Sisters and youth leaders from the U.S. and Canada joined Sr. Runita Borja (center) for a group photo.

Sisters in Canada, who, few as they are, have incarnated this oratorian heart so powerfully! Their broad vision and embrace of new ways and creative methods of reaching youth of all ages in Canada impressed me so much! Thank you, Sisters, for your joy, courage, and witness of missionary zeal!

First, we pondered our Holy Father’s words to the U.S. Congress, to the United Nations, and The youth ministers, laity, and a Sister to all of us through the Pope’s 2013 Nurture a heart that is of St. Joseph who shared these days Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of audacious, creative, with us in the spirit of family and close the Gospel.” He strongly invited us to collaboration, were a treasure as well! consider that only a profound personal, and flexible, able to go Their presence, joy, and insights shed communal, ecclesial, and social towards the young with a bright light on all of our sharing and conversion of heart can make a concrete a renewed vision. dialogue. They were a reminder of the difference in the lives of the vulnerable, richness within the Salesian Family and youth, and women most in need. the power of networking with other congregations in our educational mission. A perfect example of pastoral conversion is Malala, whose faith continues to inspire her to promote education for all, I’m sure I speak for all who were present in thanking especially women, in her home country. Notwithstanding Sr. Runita and the Provincials of the North American great strife and persecution, she continues to advocate for Conference. Thank you for this opportunity to broaden the change and social justice. In her, we were reminded of our understanding of our educative mission, primarily as one Salesian duty to join the voices of the young to eliminate which leads to a transformative encounter with Christ. injustice in all its forms. Sr. Runita also spoke about an oratorian heart as the soul of all Salesian environments; a heart that is audacious, creative, and flexible, able to move us out of our comfort zone to go towards the young with a renewed vision. In this regard, I would like to personally thank our Salesian

May we, Salesian Sisters and collaborators, allow this encounter to catapult new life in us and in the youth with whom we journey, around the world!


Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

– Sr. Linda Gonzalez, FMA

Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

Your annual contribution to this fund empowers the Sisters to continue their mission: To Provide Financial Assistance and Volunteer Services to the Salesian Sisters and to the Young People in their Care for the Advancement of Education, Vocations, and Community Life.

new or upgraded Partners Circle Members so far in 2015!

There are nine levels of membership, starting at $550, and are listed on these three pages. Won’t you consider joining this dynamic group in 2015, our 24th year?

Shown in RED

Please call us today: (877) OUR-NUNS. Thank you!

Joseph J. McAleer, Sr., Heritage Society Major Bequests California Richard Meissner, Meissner Manufacturing

Angel Oliva Family The Dorothy Thomas Foundation

Florida Dr. & Mrs. Vincent Bagli Mr. & Mrs. Ray Campo Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garcia PC Mrs. Ann Lowry Murphey

Partners Circle “Visionaries” Annual gift of $27,250 Florida


Mr. Anthony Petrocelli Ms. Roberta Ruocco Ms. Celeste Tripi Mr. Vincent Waraske

Mrs. Beatrice Lightfoot

New York

New Jersey

Mrs. Pearl Kalikow

Tony Amato Family The Carini Family

Partners Circle “Stewards” Annual gift of $11,000 Texas Mrs. Betty Turner

Welcome New 2015 Members in Red!

26 Welcome

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle


he Partners Circle was founded in 1991 to provide unrestricted funds for urgent needs of the Salesian Sisters and their mission. These include support for capital needs, scholarship assistance, technology upgrades, and funds for those unforeseen situations that require immediate attention.

In memory of Henrietta Veronica Schmoll Rauenhorst PC = A member of the Partners Circle National Board of Trustees

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Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


Welcome New 2015 Members in Red!

Partners Circle “Partners” Annual gift of $5,500 Florida

Mr. & Mrs. Javier Baldor PC Mr. & Mrs. James Millar Lydia & John Oliva Mr. & Mrs. Mark Oliva PC

New Jersey Mr. & Mrs. Tony Chernalis In memory of Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Church, Jr. Joanne & Al Daloisio Mr. & Mrs. Robert Harkins PC Mr. Bill McLaughlin PC

New York

California Connecticut

Mr. Michael Guarnieri PC Christina & David McAleer PC Dr. Joseph McAleer PC Mr. & Mrs. Salvatore Zichichi

