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Partners in GivinG

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

Development Office of the Salesian Sisters,

Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter

Save The Dates! Thursday, April 30

Dames of Mary Help Luncheon

Dear Friends,

a benefit for Mary Help of Christians Academy The Tides, North Haledon, NJ

“It is evident that Faith is on fire at Academy of Our Lady in Marrero, Louisiana!” It was during the dedication and blessing of the Academy’s new campus that this quote was overheard. Our cover photo certainly captures the enthusiasm of the students, as well as Sr. Marisol Guzman! For more on the Academy’s milestone, see pages 4-5.

Guest Speakers Andrea Tutunjian and Cara Tannenbaum Authors of In a Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds and Arina Grossu Mary Help, Class of 2002

Some news to report: •

Our twin Development Offices, in the North (New Jersey) and the South (Florida), are launching major capital campaigns to strengthen our Salesian mission of service and education to young people. In particular, our high school for girls, Mary Help of Christians Academy, and our pre-K-8 elementary school, Villa Madonna, will receive vital repairs and updates. Our Partners Circle Board of Trustees has endorsed the efforts, and I hope you will too. Watch for details in the mail, and for a preview, see page 3.

Information & tickets: please call (973) 904-0102

I was asked recently, “How do you choose where to hold a ‘Meet and Greet’ for the Adopt a Sister Program?” Quite simply, by invitation. It is always a joy to go to a place where stories can be shared and thanks given to God for countless blessings received. We welcome invitations to your home or parish, and are happy to help with the planning and details. With the program celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, we are anticipating a lot of Meet and Greets! Please e-mail me at or call toll-free (877) OUR-NUNS.

Friday, October 2

Sunday, July 12

Jubilarian Celebration The Tides, North Haledon, NJ Wednesday, August 5

Sisters’ Profession of Vows North Haledon, NJ

Dames of Mary Help Annual Gala a benefit for Mary Help The Grove, Cedar Grove, NJ

Saturday-Sunday, November 14-15

Mary Help’s 75th Anniversary Celebration North Haledon, NJ

Saturday, November 21

Finally, a word about me. The month of February will be recalled as a time of trial in my life as well as a time of blessing. I am happy to report that I am well and have assumed my normal schedule! Thank you for the outpouring of love expressed in prayer, cards, and phone calls. I experienced in a profoundly personal way the true meaning of “Partners”. Feel me close to you with heartfelt gratitude expressed in prayer.


Thanksgiving Basket

a benefit for Villa Madonna School & the Salesian Youth Center Tampa, FL Sunday, December 13

Salesian Sisters’ Christmas Party Mary Help, North Haledon, NJ


Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

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

Making Headlines Around the Province

Coming Soon: Two School Campaigns!


he students of Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL, and Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, both past and present, are very proud of the schools, their histories, and each other. Both schools are integral in the formation of future doctors, lawyers, artists, educators, and political leaders, among so many other professions. Mary Help and Villa enable their students to prepare themselves for their futures by providing a well-rounded education and challenging them to be leaders, not just of tomorrow, but of today as well. This Spring, each school is launching a major capital campaign focusing on refreshing and revitalizing both campuses. Both schools have received a sizable matching gift to begin funding their projects. At Villa Madonna, the needs include essential upgrades to the school buildings and the Salesian Youth Center (new roofs, air conditioning units, and windows), as well as new desks and LCD projectors for the students. Similarly, Mary Help must replace aging boilers and outside steps, install new exterior security doors, and upgrade the kitchen and cafeteria, along with other needs. Both schools, moreover, are seeking to provide greater financial aid to students. More details will be forthcoming. Please watch for the brochures (above) in the mail, and join us! Thank you.

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Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


Making Headlines Around the Province

Students Embrace New Louisiana “Home”


he ghost of Hurricane Katrina was finally laid to rest on February 23, 2015, when the new $33 million campus of the Academy of Our Lady in Marrero, LA, opened to 475 girls in grades 8-12. The old school was badly damaged during the 2005 disaster. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans blessed and dedicated the new campus on March 25. He celebrated a special Mass for students and faculty, and visited all the classrooms. The new school building has a unique design centered on the Academy’s curriculum, according to Sr. Michelle Geiger, principal. That means separate classrooms for its academic majors: health science, law and civil leadership, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), culinary arts, and dual college enrollment in a variety of subjects.

The entire Academy community joins Archbishop Aymond in blessing the new school.

