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Development Office of the Salesian Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians •

Partners in GivinG

Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter

Save The Dates!

Dear Friends, Our cover is captivating and irresistible! These are some of the proud second graders at Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL, who made their First Holy Communion this spring. The happiness on the children’s faces reveals the depth of joy inside which cannot be contained. One little one tells it all when he says, “I’m so happy because I get two things: receive Holy Communion and eternal life!” Some news to report: • We’re counting the days until Saturday, June 18 when all of the Salesian Sisters will gather at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, to celebrate and give thanks for 25 years of our Adopt a Sister Program. Please join us and greet your Adopted Sister! There’s still time to RSVP. • We are blessed for the tenth year in a row to have a $50,000 Summer Camp Matching Challenge. The cost to send one child to a wholesome and enriching Salesian camp for six weeks is $1,500. Every dollar we raise becomes two. Please see page 3, and please help us reach our goal by the deadline, July 15.

Saturday, June 18

Adopt a Sister 25th Anniversary Celebration Mary Help of Christians Academy, N. Haledon, NJ The Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco cordially invite you to celebrate with us: Our gift to YOU!

• Time to honor our Jubilarians! This year, eight Salesian Sisters celebrate milestones of their professions, from 40 to 70 years! We invite you to join us on July 17 to pay tribute to their service and fidelity. Read their inspiring stories on pages 4-6.

4:00 pm: Mass of Gratitude 5:00 pm: Dinner, Entertainment, Awards, Door Prizes, and Surprises for All!

• Mary Help of Christians Academy has marked two major milestones: its 75th Anniversary and the rededication of St. Joseph’s Chapel on campus, all thanks to your generosity. Stories and photos on pages 16-19. And, a new scholarship fund in honor of our beloved Sr. Josephine Carini has just been established. See page 19.

Kindly RSVP by Monday, June 13: (973) 904-0102

As another school year ends, we offer prayers, best wishes, and a special thank you to the Class of 2016, for teaching is our great privilege! A restful, safe, and fun-filled summer to you and all your loved ones!

Mass 11:00 a.m.; Luncheon 12:30 p.m.


Sunday, July 17

Jubilarian Celebration The Tides, North Haledon, NJ

Friday, August 5

New Sisters’ Profession of Vows North Haledon, NJ


Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

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

Salesian CAMP! Report

Summer’s Here! Please Help Our Campers!


an you believe Summer is here?! The end of another wonderful, enriching Salesian school year brings new excitement among the Salesian Sisters as the Summer Camp season is upon us. Whether having fun in the sun or in the classrooms, our Sisters and Camp counselors will keep eight Summer Camp programs in four states in perfect motion, through the goodness and generosity of friends like YOU! I am thrilled to let you know that, once again, friends from Florida have promised a $50,000 matching gift challenge for camp with a deadline of July 15. With your help, we can double the number of children going to camp!

Hurry! Deadline is July 15!

Please help us, once again, to make a dream come true for needy inner-city kids. A gift of $180 will fund one week of camp for a deserving child. Thank you, and God bless you! – Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA


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Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •


Congratulations, Sisters,

on your blessed Jubilees!


n Sunday, July 17, the Salesian Sisters will gather with family, friends, and Adopters in New Jersey to celebrate the Jubilees of eight Sisters during the year 2016. Their inspiring stories are on these pages. We are so proud of our Jubilarians and of their joyful, serene perseverance. They are shining examples that faithfulness and promises kept are a reality, possible even today! Their fidelity adds up to 475 years of loving service and a continued “Yes” to God’s call in our Congregation and in the Catholic Church. God bless you, Jubilarian Sisters, and Ad multos annos!


r. Domenica was born in Paterson, NJ, one of five children. When she was four years old, she lost her mother who died of pneumonia at age 35. Her youngest brother died soon after. Her Father now had four motherless children ranging in age from four to ten. Domenica and her sister Rosalie were taken to St. Michael’s Orphanage in North Haledon, run by the Salesian Sisters ,where they lived a life full of study, work, prayer, and fun. In time, Rosalie was first to join the Salesian Sisters, followed one year later by Domenica. After her formation, Sr. Domenica


r. Ruth was born and raised in Richmond Hill, NY, and had one sister. Her Christian home life was strengthened by the wonderful teachers at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School and by participation in parish functions. Ruth’s life changed radically in the summer of 1940 when her Mother saw an advertisement in the Catholic newspaper for Camp Mother Mazzarello, run by the Salesian Sisters in North Haledon, NJ. She and her sister Margaret spent four weeks there and thoroughly enjoyed the warm welcome of the Sisters and all the wonderful fun they had.


Sr. Domenica Di Peri, FMA

life skills. She was also a capable administrator of elementary and high schools in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Louisiana.

