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Partners in GivinG

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

Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter

Save These Dates! Sunday, April 29

Spring Open House for Prospective Students & Their Parents

Dear Friends: Our cover depicts a somber but hope-filled moment at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, FL when students, faculty, and staff assembled to pray for the victims of the tragedy in Parkland, FL on February 14. The loss of 17 innocent lives has shaken the world to its core, and the high school students that we Salesian Sisters serve are no exception. We share their concerns and desires for the future on pp. 16 and 17.

For more information, please visit Thursday, May 10

Dames of Mary Help “Sip & Shop”

Some news to report: • Our Adopt a Sister Program takes center stage with coverage of our annual luncheon in Tampa, the biggest ever! Please join the thousands who participate in this mutual exchange of giving and love. Plus, it makes a perfect gift for graduations, First Holy Communions, and weddings! See pp. 3-6.

See page 3 May 17-20 and August 1-6

“Come & See”

• We welcome two new members to the National Board of Trustees of the Salesian Sisters Partners Circle, Jo Ann Caracappa and Arina Grossu. They join a distinguished group of lay people whose advice to us is invaluable. Welcome, ladies! See page 8.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Sr. Theresa Lee, Vocations Director: (732) 597-3988 or

Happy Spring, and Peace,


Editorial Board Dr. Joe McAleer, Editor Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, Director of Development Elsie DeJesus, Production Manager Theresa G. Anderson, Copy Editor

is a bi-monthly magazine published by the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco Development Office 659 Belmont Avenue North Haledon, NJ 07508-2397

Federal Tax ID # 22-6043753 © 2018 Missionary Society of Salesian Sisters, Inc.

Telephone: (973) 904-0102 Toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS E-mail:

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.

Website: Facebook: salesiansistersdevelopment


Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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

Making Headlines Around the Province

Celebrating Adopt a Sister in Tampa!


ampa was the place to be on March 2 when the third annual Adopt a Sister Luncheon was held in the Villa Madonna School gym.

Adopters and those who just wanted to learn more about the program joined the Salesian Sisters for a Lenten meal (it was Friday, after all) and spent time with the Sisters. Joining the 180 guests and Sisters from Villa Madonna were eight visiting Salesian Sisters who were at one time stationed in Tampa: Sr. Joanne Holloman, our Provincial; Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin; Sr. Liz Ryan; Sr. Margaret Wilhelm; Sr. Domenica DiPeri; Sr. Pat Roche; Sr. Carmen Peña; and Sr. Mary Rinaldi. Along with viewing the 1999 episode of ABC’s “20/20” that featured the Adopt a Sister program, attendees had a chance to Adopt a Sister for themselves and/or take forms to their friends. The results were fantastic, with 45 new Adopters! As you can see from the photos on the following pages (thank you, Leslie Garcia!), a great time was had by all. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a special day for so many.

Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin catches up with Emma Izquierdo, mother of two past pupils of Villa Madonna School.

For more information and tickets, please call (973) 904-0102

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Linda Crosby is thrilled to see and catch up with Sr. Domenica Di Peri.

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Good friends Joe Clark and E.J. Salcines take a minute to greet each other while visiting with Sr. Mary Rinaldi.

Sr. Liz Ryan introduces past NJ camper alumna Jitka Blaha (left), who is new to the Tampa area, to Margot Freire.

Right, Joe Chillura Sr., Ernest Urso, and Philip Lazzara, all of Tampa, are ready for the party to begin! Below, Sr. Domenica Di Peri peruses the “tree of life” which is Leslie Garcia’s display of pictures of past events to remember all of our Salesian Sisters!

Leroy Carter of Tampa was so happy to meet Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin and all the Sisters – and proceeded to Adopt a Sister!


Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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

Salesian Southern Dame, Diana Ekonomou, was thrilled to see her beautiful granddaughter, Francesca Ray, accompanied by her mom, Chrissy DeMinico.

Our Provincial, Sr. Joanne Holloman, admires the beautiful table setting.

Diana Ekonomou brought her granddaughter, Francesca, and mom, Chrissy DeMinico.

Sr. Joo Yun Park and Sr. Guerline Joseph enjoy meeting and greeting guests.

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Above, The ever sweet Marisa Jurado is happy to see Sr. Mary Rinaldi back in town for a visit! Left, What a happy crowd there was as they enjoyed hearing wonderful Salesian stories!

Emcee and Villa Madonna Alum, Adri Colina, invites Joe Clark to give the blessing, who then joins Partners Circle Trustee Leslie Garcia for a photo!

