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

Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter often recall when Sr. Frances Gumino was asked, “How many Adopters do you have?” She replied, with her hand over her heart, “As many as can fit in here!” To me, that is the essence of the entire program. See pages 9-14.

Dear Friends, It is with great pleasure that I greet you in this new year! What better way to express the mission of the Salesian Sisters to young people than our marvelous cover from The Auxilium School in Newton, NJ. The amazing Christmas Village and train table created by Sr. Liz Ryan provokes wonder and awe among the little ones. Salesian education goes beyond books – it really is a matter of the heart!

• Partners in Giving has come a long way since its first edition (left) in April 1991! It has been our principal vehicle to introduce the works of our Province, sharing our joys and sorrows – and it has made us accountable to you, our Partners. More than 13,000 households receive the magazine every two months. If you know someone who would like to receive it, please let us know!

As you will see in this issue, we are in a celebratory mood this year. Happy 25th Anniversary to the Adopt-a-Sister program, the Partners Circle, and Partners in Giving magazine! Throughout these pages, as we look back and reminisce, you will know and feel God’s tremendous love and blessings on our Eastern Province – thanks to the generosity of each and every one of you!

In my very first letter to readers, I wrote, “There is more to development than dollars and cents. Development is people business. Jesus was a developer, so is Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Development is an invitation to people, a friend raiser, a constant call to share in the world of the Salesian Sisters and the educational mission of St. John Bosco.” After 25 years, this belief remains the basis of everything we do.

Some news to report: • Our Partners Circle members continue to be the very foundation of resources for our mission. If you have not yet joined, please do! There is a new level of membership, the “Quarter Century Club,” to mark the anniversary year. See pages 3-7.

As we embark on the next 25 years and beyond, we do so with great trust and faith in God’s great Mercy and Providence. As we celebrate, in the name of each of our Sisters, I offer you profound gratitude and prayer.

• As it enters its second quarter-century, the Adopt-aSister program remains a powerhouse of prayer! Our Sisters are enriched by their spiritual families and friends who fill their days with love and prayers. I


Save These Dates! Friday, April 15 The Sixth Annual Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB Awards Dinner a benefit for Corpus Christi-Holy Rosary School Willow Ridge Country Club, Harrison, NY Information & tickets: please call (914) 937-4407


Sunday, April 17 Salesian Sisters’ Spring Party Mary Help of Christians Academy, North Haledon, NJ Sunday, April 24 Re-dedication of St. Joseph’s Chapel at Mary Help of Christians Academy North Haledon, NJ Watch for details

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

Wednesday, May 4 Dames of Mary Help Luncheon a benefit for Mary Help of Christians Academy Watch for details Friday-Sunday, May 13-15 Mary Help’s 75th Anniversary Reunion Watch for details

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



“We Shall Be Partners!” – And We Are!

Sr. Mary Rinaldi gathered with the charter members of the newly-formed Partners Circle in 1991: (left-right) Michael Massood, Joseph J. McAleer, Sr., Lucy Nardella, and A.M. “Bud” D’Alessandro and his wife, Rosemarie.

Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, who became the first (and so far only) Director of Development for the Salesian Sisters’ Eastern Province in 1989, recalls the founding in 1991 of the Partners Circle, which provides unrestricted funds for urgent needs of the Sisters and their mission.


y career in Development can be tracked by relationships I have made and the great things that have ensued. How was I, one lone Salesian Sister in New Jersey, with experience as a nursery school teacher and principal (and a degree in early childhood education!), supposed to provide for the entire Eastern Province? I had the faith and strength of prayer, but I needed help from someone with business savvy. Little did I know that, 25 years ago, I would soon be blessed with one introduction that would open the doors to help from every corner of the country.