70th Anniversary

Wherever she went, Sr. Domenica was always much appreciated and loved by the children, the parents, and the parish family. She is still going strong at Mary Help of Christians Academy, where she brings Salesian joy and spirit to all.

began teaching at Mary Help of Christians School in Manhattan, and continued her studies at Fordham University. Sr. Domenica became a master teacher of first graders, instilling in them sound and lasting reading skills as well as

Sr. Ruth Stecker, FMA 70th Anniversary The Sisters then invited Ruth and Margaret to go to high school at Mary Help of Christians Academy and they gladly accepted. Ruth’s four years as a student and boarder led her to begin her religious formation and finally make her vows.

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

“I am convinced that Our Blessed Mother planned this for me,” Sr. Domenica says, “and that my mother in Heaven worked with Our Lady to make my life so beautiful and alive each new day!”

Sr. Ruth continued her education with degrees at Fordham University and Seton Hall University. She proceeded to have a full and active ministry. Her responsibilities have ranged from superior, principal, teacher, and secretary to coordinator of the Salesian Cooperators. Sr. Ruth retraces her life from her first day with the Salesian Sisters as a camper and fond memories crowd her mind. More than 70 years of serving the young have seen many changes, yet she has never wavered in her commitment to love and serve God and His children.

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Congratulations, Sisters,

on your blessed Jubilees!

Sr. Livia Setti, FMA

Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin, FMA

Sr. Carmen Peña, FMA

65th Anniversary

60th Anniversary

60th Anniversary

r. Livia was born in Roveretto, Italy, one of six children. During her sophomore year of high school, she joined the Salesian Sisters. After profession, she was sent to the United States in 1953 and remained here for 16 years, serving as a principal, community animator, and assistant to the newly professed Sisters.

r. Mary Bertha was born in St. Tite, Canada, one of 13 children. Hers was a family where joy, music, and laughter reigned in a very Christian atmosphere and where nightly Rosary, evening prayers, and Sunday Mass were the norm. There was so much love for each child, and they were all well provided for.

r. Carmen was born in Saltillo, Mexico, one of four children. She met the Salesian Sisters when she attended Excelsior School in Monterrey. Although she felt attracted to the Salesians, Carmen was also attracted to the life of contemplative nuns, and remained undecided.


During a home visit to Italy, Sr. Livia was asked to be the secretary for Sr. Lydia Carini, who was the General Councillor for the missions, and accompanied her around the world to visit the missions. “It was a difficult but rewarding assignment,” she recalls. “We visited India, Japan, Korea, Australia, the Phillipines, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.” After nine years, Sr. Livia was asked to remain at our Motherhouse in Rome, working there for 20 years. When asked by Mother General where she would like to spend her remaining years, Sr. Livia left that decision to her. “I was very pleased when she offered me the opportunity to come back to the United States where I had begun my religious life,” she says.

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Instead, Carmen went on to continue her studies as a secretary and then worked in an office. But the thought of a religious vocation did not leave her, and Jesus made Himself more strongly felt in her life. She joined the Salesian Sisters in 1954.

Mary Bertha began to feel the call to religious life but her Mother agreed that when she was older, they would speak about it again. However, in 1948, her Mother died, a tragic loss for the family. Mary Bertha put aside her dream of becoming a Sister since she was now needed at home. In time, she was permitted to follow her dream and entered the formation program in North Haledon, NJ, and made her religious profession.

Sr. Carmen taught in Texas for 18 years and was a principal in New Jersey. She was also the Provincial Economer for many years, and now ministers to the young people in Naples, FL.

“I learned to love the Blessed Mother at my Mother’s knee, but I understand more now,” Sr. Mary Bertha says. “The prayer of St. John Bosco, ‘O Mary Most Powerful Virgin,’ became and still is my daily prayer. After 60 years of religious consecration, I have never regretted my decision to become a Salesian Sister.”

“Being a Salesian Sister has not dulled the thrill of those first years of hearing and answering God’s call,” Sr. Carmen says. “I thank God for my family and my Salesian family for leading me to St. John Bosco’s special love for the Blessed Mother and for young people.”

Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •


Congratulations, Sisters,

Sr. Louise Passero, FMA

Sr. Ines Valentin, FMA

Sr. Teresita Teran, FMA

60th Anniversary

50th Anniversary

40th Anniversary


r. Louise was born in Stratford, CT, one of three children. Her parents were hardworking and appreciated education. The home was filled with books, and Sr. Louise is grateful for the opportunity of having learned to read at an early age. Reading held Sr. Louise in good stead during her years of religious formation and, especially, during her years as a teacher and principal, and as the first Social Communications Coordinator of the Eastern Province, which has allowed her to travel across the United States and overseas. “There are times and places which stand out in my memory,” Sr. Louise recalls,“especially spending time in Mornese, Italy, where St. Mary Mazzarello, our founder, walked. Mornese is my spiritual homeland, land of my heart.” “The joy of my heart is that of having lived as a Salesian Sister for 60 years,” Sr. Louise concludes. “During this time I have made many wonderful friends whom I love dearly. We have fun together!”


on your blessed Jubilees!



r. Ines, an only child, was born in Puerto Rico. She lost her father when she was only three years old. Raised in the Episcopalian church, she converted to Catholicism just before entering Mary Help of Christians Academy in 1954. Ines remembers the beginning of her religious vocation. In sixth grade she read the life of Blessed Laura Vicuña. It was then that she discovered a religious vocation, but did not want to accept the call of the Lord. She kept postponing her decision until she was in her senior year. Sr. Ines has taught at schools in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Florida. She has also found special joy in ministering to young adults in youth centers. Her message to young people recognizes the dignity and value of life: “Life is a very precious gift from God. Live it to the fullest in His love.” Being the only child in the family, Sr. Ines is presently caring for her elderly Mother who needs constant assistance and care. She thanks everyone for their prayers.

