Dear Neighbor Fall 2017

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Published by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


fall 2017

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G ✛ leadership team letter

growing our roots . . . through acts of mercy and compassion

Leadership Team members, from left, are Sisters Sharon Costello, Barbara Czyrnik, Diane Cauley and Mary Pellegrino.

Dear Neighbor, About the cover Sister Sally Witt prays with Jackie during one of her regular visits to the Beaver County Jail. Read the story on Page 4.

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The November 29, 1872, edition of The Cambria Freeman reports on the chronology of “a most diabolical murder” and the subsequent public execution of long-time resident Michael Moore. In the section titled “Moore’s Last Night on Earth,” Moore expresses gratitude to “the gentle Sisters of St. Joseph,” calling them “angels of mercy who prayed with him constantly, fervently and sincerely” just hours before he was hung in the courtyard of the jail. It was the day before Thanksgiving. Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


On the wooden platform, Moore uttered his final words: “Pray for me, for I need your prayers.” From Cambria County to Beaver County and from Massachusetts to California, many of our Sisters have stepped into jails and prisons to offer prayers and presence to a vulnerable population of mostly women who are often trapped in a web of violence and addiction. Over the decades, Sisters have not only served as chaplains, nurses and visitors to those who are incarcerated, but also as advocates for greater social supports for them inside and outside of jail.

Inside this Issue Reaching across the river


Advocating for social justice




Development Letter


In Loving Memory


Annual Report to Donors


Faith. Field. Feast.


For at least 10 years, our Sisters and Associates have reached across the Ohio River to the Beaver County Jail to pray with and listen to the heartbreaking stories of women – many of whom feel hopeless and forgotten. The visits are an outward expression of our corporal work of mercy and a living reminder of Matthew’s words which tell us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for Jesus.

Adoration, Praise and Retreat 25

In this issue, you can read, beginning on Page 4, about the experiences of Sisters Sally Witt and Cynthia Comiskey who are among our regular visitors to the Beaver County Jail. On Page 8, you can celebrate with us the 30th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Joseph Volunteer Prison Ministry, which was established by Sister Maureen Clark at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute for Women in Framingham, MA.

Dear Neighbor Contributors

In this Dear Neighbor, we also honor Sisters who are celebrating their Jubilees and Associates who are marking 25-year anniversaries. We introduce you to Sister Kari Pohl, our new Justice and Peace Coordinator, and Eugene Stark, a Mount Gallitzin Academy former boarding school student, who recently reconnected with us on Facebook.

Sister Gerrie Grandpre, CSJ Staff Photographer

While we continue to adapt to the urgent needs of our neighbors, we recognize that our generous donors, listed in this magazine, are a constant source of faithful support for the life and ministries of our Congregation. For all of you, we are deeply grateful that you share in our constant mission to love and serve God and our dear neighbors, without distinction. Please know that we pray daily for you and your loved ones.

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Returning to his MGA Roots


Barbara Hecht – Editor Phone: 724-869-6566 Email:

Barbara Hecht Director of Communications Alison Lucci Marketing Communications Specialist Jeanne L. Minnicks, MBA, CFRE Director of Development

Sister Norma Bandi, CSJ Sister Ruth Bearer, CSJ Sister Mary Susan Connell, CSJ Sister Michelle Prah, CSJ Proofreaders Barb Sterchele, Omega Design Group Design/Layout Permission must be granted for reprinting articles that appear in the magazine.

Connect with us!

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R ✛ oneness

reaching across the river Sisters offer prayer, presence to women in jail

From the motherhouse in Baden, Sisters can look directly across the Ohio River and see the stark sprawling structure of the Beaver County Jail in Aliquippa. Inside, a group of women in lime green jumpsuits appear to be buoyed by the familiar presence of Sisters and gravitate toward them on this Thursday evening. Amid the activity of television shows, card games, and animated talk in the female pod, Jackie finds her way to Sister Sally Witt, who pulls two plastic chairs together for a “private” conversation. In hushed tones, they speak face to face, knee to knee, hand in hand.

“God, faith, spiritual life and prayer are always the heart of Sister Cynthia visits women regularly. our visits. They are paramount in the lives of the women I have spoken to. Their lives have called them to total dependence on God, and they hunger for prayer and for a transformation of their lives,” Sister Sally says. page 4

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


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The women have heart-breaking stories to tell. Many have suffered greatly. They are challenged by relationships and finances. They are separated from their children. They are poor and abused. Most struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. “Being present to their story without judgment is the healing balm,” says Sister Cynthia Comiskey. “They always ask me to pray, but sometimes I ask them to pray and, in that moment, I am always humbled.” Affectionately called the “church ladies” by the women in jail, 10 Sisters of St. Joseph and an Associate have participated in the visitation ministry at the Beaver County Jail over the past decade. They plan their schedules to help ensure that the incarcerated women can expect a visit from one or more Sisters each Thursday. The Sisters typically meet one-on-one with the women. Some conversations take 20 minutes; others last two hours. When they arrive at the jail on this Thursday, the Sisters are page 6

greeted by Beaver County Jail Chaplain Dennis Ugoletti. He says that for more than a decade, the Sisters have “moved in the wonderful grace of the Lord” to help disenfranchised and lonely women experience the “family of God.” “The Sisters have made a tremendous impact on these incarcerated women because of their faithfulness. Every week the Sisters give unselfishly of themselves to spend time with those less fortunate,” he says. “These faithful acts of compassionate ministry have helped many of our female inmates experience the power of prayer in their personal lives. It is so good (for them) to know that someone cares when you’re stuck in a dark place.” In addition to the opportunity to pray with the women, the Sisters say their visits make them more conscious of social justice needs beyond the walls of the jail. Sister Cynthia, a licensed clinical social Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


worker, says she is more aware of how people get caught in a web of violence and self-destruction. She notes that the majority of women are incarcerated for drug offenses, and the opioid epidemic has severely impacted their circumstances.

new programs at the local level, and we need support for these programs at the state and national levels. Mainly, we need to have new thinking about the suffering in our society and new compassion in recognizing that we all suffer and are joined in that suffering.“

Sister Sally worries, too, about what happens to the women once they are released. As she leaves the jail on this Thursday and drives away, Sister Sally draws attention to a lone woman, likely just released, walking slowly along the roadway just outside the parking lot and carrying a small plastic bag.