The school is expanding from three sciences labs to five, all outfitted with state-of-the-art science tables. There’s a fully equipped culinary arts kitchen; a mini “hospital” for health science studies; a law classroom; and a TV studio. There’s even an “Apple store,” a classroom where girls can learn to repair the iPads each has. So far, Academy students are giving the new campus rave reviews. “I am ready for a new and engaging environment to learn in,” says Sara Leblanc, a junior. “My favorite part of the new campus is the chapel and reflection courtyard,” adds Kayla Scholl, a junior. “One is filled with a sense of prayer the minute you walk into the chapel. Overall, the campus gives the feeling of finally being home.”


The smiles tell the story! Sr. Karen Dunn, Sr. Maria Colombo, Archbishop Aymond, Sr. Michelle Geiger, Prncipal, and Dr. Jan Lancaster, Superintendent of Schools.

Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

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Students Kayla Scholl and Katie Griffin take a break for quiet reflection in the brand new Academy of Our Lady chapel.

Above, students in Ms. Toups’ World Geography class are immersed in a lecture using brand new 70” televisions that bring the presentation straight to students’ iPads. At right, Academy Engineering student Elizabeth Rousset inputs data to create a seismic spectrum in Microsoft Excel during her STEM Engineering class. The data gathered from this simulator can be used to predict structural soundness.

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Archbishop Aymond blesses the statue of Mary Help of Christians in the new Academy chapel.

Academy of Our Lady students Kayla Scholl, Jenna Arnold, and Rebecca Ortega practice on a dummy the skills they have learned in the Health Science program.

Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


News from Adopters Like You!


t is with sadness that I send you this gift in memory of my departed Adopted Sister, Sr. Letizia Bocanegra. I first contacted you to Adopt a Sister for my mother who was recovering from cancer and had contracted shingles with debilitating pain that remained with her until the end of her life. I asked Sr. Letizia to pray for the relief of her pain, which came not in the form I thought, but in the addition of three new grandchildren born to a son and daughter-in-law who struggled to have children! When Mom died in 2008, I kept Sr. Letizia as my special friend and reminder of my mother. I was very saddened to hear that, in the end, Sr. Letizia struggled with strokes and shingles as well. I will remember her, as she will us. Hudson, WI


read of Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s car accident and honestly felt very bad this happened to her. I’m more than

I will continue to send in my “Adopt a Sister” donation in memory of Sr. Jeanette and, of course, for Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, too. Please continue to send me the reminders. Rockaway, NJ


t was with such sadness to hear that my Adopted Sister, Sr. Jeanette Puglisi, has passed away. I felt such emptiness upon hearing the news, but quickly remembered your words that she will continue to intercede for us in Heaven. Mike Massood of Wayne, NJ, celebrated his 90th birthday with his Adopted Sister, Sr. Rosalie Di Peri! glad to hear she’s healing slowly but surely. She’s a wonderful and energetic fundraiser for the Salesian Sisters.

I am very grateful and thankful to God for Sr. Jeanette’s prayers through all these years that have been such a blessing for my family and me. Sending our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to you and all the Sisters. Anonymous

I was raised in North Haledon, NJ by the Salesian Sisters from grade school to my high school graduation. I do remember my years there as active, healthy ones with many happy moments. It toughened me up for many trials in life! And I’ve had many. I am now 88 years young – hard to believe I lived this long! Hartsdale, NY


very day is a blessing that the Salesian Sisters are in my life. Thank you for all your prayers. Please send my love and good wishes to all the Salesian Sisters. Bohemia, NY

P Sr. Antoinette Cedrone visits with her Adopter, Tiffany Pesci of South Jersey, NJ.


lease thank Sr. Frances Gumino for sending all the lovely notes on behalf of our dearly departed Sr. Jeanette Puglisi. Sr. Jeanette was truly part of my life as a child, as were all my other Salesian teachers throughout high school. I was very fortunate to have them in my life.

Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

California, there we came, for three days in March, visiting Adopters as well as the Conrad Hilton Foundation, which has assisted us for many years with projects on the East Coast. We also caught up with our two postulants, Kelly Schuster and Jennifer Patterson, in Bellflower, CA.

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

News from Adopters Like You!


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!

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

Sr. Mary Rinaldi was thrilled to run into Peggy (Estevez) Pricher, one of her first grade students from the 1970s! Peggy is carrying on the Salesian tradition as her children attend Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL.

