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

Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s Letter Dear Friends, We’re back! After a long, hot, and (here in the East) wet summer, students returned to school in September, along with our Salesian Sisters. Across the country, we are engaging young people to learn and grow in the spirit of St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello. It feels good to be back! Some news to report:

Save These Dates! A Black & White Masquerade Evening Presented by the Dames of Mary Help Gala Honorees: The Hartgers Family of Hartgers Jewelers & Mrs. Rosemarie D’Alessandro

• To say the Salesian Youth Rally in Tampa was a colorful occasion would be an understatement – just look at the young ladies on our cover, dressed as their favorite fruits! See page 17.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 The Venetian, Garfield, NJ

• We travel the world! It was a joy for our young people to journey to Madrid, Spain, to be present with Pope Benedict XVI as part of World Youth Day. See page 6. Two of our Sisters went on pilgrimage to Medjugorie (page 12), while others took a Mission trip to Nicaragua (page 18).

Please support our wish list for auction items: Visit: and enter “Salesian Sisters Development.”

• Hurricane Irene wreaked devastation all over the East Coast, and in particular just down the road from us in Paterson, NJ. Buses could not run for the first week of school, but now everything is back in order. Thank you for calls, prayers, and concern. • Vocations flourish! We welcome the young women who have answered “The Call” and are in the formation program to become Salesian Sisters. They represent our Future! Please join us in prayers for them. See page 4. • Grants have been received from Catholic Human Services and Hurlburt Foundation for Mary Help of Christians Academy, and the Dorothy Thomas Foundation, Christina Foundation, Sun Coast for Kids, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, SunTrust Bank, and Eleanor M. Beyer Foundation for our summer camps. Thank you! Peace,

2 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Sr. Mary Rinaldi: (973) 904-0102 or e-mail

The Thanksgiving Basket Honoring Msgr. Laurence Higgins and Sr. Theresa Kelly, FMA Saturday, November 5, 2011 Salesian Youth Center/Boys & Girls Club, Tampa, FL For more information, please call Theresa Anderson: (813) 205-3195.

Christmas Party Sunday, December 11, 2011 Mary Help of Christians Academy North Haledon, NJ

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Making Headlines Around the Province

The “Cake Boss” Welcomes Our Friends!


ast year’s Dames of Mary Help Gala to benefit Mary Help of Christians Academy featured incredible auction items – none more so than an exclusive cake decorating class with Buddy Valastro, the “Cake Boss,” at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. The prize was won by by Debbie and Rodger Rohde, Jr. of Franklin Lakes, NJ, for their daughter Mackenzie. On a recent visit, Mackenzie and her three friends learned the basics from Buddy himself, followed by a tour of his new studio and a fun photo opp. Thank you, Buddy! And you know we’ll be watching “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker” on TLC!

The “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro, welcomed our Salesian friends to Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken NJ: Margaret Burd, Lizzie Tamburro, Mackenzie Rohde, and Lindsay Stanley. There they received a lesson in cake decorating, learning the secrets of creating spectacular confections like the one at left!

Mackenzie and her friends toured the set of Buddy’s new show, “Next Great Baker,” even getting to sit at the judges’ table! Season 2 of “Next Great Baker” starts on November 28 with more contestants, bigger prizes, and tougher challenges! Who knows – maybe our Salesian friends have the right stuff to join Carlo’s Bakery one day!

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Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •




Headlines Around the Province


n August 5, the solemn Liturgy of First Profession was celebrated in St. Joseph’s Chapel at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ. Five young women professed their vows as members of the Institute of the Daughters Step 4 of Mary on the Help of Vocation Christians, journey better known as the Salesian Sisters. God willing, in six years these Sisters will take their final vows. The professed, pictured after Mass with their cake, are (l-r): Sr. Brittany Harrison, Sr. Juliett Perez, Sr. Guerline Joseph, Sr. Alina Suarez, and Sr. Janet Keller.


en young women have been accepted as Candidates, taking the first steps on their journey to become a Salesian Sister. Gathered here with Sr. Step 1 Phyllis on the Neves Vocation and Sr. journey Karen Dunn are (back row, l-r) Jessica Packard, Julie Watts, Myriam Meus, Amanda Mingilino, Lillian Foxx, and Marianne Cleine; (front row, l-r) Nita Rajani, Christina Chong, Laura Boden, and Jennifer Moros.

4 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

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n August 2, Jennifer Kane from Corning, NY and Elfie Del Rosario from Union, NJ were accepted as First Year Novices for the Eastern Province of the Salesian Sisters at Sacred Heart Novitiate, Step 3 Newton, NJ. on the On August 3, Vocation Sydney Moss journey from Arizona and Alaina Zachmann from Texas were accepted as Novices for the Western Province of the Salesian Sisters. These four young women will begin their Novitiate and join the four Second Year Novices at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Newton, NJ. Pictured are (l-r) Sr. Elfie Del Rosario, Sr. Sydney Moss, Sr. Alaina Zachmann, and Sr. Jennifer Kane.


n August 14, as Sr. Phyllis Neves passed the Province leadership to new Provincial, Sr. Karen Dunn, all of the new Postulants (dressed in blue), who completed their one-year Candidacy, gathered for a team photo with all of the Novices (dressed Step 2 in gray), on the the next Vocation level of journey Formation. Pictured are (back row, l-r) Nita Rajani, Sr. Phyllis Neves, Sr. Jennifer Kane, Sr. Keri Cole, Megan Zengner, Sr. Merisa Loucks, Sr. Sidney Moss, Sr. Brigette Hanley, Ashley Wentz, Sr. Karen Dunn, and Sr. Alaina Zachmann; (front row, l-r) Sr. Elfie Rosario, Sr. Joo Yun Parks, Maryann Giovingo, Ana Ramos, and Stephanie Donham. Please remember these ladies in your prayers! To learn more about vocations and becoming a Salesian Sister, please e-mail the Vocations Director, Sr. Colleen Clair:, or visit or

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Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


Making Headlines Around the Province

A Summer to Remember – With the Pope!