The Sisters who are drawn to the jail ministry readily refer to the works of mercy and outreach to their next-door neighbors.

“I have seen women frightened of leaving jail because they had no place to go except to the people and places that had been harmful to them,” says Sister Sally, who has served as a volunteer visitor for more than 10 years. “There is not sufficient support or assistance for those who leave jail (or prison), and people are very vulnerable when they come out of incarceration. We need many Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


“I think I was called to this ministry because I always look over across the river and pray for the inmates,” Sister Cynthia says. “It is my way of practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. I’m glad that several of us volunteer. So, it’s just not my thing but a ministry we practice together.”

more than 20 years as a historian and an author, is not sure what set of circumstances led her to the jail ministry, but she is convinced it was a call of God. “It came when I was older and understood better the unity of all of us, how we are one in Christ regardless of where we are,” she says. “It is also from a sense of care for the dear neighbor. These are our neighbors . . . and they cannot visit us. So, of course, we would visit them.” Sister Cynthia, Chaplain Denny and Sister Sally

Sister Sally, who has served for page 7

30 years of serving women in prison Thirty years ago, Sister Maureen Clark established the Sisters of St. Joseph Prison Ministry with just a handful of volunteers and a grand vision. As a Catholic Chaplain, she wanted to bring hope - in meaningful ways - to incarcerated women at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute for Women in Framingham, MA. As Sister Maureen created new services and programs to help women rebuild their lives and families, she also built a network of 200 volunteers to support the prison ministry. As the ministry reached its 30-year milestone this year, some of the incarcerated women wrote notes of gratitude and appreciation to the volunteers who have reached out to them:


Through her ministry, Sister Maureen helps incarcerated women develop self-esteem and teaches them to be responsible parents and productive members of society. The Prison Ministry Aftercare program she established pairs a woman with a member of the community who offers time and guidance to help.

Developed by Sister Maureen and replicated in prisons across the country, the “Read to Me, Mommy” program illustrates a significant way that women can maintain or nurture a bond with their families. Mothers have an opportunity to be videotaped reading a storybook. The book, along with a DVD, is sent to their children so they can see and hear “mommy” reading to them.

Sister Maureen with Cardinal Sean O’Malley

The words

Tapping in to her lifelong love of the arts, Sister Maureen often incorporates music and theater into her ministry by organizing plays, holiday concerts and “mommy and me” art projects. In addition to offering pastoral counseling, spirituality classes and prayerful retreats, she recruits volunteers to help lead bible studies, prayer

‘unconditional love’ come to mind when I

groups and lectures.

think of all of you. Your presence in our lives

Sister Maureen inspires women “to move past their fears and hold onto hope by knowing that a loving God does not condemn, but longs for each person to know that she is loved.”

brings so much joy, peace and happiness. You have made a profound impact on my life. My spirit is changed because you took time of your own volition to visit us in prison. page 8

To read more about Sisters in jail ministries, visit our website at Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


R ✛ missionary

reaching out in Nicaragua Sister Kari advocates for social justice for all our neighbors

A growing desire to serve people living in extreme poverty called Sister Kari Pohl to Nicaragua as a missionary more than seven years ago. A registered nurse, Sister Kari began her ministry in the capital city of Managua as a community health nurse. She worked out of a local clinic and visited patients in public hospitals to offer them pastoral support.

Sister Kari with Maria Elena and Paola

As her Spanish improved, Sister Kari became more familiar with the issues affecting the developing Central American country. Her focus turned toward social justice concerns and grassroots efforts to collaborate with Catholic sisters and ecumenical communities to address migration, intra-familial violence, human trafficking, and environmental degradation. Sister Kari, who returned to the United States in December 2016,

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


continues to carry the banner of social justice in a new role. She succeeds Sister Jeanette Bussen, who has served as Coordinator of Justice and Peace for the Congregation since 2003. They worked together recently to advocate for affordable health care and environmental protection. Sister Kari says her experience in Nicaragua not only expanded her knowledge of global realities, but also allowed her to live out the Congregation’s charism of oneness with our neighbors and God. During a brief stay in Nicaragua in 2006, Sister Kari says she was particularly struck by the powerful contrasts between material poverty and cultural richness as well as the openness that many Nicaraguans have toward Americans, despite the United States’ long history of military and economic interventions in Nicaragua. page 9


to Nicaragua. Learning a new language and culture, not to mention the trials of trying to learn an entirely different bureaucracy (Where does one obtain health care? How does one register for services such as electricity, water, or a telephone? What happens if one witnesses or is the victim of a crime?) was extremely difficult.”