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •



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! Please complete the form below, or visit us online at, or call us toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS. Thank you, and God bless you!

Sr. Liz Ryan stands ready with Catherine Brock of Tampa, FL to recruit new Adopters!

CVV: _____________


Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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

On the Journey with Sister B

How to Have a Beautiful Garden


his time of year, while we enjoy the jelly beans of Easter and pass from the somber Good Friday services into the candle lit, bell-ringing Easter celebrations, our mouths can be proclaiming “Alleluia”, but our hearts can be desolate because we are standing at Calvary with various sufferings and sorrows. What are we to do if we feel that way? Those of you who are gardeners are familiar with the great power of manure for making beautiful crops and flowers. I used to watch my mother spread manure in her gardens, mystified as a child that something as gross as cow dung was something gardeners paid good money to get and used with great confidence. Nevertheless, every year, her garden was full of incredible flowers and vegetables, which she attributed to her high-quality fertilizer. All of us have “dung” in our lives, the stuff that stinks and is unpleasant, and God, being the ultimate recycler, loves it when we give Him that stinky stuff so He can transform it into something good. I often think about this when I marvel at a beautiful garden and pray, “God, if someone can take cow manure and make such beauty out of it, I know

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that You, who created the entire universe out of nothing, can take my pain and sorrows and draw some kind of good out of even the most senseless things.” And do you know what? He always does. Purpose is what makes it possible for us to endure suffering, the stinky stuff of life, and even to find peace and possibly joy during

senseless the suffering may be. God can use it, like the gardener uses a good fertilizer, if we let Him.

Suffering has often been my most unwanted and wisest teacher. Through it, I’ve learned patience, compassion, reliance upon others, mercy, forgiveness (both myself and others), the importance of the present moment, and not taking “All of us have things and people ‘dung’ in our for granted.

lives, the stuff that stinks and is unpleasant. God, the ultimate recycler, loves it when we give Him that stinky stuff so He can transform it into something good.” it; purpose helps us pass from the desolation of Good Friday to the Alleluias of Easter. You may be familiar with Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor, psychologist, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning. He declared that, “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” For Catholics, that sacrifice is Jesus on the Cross, Good Friday, the experience of offering God what we endure, despite how unfair and

When I’ve given God the stinky stuff, He’s always handed me back something beautiful, although the process of getting to that flower of wisdom and purpose hasn’t always been enjoyable.

As I enjoy the colored Easter eggs and being able to proclaim “Alleluia” again during the Easter season, I will be reflecting on the fertilizer and flowers I’ve encountered in my life and how God has always taken me from a Good Friday to an Easter Sunday. I pray you experience the same in your life. Happy Easter! – Sr. Brittany Harrison, FMA Sr. Brittany is the Campus Minister and Theology Department Chair at Mary Help of Christians Academy.

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Making Headlines Around the Province

Welcome Two New Board Members!


he Salesian Sisters Partners Circle, now in its 27th year, is overseen by a National Board of Trustees, comprised of 24 lay men and women with wide experience in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. They advise the Sisters on distribution of the unrestricted fund, which is vital to support the Sisters’ mission. At its Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL, on March 3, the Board elected two new members: Jo Ann Caracappa Jo Ann is co-owner and vice president of a successful elevator consulting firm based in Manhasset, NY. She attended Camp Auxilium in Newton, NJ, as a child, and later returned as a counselor. A graduate of Dowling College, Jo Ann has been an enthusiastic volunteer and supporter of Salesian events for years. She and her husband, Joseph, have two children and divide their time between Long Island and Wesley Chapel, FL.

Arina Grossu Arina is the first alumna of Mary Help of Christians Academy (Valedictorian of the Class of 2002) to join the Partners Circle Board. She serves as the Outreach Advisor for the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Arina has worked for EWTN and was spokesperson in the public square for pro-life issues for the Family Research Council.

Welcome aboard, Jo Ann and Arina! We look forward to working with you and the other Board members to make this the BEST year yet for the Salesian Sisters and the furtherance of their mission to young people!


hen Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, paid a visit to Port Chester during Lent, he greeted the Salesian Sisters who serve at Corpus Christi-Holy Rosary School with great affection, praising their work with young people. Joining the Cardinal in an embrace are Sr. April Hoffman, Sr. Kelly Schuster, Sr. Lise Parent, and Sr. Fran Da Grossa.

new or upgraded Partners Circle Members so far in 2018! Shown in RED

There are nine levels of membership, starting at $250, and are listed on these four pages. PC denotes a member of the Partners Circle National Board of Trustees, a group of talented lay people who advise the Sisters on distribution of the fund. Won’t you consider joining this dynamic group in 2018, our 27th year? Please call us today: (877) OUR-NUNS. Thank you!