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My late Uncle, Fr. Peter Rinaldi, SDB, introduced me to Mr. Joseph McAleer, Sr. in the home of his son, Andy, in Connecticut. As I entered the room, there was Joseph who stood tall with outstretched arms to welcome me. I felt so small at that moment and I had no idea of the great things which were about to unfold that evening. My Uncle had already laid out the awesome task that I had been presented. A very inspiring gentleman, Joseph declared, “I will help you set a foundation for your work!” He then went on to describe his involvement at Fairfield University in Connecticut and how successful the “President’s Circle” was there. I will never forget what happened next. Joseph lit up and said, “We shall be partners!” And that evening, the Partners Circle came into existence. As the Partners Circle has grown over

the past quarter-century, its members have been integral to the growth and maintenance of many projects throughout the Province. Allow me to mention below just a few of the many programs and initiatives the unrestricted fund has made possible. Vocations. A vibrant and vital Vocations program is the lifeblood of our Province, for it secures future Salesian Sisters to carry on our ministry to young people. Thanks to the Partners Circle, promotional materials were underwritten, and a car purchased for the Vocations Director, so she could criss-cross the country, spreading the message to those contemplating religious life. More than 200,000 miles was put on that vehicle before it had to be replaced! Thanks be to God, the investment has paid off handsomely: in 25 years, 16 young women have taken their vows as Salesian Sisters. Please turn the page

Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •




Unrestricted Fund Has Borne Much Fruit Partners in Giving magazine, which also marks its 25th anniversary this year, chronicled the opening of the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ, in 1999 (right). This state-of-the-art residence for our retired elderly Sisters was supported by funds from the Partners Circle, as has our thriving Vocations program (left).

a new roof has been installed. We have put away the buckets that used to catch all of the rainwater leaking through the old roof!

continued from page 3 The St. Joseph Provincial Center. The Partners Circle was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of our new, state-of-the-art residence for our retired elderly Sisters, opened in 1999. Funds secured an industrial sized-generator to ensure power for the home, especially the hospital wing, during any power outages. Mary Help of Christians Academy. Up the hill from the Provincial Center, Partners Circle funds have underwritten financial aid scholarships for students, allowing dozens of young women to receive a quality Salesian education. One-hundred percent of Mary Help graduates go on to college or university! Partners Circle funds have updated the student cafeteria and purchased a new shuttle bus. The Partners Circle has also been a strong supporter of “The Light on the Hill,” the campaign to renovate St. Joseph’s Chapel. Thanks to the fund,


Villa Madonna School. In Tampa, each student has the use of an iPad in class, thanks to the Partners Circle. Visitors to the elementary school are welcomed with a beautiful and inviting entrance, lined with splendid palm trees, made possible by the Partners Circle. Next door, children play on a refurbished gym floor in the Joe & Anne Garcia Salesian Boys and Girls Club, thanks to the Partners Circle.

The Partners Circle joined the national effort to built a new school in Haiti, following the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Haiti. Finally, the Partners Circle spearheaded efforts to bring relief to the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. Our funds have built a new school,

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

restoring a lifeline for hundreds of young people. As we mark our quarter century, we offer our profound thanks and prayers to the generous men and women of our Partners Circle, listed on the following pages. Won’t you join them, too? This year, we’ve made it even easier to join, 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. Just after this announcement, we received our first gift. Fittingly, we are so pleased to announce Frances M. McAleer, our founder’s widow, as the first member of our Quarter Century Club! God bless you all. On to the next 25 years! – Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA

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



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.



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 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


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

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 • Winter 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

California Connecticut

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

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

Annual gift of $3,300 Connecticut Mary Bridget Gaine

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

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

Partners Circle “Founders” Mrs. Maryann Roman

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

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

Partners Circle “Friends”

Massachusetts Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair

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

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

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

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 Gene & Linda 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 M. Laino Michael & Mary Losurdo

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

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

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

Partners Circle “Members” Annual gift of $550 Arizona Anonymous

California Geraldine & Joanne Rizzuto

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

Florida 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 Mrs. J.C. De Lotto Dr. & Mrs. Emilio Echevarria PC Mr. & Mrs. Luis Garcia PC Mr. & Mrs. Mark S. Reynolds Rudy Rodriguez Hon. Judge & Mrs. E.J. Salcines PC Ms. Maria C. Torreiro Mr. & Mrs. Ron Yates

Georgia Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

Illinois Adelaide Olivieri


Partners Circle “Associates”

Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Giamonco Teresa Gutto 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

Annual gift of $825

New York

South Carolina

Kevin & Kathy 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

Florida Declan & Paula Mansfield Anne & Fred Michaels Rene & Phyllis Rodriguez

New Jersey Kathleen & Vic Medore


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

Partners Circle “Quarter Century Club”


Annual gift of $250

North Carolina


Mr. & Mrs. Dale Kovach

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hedgecock

Connecticut Mrs. Frances M. McAleer

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

Mr. & Mrs. George LeBlanc

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

New Jersey Tiziana Anello, M.D. Larry & Mary Anne Condit Ms. Anita Cronk John Eccleston Dr. & Mrs. Louis Gambetta PC

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

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.