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

r. Teresita was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, one of two children. Her parents emigrated to the United States in 1963 to find a better life for their family. They brought with them their Christian values and fidelity to their faith, instilling these in their two daughters. Teresita’s parents enrolled her in Mary Help of Christians Academy where she fell in love with the peaceful joy of the Salesian Sisters and felt the Lord calling her to join them. Sr. Teresita’s life as a Salesian Sister has been dedicated to working among the young and the poor, serving in a number of schools and children’s ministries in New Jersey as well as at the retirement home. She is now back at Mary Help, and remains joyful and busy, assisting wherever she is needed and occasionally working on her hobby of plastic canvas art work and crocheting. Sr. Teresita enjoys being part of the Adopt a Sister Program. “All the sacrifices I make are for my Adopters,” she says. “I pray to Our Lady that she may bless my Adopters and their loved ones.”

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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.

88 Welcome

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 2016! Shown in RED

There are ten levels of membership, starting at $250, and are listed on these three pages. Won’t you consider joining this dynamic group in 2016, our 25th year?  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 Dorothy & Dr. Vincent Bagli Josie & Ray Campo Anne & Joseph Garcia PC Mrs. Ann Lowry Murphey

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


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

Mrs. Beatrice Lightfoot

New York Mrs. Pearl Kalikow

New Jersey Tony Amato Family The Carini Family

Partners Circle “Stewards” Annual gift of $11,000

Welcome New 2016 Members !

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle


Texas Mrs. Betty Turner PC = denotes a member of the Partners Circle National Board of Trustees

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Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •


Welcome New 2016 Members in Red!

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

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

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 A.J. & Mindy Papetti

New York Mr. John Cassara

Pennsylvania Keun Ho (Christopher) & Soon Ok (Gemma) Chong

Partners Circle “Founders” California Mrs. Maryann Roman

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

Mr. & Mrs. Rodger Rohde Christopher & Corinne Schiavo & The Shepherd and the Knucklehead Pub Joseph & Rita Weiner

Connecticut Mary Bridget Gaine

Florida Dr. Idalia Lastra

Pennsylvania Christopher & Gemma Chong Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

Annual gift of $2,200


New York Jordon Carroll Mr. & Mrs. James Dell’Orto Mr. Ian H. Graham Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Scala

New Jersey


Mr. & Mrs. Donald Hofmann Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Laudone Marilyn & Dale Livi Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Massood Mrs. Moira McBride Murphy Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Papetti Rose Perone Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Pfeifer PC Maria Sturchio

John & Pat Connors Anthony & Diana Ekonomou Lowry Murphey Family Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Mark Oliva PC Mr. Fredy Padovan

Annual gift of $3,300

Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair


Mr. Michael Guarnieri PC Christina & David McAleer PC Dr. Joseph McAleer PC

Partners Circle “Friends”

Pennsylvania In Loving Memory of Sr. Adeline Salvetti, FMA

South Carolina Mr. & Mrs. Tom Aldinger

Partners Circle “Benefactors” Annual gift of $1,100 Arizona Mrs. Ann Marie Forster

California Mr. & Mrs. Robert Obenberger


Linda & Peter Christiansen PC Mr. & Mrs. Salvatore Zichichi

Florida Mr. & Mrs. John Anello Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Caballero PC Terrell & Joe Clark Dr. Andrea & Sean Farrier PC Mrs. Aida Jurado Mr. & Mrs. Jim Major Dr. Patricia Mergo

Mr. & Mrs. Frank Middendorf Robert Nocek & Ann Bryk Gene & Linda Perez Mr. Charles B. Schmalz

Michael & Mary Losurdo Mr. & Mrs. Michael Massood Mrs. Arline Monaco Mrs. Carolyn Young


New York

Mr. Robert Reiter

Ms. Lea Battiato John W. Lombardi & Family The Sabatine Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Silveri

Massachusetts Mr. & Mrs. Neil Holmes


North Carolina

Ms. Marianne O’Doherty

Chester & Monica Michewicz

New Jersey


Ms. Debi F. Debiak Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Granatell Mr. & Mrs. Anthony M. Laino

Mr. & Mrs. Bob Danch Allyson & Kevin Hardy

Annual gift of $825 Florida Declan & Paula Mansfield Anne & Fred Michaels Rene & Phyllis Rodriguez Mr. & Mrs. Terry Wood

New Jersey Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Della Cerra Kathleen & Vic Medore