Joseph J. McAleer, Sr.

Heritage Society

Major Bequests California Richard Meissner, Meissner Manufacturing

Florida Dorothy & Dr. Vincent Bagli Josie & Ray Campo Anne & Joseph Garcia PC Mrs. Ann Lowry Murphey

Partners Circle “Stewards” Annual gift of $11,000 Florida Mr. & Mrs. James Millar

Texas Mrs. Betty Turner

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Angel Oliva Family The Dorothy Thomas Foundation

Indiana Mrs. Beatrice Lightfoot

New Jersey

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

New York Mrs. Pearl Kalikow

Tony Amato Family The Carini Family

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

Mr. & Mrs. Javier Baldor PC Mrs. Beverly Rohde

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 Christopher & Corinne Schiavo & The Shepherd and the Knucklehead Pub Joseph & Rita Weiner

Welcome New 2018 Members in RED!

19 Welcome

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle


he Partners Circle was founded in 1991 to provide unrestricted funds for urgent needs of the Salesian Sisters and their mission. These include support for capital needs, scholarship assistance, technology upgrades, and funds for those unforeseen situations that require immediate attention. 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 York Mr. John Cassara Beruta & James Dell’Orto

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Welcome New 2018 Members in RED!

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle 10 •

Partners Circle “Friends” Annual gift of $3,300

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


New Jersey

Mary Bridget Gaine

Mario & Arline Monaco



Dr. Idalia Lastra

Christopher & Gemma Chong Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

Partners Circle “Founders” Connecticut


New York

New Jersey

Jordon Carroll Mr. Ian H. Graham Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Scala

Mr. Michael Guarnieri PC Christina & David McAleer PC

Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair PC


Marilyn & Dale Livi Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Massood Mr. & Mrs. Michael Massood Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Papetti Rose Perone Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Pfeifer PC Maria Sturchio

Mr. & Mrs. Cooper Carlisle John & Pat Connors Anthony & Diana Ekonomou Lowry Murphey Family Foundation Mrs. Kathleen Medore Mr. & Mrs. Mark Oliva PC

Annual gift of $2,200

Pennsylvania In Loving Memory of Sr. Adeline Salvetti, FMA

South Carolina Mr. & Mrs. Tom Aldinger

Partners Circle “Benefactors” Annual gift of $1,100 Arizona California


Mr. & Mrs. Robert Obenberger

Mr. Robert Reiter


Linda & Peter Christiansen PC Dr. Joseph McAleer PC Mr. & Mrs. Salvatore Zichichi

Mr. & Mrs. Neil Holmes


Ms. Marianne O’Doherty

Joseph & Claudine 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 Lydia & John Oliva Mr. Fredy Padovan

Mrs. Faith Menard Mrs. Maureen O’Halloran A.J. & Mindy Papetti Robert & Constance Sumas Mrs. Carolyn Young

Gene & Linda Perez Mr. Charles B. Schmalz Mr. Nick Suszynski PC

Mrs. Ann Marie Forster

New York


Ms. Lea Battiato Jo Ann & Joseph Caracappa PC Anthony & Geraldine Dell’Orto John W. Lombardi & Family The Sabatine Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Silveri

Missouri New Jersey Ms. Debi F. Debiak Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Della Cerra Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Granatell Mr. & Mrs. Donald Hofmann James Construction Co., Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Anthony M. Laino Mr. James Lane Michael & Mary Losurdo

Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

North Carolina Chester & Monica Michewicz

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

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


New Jersey

Dr. & Mrs. Emilio Echevarria PC Declan & Paula Mansfield Anne & Fred Michaels Rene & Phyllis Rodriguez Mr. & Mrs. Terry Wood

Mr. & Mrs. George Pavlik Mrs. Theresa Unanue

South Carolina Sandra M. Freeman

Partners Circle “Members” Arizona Anonymous

California Joanne & Geraldine Rizzuto

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

Florida Dr. Kenneth Alonso Mr. & Mrs. Mark Anderson Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor, in memory of Ana Maria Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor, Jr. PC Mrs. Trudy Carey Dr. & Mrs. Antonio Castro Mrs. Leslie Garcia PC Mr. & Mrs. Luis Garcia PC Dr. Giacomo & Mrs. Judy Guggino Mr. & Mrs. Rob Obbink Ms. Maria Restrepo-Forte Mr. & Mrs. Mark S. Reynolds Alina M. Roces Rudy Rodriguez Hon. & Mrs. E.J. Salcines PC Mr. & Mrs. David Smith Ms. Maria C. Torreiro Ron & Mary Jo Yates