The List of Gratitude Sr. Karen Dunn’s Letter


s Oscars and Golden Globe awards are presented, I have always felt an affinity with the winners who pull out scraps of paper and read from lists of those they want to thank. The musical piece that signals them to leave the stage often intrudes on the winner’s litany of gratitude that has left him or her breathless. Once the list begins, it is hard to end it! Watching this, I am brought back to times when I have been suddenly washed over by a hidden reality. Whether it’s a victory, an event, or even a simple morning assembly in school, at times I have been suddenly brought to the realization that this moment belongs to a great “We.” It is a powerful consciousness of those who created the floor on which we are standing and who brought together the precious souls in front of me. Some of these wonderful people might still be active, others invisible, others forgotten. But they all had a hand in this moment that surrounds us now and they are present to us in a marvelous way. And so begins a great list of gratitude! Visits of supporters of our schools have always presented a golden opportunity to help our children reflect on God’s Providence. Often we say to them, “Look how much people believe in you! Of all the possible ways they could have shared, God sent them here and they chose to share with YOU! They know how important you are; they want you to be happy and holy! They chose YOU!” Spoken with the right emphasis,

this thought leaves a kind of hushed silence as it resonates over their young heads. And when we want to stretch their imaginations and expand their hearts more, we start our list of people to thank, even if we do not have specific names: the priests and parishioners who envisioned our school; those who poured cement and ran electrical wires; the students who are now grown up and give back to our school; the teachers who labored over and loved hundreds of children; the parishioners who have loved by

“Why not create your own list of gratitude – one as long as your time and imagination will permit?” running BINGO every week; the parents whose own sweat provided a healthy environment and the images of the Saints on our walls; the friends who prayed and baked cakes, and applauded children across the years; the Sisters who secured the faith and the school’s future, and the countless friends who are not known, but in big and small ways, formed part of the story that led to this particular moment that all of us share. This litany of gratitude typically evokes eyes of wonder that widen into a wordless “Wow!” This year a past student prepares to enter medical school. How did she overcome the hurdles of a new culture and language, and the additional challenges she faced as her parents struggled to feed the family, make tuition payments, and live their faith? In the environment of the Salesian

elementary school, she developed a great sense of self-worth, of God’s presence in her life and a sense of personal responsibility that formed her to be a young adult of faith and of generous self-giving. Gratitude is already second nature in her and she has learned to make her list of those to thank, giving back by animating summer programs for kids. Dear Friends, on my list of gratitude, I must include YOU! YOU have had a part in this young person’s success in life! YOU have helped usher me to this moment of joy by your presence, your friendship, and belief in our mission to the young! I may not draw out a scrap of paper from my pocket, but you are present to me and remain in my prayers as someone to whom I am incalculably indebted. As we celebrate 25 years of the Partners Circle and the Adopt-aSister program, we build another great list of names, some printed on these pages. This year, the heart of every Salesian Sister is expanded in awareness of you and for all those who have brought us to this moment in our history as St. John Bosco’s great family! As you savor the gift of this moment that you are sitting reading now, why not create again your own list of gratitude – one as long as your time and imagination will permit? Once it begins, it is hard to end! May it be for you a wonderful exercise of great joy!



Adopt-a-Sister: Faith Produces Miracles Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, recalls the founding of the Adopt-a-Sister program, which she fondly calls “The Little Program That Could,” expanding by leaps and bounds over the past quarter-century.