South Carolina Sandra M. Freeman

Partners Circle “Members” Arizona Anonymous

California Joanne & Geraldine Rizzuto



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



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

Mr. & Mrs. George LeBlanc


Ms. Josephine Petrillo Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Reading

Dr. Kenneth Alonso Mr. & Mrs. Mark Anderson Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor, Jr. PC Dr. & Mrs. Robert Cano Mrs. Trudy Carey Dr. & Mrs. Antonio Castro Dr. & Mrs. Emilio Echevarria PC Mr. & Mrs. Luis Garcia PC Ms. Maria Restrepo-Forte Mr. & Mrs. Mark S. Reynolds Rudy Rodriguez Kathy & John Pedrero PC Hon. & Mrs. E.J. Salcines PC Ms. Maria C. Torreiro Mr. & Mrs. Ron Yates

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

Annual gift of 550

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

The Mills Family Adelaide Olivieri


Welcome New 2016 Members in Red!

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.

New Jersey

North Carolina

Tiziana Anello, M.D. Larry & Mary Anne Condit Ms. Anita Cronk John J. Eccleston Mr. & Mrs. Michael G. Ferrito Dr. & Mrs. Louis Gambetta PC Joann Giamonco Teresa Gutto James Lane Laura Cosentino Mannarino Mrs. Diva Muller Mrs. Maureen O’Halloran Mrs. Christine Peragallo Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Piotrowski Mr. & Mrs. Cameron Reid E.N. Sarantis Mrs. Kathleen Zayatz

Mr. & Mrs. Paul Liotard

Ohio Mr. & Mrs. Dale Kovach Dr. & Mrs. George H. McAfee

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hedgecock

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

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

Partners Circle “Associates”

Welcome New 2016 Members in Red!

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle 10 •

New Partners Circle Board Leaders Elected


uring the Annual Meeting of the Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle National Board of Trustees on April 23, a new slate of executive officers was elected for the National Board as well as new leaders for regional meetings in the North and the South.

Dr. Joe McAleer was elected to a three-year term as Chairman of the Partners Circle National Board, succeeding Javier Baldor, who completed a two-term, six-year tenure. Dr. McAleer’s father, Joseph J. McAleer, Sr., founded the Partners Circle in 1991. Joining Dr. McAleer in executive leadership are Michael Guarnieri, re-elected as Treasurer, and Christina McAleer, who will serve as Secretary. The new President of the South, elected to a two-year term, is Carlos Baldor, Jr. He succeeds Dr. Andrea Farrier. Michael Polizzi returns as President of the North, a position he held previously. He succeeds Robert Harkins. “As I thank our retiring Board officers for their outstanding service, I warmly welcome our new officers,” says Sr. Mary Rinaldi. “This year we celebrate 25 years of the Partners Circle, and with our new leaders in place, I know a very bright future lies ahead, all in advancement of our mission as Salesian Sisters.”


Partners Circle “Quarter Century Club” Annual gift of $250

During this, our 25th Anniversary Year, we’ve made it even easier to join the Partners Circle, with a new commemorative level of membership: the “Quarter Century Club,” a cost of just $250 per year. Entrance to the club will be limited only to introductory members who join in 2016. The response so far has been outstanding! Welcome new Partners in RED!

California Mr. Richard Suda Rev. Paula T. Webb

Connecticut Mrs. Frances M. McAleer Mr. Patrick J. Waide, Jr. Anonymous

Florida Mr. & Mrs. Jon Barry Kurt & Laura Badertscher Mr. & Mrs. Fred A. Cairoli Mrs. Suzanne Carlisle Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Fernandez Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Fierman Mr. & Mrs. Edward Gomez, Jr. Amy & Kevin Jarman

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

Mr. & Mrs. John Mangin, Jr. Ms. Alina Roces Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schmid Mr. & Mrs. Richard Stowers Jim & Rita (Zoppo) Vietmeier

Anna & Richard Spalckhaver Robert and Constance Sumas Karla T. Villarin Mr. Edward M. Zambrano

New Hampshire

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Collison Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Dell’Orto

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas DiMicelli

New York

New Jersey


Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Amatuzzi Collins & Hogan Families Theodore & Lynda Leo Ms. Mary Bernadette Mazauskas Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Nowak Gregory & Stephanie Monaco

Mrs. Judith Falcone Lichty

South Carolina Mr. & Mrs. John Bedlek Elizabeth Craig & Michael Reeves, Jr.

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Making Headlines Around the Province

Dames Honor “Women of Distinction”

Twinkie Polizzi (left), Dames of Mary Help Chair, and Mary Help students Hannah Kostic, Nicole Pinuela, and Quiana Freeman, welcome guest speakers Della Crews (center) and Debi Debiak to the annual “Women of Distinction” luncheon.


n May 4, the “Dames of Mary Help,” the fundraising arm of Mary Help of Christians Academy, held their annual “Women of Distinction” luncheon at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, NJ. Proceeds fund full or partial scholarships for deserving students at Mary Help. Members of the junior class were on hand to hear speeches by two women who have made strides in their lives and careers and thereby qualify as “Women of Distinction”: Della Crews and Debi Debiak. Della Crews is the anchor for cable TV’s News12 New Jersey channel.