Florida Mrs. Janis Boyd Anthony & Diana Ekonomou Lowry Murphey Family Foundation Mr. Fredy Padovan

Annual gift of $3,300 Florida Dr. Idalia Lastra

Mr. Anthony J. Carroll Mr. John Cassara

Pennsylvania Keun Ho (Christopher) & Soon Ok (Gemma) Chong Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

Partners Circle “Founders” Mrs. Maryann Roman

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

A.J. & Mindy Papetti Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Pfeifer PC Mr. & Mrs. Rodger Rohde Joseph & Rita Weiner

Partners Circle “Friends”

Massachusetts Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair

New Jersey Mr. & Mrs. John Connors Mr. & Mrs. Donald Hoffman Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Laudone Mr. & Mrs. Dale Livi Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Massood Mr. & Mrs. Michael Massood Ms. Antonia P. Meola Mrs. Moira McBride Murphy Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Papetti Ms. Rose Perone

Annual gift of $2,200 New York Ms. Jordon Carroll Mr. & Mrs. James Dell’Orto Mr. Ian H. Graham Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Scala, Jr.

Pennsylvania In Loving Memory of Sr. Adeline Salvetti, FMA

South Carolina Mr. & Mrs. Tom Aldinger

Partners Circle “Benefactors” Annual gift of $1,100 California Mr. & Mrs. Robert Obenberger


Linda & Peter Christiansen PC Mary Bridget Gaine A Friend

Florida Mr. & Mrs. John Anello Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Caballero PC Terrell & Joe Clark Dr. Andrea & Sean Farrier PC Mrs. Aida Jurado Mr. & Mrs. H. Tyson Lykes, II Mr. & Mrs. Jim Major Mr. & Mrs. Frank Middendorf

Mr. & Mrs. Gene Perez Mr. Charles B. Schmalz

Georgia Mr. Robert Reiter

Massachusetts Mr. & Mrs. Neil Holmes

Missouri Ms. Marianne O’Doherty

New Jersey Ms. Anita Cronk Ms. Debi F. Debiak Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Granatell Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Laino

Michael & Mary Losurdo Mr. & Mrs. Brian McAuley Kathleen & Vic Medore Mrs. Arline Monaco Mr. & Mrs. Michael Massood

New York Ms. Lea Battiato Mr. & Mrs. John W. Lombardi Msgr. William T. Rodgers The Sabatine Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Silveri

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Bob Danch Allyson & Kevin Hardy

A Friend Anonymous

California Geraldine & Joanne Rizzuto

Connecticut Mr. & Mrs. Edward Goin Mr. & Mrs. Robert J. Mosey

Dr. & Mrs. Emilio Echevarria PC Mr. & Mrs. Luis Garcia PC Mr. & Mrs. James W. Lee Mr. & Mrs. Mark S. Reynolds Rudy Rodriguez Hon. Judge & Mrs. E.J. Salcines PC Mr. Joseph Tomaino Ms. Maria C. Torreiro Mr. & Mrs. Ron Yates



Mr. & Mrs. Mark Anderson Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor, Jr. PC Carlos & Liana Baldor, Sr., in memory of Ana Maria Mr. James J. Burrowes Mrs. Yoli Buss Dr. & Mrs. Robert Cano Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Capitano Mrs. Trudy Carey Dr. & Mrs. Antonio Castro Mrs. J.C. De Lotto

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

Partners Circle “Associates” Annual gift of $825 Florida Mr. Declan Mansfield Fred & Anne Michaels Rene & Phyllis Rodriguez

New Jersey Mr. Anthony B. Della Cerra

New York Mr. Walter Lazarcheck Mrs. Helen Leahy

South Carolina Sandra M. Freeman

PC = A member of the Partners Circle National Board of Trustees

Illinois Adelaide Olivieri

Massachusetts Ms. Patti Gauthier Ms. Josephine Petrillo Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Reading

North Carolina Mr. & Mrs. Paul Liotard Mr. Chester F. Michewicz, Jr.