Where it all started: Fortune Bosco speaks about adopting Sisters, as Sr. Mary and Phil LoCicero listen in.


he Adopt-a-Sister program derived from a need to raise money for our elderly Salesian Sisters in Haledon, NJ. It was during a presentation in Tampa, FL, that all the pieces of the puzzle found their way together. It was Mr. Fortune Bosco who suggested to the audience that they should “adopt” the Sisters as, he explained, “We have more need for their prayer than they have for our money!” At that very moment, the Adopt-a-Sister program was born.

that I have witnessed as the Adopt-aSister program has grown over these 25 years. Please allow me to share here a few glimpses of God in our Adopt-a-Sister program:

The program’s very core was based on relationships and prayers. So I moved forward, convinced that if it was God’s work, it would fly, and if it as not . . . it would die!

• A gentleman was given six months to live. Ten years later, he thanked

After 25 years, as all can attest, it is God’s work! The question I have been asked most often over the past quarter century is this: “So, do you get any miracles?” Our dear friend Joseph Hagan, with Sr. Mary.

My response is always the same: faith produces miracles! And, yes, we have seen miracles, ranging from births and cures from illnesses, to even peaceful deaths.

The most powerful messages are expressed in the real-life experiences

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his adopted Sister, Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, for her continued prayers for his health. • Distraught parents in Los Angeles adopted Sr. Josephine Carini to pray for their son who had disappeared

from their home many years before. Sr. Josephine prayed with the family for many years and, three months after her passing, the son called home and asked to return to the family. It was November 13th, Sr. Josephine’s birthday. • A mother asked for prayers for her daughter-in-law, Julie, who was having issues carrying a pregnancy to full term. I assigned Sr. Claire Perino, who assured her that God hears prayers. In fact, she wrote, “Yes, I will pray, Julie, but be careful, because sometimes we ask God for an apple, and He wants to give us the orchard.” Nine months later, Julie delivered quadruplets on Father’s Day! • Joseph Hagan was a very frugal recluse from New Jersey who was truly beloved by all the Sisters. What began as a weekly visit for a magazine swap and a pot of soup, ended with Mr. Hagan donating $1 million to contruct a chapel in the newly-built St. Joseph Provincial Center to ensure the Sisters would continue to pray for him and his family long after he was gone. Joseph chose the 15th of each month as the date on which a Mass would be celebrated for him and his family. As the Saints would have it, Joseph passed away on September 15th. Please turn the page

Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •



Building Friendships continued from page 9 • After the passing of his wife, a Florida doctor found himself very lonely in his retirement community. After seeing an ad to sponsor a Sister who would pray and communicate with him, he sent $10,000 to adopt 100 Sisters! He was thrilled to receive 100 Christmas and birthday cards each year. • At a Women’s Luncheon in Beverly Hills, a dynamic lady said, “We know where to find the latest handbags, shoes, and perfumes; however, I have found something not found in stores.” This amazing and sincere example of faith and the power of prayer grabbed the attention of every woman in the room and brought them into the program. Their support continues to this day. • A Texas couple began their relationship with the Salesian Sisters with a FedEx overnight envelope containing a check to adopt Sisters for their children, spouses, and grandchildren, as well as a donation for the Sisters and their ministry work. Two years later, I made my way out to Texas to visit them. After dinner, I asked the husband, “Do you have an application that we can fill out for a grant for our renovation of Mary Help of Christians Academy?” He answered firmly that he would be giving me a six-figure donation that had to be matched by the end of the year. It was with great faith that I assured him we could! At the end of 60 days, we had collected more

10 •

The Adopt-a-Sister program has always been “the little program that could.” The center pages of this magazine show just a few examples of our media coverage that would bring in generous donors from all corners of the country and beyond, each with their own story. First, we gained the attention of local newspapers, then the New York tristate area, and the Associated Press. In 1999, I received the confirmation that God had put His seal on our efforts when we received news that the Sisters were going to be featured by ABC on its national news program, “20/20”. For the next three-and-a-half months, I was followed by reporters who received firsthand accounts from those in the program. The “20/20” story related the power of prayer and the power of good media coverage. Literally, by the next day bushels of mail arrived. In all, about 10,000 people sent gifts which totaled over $1 million in 24 hours. I would like to personally thank Tom Goldstone and the people at “20/20” for their helping hands in making the Adopt-a-Sister program such a success. When I think back to the days before the Adopt-a-Sister program, I was struggling with finding a means of financially caring for our retired and infirm Sisters. Twenty-five years and a brand new retirement home later, the program is still going strong! The Sisters enjoy being connected to their

2016 “Adopt Who?”

than our own goal, bringing us half way towards our $1.2 million goal. The Home Economics wing at Mary Help was dedicated the next year.