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She also produces and hosts several programs, including “Spotlight New Jersey,” a half-hour weekend show showcasing people of all ages and talents who are giving back and paying it forward in their communities. “I love the loyalty that New Jerseyans express for News 12 New Jersey,” Della said. “They’ve adopted our station as their own and feel we cover stories that truly affect them.” Debi Debiak, Mary Help Class of 1988, graduated from Fordham University and Seton Hall Law School. She has worked at law firms in New York and New Jersey, representing family-owned businesses and large retail chains.

Lately she has focused on employee and labor relation issues, appearing before federal and government agencies and conducting union arbitrations for the Hertz Corporation. Debi recalled Sr. Rose McShane telling students to follow their dreams and never give up. “I am an attorney who won her first ‘case’ at the kitchen table,” she said, “convincing her parents on a tight budget that she must attend Mary Help, her dream school.” Thanks to the luncheon, the Dames will award seven scholarships this year, including two to outgoing seniors heading to college in the fall. Well done, Dames! See you next year!

Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •


Summer’s Here! Please Give Us This Day!


o you have a happy occasion you would like to share? The Salesian Sisters will celebrate with you for an entire month. Is it a time to remember a less-than-happy occasion? Our prayer will accompany this event in your life. Have you someone to thank? All of us will help multiply this gratitude to that special person. Is there a special person or event to bring to the attention of your friends? Then please, “Give Us This Day”! Any event or person or situation that merits special attention will be publicized on a bulletin board outside our chapel. All the Sisters will pray for that person, event, and/ or situation and for the person who requests prayers for the day. Let this exchange of time be an example of our concern and our love for one another. Thank you.

12 •

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

Salesian Sisters (and real-life sisters) Rosalie and Domenica Di Peri enjoyed the 75th Anniversary celebration of Mary Help of Christians Academy.

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Our First Recourse Sr. Karen Dunn’s Letter


small, bumper-sticker-sized poster hung in one of my classes. Its simple message has stuck with me over the years and supports me especially when some challenge brings me to consciously re-buckle my seatbelt on the rollercoaster of life: Prayer must be our first resource, not our last recourse

In our wonderfully creative “cando” culture that produces networks like DIY, long shelves of selfhelp books, and “how to” seminars on small business relationships, this aspect of the Divine in our lives is usually eclipsed. So, indeed, prayer might be the last thing we think of as we navigate through life. Sometimes the God who “helps those who help themselves” is the One who is lost in our projects and planning of helping ourselves. Why should prayer be our first resource in life? Prayer offers that essential reality check. God is in charge; I am made for Him, in this life and the next. Prayer changes us. This is a most significant reality. How? Prayer puts us in intentional moments of being with God as we might do

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when we have coffee with a friend or sit with a family member. Even if we are simply “looking” at God in our hearts, we have entered into an occasion of relationship with Him. These moments, as in any human encounter, have a subtle but real transformative power. When we go to prayer, often to ask God to provide a change for us or for someone else – an illness to be cured, a job to be won, a relationship to be mended, a favor to be granted – whether or not the prayer is answered in the way we asked, the change that is deep and lasting and

that we see things in a different light, that we find peace because we recall that we are in the Presence of One who “makes all things work to good” (Romans 8:28).

Prayer brings us to the Communion of Saints: the greats of the centuries, our loved ones, and those unknown who pray continually for us. It unites us to the prayer of Jesus who offers Himself each day in the Sacrifice of the “Prayer reinforces Mass for all of humanity, our faith, especially including mine!

when we are forced to wait for a prayer to be answered; our constant return to God has an undeniable effect on us.”

Prayer connects us to people. To ask for God’s grace on those who suffer tragedy or those for whom we carry worries widens our world and opens our hearts to deeper realities far and near. It can provide that other reality check: my problems are small against what others must bear.

Prayer reminds us that we are not alone. For the Salesians, there is always the clear consciousness that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the one who would call her Son to a reluctant miracle to spare newlyweds an embarrassment and who desires our good and happiness, is present. She will surely provide for our needs as any good Mother would. “Trust in Mary and you will see what miracles are,” says St. John Bosco. And “Our Lady walks through our houses.”

Prayer reinforces our faith – especially when we are forced to wait for a prayer to be answered; our constant return to God has an undeniable effect on us. We can discover that our faith has grown,

Whether summer time means a more hectic schedule or a more mellow routine, as we ride this season of life along, we can use our greatest tool and place it at the top of our resource list: Prayer! Amen!

really matters is the one within.

Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •



A Love That Lasts Forever

Received between April 5 and June 1, 2016 Patricia Severyn Mr. Thomas P. Severyn Mr. Michael P. Dixon Eileen Hayes Ms. Mary Hayes

You can honor a cherished relative or friend with an everlasting gift of love – a memorial.

Lucy Portuese Proto Mr. Crispin Proto

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.