’m the mother of three daughters. Our middle daughter, Vanessa, had just graduated from Villa Madonna School in Tampa, FL, in 2009 when Sr. Maryann Schaefer joined the staff. Sr. Maryann had experienced World Youth Day the last seven times and was determined to bring the experience to some of the students of her new school. Vanessa was on her list of faithful, deserving youngsters most likely to enjoy and derive inspiration from this one-of-a-kind trip. So, as a freshman at Tampa Catholic High School, Vanessa decided to go to Madrid, Spain, this summer to see Pope Benedict XVI and wanted me to go too. So I had to wrestle with my own nerves and anxiety about travelling without my husband to a foreign country. Sr. Maryann has been amazingly supportive to me as our oldest daughter, Cassandra, has special needs and a rare seizure disorder. She was having 20 to 25 seizures in a 24hour period. Our youngest daughter, Mikayla, was still at Villa Madonna and Sr. Maryann would greet me every morning in the car rider line. She would tell me that the Sisters of the school were praying for Cassandra as were all the Sisters in the North. Every morning! Cassandra’s seizures are currently under control, and I believe with my whole heart that it has a lot more to do with those prayers than the medicine. Our trip to World Youth Day was starting in Lourdes, France, and Sr. Maryann wished she could bring Cassandra with us. If prayer had helped, imagine what the healing baths of Lourdes could do! Unfortunately, Cassandra would not be able to keep up with the rigorous schedule, so we would have to dedicate the trip to her instead. I was filled with excitement but very worried about leaving Cassandra, Mikayla, and my amazing husband, Steven. We were a group of 22 from Florida on our way to JFK Airport in New York to meet up with ten people from Mary Help of Christians Academy in New Jersey. We had Mass in the chapel at the airport celebrated by Fr. Zyg Mazanowski. He is a brave, young Franciscan

6 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

All smiles in Madrid from Dominique Spano, the Salesian Sisters’ Mother General, Yvonne Reungoat, and Sr. Maryann Schaefer. At left, Steven Ells bids farewell to his wife, Teri, and daughter, Venessa, as they depart for Europe.

priest traveling with a very enthusiastic group of Salesian girls! After an unforgettable trip to Lourdes along the way, we arrived in Madrid to the breathtaking sights and landscape. We settled in to our hostel and got ourselves ready for the busy schedule ahead. Our first event was the Opening Mass. It was an overwhelming sight to see over two million young people (and adults) celebrating Mass together. Communicating along with others in the language of common faith was very moving. For the next three days we rose and had breakfast before taking the Metro to Mass and catechesis at the Church of Our Lady of Atocha. These were amazing celebrations with English-speaking people from all over the world, shoulder-to-shoulder, standing-room-only and loving every minute of it. My personal favorite celebrant was Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. His dynamic speaking style was extremely powerful.

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While in Madrid, we were asked to take part in the Salesian Youth rally, a kind of a kick-off for the Salesians there – more than 7,000! Our girls from the South were asked to participate in a skit about the Immaculate Conception and provide a beautiful song and dance called “A Breath of Heaven.” At our third Mass, Vanessa started with a fever and ended up with a bad cold. So on Sr. Maryann’s advice, we were not able to go to the all-night vigil led by the Pope. Vanessa was very upset and saddened because she had been selected to take part in Eucharistic Adoration with the Pope from the front row! But alas, we had to send our group on to the vigil without us. Later in the day, we headed out to find some lunch. As we were walking to our favorite restaurant, we noticed

Wearing her stylish “cowboy” hat, Sr. Maryann Schaefer lunched with Danielle Marte, Jennifer Wesolowski, Lara Schneider, and Bonnie Schneider.

This was the end of the events in Madrid. Before we knew it, we were heading home to my family. I couldn’t wait to see them and to bathe Cassandra in the holy water Sr. Maryann and I brought home in gallon jugs from Lourdes. On Labor Day weekend, my family gathered in my small bathroom with Cassandra. We all said an Our Father and prayed to Our Lady of Lourdes to help her. We said three Hail Marys while I poured the holy water over her. We ended with, “Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for her” and “Mary Help of Christians, pray for her.” Salesian young people from Florida met their Salesian counterparts from Korea! Right, a close encounter with Pope Benedict XVI as the Popemobile passed by!

a commotion and headed toward it to see what was happening. To our surprise, the Popemobile arrived around the corner and slowed in front of us as the Holy Father took time to raise his hands and say a blessing before moving on at a more normal pace. Needless to say, this caused us to cry like babies! It was so amazing to be in the presence of the Holy Father, but to be less than five feet from him is more than I can describe. And it was definitely the highlight of World Youth Day for Vanessa and me, as well as those with us – Jessa, Natalie, Judy, Caryne, Roxanna, Isabella, and Allison. We will be retelling this story for decades to come! That night, eleven of us watched the vigil from my room together and the Closing Mass the next morning on TV.