Sister Kari with a prayer group

“It raised in me questions of forgiveness and reconciliation, of trauma and healing, and I knew that I had to go back for a longer period of time,” she recalls. During her extended mission in Nicaragua, Sister Kari served in a variety of capacities, responding to health concerns, spiritual needs, justice issues and cultural challenges. “One of my roles in Nicaragua was to accompany Englishspeaking, short-term mission groups visiting the country and long-term volunteers as they entered into life there,” Sister Kari recalls. “It was a great privilege to be with them as they fell in love with Nicaragua and its people and as page 10

they began to recognize and see God’s presence in their Nicaraguan neighbors, co-workers, and friends.” Before her missionary work in Nicaragua, Sister Kari saw firsthand how disadvantaged families close to home struggled. She helped individuals with little or no health insurance receive access to medical, spiritual and social services in a neighborhood health center in Pittsburgh. “For nearly eight years, I had the wonderful privilege of serving the local and the immigrant community in Pittsburgh as a nurse at East Liberty Family Health Care Center,” she says. “In 2010, I myself became an immigrant when I moved

While acknowledging the challenges of living and serving in Nicaragua, Sister Kari readily speaks of the joys: watching the neighborhood children grow; becoming part of neighbors’ lives; seeing both urban and rural families improve their life circumstances; and having the opportunity to serve with Sisters from a variety of congregations.

On returning to the United States, Sister Kari says that one of her more disturbing observations is not the differences between the two countries, but, rather, the similarities.

“We’re not that different from the people of Nicaragua,” she says. “Can we trust our government to put our interests as citizens of the United States and of Pennsylvania above those of transnational corporations?” After traveling from Baden to Nicaragua and back home again, Sister Kari continues her journey of advocacy - here and afar - on behalf of our most vulnerable neighbors. Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


M ✛ jubilee

moving toward profound love of God and neighbor 25 Sisters celebrate a total of 1,270 years of service

80th Jubilarian

Sister Mary Cordia Grimes, CSJ April 5, 1919 - August 23, 2017

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Born into an Irish Catholic family of six children, Sister Mary Cordia Grimes was one of three girls who became Sisters of St. Joseph. Her mother taught them to trust in God’s Providence, and her father often spoke of the “Good God.” For more than 35 years, Sister Mary Cordia ministered as a teacher in the dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg, and Pittsburgh. She taught at Bishop McCort High School, Johnstown (1943-51, 1971-75), Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Altoona (1952-57), and Greensburg Catholic High School, Greensburg (1975-77). She also served as principal at Annunciation High School, North Side (195759), and as Assistant Principal at Bishop Carroll, Ebensburg (1961-63), and Fontbonne Academy, Bethel Park (1963-1971). Sister Mary Cordia subsequently served as coordinator of St. Bernard Convent in Pittsburgh, and as Motherhouse Coordinator of the infirmary. In recent years, she volunteered at the Motherhouse and Villa St. Joseph. Known for her graciousness, deep spirituality and listening heart, Sister Mary Cordia radiates the joy of religious life and, many Sisters credit her for nurturing their calling. “I had an early sense of God’s love for me and a desire to deepen that love through relationships. Relationships with God, neighbors, and others make life meaningful,” she says. page 11

50th Jubilarian

“It is important to me to be aware of the poor, the vulnerable, especially those in our midst, and to respond with generosity,” says Sister Catherine who has worked as a principal, caregiver, medical social worker, hospice chaplain and spiritual director. Sister Catherine serves as Director of Ignatian Spirituality and Minister of Member Wellbeing for the Congregation. She has ministered at St. Joseph Spirituality Center, Jesuit Collaborative in Pittsburgh, Pneuma Institute at the Pittsburgh Theological Center, and Washington, Good Samaritan and Celtic Hospices. She also was principal of St. James in Sewickley (1998-2002) and St. John the Evangelist (1980-1994) in Uniontown.

Sister Catherine Higgins, CSJ

Faithful, committed and compassionate, Sister Catherine has wideranging experience in companioning people on their journey to God by providing support to both individuals and groups, especially in the context of the Spiritual Exercises. “The call to all-inclusive love, to love as God loves, the call to forgive and ask forgiveness without limits, or, in other words, to embody the project of Christ, is most important to me,” she says. Formerly Director of Formation, Sister Catherine says, from early childhood, she had “a deep longing for a personal relationship with Jesus,” which was nurtured in first grade by Sister Devota Dietz, CSJ.

50th Jubilarian

In high school chemistry classes, Sister Karen Stoila connected to students who decades later would become faithful supporters of the Congregation. Sister Karen has served most recently as Director of the Congregation’s Development Office, which has grown significantly in donors and contributions during her tenure. Her meticulous nature translates into heartfelt expressions of gratitude and abundant prayers of support for friends and donors, many of whom she knows by name.

Sister Karen Stoila, CSJ

Sister Karen taught at Fontbonne Academy (1972-74), St. Joseph High School in Natrona (1974-81, 1986-88), Quigley in Baden (1981-84), and St. Pius V in Bronx, N.Y. (1984-86, 1989-1992). While in the Bronx, daily contact with the poor made her more keenly aware of the Gospel call to have a special care for the poor and to work to change structures that keep the poor disadvantaged. “I have had blessings beyond measure. Teaching so many wonderful students and seeing them grow into faith-filled adults . . . Meeting hundreds of wonderful people who care about our Sisters and are willing to support our life and mission. Opportunities for prayer and spiritual growth . . . loving and supportive relationships in the Congregation with amazing women.”

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Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


50th Jubilarian

Sister Janice Vanderneck, Director of Casa San José, says her passion for the immigrant is fed by Luke 4:18 “You are sent to bring the good news to the poor and proclaim justice to the downtrodden.” Since 2013, she has shepherded the community resource center that advocates for and empowers Latinos through integration and selfsufficiency. The non-profit organization in Brookline was begun by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Janice Vanderneck, CSJ

“Within the Latino immigrant people, I find a strength that is wrought of faith and suffering and love of family that is richly powerful, and I am committed to being a part of their welcome in our midst,” Sister Janice says. Her outreach to immigrants formally began in 2003 at the Latino Catholic Community Office for Social Services, the first office in Pittsburgh to assist Spanish speaking-only clients. For her tireless work, Sister Janice has received numerous honors, including the prestigious John E. McGrady Award from the Catholic Youth Association. Sister Janice previously served as teacher, vice principal or principal at Mount Gallitzin Academy (1983-85, 1987-90), Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (1985-87; 1990-93) in Perrine, FL., Good Samaritan in Ambridge (1995-98) and St. James in Sewickley (1999-2003). She also was a residential counselor at Girls Hope and a missionary in Brazil.