Carol Scott Mr. Terrence Sharkey

Sr. Claire Perino, FMA Mrs. Virginia Connolly Eileen F. Holleran Mr. John Holleran Lyda DeGise Ms. Kathy Halik Mr. Charles P. Shotmeyer

Louis R. Agresto Mrs. Marie Agresto

This gift lives forever, joining our loved ones to the prayers of the Salesian Sisters while supporting 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.

Gloria Sausville Ms. Mary Portelli

Rita Haring Mr. & Mrs. Mike Moffa

Sr. Theresa Lee, FMA Church of St. Paul Youth Ministry

Rosanne James Mr. & Mrs. John Mamone, Sr.

Enclosed is my Memorial/Tribute Gift of: ____ $25

____ $20



Memorial for Name – DECEASED

Tribute for Name – LIVING

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

14 •

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3


pril showers did not dampen the joyous spirit at the annual Salesian Sisters’ Spring Party on April 17 at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ. More than 400 of our closest family and friends gathered for an afternoon filled with food, prizes, and raffles galore. The colorful daisies on the tables mirrored the bright smiles as our guests jumped for joy when their raffle numbers were called. Congratulations to our Challenge winners, Bill Potkulski ($500 Grocery Gift Card) and Susan Roach ($500 Amazon Gift Card). All proceeds benefit the Mary Help financial aid fund.

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The Joy of Being a Salesian Educator

My Children, My Angels


ne of my second-grade students at Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL, asked me, “Sr. Elfie, why are you always happy?” I responded, “Because of you!” He proceeded to ask, “Why?” I said, without hesitation, “Because Jesus loves me, and I love Him; therefore, I love you! You see, I am so blessed that I get to be here with you. I would not want to be anywhere else.”

benefactors, past pupils, and all of the young to whom we are sent to bring the Good News of salvation and are entrusted to our care”. These are the very words that resonate in my heart which bring me hope and strength. Six years ago, I asked God to grant me true happiness and peace that could

their conversations of how much God loves them. With this knowledge, they are inspired to do something for those who are less fortunate. Work, play, study and pray are the words that describe how we as Salesians inspire, encourage, and mold the young. This is how we show them that God’s love for them and His mercy are greater than their imperfections.

I sing, dance, draw, and play with them! St. John Bosco encourages us to know the young on the playground. We play For me, the 4-square, profound joy kickball, or of being a line tag – their Salesian Sister favorite and comes from mine! This is the love and when I really mercy God see my angels Sr. Elfie with her “angels” at Villa Madonna School. has for me that and how they is reflected in the joy and love that only be attained through serving the really are. It is amazing to see what I give to all my little angels at Villa young and being with Him. A short happens when I enjoy what the kids Madonna. year later I began my discernment with like – they in turn enjoy what I like! the Salesian Sisters. This life that God Every morning, the Sisters begin has given me is a gift that I wish to All of my angels are thirsty to know the day meditating on the Word of share with the youth He has entrusted more about Jesus. They look forward God and encountering Christ in His to my care, so I can bring them closer to Fridays, our chapel day. And each Word and His Body in the Eucharist. to Him. I go to my “angels” each day they take on the challenge to This is where the foundation for the day and joyfully plant seeds of God’s make good choices. Watching their fruitfulness of our Salesian apostolate goodness, love, and knowledge. love for life, curiosity, and willingness is rooted! We continue our morning to serve others with the gifts that God as we pray the Entrustment to Mary, That is how I see our children – like has granted them, and knowing that our Mother and Help. We place angels. Through them I learn and I am here to witness and accompany everything in her hands. In part of share the love of God in the classroom them – these are my joys, every day! this prayer, we implore, “Grant your or the playground. My heart fills with special protection to our relatives, awe when I hear their laughter and – Sr. Elfie Del Rosario, FMA With a smile from ear to ear, the student said, “Oh, I get it!” and I knew he understood.

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Partners in Giving • Early Summer 2016 •


Making Headlines Around the Province

St. Joseph’s Chapel is Rededicated!


fter four months of “adapting” to accommodate Masses and Prayer Moments for our Sisters’ community and our students, what joy we experienced as we entered our beautifully renovated Chapel on April 17, 2016! It was heartwarming to see the smiles and expressions of “Wow!” as we gathered for the rededication of St. Joseph’s Chapel at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ. Sisters, students, parents, those who did the work of renovation, and those whose generosity made it possible, all shared in the joyful celebration, presided over by our Bishop, His Excellency Arthur Serratelli. Singing filled the air, with the accompaniment of the majestic sounds of the newly refurbished organ. For us, as Salesian Sisters, the Chapel is not just a building. In our Salesian spirituality, the Eucharist – Jesus present in the Tabernacle – is the center of our houses and our ministries, that sacred space where we pay special attention to the God who is always present in our lives. The Eucharist is celebrated every day for the Sisters’ community and periodically for our students. In addition, St. John Bosco recommended frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament as the sure way to grow in faith and to experience the joy of God’s love. In his words: “Do you want many graces? Visit Jesus often in the Tabernacle.” This beautiful space that has been renewed and renovated with so much love and effort, is indeed a fitting “center” of our campus, an inviting sacred place that will be a wellspring of grace for many decades to come. We who have the joy of gathering here each day will certainly remember with gratitude and love all those who made this gift possible! Thank you and God bless you! – Sr. Theresa Kelly, FMA

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

Performing a 2,000-year old ritual of the Catholic Church, Bishop Arthur Serratelli dedicates the new altar of St. Joseph’s Chapel by anointing it with sacred oil.