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

Unique thought Inspired utterance Made 25 years ago… And so It came to be, Adopter and Adoptee Bound in prayer Formed into friendship Forging a chain Of endless links Where heart Empties into heart, Trustful and sure Intentions given Received in love Brought to Jesus, To Mary, To Saints above Miracles and graces, Blessings too For we gather In His Name Making claim To His promises May the chain lengthen Through 25 years And more! Sr. Mary Terzo, FMA

new family of Adopters. It is on this momentous 25th anniversary that I invite one and all to adopt a Sister and build a relationship with a Salesian Sister of your own. God bless you, and thank you! – Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA

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



Still Adopted After a Quarter Century! When the Adopt-a-Sister program was started 25 years ago, Sr. Frances Gumino was 68 years old and bounding with energy and enthusiasm. Today, at 92 years young, she still is! A Salesian Sister for 73 years, Sr. Frances lives at the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ, which was constructed through the generosity of our many friends across the country. Here, Sr. Frances shares her memories of a quarter-century as an Adopted Sister.


have been asked to reflect on the Adopt-a-Sister program to mark its 25th Anniversary because I have been a part of it since day one, way back in 1991. My memory recalls my initial reluctance to be “adopted” … imagine, at my age! But when I heard it was for the support of our elderly Salesian Sisters whom I dearly love, I readily accepted the idea for their sake. Well, over the years, those first Sisters have winged their way to Heaven and I am sure are blessing all those who adopted them and provided for them. They form quite a heavenly host, I must say. Guess what! Now I am here at the St. Joseph Provincial Center reaping the benefits of this divinely inspired program. And imagine, I continue to be “adopted” – and I just love it! It is through this unique program that I have made many wonderful friendships and have become a real part of so many families who send me their pictures as their children grow, or write asking for special prayers for particular intentions, or just share family news. And this happens to all the Sisters who have been adopted. We even have occasions to meet with each other, Adopters and Adoptees, if

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“Although I have reached and surpassed ninety years, I am somewhat computer savvy, which helps me to correspond easily with many people – and even make homemade Hallmark Cards! A Salesian Sister is always young at heart!” they live in the area. One incident I particularly remember is that of a son of one of my Adopters who told me, “You have to wait until my sister goes to college and then you can come to live with us and have her

room. What is your favorite color?” Thus, I happily continue in this program, sharing God’s love, inspiring reflections, and humorous items in letters and e-mail. Although I have reached and surpassed ninety years, I am somewhat computer savvy, which helps me to correspond easily with many people – and even make homemade Hallmark Cards! A Salesian Sister is always young at heart! My prayers and thoughts continue to be with all my Adopters and with all the wonderful people who are part of this family-friendly program. God bless you all! – Sr. Frances Gumino, FMA

Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •




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EXTRA! EXTRA! 25 Years of the Adopt-a-Sister Program!

ttino aryann Re ony and M ew York Newsday th n A rs te p N eir home. n, NY Ado Huntingto t A Sister party in th p o d hold an A le. for an artic was there

interviews Bob Brown 1999 ABC’s for the o dr D’Alessan Sr. Virginia /20 segment. May, 1999 20

Mr. Jo e with S Pete, past -pu ister M ary L pil from S egreg t. Mic ni. hael's S


Please Join Us!

Theresa Quedenfeld of Willow Street, PA, adopted Sr. Anita Durocher many years ago, and today, her granddaughter (also named Theresa Quedenfeld) wrote a beautiful report


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

about the Salesian Sisters (left) for her school. Her grandmother is her only connection to the Adopt-a-Sister Program. How beautiful that Theresa shares stories with her granddaughter!

Please complete the form below, or to learn more, visit us online at, or call us toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS. On behalf of the Salesian Sisters, thank you for your generosity as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. God bless you!

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

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

$ 260.00

$ 500.00

Other $______

the enclosed

Enclosed is my quarterly gift of: $ 65.00

$ 40.00

Please used

$ 125.00

Other $______


Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________

Email: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________

Birthdate (mm/dd/yy):


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

Email: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________

Birthdate (mm/dd/yy):


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



American Express

Card Number: _________________________________________________

Expiration: ______________________

Signature: ______________________________________________________________________________________________

14 •

Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

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

This New Year, Please Give Us This Day!