Georgia Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

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Illinois The Mills Family Adelaide Olivieri

Indiana Andrea Dealynn

Louisiana Mr. & Mrs. George LeBlanc

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

New Jersey 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 Laura Cosentino Mannarino Ms. Antonia P. Meola Dr. Kerry R. McMahon Mrs. Diva Muller Mrs. Christine Peragallo E.N. Sarantis

New York Michael & Jeanette Altamura Mr. & Mrs. Jack Betwarda Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Clair Mrs. Rose Mary Clair

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.

Annual gift of $550 Ms. Claire Dell Mr. Walter Lazarcheck Mrs. Margaret Reilly-Antalec

North Carolina Mr. & Mrs. Paul Liotard

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

Pennsylvania Mr. & Mrs. Brian Clair Ms. Kate Clair Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hedgecock Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Piotrowski

South Carolina Mr. & Mrs. John Bedlek

Tennessee Mr. Terence P. Clair

Virginia Mrs. Dominique Faust Dr. Evelyn Garcia & Michael Maurer Karl & Laura Zauner

Welcome New 2018 Members in RED!

Annual gift of $825


Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle

Partners Circle “Associates”

Washington Mr. Keiran C. Clair

Washington, DC Ms. Arina Grossu PC

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Welcome New 2018 Members in RED!

Salesian Sisters’ Partners Circle 12 •

Partners Circle “Quarter Century Club” Annual gift of $250 California Mr. Richard Suda Rev. Paula T. Webb

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schmid Mr. & Mrs. Richard Stowers Jim & Rita (Zoppo) Vietmeier


New Hampshire

John R. Glover Mrs. Eileen G. Hahnenkratt Mr. Patrick J. Waide, Jr. Anonymous

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas DiMicelli

Florida Mr. & Mrs. Jon Barry Kurt & Laura Badertscher Mr. & Mrs. Fred A. Cairoli Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Fernandez Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Fierman Mr. & Mrs. Edward Gomez, Jr. Mrs. Elsa Gutierrez-Janulonis Amy & Kevin Jarman Mr. & Mrs. John Mangin, Jr. John H. & Pauline Pedrero

Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

New Jersey Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Amatuzzi Collins & Hogan Families Mr. & Mrs. David Hess Theodore & Lynda Leo Ms. Mary Bernadette Mazauskas Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Nowak Gregory & Stephanie Monaco Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Obetz Mrs. Mary Ann Ryan Anna & Richard Spalckhaver Mr. & Mrs. Michael Testa Karla T. Villarin Mr. Edward M. Zambrano

New York Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Collison Mr. & Mrs. Charles V. Curcio Megan & J.T. Hunt Ms. Peggeann Larywon Mrs. Carolyn Mesler

Ohio Anonymous

Pennsylvania Mrs. Judith Falcone Lichty Mrs. Eileen Seeburger

South Carolina Elizabeth Craig & Michael Reeves, Jr.

Tennessee Mr. & Mrs. Robert Greenwell

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“What’s your name? Sr. Joanne Holloman’s Letter


ast month, I had an opportunity to return to Tampa for the annual Adopt-a-Sister luncheon (see pages 3-5) and Partner Circle Board Meeting (see page 8). I had been stationed in Tampa from 19841997 and was so pleased to see some familiar faces and catch up with some friends.

We are now in the Easter Season where the Church invites us to savor the accounts of Jesus reconnecting with His friends after the Resurrection. Thomas, Peter, and Mary Magdalene are all awakened from the stupor of grief through the familiar voice of Jesus calling them by name, but the most important name Jesus calls them is “friend”.

At the luncheon, I instantly recognized one of the mothers who approached me. As we greeted each other, her son’s name came to mind and I said to her, “You are Anthony’s mom.” Surprised, after 20+ years, she responded, “You remember my son’s name!”