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Above, the new statue of Mary Help of Christians in the chapel. Right, Sr. Karen Dunn, Provincial Superior, addresses the faithful and thanks Bishop Serratelli for his presence.

The renovation of St. Joseph’s Chapel included a new sanctuary, crucifix, and altar; new carpeting and cushions for the pews; a rebuilt organ; improved lighting and sound system; and large video screens to display prayers and hymns. Not to be overlooked is the brand new chapel roof, ensuring a dry worship space for future generations! (Photos by Craig Janos)

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Salesian Youth Report

Mary Help Celebrates 75th Anniversary!


he weekend of May 13-15, 2016 was truly one to remember as alumnae of Mary Help of Christians Academy traveled far and wide to North Haledon, NJ, for a reunion marking our beloved school’s 75th anniversary. The Academy was and continues to be a place of solace for those who seek it as well as an inspirational “anchor” of learning and education, staffed by preeminent and dedicated teachers whose foremost objective is to “deliver” the next generation of informed, focused, and purpose-driven young Christian women. This 75-year mandate was validated throughout the weekend’s events. The love and fond memories shared by all of us during this incredible commemorative salute to our beloved Mary Help’s ethos and essence is brilliantly encapsulated in our treasured Sr. Josephine Carini’s tenet which was so graciously shared by Sr. Mary Rinaldi:

Above, Linda Bernstein and Luz Angela (Cubillos) Perez of the Class of 1973 join Sr. Fanny Florez and past principal Sr. Rosalie Di Peri at the Mary Help History Wall. At left, Class of 1988 alumnae Eladia Alvarado, Francesca Petrozza, and Nancy (Cilibrasi) Mattucci stroll down memory lane looking through their yearbook.

“The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and destination.” Prosper and flourish, Mary Help of Christians Academy! For you and all the Salesian Sisters are so loved and cherished not only by Our Lord and Our Lady but by all those who have been privileged to walk in your hallowed surroundings and whose lives you have irrevocably impacted… especially this humble graduate of the Class of 1966.

Janet Rosado, class of 1993 (standing) and a fellow alumna visit with Sr. Ramona Beltré, Sr. Maria Colombo, and Sr. Teresita Teran.

– Sally (Fontana) Blood

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

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Sr. Marisa Rose honored Dr. Gary Gratto for his 23 years of service as a teacher and head of the Mary Help Science department.

Above, Sr. Teresa Gutierrez and Sr. Fanny Florez visit with the “Cuban Girls” at the statue of Mary Help of Christians. Maria Losurdo-Colangelo received the first Honorary Degree in appreciation for her years of dedication and support to Mary Help.

Left, Sr. Antoinette Cedrone joins Rachel Rigolosi ’14 and Jacqueline Colangelo ’15 on the dance floor!

Above, Sr. Christina Chong teaches Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin the steps to the “Electric Slide”! Left, happy members of Mary Help Class of 1988 take a group photo.

Salesian Youth Report

Sr. Josephine Carini Scholarship Launched Sr. Josephine Carini. A woman of prayer, A woman of strength, A true friend In a never-ending friendship. She listens from Heaven, Intercedes on our behalf, Teaching us that Heaven is That love lasts And Caring Beyond this earth into eternity!


he Sr. Josephine Carini Scholarship Fund was launched this year on the 75th anniversary of Mary Help of Christians Academy by a grateful woman who had “adopted” Sr. Josephine at the beginning of our “Adopt A Sister” Program. Janis, who lives in California, had been paired up with Sr. Josephine because they were both Ph.D.’s and had a lot in common. During those years, Sr. Josephine had always sustained and helped Janis through many life situations and challenges. Her words were ever wise and comforting for Janis who has a special needs son. When Sr. Josephine died in 2006, having professed 63 years as a Salesian Sister, Janis was devastated. However, she still felt and believed that Sr. Josephine would not abandon her but would continue to help her from Heaven. Janis’ faith was well placed. Her son was “lost” while transitioning from one group home to another and could not be found. Janis was frantic, since her son was vulnerable, alone, and without his medications. She and her husband hired a detective, paying a huge sum of money for one week. After a week, her son still had not been found. She and her husband

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Sr. Josephine Carini, FMA passed away on August 11, 2006, aged 81, after 63 years of service as a Salesian Sister. She was a gifted teacher and her capacity for leadership – as a Principal, Superior, Education Supervisor, and Provincial – showed a selfless service to God and to His people.