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Cassandra was very cold, and while I was helping her get dressed in her PJ’s for bed, she told me she was having a hot flash. I asked her what that meant. She said she felt very warm inside and described the same feelings Vanessa and I had felt after experiencing the baths in Lourdes. None of us can remember her ever hearing our description of our experience. Later she told me her brain felt warm. This gave me goose bumps. Truly, this was a summer to remember. Traveling anywhere is as much about the people you travel with and those you meet. This group of people will be in my heart forever. So my advice to anyone is, if you get the chance to experience World Youth Day – do! Expect big crowds and lots of enthusiastic young people and just enjoy. We certainly did. It will bring you experiences that you planned and looked forward to – and also things you could never have dreamed of. – Terri Ells

Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


Spreading Our Roots Sr. Karen Dunn’s Letter kids learn, play, pray, and are challenged to pick up all the tools and develop all their resources to find their place in life. Of course I would find that!

Editor’s note: Sr. Karen Dunn is the new Provincial Superior of the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, Eastern Province. This is her first column for Partners in Giving. “The Seed has become a tree, and the tree a wood (‘bosco’) . . .”

However, in that same day, I might find alumni returning to their school to give a benefit performance on stage or to offer their expertise to an advisory board. I’ll watch teachers who in the middle of cafeteria bedlam organize trips to become regular assistants in soup kitchens or oratories for displaced kids. I meet parents and grandparents who bring friends to assess and support a renovation to a playground or to applaud a kindergarten presentation.


he bicentennial celebration of St. John Bosco’s birth is three years out, but in a style true to his spirit, the Salesian Family is already in celebration mode. This year will celebrate his story: how God led Don Bosco from an impoverished childhood to that inspiration which created a vast movement of hundreds of thousands of people who work together for the good of the young. Fall marks the time when many lives – including those of the Salesian Sisters – take up a fresh start revolving around a new school year. It is now my privilege to be writing at this time to you who are part of that vast family that has become “a wood.”

On August 14, Sr. Karen Dunn (left) succeeded Sr. Phyllis Neves as the new Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco in the United States. Her term lasts six years.

“Everywhere I encounter folks who with a contagious enthusiasm tell me of their connection to the Salesian Family.”

This school year recently took me to the South and Midwest to visit the houses and works of the Sisters in the Eastern U.S.A. These trips give me the unique opportunity of touching first-hand the expanse and impact of the Salesian Family. One Sister, one community – either 100 years ago or one month ago – has reached out to a circle of young people with the enthusiasm and love of Don Bosco. The result is an instant impulse of energy that ripples out to create another circle of contacts which crosses regions and generations. In a visit to one of our houses I find a world where

8 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

Everywhere I encounter folks who with a contagious enthusiasm tell me of their connection to the Salesian Family. One day full of these exchanges and yet, I know I have just scratched the surface of the extent of the good that is flourishing in and beyond that one community of Sisters.

And now, in writing this, my first Partners in Giving column, to you, our Partners, I am again keenly aware of how I just touch the surface of yet another part of this vast family that continues to stretch out its roots to care for the young. You are believers, sharers, lovers, and supporters of the charism of St. John Bosco. You are that huge “wood” which spreads its roots, places its bets, and invest its hearts and resources in the young. The world is not the same because of Don Bosco’s family. It is vastly better! Thank you for being part of that family!

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new Members! Shown in RED

There are nine levels of membership, starting at $500, and these are listed on these three pages. Won’t you consider joining this dynamic group in our 20th Anniversary Year? Please call us today: (877) OUR-NUNS. Thank you!

Partners Circle “Stewards” Annual gift of $10,000 FLORIDA Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Ekonomou

NEW JERSEY Marcalus Family Foundation Robert R. Waitts Foundation

Joseph J. McAleer, Sr., Heritage Society: Major Bequests CALIFORNIA


Richard Meissner, Meissner Manufacturing

Mrs. Beatrice Lightfoot


Tony Amato Family The Carini Family Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Hoffman Mr. Anthony Petrocelli Ms. Roberta Ruocco Ms. Celeste Tripi

Dr. & Mrs. Vincent Bagli Mr. Ray Campo Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garcia Angel Oliva Family Mrs. Ann Murphey Dorothy Thomas Foundation



NEW YORK Mrs. Pearl Kalikow

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Peterson

Partners Circle “Partners”:


Annual gift of $5,000

The Sabatine Foundation, in memory of Philip & Josephine Sabatine



Mr. & Mrs. James Millar

Mr. & Mrs. Fritz Duda, Sr. Mrs. Betty Turner


A Friend


Mr. & Mrs. Tony Chernalis Mr. & Mrs. Robert Harkins

Mr. & Mrs. Bill McLaughlin Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Pfeifer Mr. & Mrs. Rodger Rohde Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Weiner

NEW YORK Mr. John Cassara

PENNSYLVANIA Mr. & Mrs. Vincent DeBow

SALESIAN SISTERS’ PARTNERS CIRCLE Welcome New 2011 Members in Red!

38 Welcome


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.

SALESIAN SISTERS’ PARTNERS CIRCLE Welcome New 2011 Members in Red!