Only days before, at the Last Supper, Jesus told them that, “There is no

Another woman met me and said, “Are you Sr. Joanne? I haven’t seen you in years.” Another parent approached, “You probably don’t remember me…” but I proceeded to tell her last name (actually I was one letter off, but close!). Although I hadn’t seen so many of these people in such a long time, they had never been far from my heart and prayers. As a principal I always tried my best to call each student by name. It made the children feel important, loved, and cared for. I am sure this holds true not just for children but for all of us. In all my interactions with my friends in Tampa, the importance of reconnecting through our names struck me, and I found myself pondering the Scripture, “I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

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“How can you and I reach out to others in a more personal way? One simple way is to pray for all our family and loved ones each day, by name, as well as those who cause us suffering and annoyance.” greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13), and now He, who had laid down His life for His friends, stands before each one and calls to them by name, restoring, renewing, and reminding them that each one has been entrusted with the Gospel of hope. We are Jesus’s friends, too! He laid down his life for us. Daily He reaches out to us in all the encounters we have in prayer and through our friends, family, co-workers and even the people we don’t like very much. How can you and I reach out to others in a more personal way? One simple

way is to pray for all our family and loved ones each day by name, as well as those who cause us suffering and annoyance. Perhaps our praying for others by name can be a small way that we “lay down our lives” for them through the gift of time and kindness. For some, it can be helpful to keep a prayer journal, where we write down those whom we want to remember. I know of one Sister who writes the names of those she is praying for and places them on a slip of paper under a statue of a favorite saint, or in a special basket, reviewing the names and intentions periodically to remember and renew her prayers. Another Sister writes the names of those she is praying for in her Bible – actually on the pages of the Bible – to connect her prayer for them to her reflection on Scripture. The more tech-savvy may wish to keep a running prayer list in their phone via a notetaking app, as one younger Sister does, or on their computer. Whatever way we choose to pray for others by name doesn’t matter, as long as we actually pray. Everyone loves to be remembered. To know that even 20+ years after seeing someone that we are still not only remembered, but prayed for by name, is a powerful testimony to the gift of our community of faith and our Salesian Family. Happy Easter! Please pray for me as I do for all of you, my friends! Sr. Joanne is the Provincial Superior of the Salesian Sisters’ Province of St. Joseph in the Eastern U.S. and Canada.

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


A Love That Lasts Forever You can honor a cherished relative or friend with an everlasting gift of love – a memorial. Our Partners in Giving Memorials & Tributes give you the opportunity to comfort those who have lost a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion. This gift lives forever, 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.

Memorials Received between February 1 and April 3, 2018

Henry “Hank” Lavandera Stolberg & Townsend, P.A. James & Julie Mainor Michael & Adriana Benito Ms. Kathleen A. Betancourt Mr. Manuel Menendez Ms. Patricia Pekar Mr. Michael E. Pekar Ms. Barbara Robeson Ms. Paula Mullins Ms. Pam Testa Ms. Becky Prairie Mr. & Mrs. John Wiegner Mr. & Mrs. John K. Mahan Mr. & Mrs. H.J. Hernandez Mr. & Mrs. Byron David Cone, Jr. Ms. Evelyn G. Futch Mr. & Mrs. Paul Danahy Mr. William J. Haladay Rodger R. Rohde Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Brown

Enclosed is my Memorial/Tribute Gift of:

Maria Pietrowski Mr. Kenneth Pietrowski

____ $25 ____ $20 ____$15 $

Mary Ann Lucania Ms. Debbie Matthews

Memorial for Tribute for



Nicholas Conforti Mrs. Marilyn Bonfiglio

Please send an acknowledgement to:

Frank Sickinger Mrs. Diane Morrison


My Name Address

Albert J. Sbarbaro Mr. Gregory Breums Mr. George W. Armbruster Ms. Elaine Breums Ms. Diane M. Armbruster Mr. William Armbruster Barbara Jean Weber Mrs. Michelle Miller

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

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

Joyce Chiaro Schwartz The McCullough Family Mrs. Rosalie Polizzi Cathy Ann Dewar Mrs. Juan Toscano, Jr. Mrs. Dorothy A. Gangi Mrs. Carmen Saidi Mr. & Mrs. John Zaccardi Ms. Catherine Payne Mr. & Mrs. Fred McMahon Mrs. Loretta O’Neill Mr. Michael Kosnitzky Senior Citizen Club of Totowa Mr. & Mrs. Robert Plucinsky Mr. William Edward Senn Ms. Karen Zaretski Ms. Priscilla Henson Thomas Zinkand Mr. Joseph Straining Henry T. Johnson Patricia A. Johnson Dame Drue Heinz Dr. Joe McAleer

Mary Ceconi Ms. Bonnie Britten Ms. Patricia Marrell



Sr. Mary Winterscheidt, FMA Mrs. Shirley Salem

Cater Miller, Sr. Mrs. Diane Morrison

Tributes Sr. Agatha Cosentino, FMA Ms. Ednamay Fasano Sr. Fanny Florez, FMA Mrs. Marilyn Bonfiglio Sr. Rosalie Di Peri, FMA Mrs. Marilyn Bonfiglio Seung Hyun Choi Ms. Lisa Seminatore