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

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: ___________________ This adoption is a gift.

Email: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________

Birthdate (mm/dd/yy):


(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 • Spring 2015 •


Making Headlines Around the Province

CORPUS CHRISTI-HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL, PORT CHESTER, NY – On March 21, 250 guests came together for the Fifth Annual Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi Awards Dinner, the school’s major fundraiser, held at the Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison, NY. The hardworking Dinner Committee (above) arranged silent and live auctions, wonderful music and dancing from the students and the Tony T Orchestra, and a fabulous dinner. The theme was a lavish birthday party in honor of the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco. A giant teddy bear, dressed to resemble Don Bosco, was a highlight of the live auction (and received a bear hug – for real! – from Sr. Theresa Lee, principal, below). The event celebrates the life and legacy of Fr. Peter Rinaldi, SDB, founder of the school and former Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish. Awards are presented to those who exemplify Fr. Rinaldi’s generous spirit through their gifts of time, talent, and contributions to the Salesian family’s mission to youth. This year, Maria Massa, Paul and Stephanie Gerardi, and Fr. Vince Paczkowski, SDB were honored (and blew out the candles on Don Bosco’s birthday cake, above). Much fun was had by all, and the proceeds from the event will support tuition aid, programs, and school operations.


Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

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!

19 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 • Spring 2015 •


Welcome New 2015 Members in Red!

Partners Circle “Partners” Annual gift of $5,500 Mr. Bill McLaughlin PC A.J. & Mindy Papetti Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Pfeifer PC Mr. & Mrs. Rodger Rohde Joseph & Rita Weiner

Annual gift of $3,300

New Jersey

New York

New Jersey

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Chernalis In memory of Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Church, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Robert Harkins PC

Mr. Anthony J. Carroll Mr. John Cassara


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

Florida Dr. Idalia Lastra

Al Daloisio Railroad Construction

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

Partners Circle “Founders” California Mrs. Maryann Roman

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

Partners Circle “Friends”

Mr. Fredy Padovan


Annual gift of $2,200 Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Papetti Ms. Rose Perone


Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair

New York

New Jersey

Ms. Jordon Carroll Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Scala, Jr.


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

Mrs. Janis Boyd Anthony & Diana Ekonomou Lowry Murphey Family Foundation

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. 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. James Dell’Orto Mr. & Mrs. John W. Lombardi Msgr. William T. Rodgers The Sabatine Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Silveri

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

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

Mrs. J.C. De Lotto 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

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

A Friend Anonymous

California Mr. Ian H. Graham Geraldine & Joanne Rizzuto


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

New Jersey

Illinois Adelaide Olivieri

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

New York

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

South Carolina Sandra M. Freeman

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

Ohio Mr. & Mrs. Dan Clair Dale & Lynda 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 Anita Cronk 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

Mr. Anthony B. Della Cerra

Mr. Walter Lazarcheck Mrs. Helen Leahy

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

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”

ST. JOSEPH PROVINCIAL CENTER, HALEDON, NJ – On March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, our community honored our health care professionals. In the evening, some of the doctors and nurses who attend to our health gathered together with us in the Chapel for a lovely prayer service in which they willingly participated, followed by a group photo. We then proceeded to the dining room to share a simple meal flavored with our beautiful family spirit. Among the attendees was a Salesian past pupil from St. Anthony School in Paterson, NJ: Dr. Michael Martino. He fondly remembered his second and eighth grade teacher, Sr. Mary Terzo, and the education he received at St. Anthony’s. Much joy and laughter filled the air as stories and experiences were shared. The evening ended with a guided tour of the facility, which amazed our guests with its atmosphere and appropriate, up-to-date equipment. As they left, each was given a booklet and picture of St. John Bosco, and a key chain – small tokens of our immense gratitude!

Sr. Virginia Dickey, Dr. Patti Rizzo Krapels, Kristen Gambell, and Trisha O’Conner enjoy the evening.

It’s Spring! Please Give Us This Day!


uring the next eight months, is there some date that is special to you? Will you share it with the Salesian Sisters? It may be a day of joy, a day of a sad event, a day of recognition, a day of any significant meaning in your life or the life of one of your loved ones. We invite you to share this day with the Sisters. It will be given prominence on the day on the bulletin board of the chapel in the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ. The Sisters will remember you, your family, and the person(s) you wish to honor in their prayers and sacrifices throughout the day. Please let us know by returning the form below, and then count on us for a special day just for YOU.