Partners Circle “Friends”

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.

Annual gift of $3,000 FLORIDA Mr. & Mrs. Javier Baldor

Partners Circle “Founders” Annual gift of $2,000 CONNECTICUT

Partners Circle “Benefactors” Annual gift of $1,000 ARIZONA A Friend

CALIFORNIA Geraldine & Joanne Rizzuto

CONNECTICUT Mr. & Mrs. Peter Christiansen Ms. Mary Gaine Mr. & Mrs. David McAleer

FLORIDA Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Clark Dr. & Mrs. Rod Jurado Mr. & Mrs. H. Tyson Lykes, II Mr. & Mrs. Jim Major Mr. & Mrs. Frank Middendorf Mr. David Murphey Mr. & Mrs. John Oliva, Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Gene Perez Hon. Judge & Mrs. A. Rodnite

GEORGIA Mr. & Mrs. Michael Aquadro

MASSACHUSETTS Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Clair

NEW JERSEY Mr. & Mrs. Richard Badenhausen Ms. Bernice Bednarz

Mr. & Mrs. Pete Barna Mr. Michael Guarnieri Dr. Joseph McAleer


Mrs. Rosemarie D’Alessandro Mr. Alfonso Daloisio Mr. Al De Vincenzo Mrs. Rose Festa Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Granatell In Loving Memory of Mrs. Emily A. Hines Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Laino Mr. & Mrs. Brian McAuley Mr. & Mrs. Mario Monaco Mrs. Diva Muller Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Palladino Weaver Marine Agencies

NEW YORK Ms. Lea Battiato Mr. & Mrs. James Dell’Orto Mr. & Mrs. John W. Lombardi Msgr. William T. Rodgers Mr. & Mrs. Matt Sabatine


Mrs. Janis Boyd Dr. Idalia Lastra Mr. Fredy Padovan

MASSACHUSETTS Ms. Patti Gauthier

NEW JERSEY Mrs. Pat Brizzolara Mr. & Mrs. John Connors Mr. Anthony Gulino Ms. Ida Gulino Ms. Nancy Gulino Mr. & Mrs. Donald Hoffman Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Laudone Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Massood Mr. & Mrs. Michael Massood Mrs. Kathleen Medore Ms. Antonia Meola Mrs. Moira McBride Murphy Mr. Stephen Papetti Ms. Rose Perone


Ms. Marianne O’Doherty

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



Mrs. Rosaline Klaben

PENNSYLVANIA Dr. Allyson & Mr. Kevin Hardy

A Friend

SOUTH CAROLINA Mr. & Mrs. Tom Aldinger

Annual gift of $500 ARIZONA


Ms. Tonia Kempfer A Friend

Mr. & Mrs. Jack Danehy


Ms. Josephine Petrillo Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Reading

Mr. Ian H. Graham Mr. & Mrs. Robert Obenberger A Friend

CONNECTICUT Mrs. Suzanne Kremheller Mr. & Mrs. Robert Mosey A Friend Anonymous

FLORIDA Mrs. Pilar Alonso Mr. & Mrs. Mark Anderson Mr. & Mrs. Bernardo F. Arenas Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Baldor, Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Carlos A. Baldor, Jr. Bianco & Mansfield, P.A. Mr. James J. Burrowes Mrs. Yoli Buss Dr. & Mrs. Robert Cano Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Capitano, Sr. Mrs. Trudy Carey Dr. & Mrs. Antonio Castro Mr. James J. Deignan Mr. & Mrs. J.C. De Lotto Dr. & Mrs. Emilio Echevarria Drs. Andrea & Sean Farrier Mr. & Mrs. Luis Garcia Mrs. Rose Graziano Mrs. Elsa GutierrezJanulionis Mr. & Mrs. James W. Lee Mr. & Mrs. Mark S. Reynolds Mr. & Mrs. Rene Rodriguez Mr. & Mrs. Rick Russo Hon. Judge & Mrs. E.J. Salcines Mrs. Peggy Theis Mr. Joseph Tomaino Mr. & Mrs. Ron Yates Mr. & Mrs. Rene Zarate

GEORGIA Mr. & Mrs. Charles Fantauzza

ILLINOIS Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Olivieri


NEW JERSEY Dr. Tiziana Anello Mr. & Mrs. Gary Baccaro Mr. & Mrs. Larry Condit Ms. Elizabeth Crovella Dr. & Mrs. Frank De Maria Ms. Debi Debiak Dr. & Mrs. Louis Gambetta Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Giamonco Captain & Mrs. Victor Goldberg Mrs. Teresa Gutto Mr. & Mrs. Charles Lechner Mr. & Mrs. Doug Leonard Mr. & Mrs. Michael Losurdo Ms. Laura Mannarino Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Marangi

Partners Circle “Associates” Annual gift of $750

Mrs. Christine Peragallo Mrs. Ann Petrocelli Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Piotrowski Mr. & Mrs. Cameron Reid Mrs. Amanda Rodriguez Mr. & Mrs. John Soldoveri Mr. & Mrs. William Stuart TD Bank

NEW YORK Dr. & Mrs. Michael Altamura Mr. & Mrs. Jack Betwarda Mr. Charles Brown Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Clair Mrs. Rose Mary Clair Mr. & Mrs. Charles Curcio Mr. & Mrs. Charles Curcio, Jr. Ms. Claire Dell Mr. Edward DeLuca Ms. Maria Rinaldi Gasparro Mr. Joseph Hill Ms. Carol Martindale Ms. Elizabeth Nardone Mrs. Joan Oliver Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Silveri Mr. & Mrs. John Weaver A Friend

NORTH CAROLINA Mr. & Mrs. Paul Liotard Mr. & Mrs. Chester Michewicz, Jr.