Ohio Mr. & Mrs. Dan Clair Mr. & Mrs. Dale Kovach

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hedgecock

South Carolina Anonymous

Texas Mr. & Mrs. Bill Locklier

Virginia Mrs. Dominique Faust Mr. Michael Maurer Mr. & Mrs. Karl Zauner

New Jersey Tiziana Anello, M.D. Larry & Mary Anne Condit John Eccleston Dr. & Mrs. Louis Gambetta PC Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Giamonco Mrs. Teresa Gutto Ms. Laura Cosentino Mannarino Mrs. Diva Muller Mr. & Mrs. Bob O’Halloran Mrs. Christine Peragallo Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Piotrowski Mr. & Mrs. Cameron Reid Emanuel N. Sarantis Mrs. John Soldoveri Mr. & Mrs. William Stuart Ms. Kathleen Zayatz

New York Michael & Jeanette Altamura Mr. & Mrs. Jack Betwarda Mr. Charles Brown Kevin & Kathy Clair Mrs. Rose Mary Clair Terence & Patricia Clair Alma & Charlie Curcio Ms. Claire Dell Mr. & Mrs. Mario Masciandaro Mr. & Mrs. Mark Nardone Mrs. Joan Oliver Mrs. Margaret Reilly-Antalec

Welcome New 2015 Members in Red!


Annual gift of $550

OUR MISSION The Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle provides Financial Assistance and Volunteer Services to the Salesian Sisters and the Young People in their Care for the Advancement of Education, Vocations, and Community Life.

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

Partners Circle “Members”

Please Give Us This Day for Christmas!


he season of giving is upon us! What better gift than a day of prayer? Do you have a happy occasion you would like to share? The Salesian Sisters will celebrate with you. Is it a time to commemorate a less-than-happy occasion? Let the Sisters help. Have you someone to thank? All of us will help multiply this gratitude to that special person. So, then, please “Give Us This Day”! Any and every event or person or situation that merits special attention will be publicized on a bulletin board outside our chapel on your special day. All the Sisters, on that day, will pray for that person/event and for the person who requests prayer for the day.

Carly Hess, our volunteer professional art therapist, has the magic to enliven the creativity of our elderly Sisters. They so enjoy their time with her!

Our Lord has assured us, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am among them.” What better assurance can we have?

Let this exchange of prayer be an example of our concern and love for one another. God bless you during this holy Christmas Season!

Please Help Our Retired Sisters In Need! Please reserve this day/these days in 2016 in honor of my special intention to support the Endowment for the St. Joseph Provincial Center for our Retired Sisters:



Day 1 (Month, day):


Day 2 (Month, day):


Day 3 (Month, day):

Significance: Name

Total enclosed @ $100 per day: $ ____________


Please make your check payable to: Salesian Sisters


Please detach and mail in the enclosed envelope. Thank you!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

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Holidays, Families, Mercy Sr. Karen Dunn’s Letter “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy.” – Titus 3:4


hristmas time connects families. Family holiday photos from friends mix in our mail with cards of masterful artwork that recall the mystery of God’s coming to earth and into the warmth of a family, the Holy Family. The goodness and humility of God, and the faith of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and kings envelope us again. For most of us, the celebration of Christmas is deeply wrapped in the memory of the intimacy and that warmth of family typical of Christmas. Yet behind the timeless Madonna and Child depictions, we know the backstory of apparent misfortunes: of being in a faraway place when a child is about to be born; of struggle, uncertainty, and fear. Despite it all, we see a response of faith, hope, acceptance, and reconciliation with a reality that one would prefer to be different. Indeed, the reverent and joyful awe on the faces of the figures in our manger scenes overpowers the harsher realities. With a moment’s pause, we recognize these joys and sorrows surrounding the Infancy Narratives. They are somehow part of the story of every human life. So, even as we look forward to those treasured moments of family together; as we prepare our homes; as we light Advent Candles; as we anticipate the visit of the kids, the opening of gifts, and all the surprises and promise of the Season, we might carry some old or fresh wounds or regrets that have wedged into our hearts and relationships. Our moments

together during the holiday might even be punctuated by a disappointment or absence. For us, there is danger that the Light of hope and peace that we celebrate, and that is meant for us, is tainted by the same struggles that confronted the real persons behind the figures in our crèche.