Spring is here, and in Florida that means strawberries! Sr. Janet Keller, Sr. Elfie Del Rosario, and Sr. Mary Jackson have fun at the annual Strawberry Festival in Plant City, FL.

This Spring, as we marvel at the glory of God’s creation renewed, we Sisters feel honored to be asked to assist you once again. You and your loved ones will benefit. God bless you!

Please Help Our Retired Sisters In Need! Please reserve this day/these days in 2015 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 2

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

Message or Grievance? Sr. Karen Dunn’s Letter


nother political campaign season is on the horizon. New faces have begun to dominate the news. Talk, both eloquent and heated, with impassioned promises is in store for us. And each candidate will have a closely monitoring team that will make sure that they “stay on message.” Every generation seeks great leaders, leaders who carry a message – a message that is compelling and hopeful, one that inspires and unites. History presents examples of such leaders who brought about change through a noble vision, and whose message helped give birth to a people or transform a society. Their names are still remembered and celebrated. Looking at the landscape of personalities on the world stage today, we find some figures who lead with such a resounding message that people’s imaginations are captured, and they mobilize in response. Such leaders may decry the blights on society and policy, but their predominant energy is one that awakens a spontaneous and creative energy that moves to action, uniting persons and resources to bring about good. On the other hand, we also find those making the news, not with talk that expresses vision and hope, but with a grievance. Their words before the camera bear down heavily and repetitively on listeners, entrapping them and squelching hope. I recently had the privilege of meeting a bishop from India who

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did extensive peace work among complex and multiple cultures. He makes the distinction between people who carry a message and those who carry a grievance in this way: People with a Message are different from people with a Grievance. One is a lamp, the other is a shade. One inspires; the other obscures. One looks forward, the other backward.

“As a Christian, the Risen Christ must guide my voice. The Christian Message is a message of hope, of redemption, and of promise.” The former are optimistic, confident, respectful, and insightful; The latter are inclined to be pessimistic, unsure, aggressive, rude, and disorientated. The first make people change; The others make people feel hurt and humiliated, and they reorganize themselves in self-defense. The first guide and cheer and encourage; The latter tend to press too hard on others and confuse and discourage them.

The first elicit good will; The latter believe in confrontation, and crush out even the little good will people have. The first set a great score by ethical principles; The latter try to get to their goals using any method available. The first stand for truth and fairness; The latter are often blind to everything except their own exclusive interest. As we begin to sort through the speeches and platforms which will come our way in the months ahead, we might do well to listen carefully to the voices around our own worlds at home, at work, and at school. Are we hearing a message or a grievance? And when we engage in conversation, which voice do we raise? As a Christian, the Risen Christ must guide my voice. The Christian Message is a message of hope, of redemption, and of promise. As we bask in the abundance of flowers and in all the signs of renewed life this Easter Season, let us resolve to speak in a way that will “stay on message” – the message of life and hope in God who is present and active in our world! Happy Easter!

Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


We Will Dearly Miss Sr. Jeanette Puglisi


r. Jeanette Puglisi passed away on March 15, 2015 in Wayne, NJ. She was 89 years old.

Jeanette’s family emigrated from Sicily to Paterson, NJ, in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression. Her parents, William and Jennie, were devoted to their four children: three boys and Jeanette. After two years, Vivian was born and the family was complete. “To this day, I marvel at my parents’ faith and their ability to trust God’s loving Providence in such trying circumstances,” Sr. Jeanette recalled. She was blessed to belong to a Salesian parish, St. Anthony’s, and to attend the Salesian school. “It was here that I came to know Jesus better and to fall deeply in love with Him in the Blessed Sacrament,” Sr. Jeanette said. “I also came to treasure Our Lady under her title of Help of Christians.” Jeanette heard God’s call from the day of her First Holy Communion, but her parents were not supportive. “My mother could not resign herself to ‘losing’ her eldest daughter, and my father was positive that a girl only entered the convent because she was disappointed in love or had committed some serious crime,” she remembered.