50th Jubilarian

Sister Ruth Weiss says her most precious experiences were preparing children for first Holy Communion and Reconciliation. “My desire was to instill a deep and profound love for Jesus and an understanding of the gifts that these sacraments provided in their faith development.” Sister Ruth, who served 38 years as a teacher, ministered at Mount Gallitzin Academy (1973-77, 1987-2005); St. Catherine in Beechview (1977-81), and St. Peter in Somerset, PA (1981-87). She subsequently served as an adult literacy instructor and home health care aide.

Sister Ruth Weiss, CSJ

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


“In my years of being an educator of children and adults, my desire was to accentuate the potential of my students and to help them strengthen their God-given talents and abilities.” Known for her compassion and generosity, Sister Ruth, a volunteer in the Development Office, has channeled her expert sewing skills into making artisan projects, such as dining scarves and aprons, to help support the mission of the Sisters. Sister Ruth credits the Sisters of St .Joseph who taught her in fifthgrade for influencing her vocation call. “The most important aspect of our charism is that I would hope to embody is being a woman of compassion and concern for the ‘dear neighbor’.” page 13

60th Jubilarians

Sisters of St. Joseph celebrating their 60th Jubilee are, from left, front row, Sisters Norma Bandi, Frances Omodio, Michelle Prah, Carmelita Augustine, Elizabeth Hart and Elaine DiZinno, and, back row, Sisters Cecilia Maria Kulik, Mary Agnes Spampinato, Marjorie Kelly, Dorothy Pashuta, Barbara Balog and Mary Kay Hammond.

70th Jubilarians

Sisters of St. Joseph celebrating their 70th Jubilee are from left, first row, Sisters Eileen Scott (February 21, 1930 - September 17, 2017), Eileen Sweeney, Maxine Little and Rosemary Snyder, and, back row, Sisters Mary Louise Simmons and Maliya Hock. Missing from photo is Sister Jeanne Solari.

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Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


65th Jubilarians

Sisters of St. Joseph celebrating their 65th Jubilee are, from left, Sisters Ruth Bearer and Helen Marie Shrift.

Associates 25th

Associates celebrating 25 years of membership are, from left, Sue Sciarretti, Lourdes “Lulu� Herold, and Dorothy Kocur-Buccilli.

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


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D ✛ development letter

dear partners in mission, July 31st was my first day as Director of Development with the Sisters of St. Joseph, and each day since has been full of discoveries about this amazing community.

I was raised in the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church and attended a public school, so nuns were not a presence in my religious life. My pathway to the Sisters was unconventional, winding through corporate jobs in telecommunications, industrial manufacturing, and nonprofit fundraising for environmental education and drug and alcohol organizations. While my workplace environments were as different as night and day, what attracted and bound me to my previous Jeanne L. Minnicks employers were their missions and values. These same things are what brought me to the Sisters of St. Joseph. One of the most compelling attributes of the Sisters is their relevance. At 367 years young, this religious community has endured because its members have been resourceful and adaptable to changing times. Today, when our elected leaders cannot find common ground on critical issues such as immigration reform, environmental justice, and quality and affordable health care for all, the Sisters’ commitment to live among the people, nurse the sick, assist the poor, shelter the abandoned, and care for the vulnerable is more important than ever. Their mission to serve God and the ‘dear neighbor’ without distinction provides the clarity and leadership needed to solve problems that impact the less fortunate among us. I’ve quickly learned that our Sisters have an abundance of caring and generous friends. A portion of my day is devoted to writing thank-you letters for gifts received in memory or in honor of special people, for our different ministries, for our Sisters’ retirement needs, or for general operating support. Many worthwhile organizations

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Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


in our region are in need of financial support, so we’re humbled to be the recipient of your charitable giving. Each year, the Sisters host several traditional events such as our Mt. Gallitzin Alumnae Brunch, Memorial Masses, Auxiliary Spring Luncheon, and this year we introduced our newest event, Faith. Field. Feast., which you can read about on Page 25. These events are good ways to stay connected with the Sisters and informed about the Congregation’s work. For those who wish to give back for blessings received, events provide volunteer opportunities. These occasions often bring friends together to celebrate and reminisce about shared experiences. And, of course, events raise funds for congregational needs. We hope you’ll join us throughout the year. I’d like to close by congratulating my predecessor, Sister Karen Stoila, on her Jubilee year, and by acknowledging her many years of fundraising accomplishments. With the help of the Sisters, my lay colleagues, partners, neighbors, and all of you, we will continue Sister Karen’s good works.