OHIO Mr. & Mrs. Dan Clair

FLORIDA Mr. Declan Mansfield Mr. & Mrs. Mark Spada

NEW JERSEY Mr. Anthony B. Della Cerra Mr. & Mrs. Edward Korn Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Stimola

NEW YORK Mr. & Mrs. Bill Leahy Mr. John Lombardi & Family

PENNSYLVANIA Mr. & Mrs. David Fusacchia Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hedgecock Mr. Paul I. Sheaffer, II

SOUTH CAROLINA Mrs. Sandra M. Freeman

TEXAS Mr. & Mrs. Bill Locklier

VIRGINIA Mrs. Dominique Faust

SALESIAN SISTERS’ PARTNERS CIRCLE Welcome New 2011 Members in Red!

Partners Circle “Members”

Our Unforgettable Visit to Medjugorie “Peace (mir), peace, peace – and only peace! Peace must reign between God and man and between men!” – Gospa (Our Lady) to visionary Marija on June 26, 1981 in Medjugorie


rom June 21-29, Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin and I enjoyed the great gift of a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for the 30th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. We Sisters were graciously offered this trip through the kindness of Mrs. Penny Abruzzese of Long Island, NY. Penny has been organizing these pilgrimages for a number of years. In each of the past six years, two Sisters of Life were the grateful recipients of this gift. This year, the Sisters of Life were all gathering for their first Chapter, precisely at the time of the pilgrimage, and so had to decline. Thus, through Sr. Colleen Clair, whom Penny contacted, and Sr. Phyllis Neves, then Provincial, Sr. Mary Bertha and I were the grateful beneficiaries. Medjugorje, in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovnia, is a place of prayer, of silence, of conversion. Much praise is to be given to the Franciscans for having kept the entire atmosphere in and around the parish of St. James Church prayerful and conducive to meditation and reflection.

Above, pilgrims return to St. James Church in Medjugurie from their 14-mile peace walk, having prayed the Rosary and sung hymns to Our Lady for the entire time. Among them were Sr. Denise Sickinger and Sr. Mary Bertha Paquin (right). Below, the view from the balcony at the Tunin Inn, looking toward St. James Church, from which so many of our family and friends were prayed for individually, by name.

This does not even mention the number of charitable works begun and thriving in Medjugorje to help the poor, addicted, and forsaken near and far and visiting, which is also part of the pilgrimage experience.

The parish hums quietly with activities all day: Masses in a number of languages, hundreds of Confessions heard, all three sets of Mysteries of the Rosary recited, beginning at 6 p.m., with an International Mass at 7 p.m., between the Sorrowful and Glorious sets. The day ends with prayers for peace in the world, for healing, and the Glorious Mysteries. On Thursday evenings, Eucharistic Adoration follows Mass until 11 p.m.

12 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

The young people of Medjugorje play essential roles in the spiritual life of the parish and pilgrims: acting as trained pilgrimage guides; as ushers at the evening Mass so Communion to thousands can remain devout and prayerful because well-organized; as translators on the radio for the International Mass and on paper of the messages received from Our Lady;

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At left, pilgrims of all ages participate in a Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Medjugorie. Below, Sisters prepare the outdoor altar with flowers for Our Lady.

and as leaders in presentations and processions. Their witness certainly brought a smile to the face and heart of us Salesians – called and sent for the salvation of the young!

were gathered on June 25 to commemorate the 30th anniversary. At 6:40 p.m., the bells of St. James pealed to mark the moment of that very first apparition on Podbrdo to the six visionaries (then children). All – young and old – knelt in silent prayer to remember the moment Mary broke into the lives of those young people and that parish to give her message: prayer, penance, conversion.

The paths up the steep, rocky, thorngirded hills to the apparition sites and on Cross Mountain are lined with works of art depicting the Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary. Pilgrim making these hikes with of one of the And so it is every Franciscan-trained night in Medjugorje guides pray the Mate Vasilj, our pilgrim guide, led us – Mary continues to in prayng a decade of the Rosary Stations and the come to the faithful atop Appartition Hill (Podbrdo). Rosary following a in that little Bosniaspiritual itinerary Herzegovinian laid out in a book by Fr. Slavko, onetown and to the world through them time Franciscan Priest of the parish to bring a message of peace (in the who now rests in the peace of Heaven. Croatian language: mir) and how to All are encouraged to be present every obtain it. evening for Rosary, Mass, and prayers We Sisters remembered each and for peace. every one of you and your loved ones This year, thousands and thousands and intentions in prayer during their

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pilgrimage. Although the apparitions have not yet been approved by the Vatican (in fact, a commission was there for a length of time just the week before we Sisters arrived; the process of approval is nearing an end), certainly the power of intercession of Our Lady has always been “approved” by Our Holy Church from the time of Our Lord’s first miracle at Cana – His “yes” to her request to help the young couple! Thus, we can be sure that the Sisters’ prayers on your behalf were heard and that Our Lady, appearing or not, is our constant “Help” in Heaven. For more information on Medjugorje and pilgrimages, visit www. or – Sr. Denise Sickinger, FMA

Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •



A Love That Lasts Forever

Received between August 6 and September 30, 2011 Joseph E. Clark, Sr. Mr. & Mrs. William Theiss

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 we Salesian Sisters and supports our 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.