were in a quandary. What should they do? Janis went up to her room and prayed to Sr. Josephine for help. That very night, the detective called saying that her son was found and she should come immediately. She found her son in a sad state but well and unharmed. When they went home and Janis had a moment to think, she recalled the date. It was November 13, Sr. Josephine’s birthday! She was overcome with emotion. Her Adopted Sister was still watching over her and listening to her prayers. Clearly, the spiritual bonds established go well beyond time and space, reaching into eternity for Adopter and Adopted Sister. In Sr. Josephine’s honor, Janis laid the groundwork for the Carini Scholarship

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

which to date has risen to $13,560. Recipients will be young women attending Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, where Sr. Josephine was Principal in the 1960s. Sr. Josephine truly believed that education was a sure path to the young person’s future. We invite you to invest with us through the Carini Scholarship. – Sr. Mary Terzo, FMA To make a donation to the new Sr. Josephine Carini Scholarship Fund, please send a check payable to “Salesian Sisters” with “Carini Scholarship” on the memo line and send in the enclosed envelope, or make a donation online at Thank you!

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Salesian Youth Report


hree cheers for the Baldor Family! Each year deserving students at Mary Help of Christians Academy and Villa Madonna School are selected to receive the Ana Maria Auxilium Award, which offers free tuition for an entire year. During ceremonies at Villa Madonna (left) and Mary Help (below) to present 14 awards, members of the extraordinarily generous Baldor Family were on hand, including William Bunn (standing at left, and standing below, second from right), son of the late Ana Maria Baldor-Bunn, for whom the award is named. Ana died at a young age after a heroic battle with cancer, in which she gave her own life to save that of her unborn son. Award recipients keep Ana’s memory alive by living as good and honest Christian citizens who use their Godgiven gifts and talents in the service of others in their school, church, and the community.

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Salesian Youth Report

ACADEMY OF OUR LADY HIGH SCHOOL, MARRERO, LA – The Academy celebrated its ninth commencement on May 17. Sr. Michelle Geiger, Principal, awarded diplomas to 95 graduates of the Class of 2016, who earned more than $5.2 million in scholarships. Mrs. Jane Baker, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, addressed the graduates. Congratulations ladies, and good luck! IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SCHOOL, MARRERO, LA – Seventh graders Kenneth Taylor and Dante Woodward lead their graduating class in a Rosary Procession during the annual May Crowning. As per school tradition, the honor of crowning Mary was given to two members of the graduating class, Collin Lewis and Nha Nguyen, chosen for their outstanding moral character, kindness, and gentleness. Principal Sr. Lou Ann Fantauzza led the school in a round of applause in honor of the Blessed Mother.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 3

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Salesian Youth Report SALESIAN YOUTH CENTER/ BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, TAMPA, FL – Let’s all go to the movies! Community supporter Carmen Scott joined kids at the Salesian Youth Center for a fun-filled afternoon complete with goodies from the Hollywood film “Miracles from Heaven,” starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah. Kids enjoyed games and activities along with yummy treats, and 30 staff members were treated to VIP viewing passes at Westshore Cinema on the film’s opening day!

IMMACULATA-LA SALLE HIGH SCHOOL, MIAMI, FL – Jason Quiroga (left), ILS class of 2014, always knew he wanted to be an engineer for NASA. In fact, he told his teacher as much on the first day of his freshman year. Fast forward about six years, and he is indeed well on his way. After two years in the Miami-Dade Honors Program, Jason is transferring to the University of Central Florida in Orlando due to its affiliation with NASA. Jason has already worked closely with engineers from NASA, who happen to be professors at UCF. Last year, Jason completed a rigorous NASA program called the NASA Aerospace Scholars project at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. He worked closely with engineers on a project called Mission RESOLVE, an exploratory project to drill for water on the moon. Most recently, Jason’s work at NASA was featured in a slide presentation during the Miami-Dade Honors Class of 2016 Hooding Ceremony, in which Secretary of State John Kerry gave the keynote address. Jason credits many of his teachers at ILS for cultivating in him a desire to discover and pursue his highest goals. And we’re grateful for graduates like Jason who are representing ILS so well in the scientific community.

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

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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 Elsie DeJesus, Production Manager Sr. Mary Terzo, FMA, Editorial Assistant Federal Tax ID # 22-6043753 © 2016 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 • Early Summer 2016


he hills of Kenilworth, NJ were alive with “The Sound of Music” when students at St. Theresa School performed the classic stage musical about the Von Trapp Family and their daring escape from Austria and the wicked Nazis. Librarian and Music Instructor Mrs. Christine McCarthy directed a fantastic performance filled with song and dance, starring Maria (Makayla Koski) and Captain Von Trapp (Luke Bollwage), along with the seven children (above): Paige Devanney, Daniella Welker, Zachary Devanney, Gianna Vaynberg, Rachel Tramontana, Adam Grova, and Abigail Donovan.

Partners in Giving Early Summer 2016  

Early Summer 2016 issue of Partners in Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province

Partners in Giving Early Summer 2016  

Early Summer 2016 issue of Partners in Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province