In loving memory Sister Eileen Scott, 87 Sister Mary James September 17, 2017 Sister Mary Cordia Grimes, 98 August 23, 2017 Sister Theresa Kunzler, 74 Sister Timothy July 1, 2017 Sister Rosemarie Schwartz, 61 June 17, 2017 Sister Mary Hall, 80 Sister Mary Walter April 14, 2017

Jeanne L. Minnicks, MBA, CFRE Director of Development 724-869-6592 Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Sister Marguerite Kropinak, 69 Sister Stephen Marie April 7, 2017

To read more about our Sisters or to make a memorial contribution, please visit our website at page 17

✛ annual report to donors

sources of contributions July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

$700,000 $650,000 $600,000 $550,000 $500,000 $450,000 $400,000 $350,000 $300,000 $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000 $0 Gifts from Individuals

Restricted Donations for New Boiler

Planned Gifts

Sisters' Patrimony Gifts


Commemorative Gifts

Special Events

In Kind Gifts

National Religious Retirements Collection


Gifts from Individuals (Major Gifts, Appeals, Newsletters, Unsolicited) Restricted Donations for New Boiler

$664,573.27 $34,000.00

Planned Gifts (Wills, Trusts) $315,013.12 Sisters’ Patrimony Gifts


Grants (Corporations, Foundations, Organizations) $115,476.70

Commemorative Gifts (In Memory, In Honor) $98,809.06

Special Events (Golf Classic, Lottery Calendar, MGHS Brunch, $49,466.50 In A Manger Lowly Concert, Eco-Fundraisers))

In Kind Gifts (Spring Luncheon) $12,757.17 National Religious Retirement Collection



uses of contributions July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017


$600,000 $550,000 $500,000 $450,000 $400,000 $350,000 $300,000 $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000 $0

Development/ Communications Expenses

Present and Future Care of Elder Sisters

Ministry Support

Special Event Expenses

Motherhouse Expense

General Operating Expenses

In Kind Gifts


Development/Communications Expenses


Present and Future Care of Elder Sisters


Ministry Support (Foster Care, Prison Ministry, Spirituality Center, $281,902.90 Grounds and Eco-Projects, Neighbors in Need, Pet Therapy, Other)

Special Event Expenses (Golf Classic, Lottery Calendar, MGHS Brunch, $28,077.18 In A Manger Lowly Concert, Eco-Fundraisers)) Motherhouse Expense - Directed to New Boiler General Operating Expenses

$34,000.00 $564,874.09

In Kind Gifts (Spring Luncheon) $12,817.17 Total

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Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


✛ annual report to donors Circle

Compassion of

$10,000 or more


Kevin C. and Shari Johnson

Albert J. and Diane E. Kaneb

Estate of Linda M. Kortyna

Estate William D. Kutch

Estate of Rose Sweeney Melenyzer

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Estate of Kathleen E. Merrifield

The DLM Foundation

Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities

Helen M. Force

James S. and Lori Rausch

Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Estate of Kathleen D. Haver


Joy of

Up to $9,999

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017


Peter R. and Sue Osenar

Dunn Family Charitable Foundation

Thomas M. Parrish

Joseph P. and Karen Grimes

Peter W. and Marylin Rander

Walter C. and Ginny Hall


Sandra J. Jenkins

Estate of Margaret Mary Weber

Ladies of Bethany

Estate of Francis X. Ziegler

John F. and Jane Malloy James J. and Dr. Alison M. Mirasola


Zeal of

Up to $4,999

Anonymous (10)

Robert G. Currier

Robert J. and Susan Alman

Marta M. David

Enrico D. Arzenti

Mary DeFalice

Pete and Suzanne Avila

Thomas J. and Ruth Demko

Robert A. and Arleen Barth

Steve and Donna DiGiovanni

Dr. Julia E. Blum

Dennis and Kim DiPerna

Boston Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC

Vincent Donatelli Family Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation

Joann C. Bracci Sam K. Bryan Thomas J. Burgunder Patricia W. Caffrey Ursula M. Chough James J. Colaianne, Jr. Marie T. Coschigano Charitable Fund Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Mary Jo Dressel Richard W. and Beth Farmer Thomas and Heather Finke Maura K. Flaherty Kathleen M. Galleher Dr. John A. Gillespie page 19

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

Mark W. and Melissa Good

Suzanne Polen

St. Catherine University

Anthony J. and Michelle Guzzi

Prudential Foundation Matching Gifts Progam

St. Vincent de Paul Society Our Lady of Guadalupe

William S. Rank

Mary L. Staudenmaier

Paul A. and Cindy Rank

Dennis and Regina Stover

Dr. Kathryn P. Rapperport

The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation

Dr. David and Marilyn Harcum Dr. Stephen R. and Beth Hribar Michael and Julie Kaneb William E. and Carolyn Keslar Joan E. Lavery Craig S. and Ellen Liberatore Michael and Kathleen Matczynski Robert G. Mazur David J. and Susan Merison James P. Miller Gordon J. and Patricia Miller John M. Miller Philip F. and Patricia Muck David P. Nauman and Rebecca Degrosky Kathleen O’Toole-Greggs Thomas and Joyce Pappert Joachim and Patricia Peilert The Platt Family Foundation Leo N. and Evelyn L. Pohl


Peace of

Up to $999

page 20

Kenneth G. Reese

S. Edward and Katherine Renner

Alfred E. Jones and Frances Bridgeman Jones Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation

Bernadette F. Revicky

The Westerman Foundation

Richard D. Riordan

Dr. Gregory T. and Dr. Leslie R. Trecha

Rohrich Toyota

Dr. Christopher and Barbara Troianos

Timothy G. and Carol Rubritz

Mary J. Ulloa

Jeffry P. and Kim Sattler

Steven and Betty Uzupis

Gordon E. and JoAnne Scherer

Agnes E. Vance

Mary Ellen Schuessler

Alberta A. Veri

Gerald A. Serrino

David G. and Marianne A. Walsh

Charles E. Sheedy

Patrick H. Washington

Sisters of St. Joseph - Boston, MA

Daniel L. Weaver

Sisters of St. Joseph - Watertown, NY

Linda T. Whitford

Sisters of St. Joseph - Clarence, NY

John J. Young

Estate of Kathryn R. Regan

Matthew Zack and Claire A. Conaway

Anonymous (7)