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


t is with sadness that the Salesian Sisters bid farewell to their dear friend Bernardo “Bernie” Arenas, Jr. of Tampa, FL, who passed away on March 26, age 90. Bernie was a past pupil of St. Joseph’s School in Tampa where he was educated by the Salesian Sisters in the 1930’s. We give thanks for the wonderful life of a great man. He was always a friend and supporter of the Salesian Sisters, quietly giving advice and helping them whenever needed to further their mission for so many children. Sr. Mary Rinaldi recalled that when she met him in 1989, his first words to her were, “Count me in as one of your supporters,” citing his youth and the difference the Sisters had made in him as a person. Bernie has been a great friend and one of Tampa’s true gems. Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to Bernie’s loving wife, Charlotte, his three sons, and the extended family.

Sr. Theresa Lee with Bernie Arenas and his wife, Charlotte.


e mourn the loss of our dear friend Nola Safro, who passed away on March 4, age 76. An extraordinarily creative woman, Nola’s life was filled with adventure and warm friendships. A passionate lover of theater, film, travel and fine food, she was the quintessential New Yorker, although she was born in Weehawken, NJ. Nola spent most of her career as a producer for the ABC show “20/20.” In that capacity she came to know the Salesian Sisters, when “20/20” devoted a segment to the Adopt a Sister program in 1999. Thanks to Nola’s vision, within 48 hours of the broadcast we had 7,000 new Adopters, and we have never looked back!

Nola Safro visited with Sr. Rose McShane during the filming of the ABC “20/20” program in 1999.


he Salesian Sisters offer their deepest condolences and prayers to Sr. Louise Passero on the passing of her sister, Joyce Frances Chiaro Schwartz, of Totowa, NJ on March 5, age 81. Joyce was born in Stamford, CT and raised in Haledon, NJ before moving to Montville. She graduated from the Mary Help of Christians Academy with the Class of 1954. After high school she continued her education at Saint Joseph’s Hospital’s School of Nursing in Paterson. After graduation, Joyce married Ralph Chiaro in 1957. Ralph

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Nola’s vibrant presence and friendship will be missed. Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Nola’s family.

served in the U.S. Air Force at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The couple soon had two daughters, Patricia and Marie. When Ralph was discharged from the Air Force in 1964, they settled in Totowa. Joyce continued her career as a nurse. In 1967, Ralph unexpectedly passed away. Joyce was now a single working mom who raised two young children on her own. Joyce will be lovingly remembered as a big-hearted, socially active, generous person. She was also a great baker and her Christmas cake and carrot cake will be fondly remembered!

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Salesian Youth Report

ILS Students Reflect on Parkland Tragedy On February 14, Valentine’s Day, 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, including 14 students between the ages of 14 and 18. The school is about one hour’s drive north of Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, where the Salesian Sisters serve. Students there, like their counterparts across America, were profoundly shaken by the loss of innocent lives. Immaculata-La Salle invited students to share their feelings and hopes.

but it is one of the most important. It is our job to learn to see the light in such dark situations. We cannot let what happened be in vain. We cannot let it just be another story on the news. Let us be the ones to take it, learn from it, and act on it.


hey were just like us, young adults and teenagers trying to figure out what life had in store for them. We are not only here to honor them, but also, in remembering them, to render the awareness of how beautiful and precious life is. The present moment is really all we have.


e see people in the media saying that “they’re just kids” and that “they’re not capable of real change”, but history tells us something very different.

United, we can show society that through Faith, Love, and Hope, we can move forward and prevent these horrible events from ever happening again. We must realize that truly every breath we take is a miracle and a gift from God; this loving gift should become our cornerstone in overcoming our worries about tomorrow or the stress created by our decisions or negative experiences of the past. Together we must have Faith in God’s grace and mercy. Together we must Love everyone. Together we must have Hope to make this world a better place for ourselves and everyone around us. Natalia Fernandez, Grade 9

We must not take what we have at Immaculata-La Salle for granted. We should come to school every day treasuring the opportunities we are given. We must have faith, strength, and hope. Hope that we can create a better tomorrow. HOPE. Hold on, pain ends. It’ll end, and that’s the time when we must act. Isabella Falero, Grade 10

An empowering message is displayed outside of the forever-changed high school: “Be positive. Be passionate.” These four words embody how everyone, especially those students affected, strive to be in reaction to the horrific events that took place on February 14. Remaining positive is probably the most difficult thing to do,

ur school is special because of the atmosphere of inclusion that we create. At Immaculata-La Salle, there is a real attempt to make this school feel like a family. This effort doesn’t only come from the administrators and the faculty, but it must also come from each one of us, the students.