Elizabeth “Betty” Colchie Mrs. Cynthia Di Rosa Mary Fazio Mrs. Rose Ann Sciscente Angela Galascione Mrs. Beatrice Cataldo Helene Guella Sunset Harbor Home Owners

____ $20



Sr. Trini Maydagan, FMA Mrs. Vivian Mucheru Deborah Orlando Mrs. Elizabeth Nardone Mr. & Mrs. Philip Restaino Ms. Sandra Restino Daniel Riccio Mrs. Adele Riccio

Ann Guidera Ms. Audrey del Vescovo Yolanda “Violet” Mazza Ms. Kathy Adamczyk

Joseph & Louisa Testa Mr. & Mrs. Robert Brown Mr. & Mrs. Alex DeGroat

Catherine Mansfield Ms. Eileen Hulton

Gift Maj. Jennifer Neuhauser


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

Ms. Georgene O’Keefe Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Pollock, Jr. Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association

Received between August 6 and September 30, 2011

Memorial for Name – DECEASED

Tribute for Name – LIVING

Occasion Please send an acknowledgement to: Name Address My Name Address

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

14 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

Rosanne Francone Mrs. Lillian Francone

& Sr. Janet Keller Mrs. Mary Flexer

Sr. Fanny Florez, FMA, on her birthday Ms. Elizabeth Bogert

Sr Christine Hellen, Sr. Balbina Lopez, & Sr. Carmela Termine Mrs. Catherine Burzynski

Sr. Brittanny Harrison, Sr. Guerline Joseph,

Gift Mrs. Emilia Lazar


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

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


ay God bless all the hard Although my “vocation” to the working and dedicated Salesian Sisters did not extend ROM THE Salesian Sisters! I write every beyond the age of 18, the time year that having an Adopted I spent with the Sisters has Sister helps fill the void parents been the foundation of my 69+ feel. For me, it is also the years of life. It had a profound religious aspect, as both my influence on me, and one for maternal sisters do not share my faith, let alone would which I am most grateful. God bless you! every call themselves Christians, as I do. I pray they will Lakewood, CO have the veil of blindness lifted soon, but only the Lord can lift that. just wanted to thank you for all of your prayers for my baby grandson. He went to the heart doctor for his There is relief knowing you are being prayed for and weekly check-up and passed with flying colors. He is a joy I always pray for the Salesian Sisters, all those in the to all of us and is growing stronger every day. He will need Christian faith, vocations, the Catholic Church, and all the more surgeries as he grows, but we are confident that God Missionaries. will be with him and take care of him as he grows and becomes a healthy young man. Thank you for your program. And thank you for my Adopted Sister, Sr. Joanne Holloman, and her prayers. It We have been blessed with a wonderful Adopted Sister, makes all the difference in the world! Sr. Maryann Schaefer, who has been by our side through Naperville, IL it all. She has truly become a family member. Thank you again for all your prayers. Tampa, FL was awed to find in the Late Summer 2011 edition of Partners In Giving that Sr. Christine Hellen was Thank you for your letters! We love to hear from you! celebrating her 70th Anniversary, as well as my classmates, Please write to us c/o Sr. Mary Rinaldi, 659 Belmont Sr. Balbina Lopez (50th) and Sr. Carmela Termine (50th). Avenue, North Haledon, NJ 07508, or e-mail sr.mary I was under Sr. Christine’s tutelage with Srs. Balbina and, or visit us on Facebook: Carmela. Congratulations to all three!




Looking for the

PERFECT GIFT for a birthday, anniversary, Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, wedding – any occasion, any time of the year?

Visit us online!

How about Adopting a Sister? It’s the gift that keeps on giving! For more information, visit www. or call toll free: (877) OUR-NUNS

Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


We Give Thanks for Your Special Day


o you have a happy occasion you would like to share? The Salesian Sisters will celebrate with you for an entire month. Is it a time to celebrate a lessthan-happy occasion? Our prayer for 30 days will celebrate this event in your life. Have you someone to thank? All of us will help multiply this gratitude to that special person. Is there a special person or event to bring to the attention of your friends? Then please “Give Us This Special Day”! Any event or person or situation that merits special attention will be publicized on a bulletin board outside our chapel. All the Sisters will pray for that person, event, and/or situation and for the person who requests prayers for the day.

Our Lord has assured us, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am among them.” What better assurance can we have than the Word of God? Let this exchange of time be an example of our concern and love for one another. Enjoy the fall season with its colors and celebrations. Enjoy Thanksgiving knowing that you are special to us and our prayers rise daily for you and your dear ones. Thank you, and God bless you! On a beautiful fall afternoon, Sr. Mary Palladino and Sr. Livia Setti feed the ducks beside the pond at the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, NJ.