William R. and Susan Barrett

Julianne K. Aaron

Michael Battles

Ron and Linda Altany

Sam and Lisa Beacom

AmazonSmile Foundation

John F. and Genevieve Becker

Archdiocese of New York

LaVerne S. Beckett

Andrew K. and Rebecca Armutat

Jeanne L. Beers

John M. and Anne Marie Arzenti

Linda M. Birochik

William S. and Shirley Balint

Christine R. Bissert

Aurella J. Barch

David L. Blevins Family

Lawrence R. and Kathleen Barkowski

Bruno Bonacchi

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

Richard E. Bosco

William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa

Dr. David M. and Sandra Ferguson

John Boyle

Carol S. Cutler

Francis J. Fisher

John L. and Elizabeth Branson

Edward J. and Maureen Dabrowski

Karen S. Fisher

James E. and Susan Brett

Donald R. and Mary Jane D’Amico

Kevin M. and Donna Flannery

Mikel and Mary Britt

David Z. and Noreen D’Argenio

Alan H. and Anna Maria Francis

Frances J. Brown

John V. Dashner, Jr.

Mary J. Frankenberry

Gregory B. Brown and Dr. Kim Pierce

Thomas M. Deasy

William P. and Justine Brown

Eric J. and Anita DeBellis

Marcia Gallina Advised Fund of Cumberland Community Foundation

Amy L. Bubash

Debo Moving & Storage

Frances E. Bungo

Linda G. DeBor

Dr. Robert and Jacquelyn Capretto

James D. and Joan Deffler

Richard and Diane Castrodale

Mark A. and Christina Degonish

William P. and Kathleen Cavanaugh

Neil S. and Carol DeLuca

Daniel P. Cellini

Jean M. DeSchriver

Catherine A. Charnock

Christine C. Didio

Dr. Andrew C. and Ursula Chough

Joseph G. Dillon

Vincent F. and Anna Cimino

Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

Charlene K. Clarke

John and Gina Dioguardi

Illene T. Colby and Nancy Ayala

Carmela DiStefano

Robert C. Coleman, Jr.

Ronald E. DiZinno

Mary J. Connaughton

Gerry, Barb and John Domitrovich

John A. and Kris Connolly

Sharen K. Duff

Barbara M. Connors

Barry and Aida Dugan

Norbert J. Connors

Edward G. Duncan

Frank W. and Catherine Cooper

Debra J. Dunn

Timothy Coward

Duquesne University

Frank G. and Adelfa Coyle

Thomas R. and Mary Durra

Paul A. Crandell

Anita L. Dwyer

Crivelli Ford

John R. and Gertrude Echement

Thomas J. and Patricia Crotty

Alice I. Elash

Dolores V. Croyle

Sheila J. Ellenbogen

Helen M. Culhane

William G. and Kathleen Englert

Noreen C. Culhane

Michele Fagan

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Alfred Gallo Blaine W. and Mary Anne Galonski Brother Allen Ganz, FSC Brad A. and Marian Gaumer Kathleen J. Gett Bernard R. and Buzz Gillis Girls Hope of Pittsburgh Arthur H. and Anne Green Rev. Keith E. and Rev. Janet B. Grill Helen M. Grimme Richard W. and Marjorie Grimme Robert W. and Christine Grochowski Jeff H. and Elaine Groezinger Judith L. Guttilla Dr. Louis M. and Lynn Guzzi Daniel L. and Linda Haller Margaret M. Hannan Maura K. Harrington Tina M. Hartford Janice M. Hayes Stephen Hegner Lewis G. Herdt, Jr. Janet E. Hicks Highmark Matching Funds Marilyn A. Hite page 21