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In a family, it is critical to make every member feel loved and wanted. We need to look out for each other and be aware of each other’s needs. We need to go outside of our comfort zone to make every person feel that they belong and that they are an integral part of this community. Only through kindness and understanding can we make our school, and ultimately, the world, a better, safer, more caring place. Let’s strive to make our school a place where kindness reigns. As St. John Bosco said, “Do not lose any time. Do good, do all the good you can and you will never regret doing it.” Lucia Moas, Grade 12


Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

In 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, James Monroe was 18 years old, Aaron Burr was 20, Alexander Hamilton, 21, and the Marquis de Lafayette, 17 – and they changed the world as we know it. At age 15, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for speaking out publicly in Pakistan against the Taliban’s prohibition on the education of girls, and yet she continues to be an activist and an inspiration to many. Just because we are young does not mean that we don’t have a right to speak on what matters most to us, and it does not give anyone the right to ignore our opinions. As President John F. Kennedy said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” The world is ours, and we have all the power to make a difference in it. Sofia Herrera, Grade 12

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At Mary Help, Remembrance and Writing


n March 14, students (above) at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, combined social activism and prayer through their “Walk Out and Write” event. They assembled in the school chapel for a prayer service for the victims of all school shootings, and then wrote letters to New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy, voicing their concerns and advocating for what they feel will improve the safety of our country and schools. After adding their letter to the package to be sent to the Governor, each student received a small origami peace crane with the name of a victim of a school shooting to pray for them and let their memory be an impetus to further and continued action.

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Sr. Brittany Harrison, Campus Minister and Theology Department Chair, asked student leaders to plan a schoolwide activity that would go beyond a protest, combining Catholic social teaching with concrete action. “It’s important for students to realize that although they are young, their voice is still important,” Sr. Brittany explains. “As Salesians, we believe in the value and power of young people to make a difference.” “We shouldn’t have to come to school afraid,” says Mary Help senior Isabel Farrell. “This should not be happening. As Catholics, we believe that prayer is very important, but prayer should always lead to action. Instead of just walking out and waiting until the time is up, we are going to do much more to help.”

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


VILLA MADONNA SCHOOL, TAMPA, FL – Support for the Salesian Sisters and their mission to young people comes in many forms. Above, the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus of the St. Michael the Archangel Council welcomed new Adoptee Sr. Theresa Lee, Sr. Mary Jackson (also an Adopted Sister), Sr. Nivia Arias, and Sr. Guerline Joseph for a dinner of thanksgiving at St. Timothy Catholic Church on March 12. The Sisters had the opportunity to share their vocation stories and a little bit about the Adopt-a-Sister program. Leo Haggerty then passionately shared that he had learned how easy it was to “re-up” Adoptions when he attended the recent Adopt-a-Sister luncheon (see pages 3-5) and also how he was then inspired to contact all the Third and Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Councils to urge them to adopt their own Sister! Truly Knights in shining armor! Thank you! Even more public support was displayed on March 24, when the very first Villa Madonna School “Nun Run” (left) was held at Mary Help of Christians Parish (home of the Salesian priests) in Tampa. Organized by the Dad’s Club, more than 200 experienced runners as well as beginners of all ages participated in either a 5K or a one-mile run. The route for the run was the Mary Help of Christians campus, which meant through the woods, past horses and farm animals, including Rosie the pig. It was a beautiful day, and smiles were on the faces of everyone. A few of the Salesian Sisters even ran the 5K! All were awarded a medal as they crossed the finish line, and everyone enjoyed fruit and refreshments afterwards. What a fun day, and it raised $4,000 for the school!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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Salesian Youth Report ACADEMY OF OUR LADY, MARRERO, LA – Academy students celebrated the Feast of St. John Bosco and Catholic Schools Week by giving back to the community. Each day students from each grade ventured out to different organizations throughout the greater New Orleans metro area to volunteer their time. Service sites included City Park, The Arc of Greater New Orleans, Second Harvest Food Bank, Crossroads Louisiana, Café Hope, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity, Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, and the SPCA. When not out at service sites, students attended presentations based on the Service Week’s theme, “Unite and Explore Justice While Caring for Creation.” Service Week is an important time at the Academy as it truly encompasses every component of St. John Bosco’s Oratory, the foundation of every Salesian school – a home that welcomes, a school that prepares for life, a parish that evangelizes, and a playground where friends meet.