Sisters, on that day, will pray for that person, event, and/or situation and for the person who requests prayer for that special day.

o you have a happy occasion you would like to share? The Salesian Sisters will celebrate with you. Is it a time to celebrate a lessthan-happy occasion? Our prayer for you on your special day will celebrate this event in your life. Have you someone to thank?

The Sisters enjoy taking part in your family’s joys and, also, helping with your sorrows. You have become part of our family, and that is a wonderful exchange of love and concern.

Then please “Give Us This Special Day”! All of us will help multiply this gratitude. Any and every event or person or situation that merits special attention will be publicized on a bulletin board outside our chapel on “your” special day. All the Salesian

The Sisters’ prayers for a mild beginning to winter were answered, and reconstruction of the pond outside their residence in Haledon, NJ, is nearing completion. New walls have been built and valves opened to prepare the pond to be filled with natural spring waters. Sr. Janet Keller was excited to receive the first “fish” to fill the revitalized pond!

Our Lord has assured us, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am among them.” What better assurance can we have? Let this exchange of time be an example of our concern and love for one another. Please “Give Us This Day” by returning the form below. Thank you!

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



Day 1 (Month, day):


Day 2 (Month, day):


Day 3 (Month, day):


Total enclosed @ $100 per day: $ ____________ Please make your check payable to: Salesian Sisters

Name Address


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

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Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •



A Love That Lasts Forever

Received between December 2, 2015 and February 4, 2016 Annabelle Librizzi Mrs. Dorothy Gangi

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.

____ $20



Memorial for Tribute for

Camille D’Amato Kornutick Ms. Carol Kasper Florence O’Donnell Ms. Carol Kasper Barry Holleuffer Mrs. Dorothy Gangi John M. Jolissaint Mr. & Mrs. Jack Jolissaint Sr. Joyce Marie Jolissaint Mr. & Mrs. Jack Jolissaint David Peter Walkey Mr. & Mrs. Jack Jolissaint Marie Louise Walkey Mr. & Mrs. Jack Jolissaint

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

Valentine Zambales Ms. Lisa Melanie Martinez


Occasion Please send an acknowledgement to: Name

Mary Dominguez Mr. & Mrs. Reynee Dominguez José Quintas Mr. & Mrs. Reynee Dominguez Marie Massimiano Mrs. Lucille Lucci Dorothy Lyden Rosanne & Joseph Stracuzzi Jean & Charles Mondello Elinor Dimick Mrs. Rosalie Mondello


P 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

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

John Graziano Ms. Paula Pontani Mrs. Claire Pontani Teddy Nichols Mrs. Grace Dubiock George Dubiock Mrs. Grace Dubiock Gennaro Corrado Mr. Peter Corrado Mrs. Rose Marmo Mrs. Antoinette De Angelis Mrs. Angelina De Angelis Miss Maria Corrado

Tributes Judy Wehrell Klotzbier Mr. & Mrs. Vic Dowdell Virginia Jones Ms. Louise Jones Jankovic Sr. Catherine Novo, FMA Mr. & Mrs. Joseph McNanna Robert Leszkowicz Mr. Walter Leszkowicz Mr. & Mrs. Jack Donnelly Mr. & Mrs. William Buckley David & Christina McAleer Mr. & Mrs. George McAfee James Holsneck Ms. Paula Pontani Mrs. Claire Pontani

The Joy of Being a Salesian Educator

Walking Together in Holiness “For my uncle who is having surgery today.” “For my mom that she may find the job that is best for her.” “For anyone who is having trouble loving themselves today.”


ith simple prayer requests like these, the sophomores at Mary Help of Christians Academy open up our class time by directing their intentions to God. They remind me that this classroom, with its posters hung slightly askew and papers stacked on the desk, can indeed be a sacred space and an opportunity to meet God. Yes, it’s important that we cover the subject material and all the facts that need to be learned, but it’s just as important to take a step back, be present to one another, and share where we see God in our day and where we desperately need Him. I have been professed as a Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco for just under six months, and have learned that to be a Salesian educator is to be both a teacher and a learner. In order to discern how to reach a student, I have to first learn about her particular quirks, strengths, gifts, and struggles. I also have to be willing to show the young that I, too, am always learning, and that God calls all of us to walk together in holiness. Before I became a teacher I never realized how often this walk with the young would leave me marveling at the gift of my vocation. There are moments of such clarity when God is tangible in the goodness of my students. The joy of being a Salesian

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Sr. Christina Chong with Mary Helpers in North Haledon, NJ.