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

Stanley P. Hofstetter

Mary J. Letteri

Dr. John I. and Betty Moraca

Garry L. and Kathleen Hogan

Judith M. Lewis

Richard J. and Janet Morelli

William T. and Carla Hull

Joseph J. and Anne Liberati

Barbara J. Moretti

Dennis Hummel

Richard J. Lipovich

Michael A. Morgan

Cheryl Iaci

Gretchen Taylor and Richard Lira

Daniel J. Morgan

Gary L. and Diane Iannini

Mark J. and Ruth Llewellyn

Edward J. and Gail Moschetti

Richard X. and Annette Inesso

William H. and Carroll Logsdon

Mount Gallitzin High School Alumnae

Jeffrey and Susan Jackson

Guy D. and Arleen Lucci

Brother Charles E. Mrozinski, FSC

Richard A. and Lisa Jennings

J. Richard and Dianne Lynch

Sharon A. Mulac and Mary Ann Mikrut

Dr. Romaine Jesky-Smith

Monica Maghrak

The Mundok Family

Dorothy A. Kala

JoAnn V. Maher

Stephen J. and Mary Jo Murgas

James S. and Frances Kalmer

Timothy O. and Judith Mahoney

Lawrence L. and Marianne Murray

Karen Q. Kalna

Dr. Joseph T. and Bonnie Makarewicz

Tom and Mary Murray

Irene R. Katona

Barbara J. Mancini

Virginia F. Muth

Eileen Kennedy

Dr. Michael R. Mangan

Dr. Albert R. and Barbara Nalli

James E. and Margaret Kervin

Thomas G. and Mary Suzan Manor

James A. and Mary Nania

John R. and Mary Kilkeary

Loretta A. Martella

Edward S. and Nancy Napoleon

Charles E. King

Brad Martin and Brian McGrath

Nebiolo Family Charitable Fund

Dr. Wayne K. and Rebecca Kinning

Ronald S. and Lisa Martinazzi

James F. and Maureen Nelson

Joseph A. and Patricia Kirk

Albert D. Massi

Harry E. Nieman

Brian and Suzanne Koble

Ted F. Maznicki

John P. Nock

David T. and Chris Kormis

Keith A. and Irene McAllister

Jenny Novak

William H. amd Pamela Kredel

Donald K. and Donna McBee

Janet Ofodile

Beatrice E. Kreutzer

Richard W. and Lauren McCarthy

Anthony C. and Cynthia Ortenzo

Ronald W. and Maryjo Kriz

Ellen McCracken

Margaret M. Pakulski

Thomas and K.J. Kulikowski

Karren McDill

Vincent C. and Beth Palilla

James J. Kustron

Terry and Donna McNamara

Patricia A. Parks

Monica A. Lane

Daniel McNulty

David A. Parrendo

Lois M. Lang

Michael G. Miniotas

Peter and Janice Paul

Leo P. Lann

Charles J. and Betty Ann Minor

George A. and Patricia Pecoraro

Larry’s Laundromutt

James J. and Dr. Alison M. Mirasola

Karen M. Petruny

Paul R. and Patricia Lebanik

Robert J. and Joan Moineau

Robert A. and Christine Pietrandrea

Joseph and Myra Leone

Anne S. Moosman

Poland Funeral Home, Inc.

page 22

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

Diane L. Polensky

Dr. Richard W. and Pamela Siergiej

Michael C. and Linda Vojtasko

Alfred G. and Donna Pollastrini

Thomas A. and Rosemary Sippel

Steven G. Wagner

Michael J. and Shirley Prendergast

Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery

William S. Warren

Paul J. and Patricia Prucnal

Lawrence and Lois Skogerson

Donald V. and Diane Wassel

John R. and Barbara Pugh

South Central PTA

Rosemary K. Weber

Michael R. Quinn

Donald J. Spinella

Mark J. Welch

Bernard J. and Patrcia Rabik

Dr. Frances H. Squires

Harry P. and Alice Whitehead

J. Ronald Reagan

St. Augustine Plaza Residents

James A. and Joann Wick

William A. and Norma Reddington

St. James School

Thomas and Lhea Wiese

Redmond Charitable Fund

St. John Fisher Parish

Patrick M. and Kelly Wiethorn

Dennis B. Roddy and Joyce A. Gannon

St. Veronica High School Class of 1961

Robert F. and Iris Willey

James E. and Stephanie Rooney

Jeremy and Catherine Stahl

Rick and Patricia Williams

George and Barbara Rovnyak

Thaddeus S. and Jacqueline Stasiak

Donald B. and Elizabeth Wilt

Larry T. and Christine Rozak

Angela M. Stevens

Paul F. and Mary Anne Windisch

Michael V. and Lisa Ruggiero

Virginia E. Suhayda

Kathleen F. Wycoff

Sacred Heart Elementary School

Anthony C. and Martha Sunseri

Mary P. Yates

Helen M. Sandor

Patricia Swartzlander, CSJA

June M. Sarkis

Stephen and Joyce Tambolas

William C. and Antoinette Sawyer

Jason and Maureen Tapolci

Rev. Dr. Irene C. Scaramazza

Mary Ann Tarnovich

Dr. Alison M. Scavuzzo

The Ladle and The Hearth

heartfelt gratitude to 2,799

Gretel M. Schneider

Cynthia R. Tierno

Circle of Grace donors whose

Robert J. and Rosemarie Schuler

Thomas P. and Donna Timcho

yearly contributions up to

Edmund N. Schuster

Colleen B. Travis

James J. and Virginia Schwartz

Stephen P. and Debra Turcsanyi

John L. Schwartz, Jr.

Joan E. Van Dyke

with a cumulative gift of

Naomi J. Schwartz

Rosemarie L. Varsanik

$180,303. We regret that we

John J. and Susan Sciarretti

Richard and Laura Vereb

are not able to publish the

Charles R. and Janet Sekon

Theresa L. Vidas

Patricia Sellner

Village Garden Club

Capt. James E. and Suzi Sheehan

Carl Villella, Jr.

their names in our hearts and

Donna Marie Sheridan

Violeta C. Viray


Harry J. and Elissa Sichi

Clifford J. and Judith Visalli

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


CIRCLE OF GRACE We express our deep and

$249 have blessed us greatly

individual names, but we hold

page 23

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

St. Joseph Legacy Society The St. Joseph Legacy Society recognizes those individuals who have witnessed the spirit of generosity modeled by our patron, St. Joseph. Members of the Society are honored for any planned gift, no matter the amount. The Sisters of St. Joseph are grateful to the following benefactors for bequests given during fiscal year 2016-2017. May God reward their selfless generosity with light, happiness and peace in God’s eternal home. Kathleen D. Haver Linda M. Kortyna William D. Kutch Kathleen E. Merrifield Kathryn R. Regan Margaret Mary Weber Francis X. Ziegler

The Fontbonne Circle Named in honor of Mother St. John Fontbonne, who restored the Congregation in Lyon, France, in 1808 after the French Revolution, the Fontbonne Circle formally recognizes those whose cumulative lifetime gifts to the Sisters of St. Joseph and their ministries have reached $10,000.00 We thank these benefactors who generously support the mission and ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph. As builders of God’s great love, they partner with us to make Jesus known and to apply the Gospel to all realms of human life. Enrico and Carmelina Arzenti Bernard and Mary Beth Balog Robert Currier

page 24

Kevin and Shari Johnson Peter and Marylin Rander

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


farm to table The Motherhouse grounds were aglow with luminaries and lights as more than 100 guests gathered under a huge white tent to savor the summer harvest from local gardens. The festive atmosphere, bluegrass music and delectable dishes set the stage for the Sisters’ first farm-to-table dinner Faith. Field. Feast. - on Saturday, September 16.

Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea Co. Beaver Falls Community Garden Cura Hospitality

Entertainment Sweetheart of the Barricades

Corporate Sponsors FedEx Ground

The Sisters expressed deep gratitude to Cura Hospitality, a premier event host, for its generous contribution of time, talent and resources. Hats off to the Cura chefs who prepared a tasty assortment of appetizers, desserts, and fine cuisine, including seared duck breast with cherries and grilled beef tenderloin with purple mashed potatoes.

Adoration, Praise and Retreat Days

Event Hosts

KingView Mead

Sister Lyn Szymkiewicz, who planted the seed for the event, announced the establishment of the Sister St. Mark Garden Fund, which will provide small grants to community gardens in Beaver and Allegheny counties. Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors and guests, the event raised $15,000 to help support the Garden Fund and the Sisters’ on-site community gardens.

Save the date for 2018 Faith. Field. Feast: Saturday, September 15

Special thanks to:

PGT Trucking Point Security Company Victaulic

Individual Sponsors Greg and Susan Kaminski Katherine Larsen Valerie Oltmanns Paul and Celine O’Neill

Faith Sharing

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Real Presence of Christ

Personal Reflection December 2, 2017 Quiet Prayer (Chapel or Outside) Sister Mary Pellegrino, Featured Speaker

Saturday, Reflections by Sister Mary Pellegrino

Opportunity for Spiritual Guidance

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Human Journey

Saturday, March 10, 2018 No Fee Saturday, September 22, 2018

Reflections by Sister Janet Mock Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Harvest Adoration and Praise: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Retreat: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visit

Refreshments All are welcome!

12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Register online: for more information inOrthe coming weeks! Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse call: 412-926-2059

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


page 25

R ✛ reconnection

returning to his MGA roots Former boarding student’s ‘virtual’ visit leads him to Baden Sixty-five years ago, Eugene “Gene” Stark began his education at Mount Gallitzin Academy

where he says Sister Lucina Smith taught him how to read, write and pray.

“I am still a believer. I pray frequently and although my prayers are rarely answered the way I would like, I do believe they are heard and answered in some better fashion,” says Gene, who has fond memories of serving as an altar boy and performing in the Christmas plays. From 1952-1960, Gene attended Mount Gallitzin Academy, which at that time was a boarding school for boys. In addition to Sister Lucina, his first- and second-grade teacher, Gene recalls Sister Xavier, Sister Jean Michael Flynn, Sister Ignatius Loyola (Mary Louise Simmons) and Sister Mary Dominic Ravotti. These Sisters of St. Joseph instilled in him core values that he says continue to resonate with him

page 26

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


Gene with former teacher, Sister Mary Dominic

today - rational faith, tolerance, international commitment, hard work and solidarity. The joy and humor of the Sisters also made an impression on him. Gene, who taught English at the Munich College of Foreign Languages for 30 years, says it’s likely that the Sisters also influenced his career path. He attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and earned a degree in German from the University of Pittsburgh. Before moving to Munich, Gene taught reading at Herron Hill Junior High School and St. Agnes Grade School and German at West Mifflin Elementary and Junior High schools. To bridge the 4,283 virtual miles from Munich to Baden and reconnect with the Sisters, Gene “googled” Mount Gallitzin Academy and the Sisters of St. Joseph four years ago. He landed on the Sisters’ website and clicked on the Facebook icon. That click rekindled a long dormant relationship with the Sisters of St. Joseph. “Your Facebook Page is a great way to keep in touch and to keep up to date,” says Gene who has become one of our more prolific and profound commenters on Facebook. His messages are kind, thoughtful, spiritually affirming and supportive of the Sisters’ mission and ministries. Calling the Sisters “modern day saints,” Gene often expresses his gratitude to the Sisters and asks God’s Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


blessings on them and their work in regular posts. In other comments, Gene writes that he is inspired by the Sisters’ commitment to justice and mercy and their relevant prayers. In another post, Gene says he is inspired by their “resolve, courage and commitment to the dear neighbor.” Gene’s first stop on our Facebook page eventually led to an e-mail conversation with Sister Karen Stoila, who arranged a visit with him this past spring. On a sunny Palm Sunday in Baden, Gene, the retired teacher, met face-to-face after more than five decades with two of his retired teachers, Sister Mary Dominic and Sister Mary Louise to share Mass, a meal and more memories. We would love to hear from former students who were boarders at Mount Gallitzin Academy. Visit our website at and click the “send a note” icon. page 27

1020 State Street • Baden, PA 15005

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Pittsburgh, PA. Permit No. 4675

notes from our neighbors Dear Sisters, Thank you to the Sisters who prayed for me when I was deployed overseas. I retired from the United States Air Force/Air National Guard in 2015. Because of God’s intervention in my life, I retired at age 58, and, because of Him, I was able to visit 13 countries while in the Air Force. If not for Him answering my prayers, this could not have been possible. My aunt, Antonia Rozman, was a sister in your order. She worked (as a pharmacist) at St. Joseph Hospital on the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. My grandfather, my father and his brothers lived for a while in the farmhouse on the property of the Sisters of St. Joseph. They used to farm the fields, and I remember that they raised pigs on the property. My grandparents were from Slovenia/Yugoslovia and when the Germans invaded during WWII, they fled to Austria and managed to come to the United States. They were sponsored by a family from Bulger, PA. I attended St. John the Baptist Catholic Grade School in Baden and was taught by Sisters of St. Joseph including Sister Rose Rayburg. Again, thank you so much for all of your prayers, Sisters. Joseph, on left at top, and his aunt, Sister Antonia

page 28

Joseph Rozman Bloomingdale, Ohio

Sisters of St. Joseph / fall


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