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Above, Academy sophomore Cambre Vegas assisted a resident at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center with painting her nails. Below, students helped with building a home for Habitat for Humanity and with the clean-up at Jean Lafitte National Park.

Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Salesian Youth Report

ST. THERESA SCHOOL, KENILWORTH, NJ – Ms. Carolyn Pancurak and her third grade class (left) held their own version of the Winter Olympics. Students competed in different subject areas such as Math, Religion, and Spelling, and were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. Each student also received an award for participating along with enjoying a parade around the classroom holding flags from around the world. Well done, Olympians!

ACADEMY OF OUR LADY, MARRERO, LA – The Jefferson Parish Council declared March 7, 2018, “Academy of Our Lady’s Lend a Paw Club Day” in Jefferson Parish. The newly-formed club’s sole mission is to aid homeless animals throughout the community. Members collect and donate supplies to animal shelters, volunteer their time at the shelters, regularly produce a video segment known as “Adoptable of the Week” featuring shelter animals which airs on the morning announcements, and reach out to the community daily through social media outlets. Club members joined Sr. Michelle Geiger, Principal, and club moderator and faculty member Grace Hicks for a group photo with their official proclamation. Congratulations, ladies!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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Salesian Youth Report

VILLA MADONNA SCHOOL, TAMPA, FL – What’s the best way to celebrate March 14, “Pi Day”? Why, with pizza pies, of course! Villa Madonna sixth-graders were treated to pizza, but had to measure the circumference and calculate the area of the pizzas before they could eat. At left, Zachary Shankman measures his pie, watched on by Jayden Rodriguez. According to, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 – 3/14 – around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14159. Pi Day is an annual opportunity for math enthusiasts to recite the infinite digits of Pi, talk to their friends about math, and to eat pie – in Villa’s case, pizza pie! What a fun way to enjoy pizza while learning!

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Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


Salesian Youth Report

THE AUXILIUM SCHOOL, NEWTON, NJ – Students at the Auxilium School had great fun on February 12 when they arrived at school looking much older than usual – about 96 or 97 years older! It was the 100th day of school, and students dressed up as distinguished elderly men and women (above) to help celebrate the milestone. The teachers also dressed up for the occasion and had the students laughing at their “forgetfulness and stiff joints” during morning assembly. March brought the Book Fair and St. Patrick’s Day, with some special guests arriving at the school. The Seeing Eye came for a visit with a few trainee Seeing Eye dogs (below, left). The dogs and their trainers presented a short program for all the classes, and children were able to interact with the dogs and even help in their training. Later that week, “Miss Ann the Leprechaun” (below, right) snuck into the school for her annual visit! The students enjoyed Miss Ann who reminded them how important it is to be honest and always tell the truth, after she confessed to having made a “little” mess in each of their classrooms. The rest of the day was filled with games, craft projects about the clover and the Trinity, and yummy snacks! The month finished off EGGcellently with the Easter Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt on March 24. Welcome, Spring!

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Partners in Giving • Volume XXVI • Issue 2

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It’s Spring! Please Give Us This Day!


uring the next eight months, is there some date that is special to you? Will you share it with the Salesian Sisters? It may be a day of joy, a day of a sad event, a day of recognition, a day of any significant meaning in your life or the life of one of your loved ones.

We invite you to share this day with the Sisters. It will be given prominence on the day on the bulletin board of the chapel in the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ. The Sisters will remember you, your family, and the person(s) you wish to honor in their prayers and sacrifices throughout the day. Please let us know by returning the form below, and then count on us for a special day just for YOU. Thank you, and God bless you!

At the St. Joseph Provincial Center, Sr. Rosalie Di Peri welcomed Spring a few days early on St. Patrick’s Day, with a bouquet of green balloons sent by her Adopter!

Please give us this day/these days in 2018 in honor of my special request(s):

Please detach and mail this form in the envelope provided.

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Partners in Giving • Spring 2018 •


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


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ishop Manuel Cruz of the Archdiocese of Newark greets “St. John Bosco” (sixth-grader Gavin Gatchalian) during the celebration of a special students’ Mass at St. Theresa School in Kenilworth, NJ, which is part of the observance of Catholic Schools Week. Gavin also addressed the students and spoke about the Oratory which Don Bosco started to help young boys. Bravo!

Spring 2018 Partners in Giving  

Spring 2018 issue of Partners In Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province

Spring 2018 Partners in Giving  

Spring 2018 issue of Partners In Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province