“Neither of these applied to me!” God’s grace triumphed, and although her father would not consent, her mother did, and accompanied her to North Haledon to begin her formation as a Salesian Sister. After her religious profession in 1947, Sr. Jeanette taught for 17 years in several elementary parochial schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, and California. During this time, she also dedicated herself to the catechetical instruction of the young people attending public schools. While teaching, she continued her education. She attended the Mary Help of Christians Teacher Training College in North Haledon, then Fordham University, where she obtained her B.S. in Elementary Education. In 1964 she began her graduate studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, earning her M.A. in Religious Studies. In turn, Sr. Jeanette organized and conducted courses and workshops for the formation

of catechists both religious and lay. She also assumed leadership roles as Superior and Principal in Tampa, FL; Easton, PA; New York City; and Newton and Atlantic City, NJ. Looking at her many and varied assignments, we can truly say that Sr. Jeanette traveled the USA from North to South and East to West. We can also affirm that everywhere she went, she brought with her an innate serenity, gentle and gracious demeanor, and genuine goodness. Everyone loved Sr. Jeanette because she was always welcoming and had the gift of patient listening. Sr. Jeanette has truly left behind a luminous example of a life totally fulfilled in the joyful and faithful accomplishment of the work entrusted to her and in her total self-giving to Jesus seen in the people she met, and, above all, in the young people she loved so well. She will not be easily forgotten for she was one of the most beloved Sisters and a pillar of faith, dedication, and love in our Province.

Please pray for our fallen Marines Editor’s note: Sr. Mary Rinaldi shares a letter and prayer request she received from a past pupil of Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ:


t is with utmost sadness that I share with you the following. My nephew, Jared, is in the Marine Corps, part of MARSOC (Marine Corps Special Operations Command). Early on March 11, 2015 my brother called me crying that Jared was okay. Jared and his fellow team member, Dan, were at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina when

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico occurred. As events unfolded a few hours later, we learned that it was Jared’s team whose lives were lost when the Black Hawk helicopter went down off the coast of Florida during a training exercise, killing all 11 on board. Together with Jared and Dan they were “Team One”, those same men who bravely fought side by side last year in Afghanistan. The heartbreaking anguish we feel as a family for those who have lost their loved ones and the staggering loss to MARSOC are overwhelming. When I spoke to Jared later on Wednesday evening, I

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Rest in Peace, Sr. Letizia Bocanegra


r. Letizia Bocanegra passed away on March 26, 2015 in St. Joseph Provincial House in Haledon, NJ. She was 87 years old. Letizia grew up in Colombia in a large family of seven boys and five girls. The father was a successful, respected lawyer and a fervent Catholic. He also had a great devotion for the Blessed Mother. Her mother was a practical woman with a great faith. Letizia entered the Salesian Sisters on January 30, 1953 at Medellin. She dreamed to go to the missions, but she was sent to the United States to continue her formation and her studies. On August 5, 1954 she entered the Novitiate in North Haledon, NJ. The witness of the Sisters helped her to experience the joy of a life totally given to the Lord without regrets. She also acquired a fervent love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Help of Christians, and learned how to fulfill her duties well and to work with the right intention. After her religious profession, Sr. Letizia remained in North Haledon for a year to continue her studies. In October 1957, the Superiors, having

noticed her aptitude for study, sent her to the International Institute of Pedagogy and Religious Sciences in Turin, Italy. After two years she returned and was assigned to St. Anthony School in Easton, PA, as a fourth grade teacher. In 1960 she was transferred to St. Joseph School in Tampa, FL. From 1963 to 1994 Sr. Letizia was a teacher of various grades, community economer, and catechist at St. Anthony, St. Michael, and St. Mary’s schools, all in Paterson, NJ. In 1994 she was transferred to the new Pope John Paul II School where she was coordinator of the religious education program. When the Diocese of Paterson closed Pope John Paul II School and the Sisters were forced to leave, Sr. Letizia was transferred to Port Chester, NY, where she offered her help as an assistant. The last obedience called her to St. Theresa’s in Kenilworth, NJ, where she helped with house chores. Sr. Letizia was loved and appreciated

was comforted by his demonstration of faith and stoic resolve. In an effort to console and support the families who have gathered at Camp Lejeune he was strong. He shared with me that until a week ago he was making an effort to get to Florida to be with his team and he would have been on that helicopter. But God had other plans, circumstances prevailed, and Jared did not go.

by everyone: parents, colleagues, and, above all, her pupils. She had a motherly affection for them, but was also demanding. She formed in them a sense of duty, responsibility, justice, and honesty, but above all, she formed them to the sense of God and prayer. Sr. Letizia dedicated herself to teach catechism to the public school children as long as her physical strength allowed her. She animated the young people to be generous with the missions and also dedicated her energy to the poor. Sr. Letizia inherited the gift of painting and creativity from her mother. In fact her paintings were very fine works of art. When because of her arthritic condition she could no longer paint, Sr. Letizia with great detachment left paints and brushes to other Sisters. The Salesian Sisters give thanks to the Lord for Sr. Letizia’s fidelity and the witness of her life given with generosity and love.

they continue their service; and the grieving families. But it is at times like these that our faith sustains us, and we trust in a loving and merciful God whose divine purpose for each of us far exceeds our earthly expectations.