Let words of faith and gestures of mercy be lasting ornaments we add to our relationships this Christmas Season! Pope Francis, always grounded in human reality and continually reminding us of how God “incarnates” His presence in our everyday human experience, speaks both eloquently and realistically on the family, the place where each of us first meet the God of love. In his warm and candid style, Francis recently reminded an audience: “Dear Friends, let us not forget that there is no ‘perfect’ family… Our family is a beautiful gift from God. Don’t spoil it with petty fights where we simply bully others to get our way. Selfishness just wears down affection and does not allow the family to thrive. I would like to give you some practical advice. Develop the habit of always saying, ‘Excuse me,’ ‘Thank you,’

and ‘Sorry.’ Especially this last one. Do not let a day go by without having it said it to your husband or wife, ‘I’m sorry, dear.’ Because it is with these simple gestures and reconciliation that we build up the family.” So much on his mind is this need for mercy and reconciliation, that Pope Francis announced a special Jubilee Year of Mercy, which opened on December 8. The Year of Mercy is an invitation for the Church to focus on forgiveness and healing, on the love, kindness, and unbounded generosity that we celebrate at Christmastime. The home is the first and perhaps richest of training grounds for the experience of giving and receiving mercy! Choosing to live in faith, to live in kindness and reconciliation with one another, our past, and the struggles and pains that characterize every family can renew us. It can have transformative power in our lives, relationships, work, and in our ability to experience life to the full. As the Christmas Holiday reconnects us to family again, let us make our moments with them as beautiful as our cards and greetings. Let’s prepare hearts that are wrapped with the sentiments of God who became one of us: kindness, forgiveness, and largeness of heart. Let us not be weighed down by any damaging residual of the past, nor allow difficulties or selfishness to dim the light of grace and faith within us and around us! Let words of faith and gestures of mercy be lasting ornaments we add to our relationships this Season! May our world and your families be filled with grace and in awe of the God of infinite mercy this Christmas and throughout the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

Making Headlines Around the Province


joyous celebration was held at the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ, for Sr. Ruth Stecker on her 89th birthday! God bless her!


ongratulations to our three Postulants: Monica Wheeler of the Western Province, Molly Heine of the Eastern Province, and Joyce Bermejo of the Canadian Province. At a special medal ceremony on October 9 at St. Dominic Savio Parish in Bellflower, CA, these three young women entered the second year of formation to become a Salesian Sister. Our prayers continue for this terrific trio as they proceed on their spiritual journey, answering “Yes!” to serve the Lord with joy as a Salesian Sister.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

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lease consider joining our friends of all faiths who have experienced the transforming power of prayer and loving friendship with a Salesian Sister, every day of the year, through our Adopt a Sister Program. Whether the Adopted Sister is for yourself, a family member, or a friend in need of spiritual strength, you will find comfort knowing that your intentions will be remembered each day by your spiritual prayer partner. And it makes the PERFECT gift, especially for a wedding, Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation – any occasion, and especially Christmas!

Time for art therapy at the St. Joseph Provincial Center!

Please complete the form below, or to learn more, visit us online at, or call us toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS. On behalf of the Salesian Sisters, thank you for your generosity. God bless you!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yes! I Would Like to Adopt A Salesian Sister! Enclosed is my yearly gift of: $ 160.00

$ 260.00

$ 500.00

Other $______

the enclosed

Enclosed is my quarterly gift of: $ 65.00

$ 40.00

Please used

$ 125.00

Other $______


Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________

Email: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________

Birthdate (mm/dd/yy):


This adoption is a gift. (Please write the recipients information below) Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________

Email: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________

Birthdate (mm/dd/yy):


Donation by: Check (Make check payable to Salesian Sisters.) Mastercard



American Express

Card Number: _________________________________________________

Expiration: ______________________

Signature: ______________________________________________________________________________________________

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Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •



A Love That Lasts Forever

Received between October 6 and December 1, 2015 Sr. Claire Perino, FMA Dr. Jane Massey Licata Mrs. Dolores McIntyre

You can honor a cherished relative or friend with an everlasting gift of love – a memorial. Our Partners in Giving Memorials & Tributes give you the opportunity to comfort those who have lost a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion. This gift lives forever. It joins your loved ones to the prayers of the Salesian Sisters and supports their good works. The name of your loved one will appear in our Partners in Giving magazine – a priceless gift to those you love. Give the gift that lasts forever. Enclosed is my Memorial/Tribute Gift of: ____ $25

____ $20



Frank Suszynski Mr. Paul Switalski Mrs. Zoraida Cantu Mr. & Mrs. John Pedrero Mr. & Mrs. Mark B. Anderson Mrs. Barbara McCleery Mrs. Lynette Suszynski Anonymous Anthony, Buddy, & Geri Ms. Grace Aquino Alex & Rose Lazorisak Ms. Alesia Lee Lazorisak