Please Help Our Retired Sisters In Need! Please reserve this day/these days in 2011 or 2012 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 & mail this form to: Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, 659 Belmont Avenue, North Haledon, NJ 07508

16 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

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

Salesian Youth Report

MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS CAMPUS, TAMPA, FL – All hands on deck! The annual Salesian Youth Rally was held on September 23 with more than 300 kids from different Catholic Schools around Tampa Bay in attendance. Seventhgrader Alexa Vidal of Villa Madonna School (at right, center) sent this report: “This year’s Youth Rally was the best I’ve ever been to so far. I enjoyed all the things I observed and I feel that I learned a lot from it. The best was when we had Mass. Everybody was paying attention and participated. When we sang, we sang with so much energy, the people across the lake could hear us! Also, everybody participated when we did cheers, and we sang ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’ song. It was especially fun because I was dressed as a coconut with my friends ‘Grapes,’ ‘Banana,’ ‘Apple,’ and ‘Watermelon’! We dressed up like fruit, but the real ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ are things like love, joy, and peace. “I also learned about how bullying is bad. We learned how it could hurt people’s feelings. Maybe even make them commit suicide. The guest speaker was nice, and he told us of when he was a boy, how people treated him bad. He told us to always stand up to bullies, but not hurt them.”

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Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


Salesian Youth Report Immaculata La Salle High School, Miami, FL – Last July, some of Immaculata La Salle’s faculty lived a unique experience. Our former Principal, Sr. Pat Roche, nine teachers, a retired teacher, and a priest immersed themselves in a Mission experience in Nicaragua guided by one of their teachers, Mrs. Audra Obando. In Esteli, Nicaragua, the Salesian Sisters have a school for at-risk children. These children have been deprived of their studies by their parents who want them at home to care for their younger siblings or go to work. In this school, the students can make up two scholastic grades in a school year once they pass the government examinations. The Sisters provide breakfast and lunch for these students. Some students from the nearby public school participate also in the food program at this center.

In Esteli, Nicaragua, the Salesian Sisters have a school for at-risk children (below), who were grateful for the visit of Sr. Pat Roche and teachers from Immaculata La Salle High School. Above, Sr. Pat and teachers left their artistic marks on a mural at the school.

The faculty spent days teaching English and doing arts and crafts, something these children had never had the possibility of doing previously. After the children had left school they began to paint the lunch room. Thanks to this trip, students are asked to listen carefully to the “Good Morning,” a Salesian way of evangelizing. They now write their thoughts and discuss them in class. Goods such as clothing or utensils that the Sisters received were distributed to the students without charge. Our ILS Mission Club has now planned to include the entire school

in a Daily Bread project that will provide food for a day. The benefactor selects an important day and donates $20 to feed the children. Our students

18 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

are also planning to participate in a Mission trip next summer. – Sr. Teresa Gutierrez, FMA

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

Salesian Youth Report

St. Patrick Church, St. Charles, IL – On Sunday, September 11, Msgr. Joseph B. Linster (center), Pastor of St. Patrick Church, blessed the new Preschool and Extended Care program located in the former St. Patrick Catholic School building located on 118 North 5th St. in St. Charles. Sr. Isabel Garza (to the left of Msgr. Linster) is the new Director of this program. Also attending the ceremony were Sr. Liz Ryan and Sr. Carmen Morales, parents, teachers and students of the new preschool.

St. Anthony School, Hawthorne, NJ – At the Back to School Mass on September 15, Msgr. Raymond Kupke (below) blessed the entire student body of St. Anthony’s. Newly-ordained Fr. Roberto Amador assisted at this, the first liturgy of St. Anthony’s 99th year. According to Principal Sr. Marisa DeRose, “St. Anthony School will continue to grow and build upon the excellent academic, social, and spiritual programs we offer our students because of the unwavering dedication of our teachers, the strong commitment of the parish community, and the support of our wonderful parents. The St. Anthony School family proudly lives up to our motto, ‘Making a Difference, One Student at a Time’.”

VILLA MADONNA SCHOOL, Tampa, FL – Sr. Danielle Gonzalez, the new Principal, visits with a group of young “scientists” in Mrs. Sherry Robare’s thirdgrade class at Villa Madonna School. It was “Career Day” and each student was telling a story about their future careers, including a beekeeper (left) and pediatrician (center). Sr. Danielle is holding a toy lion, given to her by the future zoologist in the group!

Visit us online!

Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


The Joy of Teaching in a Salesian School

“Our School Year is Off with a Bang!”


ur school year is off with a bang, and how happy I am to be here starting my seventeenth year as a teacher at St. Joseph School in Tampa, FL! I have so many fond memories of my years in education since I began 42 years ago and of my first teaching assignment, which was right here at St. Joseph’s in 1972. Now at Sunday Mass I meet my past pupils who are parents themselves. What happiness it gives me as we reminisce about our school. Many of the girls were cheerleaders back then and I would join them and learn cheerleading, too. There are loads of precious memories to share with each one. What an awesome challenge it is as I continue to teach the littlest ones in Pre-K 4, forming these young minds in the ways of God. The beautiful grounds of St. Joseph School are very conducive to leading the children to love and appreciate God’s creation. Sometimes, we plant flowers and learn how to help them grow. Our classroom pets are also a hands-on learning experience and one that students really enjoy. At one point, we had a little farm here with a lamb, a pig (actually a series of them), ducks, chicks that grew to be lovely chickens and a red hen, too, bunnies, and assorted other creatures that were a delight for the students. They learned to care for them with gentleness and respect. The students of those times still remember our farm and the little red barn for Shirley, our lamb. I was a happy farmer girl that year!