However, as the recovery mission continued Jared would be reunited with his team when he would escort the fallen Marines to Dover Air Force Base and again to their final resting destinations.

And so, dear Sr. Mary, I reach out to you and all the Salesian Sisters to please pray for our fallen Marines, the families, and Jared and Dan that they will come to resolution with peace in their hearts and hope for the future. Our serviceman may not be with us in this life, but their legacy will live forever. Thank you.

We cannot predict the ramifications of this tragedy; how it will impact MARSOC as a whole; Jared and Dan as

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Sincerely, Lorraine G., Towson, MD

Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


A Love That Lasts Forever 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



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

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

Nancy Rinaldi beamed with pride as her daughter, Sr. Mary Rinaldi, took her first vows on August 5, 1964.


ancy Rinaldi Romine, mother of Sr. Mary Rinaldi, passed away on February 26, 2015. She was 96 years old.

Nancy was born on September 10, 1918 in Waterford, NJ, to Salvatore and Antonia Midili. She was a lifelong resident of San Antonio, FL, where she spent her life working hard to keep her family of seven together, especially after the loss of her husbands, Augustus (Gus) Rinaldi and Ralph Romine. Nancy is especialy remembered for her kindness and generosity to the Salesian Sisters, who always had a place at her Thanksgiving table every year. “My mother was always the strong one for us kids to look up to,” recalls Sr. Mary. “We used to ask her which one of us was her favorite. Mom would put her hands up and say, ‘Which finger is my favorite? They are all important to my hands, as are each and every one of you to me.’ Gratitude and joy poured out of her. Her faith was rock-solid. She never went to bed without saying the Rosary.” In addition to Sr. Mary, Nancy is survived by her children, Philip and wife Barbara Rinaldi; Ernesta “Tina” Rinaldi; Louis and wife Betsy Rinaldi; Eugenia “Jeanie” and husband Arthur Greif; Caesar Rinaldi; Josephine “Jo” Rinaldi; and stepson Richard Romine and wife Peggy. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 34 greatgrandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren. The Salesian Sisters offer their sincerest condolences and prayers to Sr. Mary and the family.

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

Memorials Received between February 5 and April 14, 2015 Sr. Jeanette Pugilisi, FMA Mrs. Katherine Zaretski Patty, Eddie, & Erik Boris Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garcia Mrs. Vera Gardell Sr. Virginia D’Alessandro, FMA Ms. Virginia H. Goon Nancy Rinaldi-Romine Ms. Angela T. Larca Mr. & Mrs. Charles Curcio Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garcia Aprile Family Mr. & Mrs. John Anello Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Quinn Mr. & Mrs. Buddy Newsome Mr. & Mrs. Jack Land, Ph.D. Ms. Lisa M. Cammarota Mr. Arrow Branch Mr. & Mrs. Juan A. Gutierrez Mr. William McLaughlin Mr. & Mrs. Paul Midili Ms. Thorunn, Berge, & Soffia Wathne Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Quesinberry Mr. & Mrs. Eduardo Esposito Mrs. Irene Damiano Mr. & Mrs. John Connors Ms. Karla Villarin Mrs. Ruth Aniceto-Lim Mr. & Mrs. Anthony C. Marmo Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Laudone Mr. & Mrs. Robert J. Mosey Mr. & Mrs. Doug Thoma Mr. Ted A. Durig Mr. & Mrs. Anthony J. Vespa Mrs. Courtney Santorella Mrs. Katherine Zaretski Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Iafrate Mr. & Mrs. Leonard J. Altamura Mr. Thomas J. Santorelli Mr. Joseph Papa & Ms. Marylee Pratnicki Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hall Mr. David Hall III & Mr. Cralle Hall Mr. Michael S. Guarnieri Fr. James DeVita Ms. Margaretha G. Anderson Mrs. Yolanda Buss