Alex Gorfain Mr. & Mrs. George McAfee Dr. Joseph McAleer Mr. Michael Cuffy Luigi Marciante Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Luigi Marciante Bernard Catalanello Mrs. Louise Catalanello Julia Smath-Le Fabvre Ms. Patricia Breen


Lucy Portuese Proto Mr. Crispin Proto

Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, FMA Dr. Joseph McAleer

Mary Vespa Mr. Chandler Root Mr. & Mrs. James P. Drago Mr. & Mrs. Greg Copeland Ms. Camille Fasulo Mr. & Mrs. Richard Stanton Fairleigh Dickinson University

Marciante Family Mr. & Mrs. Luigi Marciante

Memorial for Tribute for


Occasion Please send an acknowledgement to: Name Address

My Name Address

Detach & mail in the enclosed envelope to: Sr. Mary Rinaldi 659 Belmont Avenue, North Haledon, NJ 07508-2397 Please make checks payable to SALESIAN SISTERS


ou may now adopt a Salesian Sister to pray for your deceased family member or friend for one year. It is a one-time gift; the suggested donation is $160. Forms are posted online at:, or please call us, tollfree: (877) OUR-NUNS. Thank you!

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Celebrating Don Bosco’s 200th Birthday


o mark the 200th birthday of St. John Bosco this year, more than 5,000 members of the Salesian family from 53 countries – Sisters, Priests, Brothers, Cooperators, Volunteers, and, of course, the young – converged on northern Italy in August to visit the holy places associated with our Founder. Our Province was present! The spirit of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello was truly among us during the pilgrimage to Mornese and Turin via Rome, not only through the daily presence of the Salesian Rector Major and our Mother General, but through the joy-filled and positive spirit that was experienced everywhere. For me, all the pages read in books and all the stories heard from my dear Sisters and from other members of the Salesian family came alive. Rain and thunder did not stop us from celebrating this huge milestone in the history of our family. There were pilgrims camping all over Colle Don Bosco, his birthplace, to await the early hours of August 16, his actual birthday. Under the rain, confetti was flying, music was rocking, the pilgrims were energized, and echoes of chants filled the air: “Salesiani, batti le mani!” “Salesians, clap your hands!” For sure, the rest of our Salesian world was united with us in a special way. Yes, on our pilgrimage many sacrifices were made – walking a lot, eating food we wouldn’t normally eat, sleeping in

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Above, Salesian pilgrims gather on the steps of Colle Don Bosco, St. John Bosco’s birthplace. Left, Sr. Elfie and Sr. Guerline join Salesians before the statue of Mary Help of Christians at the Valponasca, where St. Mary Mazzarello lived with her family. Below, pilgrims pose outside of St. Mary Mazzarello’s home, the Valponasca.

tight quarters, and even sleeping for just a few hours a night. However, I can truly say that our minor sacrifices were offered up for the salvation of souls. What an experience! Truly indescribable! May Jesus be praised for the great good that came from this pilgrimage. Viva Don Bosco! – Sr. Guerline Joseph, FMA

Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


Salesian Youth Report ACADEMY OF OUR LADY, MARRERO, LA – What’s cooking today? Senior Jenna Arackal (left) and sophomore Jasmine Stewart (right) are among the Academy of Our Lady Culinary students who learn how to read recipes, control consistency, and build confidence in the kitchen. This is one of the four Academic Majors offered that gives students the opportunity to specialize in an academic area of interest.

ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC NEWMAN CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS – “Koinonia” (a Greek word meaning “community”) retreats are led by and are for students, under the guidance of Sr. Loretta DeDomenicis. The teams also have co-spiritual directors consisting of a priest and a Salesian Sister. For this particular retreat, under the theme “We will run and not grow weary,” Fr. Jim Pankiewicz, a diocesan priest stationed at the Newman Center, and Sr. Theresa Samson partnered together. They both spent eight weeks of spiritual preparation with the team of 22 young people, who gave various talks; acted as “Wheaties” (those who cooked for the weekend); and provided the music. Each participant is open to a personal encounter with the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration, live Stations of the Cross, and the Eucharistic celebration, as well as gleaning from the talks those things pertaining to their own spiritual journey.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