during the school day but after school as well and even in the summer with a camp program that was recently introduced. I guess it is quite evident that I love St. Joseph School and all the people who support it in so many ways. This year we have a new principal, Mrs. Brenda Budd, who loves St. John Bosco and Mother Mary Mazzarello. She has assimilated the spirit of the Preventive System of Education that is our Salesian heritage and uses reason, religion, and loving kindness with everyone, which creates an atmosphere of peace and serenity. Our teaching staff is as eager as ever to bring God to the young and to prepare them for life’s challenges through a quality education. Sr. Nivia Arias is also with us on a part-time basis and does her part to make St. Joseph’s the great school that it is. On the agenda for October is our annual Halloween Carnival. Our parents and parishioners contribute their time and talent to Sr. Rosemary Cordes slides easily into the make it a successful fun time for new school year at St. Joseph School in Tampa! the children as well as a financial boost for the school. We are At St. Joseph’s, everyone pulls already busy with the preparations together to make our little engine for it. go, and it has been going for over a hundred years, providing an excellent St. Joseph School provides a wellChristian formation and education balanced day of work and prayer for thousands of students. We take and play. My little ones insisted I try seriously Don Bosco’s goal to form the slide, and as you can see from good Christians and honest citizens! the photograph on this page, down I went, much to their delight! Now they Our campus is lovely with all the insist I try the twisty slide! I’ll let you additions and improvements made know what happens in the next issue throughout the years for the benefit of Partners in Giving! of our 225 pupils in grades pre-K through 8. They are cared for not only – Sr. Rosemary Cordes, FMA

20 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

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

Salesian Youth Report St. John Neumann Catholic High School, Naples, FL – At left, united in song, Sr. Susan Bagli (far left) joins St. John Neumann students at a school rally. Below, Sr. Susan joined a group of Salesian Sisters who visited long-time friends and benefactors, Frank and Pat Middendorf, in Sanibel Island, FL (l-r) Sr. Brittany Harrison, Sr. Patricia Roche, Sr. Fanny Florez, Sr. Kim Keraitis, Sr. Marisol Guzman, and Sr. Susan Bagli.

Visit us online!

Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011 •


Salesian Youth Report

Joe & Anne Garcia Salesian Youth Center/Boys & Girls Club, Tampa, FL – The Salesian Youth Center has been renewed, thanks to our special friends! Above, Bank of America in Tampa “gave back” to the community over the summer when they came to SYC with their sleeves rolled up and ready to work. A team of Bank of America employees helped update and paint the SYC’s arts and crafts room over an August weekend, bringing 20 volunteers each day. They covered every detail imaginable with creativity and teamwork and made it kid-friendly. On August 8, myMatrixx CEO, Steve MacDonald and staff (right) visited SYC to open the new Teen Lounge. During the summer months, myMatrixx staff, along with Tampa Bay Technology Foundation, designed a new teen lounge for the SYC. It was a dream that became a reality, for both organizations to help the SYC have a newly-designed place to keeping the teens off the streets and inside doing something constructive. Designed with a New York theme, the room is complete with wireless internet, a Kinect gamestation, and free NetFlix movies for a year (rated G and PG only). It also hosts an awesome sound system, plenty of seating, and even a small refrigerator. A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to Bank of America, myMatrixx and Tampa Bay Technology Foundation for their love for Tampa’s kids, especially those at the SYC! Our young people are thrilled, and Mr. Shelton Jones, Sr. Clare Kennelly, and the SYC staff are deeply grateful for your expertise and hard work.

22 • Partners in Giving • Volume XXI • Issue 5

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

Make an Investment in the Future! A CHILD’S EDUCATION • NEW VOCATIONS

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 ______ 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

is a bimonthly magazine published by the

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

Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco Development Office 659 Belmont Avenue North Haledon, NJ 07508-2397 Telephone: (973) 904-0102 Toll-free: (877) OUR-NUNS Fax: (973) 904-0041 E-mail: Website: Facebook: salesiansistersdevelopment Federal Tax ID # 22-6043753 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.

Editorial Board Dr. Joseph McAleer, Editor Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA, Director of Development Mrs. Janet Arias-Rodriquez, Production Manager Sr. Mary Terzo, FMA, Editorial Assistant Partners in Giving welcomes letters, articles, and photos from contributors. We reserve the right to edit for publication.

Have You Moved? Please help us update our mailing list. If the address on this magazine above is incorrect, kindly fill in this form with the correct information and mail it to our office. Thanks!

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Partners in Giving • Autumn 2011


he Salesian Sisters’ newest ministry is to the St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL, staffed by (l-r) Sr. Linda Gonzalez, Sr. Theresa Lee, Sr. Loretta DeDomenicis, Sr. Mary Arciga, and (not pictured) Sr. Bernadette Mota. “There is so much to be thankful for, especially for the Salesian Spirit that’s already so incredibly present among the youth and staff here,” the Sisters report. “There’s a vibrant welcoming spirit, genuine joy, deep love of the Eucharist, the Pope, Sacramental life, and, of course, Our Lady.” The Sisters’ ministries will include retreats, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, evangelization, social justice outreach, sacristans formation, vocations, and spiritual accompaniment to the students.

© 2011 Missionary Society of Salesian Sisters, Inc.

Autumn 2011 Partners in Giving  

Autumn 2011 issue of Partners in Giving Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province

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