Sister is the joy of being with the young. There is joy in hearing a student wonder whether what they thought was just a crazy “coincidence” might

“This classroom with its posters hung slightly askew and papers stacked on the desk can indeed be a sacred space and an opportunity for students to meet God.” actually have been a moment of grace when God was communicating with them. There is joy in receiving back homework assignments that go far beyond the basic “requirements” and demonstrate that a student really connected with the material and felt

compelled to learn more on her own. There is joy in witnessing the students support one another as they remember prayer requests that were spoken weeks ago. There is joy in laughing about whom we would cast in a movie about Adam and Eve. Is Johnny Depp good for the serpent? Does he seem slimy and deceitful enough?! As I continue on my journey to give my life to God through the young, I pray that I can be used as an instrument of His love and joy, however He sees fit. I pray that the young may come to know Jesus and understand that the things I teach them are not just words I recite halfheartedly, but what I have staked my life on. It’s worth it to me, to give my life to God. And it’s worth it to me to give my life to you, the young. – Sr. Christina Chong, FMA

Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •


Salesian Youth Report

ACADEMY OF OUR LADY, MARRERO, LA – Fr. Mike Kettenring (left), Pastor of Visitation of Our Lady Parish and Chair of the Academy’s Principal Advisory Board, recently blessed the new Fine Arts Center. Current and former faculty members from Archbishop Blenk, Immaculata, and Academy of Our Lady High School were recognized for their dedication, accomplishments, and service that set the foundation for the success of the Fine Arts Department. Everyone processed with Father as he blessed each classroom, heard a performance by the choir (above), and then afterwards viewed an excerpt of “The Secret Life of Bees” performed by Academy students. Delicious bruschetta, bread pudding, and refreshments were provided by the Culinary Department.

THE AUXILIUM SCHOOL, NEWTON, NJ – Students celebrated Christmas in several special ways this year, including a Living Nativity during the annual Christmas Show that was held at Newton High School. Gifts donated for the school’s “Angel Wall” helped local children who were in need of assistance this Christmas. Students also wore their pajamas to school to celebrate St. Lucy who, legend has it, served her family Christmas breakfast in her pajamas!

Salesian Youth Report

Get Ready to Celebrate Mary Help’s 75th!


he Alumnae of Mary Help of Christians Academy and the Salesian Sisters are happy to announce that Mary Help will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. To commemorate this once-in-alifetime event, a celebratory weekend is planned for May 13-15, 2016. All past pupils from the very first

graduating class of 1944 to the most recent class of 2015 are invited! A wine and cheese mixer will kick off the weekend, with a family day on Saturday, culminating with a Mass and celebration gala.

The invitation list is being finalized now. If you would like to attend, or become a sponsor, please e-mail your contact information to MHCA75@, or call the Development Office: (973) 904-0102. See you in May!

IMMACULATA-LA SALLE HIGH SCHOOL, MIAMI, FL – In December, the ILS Purple Heart Club organized a Christmas party for disabled veterans at the Miami VA Hospital. Purple Heart students raised a tent, put up Christmas decorations, served food and beverages, and tried to bring a little Christmas joy to our heroes who have sacrificed so much for our country. More importantly, students received a different type of education: learning to appreciate that freedom is not free, and healing continues long after a conflict ends. It warms the heart to know that ILS students have a deep appreciation for those who have served, and those who continue to defend, this great nation.

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Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •


Salesian Youth Report VILLA MADONNA SCHOOL, TAMPA, FL – “St. John Bosco,” a.k.a. fifth-grader Alberto Echevarria (right), is introduced by Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB, during the school-wide celebration of the Salesian founder’s feast day. The day’s events included a school Mass, followed by the fifth graders performing a play about the life of Don Bosco. Then everyone gathered to watch the teachers and eighth graders battle it out in games of basketball and volleyball. Each group took away a win, to the cheers and delight of all the students!