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Salesian Youth Report


“Food Fast” Offers a Life Lesson

n integral element of the Catholic tradition is showing generosity to the less fortunate. We try to teach our children to be mindful of the blessings we have, and to always do what we can to help the poor. These can be difficult lessons to learn, and equally difficult to teach. At Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, FL, students were treated to a different kind of lesson. They experienced a simulation of what it would be like to experience hunger, and, to a certain extent, know the experience of the working poor in our society. Freshmen at ILS reported one day for “Food Fast,” designed to give students the experience of actually being hungry. And so, from the moment they arrived on campus until midafternoon, all freshmen fasted. No breakfast and no lunch were served. And while students were fasting, they experienced a different type of lesson. Rather than reading about or listening to someone talk about the struggles of the poor, they experienced a simulation of actually being poor. Students were divided into groups, each resembling a poor family. Each student was given a role: a father or mother, a child, or even a grandparent who was forced to live with the rest of the family. In addition, the “families” were assigned challenges, or hardships, designed to simulate what sometimes happens to poor people. The company laid off employees, or Dad lost his health insurance. The families were also given resources to try and cope with their challenges. They could report to social services, employment services, and, of course, the Catholic Church, in

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Rather than reading about or listening to someone talk about the struggles of the poor, ILS students experienced a simulation of actually being poor.

efforts to assist with their hardships. The gymnasium was divided into particular regions, not all of which were very friendly. For example, neglected “children” were put into “custody.” Another area was simply “the streets,” and if your family was there, it meant obviously things were not working out very well. The “Food Fast” exercise was a very unique and creative way of teaching kids about the issue of poverty, as well as the solutions to poverty, namely generosity, consideration for the less fortunate, and compassion. Immaculata-La Salle truly follows the Catholic tradition of service to the less fortunate, in and out of the classroom.

Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, FL – A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) student (below) studies engine components as part of real world engagement, just one example of a program which offers exciting new directions for students and faculty. ILS was invited along with a select group of schools to apply for STEM certification through AdvancED, which accredits over 32,000 schools across the country. To earn STEM certification, ILS had to undergo a self-study and on-site visit by AdvancED specialists who looked at 11 indicators of success. The school had to meet or exceed rigorous criteria, such as cross-curricular education with real world applications, performancebased assessments, student self-direction, and extra-curricular opportunities. According to the final report from AdvancED, “Students demonstrate ownership, responsibility, and enthusiasm for their learning through performance-based assessments,” and “The environment [at ILS] is one that is conducive to expressing thinking and learning in a confident, strategic, organized and problem solving manner.” Well done, Immaculata-La Salle!

Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


Salesian Youth Report

ACADEMY OF OUR LADY, MARRERO, LA – Academy of Our Lady’s National Honor Society recently held the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, and more than 3,000 food items were collected! Academy of Our Lady donated the items to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Immaculate Conception Church, which distributed the food to needy families in our community. Helping to sort the donations are Noel Bui, Holly Clark, Jade Duthu, Gabrielle Lambourg, and Jordan Boudreaux.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SCHOOL, MARRERO, LA – Immaculate Conception School is the first program of its kind to receive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) accreditation and have individual faculty members – proudly displaying their certificates above – earn STEM Certification by™. This achievement exhibits true excellence in STEM education. Faculty members attended a two day training seminar at the end of last school year. The focus of the seminar was the use of hands-on activities and critical thinking exercises which are used to develop deeper understanding of concepts in the STEM areas. Take a bow, faculty!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

The Joy of Being a Salesian Educator

God, the True Source of Love


alesian Educator”: I reflect on this phrase often since I began ministering as a Salesian Sister. This term invites me to pause and think about how I can be an educator in the way of St. John Bosco. I am inspired to help young people become the best that they can be, the person that Christ wants them to be. Very often, when I am reflecting on these questions, I think of the young who come to the Salesian Youth Center/Boys & Girls Club here in Tampa, FL, every day after school. I have the great privilege to go there every day to be among these precious ones of God. I often wonder, “What could I do to foster their growth?” I find it challenging to come up with a satisfying answer since they all have different backgrounds. However, I believe that there is one common answer that may help them all. That one response is to show them how God loves them and how I love them just the way they are. I am reminded of Don Bosco’s saying, “It is not enough to love the young; they must know that they are loved.” Sometimes, the smallest thing can be a great expression of love. One time, I was with a group of boys talking and playing, and one of them exclaimed to another child, “You are so bad!” The other child answered, “Sister said, ‘No one is bad.’” Upon hearing this, I knew God’s love had reached him, and I felt very happy. On another occasion, the children were having a snack in Ana Maria Park when one of them asked me, “Sister, it is true that in God’s eyes we are all brothers and sisters?” I said, “Yes, it is indeed.” The little boy was very happy that we were all brothers

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At SYC, Sr. Myriam Meus is ready to play with third-graders Kelli Palmore and Ashanti Bacon, fifth-grader Anna Anderson, and fourth-grader Kendall McGrogan.