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Mr. & Mrs. Frederick L. Michaels Mrs. Darlene Laino-Kuren Mrs. Teresa Gutto Ms. Barbara Byars Mr. Ernest “Cookie” Garcia Ms. Mary Ann Lombardo Mrs. Maureen O’Halloran The McAleer Family

Nancy Tuzzio Mr. & Mrs. John Connors

Nancy Rinaldi-Romine, Pinuccia, Gian Piero, Cesarina, Maria, Giuliana, Virginia, Paolo, Luigi with their families Giuliana Rinaldi

Maureen O’Brien Ms. Juia Drinnan-Doran

Francesco Sorisi, Felice Cusmano, & Anna Kutsup Ms. Kathy Adamczyk Charles Mayer Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Sickler Our Fallen Marines Mrs. Lorraine M. Gutmann

George Dubiock Mrs. Grace Dubiock Casmere Stilmack Mrs. Penny Roberts

Frank & Dee Schoonover Mrs. Mary Lou Schoonover Angelino GE Foundation Roy Mr. & Mrs. Margarita Dominguez Peter Mario Smith Mrs. Catherine Burzynski Claudia DaBronzo Mr. Joseph DaBronzo


Stanley White Ms. JoAnn White

Received between February 4 and April 14, 2015

H. “Bud” Eisenhardt Ms. Doris V. Loverich Mary B. Urso Mr. Ernest Urso

Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA Ms. Marie Walker Mr. Harold Anton Catherine McEwen

Anna Feraro Mr. & Mrs. Felix Rendina

Sr. Phyllis Neves, FMA Mr. Harold Anton

Rosemary T. Burrowes Mr. James J. Burrowes

Sr. Virginia Dickey, FMA Mrs. Cherylann Brinkman Joe Ferraro Mr. & Mrs. Felix Rendina

James & Eugene Marchese Mr. & Mrs. Roger Marchese

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Mannoia Anonymous

Joseph R. Infante Mrs. Beatrice Cataldo Charles A. Saggese Mrs. Elizabeth H. Saggese

Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


Salesian Youth Report ST.THERESA SCHOOL, KENILWORTH, NJ – St. Theresa’s students learned the fun way to recycle, thanks to the “Grand Falloons.” Students followed the adventures of “Possessor Winklebottom” and “Meatloaf” in learning the importance of reducing waste at its source. Using fun props, song, and dance, the children had an informative experience on how to reduce re-using and how to recycle garbage. Pictured at right are Professor Winklebottom, Marcello Limone, Meatloaf, Melody Cadet, and Nicole Santoro.

MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS ACADEMY, NORTH HALEDON, NJ – Mary Help offers many opportunities for students to grow in their spiritual life, such as the Overnight Retreat. Through small group discussion, Adoration, and games, Juniors and Seniors take time to reflect on the school’s motto, “Beauty, Truth, and Joy,” and how it applies to their own life. All leave the next day recharged and ready to live out Beauty, Truth, and Joy in their daily lives!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

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

Salesian Youth Report


alling all supporters of Villa Madonna School and the Salesian Youth Center/Boys and Girls Club in Tampa, FL! “Give Day Tampa Bay”, a 24-hour, online giving event, will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2015! Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Tampa

Bay and Florida Next Foundation, Give Day Tampa Bay’s mission is to grow philanthropy in the Tampa Bay area. You can participate and help us by going to the website,, on May 5 and selecting “Salesian Sisters.” You can then make your online donation and help support the mission of the Salesian Sisters. Thank you!

SALESIAN YOUTH CENTER/BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, TAMPA, FL – Thank you to St. Patrick Catholic School in St. Charles, IL, for sending a donation of books to the Salesian Youth Center! The books were collected during St. Patrick School’s Scholastic Book Fair, in which they participated in “All for Books,” an opportunity for students and the parish community to donate books to children in need. Books were donated in honor of Sr. Liz Ryan, who is the Vice-Principal of St. Patrick’s. Each child at the Salesian Youth Center was able to receive a new book. Illinois shares the Salesian Spirit with Florida – thank you!

ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC PRESCHOOL, ST. CHARLES, IL – On January 31, children celebrated the Feast Day of St. John Bosco by making crowns, singing songs, and having a popsicle treat. Above, Mrs. Michael, Libby Adams, Maria Vogel, William Wright, and Courtney Dale join in the fun. This year marks the Saint’s 200th birthday, and our preschool was founded four years ago by the Salesian Sisters. Kindness, generosity, and compassion are the core principles that guide our preschoolers every day. We are so proud of our heritage and legacy!