Career Day at Villa Madonna School featured some wonderful guests. Former Governor Bob Martinez spoke to students about the importance of public service. A head chef from worldrenowned Berns Steakhouse came and served steak and a Caesar salad complete with anchovies! Dr. Eddie Garcia, a local veterinarian, was on the scene to talk about his beloved profession, and even brought a puppy named Choo-choo to visit with the kids. Not to be outdone, the Salesian Sisters also spoke about their vocations. At left, second-graders (and future Sisters?) Madelyn Glazner and Maya Benitez joined Sr. Elfie Del Rosario, Sr. Myriam Meus, Sr. Mary Jackson, and Sr. Rosemary Cordes.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

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

Salesian Youth Report

MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS ACADEMY, NORTH HALEDON, NJ – On a snowy day, Salesian Sisters gathered before the crèche outside St. Joseph’s Chapel. The annual Christmas Party, held on December 13, was a huge success, raising more than $100,000 for Mary Help. Congratulations to the winners of the Christmas Party Challenge: Rosanna Fahy of Cedar Grove, NJ ($500 grocery gift card), and Shelli Rigolosi of Paramus, NJ ($500 Amazon gift card). See you at the Spring Party on April 17!

THE AUXILIUM SCHOOL, NEWTON, NJ – The Auxilium School celebrated the feast day of St. John Bosco by interviewing “him” today during morning assembly. How is that possible, you ask? One of the school’s handymen, Marco Bisoglio, was born in a town in Italy a few miles away from the town where Don Bosco was born. Marco, who has been with The Auxilium School for over 25 years, bears a striking resemblance to the Salesian founder and even shares the same Italian accent. He was more than happy to portray this great Saint during assembly. The school director, Sr. Isabel Garza, interviewed “St. John Bosco,” asking him about his life and how he taught and cared for homeless children. The students were so happy listening to the interview that they ran to hug “St. John Bosco” as he was leaving the assembly.

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Partners in Giving • Winter 2016 •


Salesian Youth Report ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC NEWMAN CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS – The Salesian Sisters spent a lovely evening (right) with their counterparts, the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, who operate Presence Covenant Hospital in Champaign. They kindly offered hospitality to our Provincial Council during a recent visit. Below, the Sisters gathered with the Salesian priests of Holy Cross Parish for a day of retreat. Fr. Tom Provenzano, SDB, Director/Pastor of St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago, reflected on the words of Pope Francis to the priests, seminarians, and religious during his visit to Cuba. Gathered for the retreat are (left-right) Sr. Loretta DeDomenicis, Fr. Joseph Santa Bibiana, Sr. Theresa Samson, Sr. Mary Arciga, Fr. Dave Saudak, Fr. Tom Provenzano, Sr. Maryann Schaefer, and Fr. Bill Bucciferro.

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXV • Issue 1

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

Please Make an Investment in Our Future!

Sr. Helene Godin, FMA, principal of St. Theresa School in Kenilworth, NJ, with Students of the Month, who showed outstanding signs of generosity in their classroom and throughout the school.

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

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

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


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

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he Robotics team (below) at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, FL, is named “Bosco’s Bots,” after St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian order. And Don Bosco would be proud to know that Bosco’s Bots has been genuinely bashing the competition! This year’s team competed in December at a tournament hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, and finished in first place, beating a field of 19 other skilled teams from Dade and Broward counties!

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 © 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 • Winter 2016

Congratulations to veteran robot drivers Pablo Garces and Nick Suarez, as well as to fellow team members Juan Almiroty, Derek Guijt, Justin Gago, Helen Rodriguez, Ethan Rey, Julian Medina, and Matheus Marquez-Sterling. Extra special thanks to Lead Mentor (and STEM teacher) Scott Givonetti, Engineering Coach Armando Rodriguez, Programming Coach Daniel Lopez-Java, Science teacher and First Robotics Judge Peter Perez, and Assistant Coach and Math teacher Ruben Ilizarbe. As always, it’s wonderful to see young men and women from the Catholic school tradition excelling in new and exciting areas!

Partners in Giving Winter 2016