Creator of us all, and we should let God’s love shine through us by loving one another.

All it takes is to remind the children that, in God’s eyes, we are all brothers and sisters, and we are still so, “even outside of God’s eyes.”

Later that evening, as I was making my way back home, I thought to myself, “Sometimes this is all it takes to be a ‘Salesian Educator.’” It is using every little moment to show love or to give an insight on the true Source of Love, God. That makes a difference!

and sisters sitting together. Then, he added, “And even outside of God’s eyes, right, Sister?” I smiled, shaking my head yes as I enjoyed his goodness and innocence. I also took that opportunity to share with the group about God’s love; that God is the

All it takes is to remind the children that, in God’s eyes, we are all brothers and sisters, and we are still so, “even outside of God’s eyes.” – Sr. Myriam Meus, FMA

Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015 •


Salesian Youth Report THE AUXILIUM SCHOOL, NEWTON, NJ – After being part of our Summer Camp for over 50 years, the Camp Auxilium Clubhouse (at right) was taken down because of wear and tear from the weather over the years. Campers and staff spent many a rainy day in the Clubhouse watching movies and playing games, still having fun despite the weather. We placed pictures of the demolition on Facebook and many campers responded that they had many happy memories of the Clubhouse when they attended camp here, and that they were very sad that it was coming down. Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, the first director of Camp Auxilium, was present for the demolition, along with her sister, Sr. Domenica Di Peri. She told the children to always be happy, no matter what the circumstances. The children had a prayer service along with the Sisters and their teachers to bless all those who have passed through the Clubhouse in the past 50 years, and also the men working on the demolition.

Joining the youngest to watch the demolition of the beloved Clubhouse were Sr. Isabel Garza, Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, Sr. Domenica Di Peri, and Sr. Liz Ryan, along with parent Adrienne Desch.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 6

Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

Please Make an Investment in Our Future!

Our students depend on scholarships to attend Salesian Schools. And the education costs of our Sisters in training depend entirely on donations.

Yes! I/we wish to help and make a difference! Please complete this form and return in the enclosed envelope. All donations are tax-deductible. Amount enclosed: $100 ____ $250____ $500 ____ $1,000 ____ Other: $ _________ Please direct my gift to: Salesian Students _____ Vocations _____ Greatest Need _____ ______ Check enclosed (Please make payable to Salesian Sisters) ______ Credit Card: MasterCard ______ Visa ______ Discover ______ Amex ______ Card Number: _____________________________________ Exp. Date: _______ Signature: ___________________________________________________________ ______ My gift can be matched by my employer (please call and let us know: 973-904-0102) Name(s): _________________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________ City: _____________________________________________ State: ______ Zip: _______________ Telephone: ( _____ ) _________________ E-mail: ______________________________________

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PARTNERS IN GIVING is a bimonthly magazine published by the

Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco Development Office 659 Belmont Avenue North Haledon, NJ 07508-2397 Telephone: (973) 904-0102 Toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS Fax: (973) 904-0041 E-mail: Website: Facebook: salesiansistersdevelopment Editorial Board Dr. Joseph McAleer, Editor Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, Director of Development Melissa Esposito, Production Manager Sr. Mary Terzo, FMA, Editorial Assistant Federal Tax ID # 22-6043753 © 2015 Missionary Society of Salesian Sisters, Inc. PRIVACY POLICY: Your name, address, and other information are held in confidence by our ministry and will never be sold, rented, or given to any other organization. Partners in Giving welcomes letters, articles, and photos from contributors. We reserve the right to edit for publication.

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Partners in Giving • Christmas 2015


acing up her sneakers with symbolic pink laces, Natalie Lamendola, a sophomore at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, prepares to compete in a volleyball match. To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, HOSA future health care professional students at Mary Help held a bake sale during the game and raised $405.50 for the American Cancer Society. Well done, ladies!

Partners in Giving Christmas 2015  

Christmas 2015 issue of Partners in Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province

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