Salesian Youth Report ST. JOHN NEUMANN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, NAPLES, FL – Austin Sudkamp, Class of 2014, wasn’t sure what to expect when he signed up for the Gospel Roads trip to Miami, organized by the Salesian Sisters. “I knew we were going to do some service, eat Cuban food, and go swimming in the middle of January,” he recalls. “What I didn’t know is just how great of an experience it would be.”

VILLA MADONNA SCHOOL, TAMPA, FL – Congratulations to eighth-grader Dominique Deer who won the 2015 Holocaust Reflection Contest with her drawing entitled “The Bliss of Hope” (above). The contest was hosted by Nova Southeastern University and the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund. This is the first year of the competition, and Dominique was selected from hundreds of Florida students for her piece that expressed thoughtfulness, creativity, and passion, inspired by the stories of Holocaust survivors. With her award, Dominique will receive an allexpense-paid trip to Washington, DC, at the end of the school year, which will include a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and meetings with national and international dignitaries. Below, Dominique and her teacher, Mrs. Angela Tillman, meet Mr. Norman Frajman of Boynton Beach, FL, who is a survivor of five concentration camps during the Holocaust. We are so proud of you, Dominique!

“One of the first things that struck me was seeing the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s nuns, in action,” Austin continues. “To see them, day after day, work so selflessly and with so much love and with such a caring spirit gave me a glimpse of what it is like to see Christ in everyone, not just the people that I wanted to see Him in. The Sisters also gave me a marvelous example of how to live and work with the true spirit of charity in everyday tasks.”

“But perhaps my most profound experience of the trip was learning and living the Salesian lifestyle,” Austin concludes. “Every single person we met in Miami was so full of kindness and love and personal interest that whenever I saw someone new, I couldn’t help but smile and want to get to know them. Overall, this simple mission trip to Miami turned out to be so much more than just an excuse to escape the cold weather or to serve food to homeless people. It was a way of knowing Christ. I know that it was an experience I hope I will never forget.”

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXIV • Issue 2

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

Salesian Youth Report

ST. PATRICK PARISH, ST. CHARLES, IL: The parish opened the Bicentenary Year of the birth of St. John Bosco with the installation of three new Salesian Cooperators. The core of the Salesian Cooperator’s commitment is to live his or her life as a good Christian and a good Catholic. The Salesian Cooperator embraces a Gospel way of life, sharing in the Church’s mission to bring Christ to society, especially the young. Kelly Scalese, Elizabeth Wlodzmimierski, and Kathleen Dobbler made their commitment to serve as Salesian Cooperators, joined by Sr. Betty Ann Martinez and Sr. Liz Ryan from St. Patrick’s, family, and friends, and the parish community of St. John Bosco in Chicago. Congratulations! It was truly a joyous atmosphere!

MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS ACADEMY, NORTH HALEDON, NJ – Recently both cheerleading and basketball seniors were honored for their contributions to the Mary Help athletic program. Five basketball seniors and twelve cheer seniors were recognized, and an exciting basketball game was played with a wonderful performance by the cheer team. For many of these girls, it was a fantastic end to a four-year career in their sport!

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Partners in Giving • Spring 2015 •


Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco Development Office 659 Belmont Avenue North Haledon, NJ 07508-2397

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage P A I D Hanover, NH Permit No. 8


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 • Spring 2015


hirty-five years ago, Samantha and Marisa Epstein attended Camp Auxilium in Newton, NJ, sent by their parents, Joanne and Lewis. It was an unforgettable experience. “We were some of the first kids to be a part of such a wonderful environment,” Marisa recalls (that’s her on the right in both photos). Both sisters, now Samantha Ulmer of East Stroudsburg, PA, and Marisa Klarich of Floyd Knobs, IN, recommend Camp Auxilium to parents today. “Send your child for lasting memories!” Marisa says. “As campers we learned and grew to become the best persons we can be. We made great lasting friendships. We were encouraged to participate in new activities through a varied activity schedule and calendar of events. Each day included a refreshing swim, meals, and recreational and patriotic activities.” For more information and enrollment, visit or call (973) 383-2621.

Partners in Giving Spring 2015