Dear Neighbor Winter 2022

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

winter 2022

Serving God and the dear neighbor without distinction Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


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✛ leadership team letter

Inside this Issue

Dear Neighbor, We feel this love every day in you! Through your generosity to the Sisters of St. Joseph, you, too, are “helping others, serving others.” You help us sustain our mission to serve God and every dear neighbor without distinction in many ways: deepening spirituality, tending to Earth, advocating for justice and peace, and offering prayerful and financial support.

Thanking you for your charity and love

In the following pages, as an expression of our profound gratitude, we are shining a bright light on the hundreds of individuals who have donated to our mission and ministries. You have made it possible for us to lovingly reach out to all of God’s people and all of Creation. In this issue, we also want to introduce you to a few of our partners in mission who have modeled our values in very visible ways: • Art teacher Rosemary Aquilina, who is active in our young adult programs, has found a way to blend art and faith through St. Joseph Spirituality Center. Read how she has connected with our Sisters on Page 4. • Associate Suzanne Polen’s tireless advocacy for children and immigrants was influenced by her family experiences as an adopted child of second-generation immigrants. Learn how she crossed paths with our Sisters on Page 9. • Volunteer Chris Haver has discovered that working on our sacred grounds is a way to honor his late mother, Associate Kathy Haver, and continue to nurture relationships with our Sisters. Read how the wonder of Creation has impacted his life on Page 12.

About the cover Vaccinated young adults gather safely with Sisters in the Motherhouse for our annual Nunsgiving. Meet one of our young adults, Rosemary Aquilina, on Page 4.

The members of the Leadership Team are front row, from left, Sister Lyn Szymkiewicz and Sister Sharon Costello; back row, from left, Sister Jean Uzupis and Sister Mary Parks.

Love and charity are serving . . . helping others, serving others . . . . When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love.

The individual service demonstrated by Rosemary, Suzanne and Chris contribute to our oneness with God, with each other, and with our neighbors. We are grateful to them and others, such as you, who have collectively supported major projects, such as a sound system in our Chapel, automatic doors in our Motherhouse, a pavilion on our grounds, and outreach to our neighbors in need during the pandemic. Hear from our Sisters how your generous response to our appeals is making a difference in their lives on Pages 24 to 31. Indeed, your love and charity are expressions of service! We are blessed that you care so deeply for us and for our neighbors. With loving gratitude,

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter



Offering new programs


Sending greetings, prayers


Advocating for a lifetime


Volunteering with love


Living sustainably


Welcoming an Associate


Paying it forward


Development letter


In loving memory


Annual report of gratitude


Dear Neighbor magazine 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Print Media Barbara Hecht – Editor Phone: 724-869-6566 Email: Dear Neighbor Contributors Barbara Hecht Director of Communications Alison Lucci Marketing Communications Specialist Erin Ninehouser Communications Specialist Jeanne Minnicks Director of Development Sister Gerrie Grandpre Staff Photographer Sister Norma Bandi Sister Mary Susan Connell Sister Linda Rettstatt Kathleen Washy Karyn Zaffuto Proofreaders Barb Sterchele, Omega Design Group Design/Layout Permission must be granted for reprinting articles that appear in the magazine.

- Pope Francis page 2

Mixing art and faith

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


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✛ spirituality


rosemary mixes art, faith at retreat for young adults The foil crinkles as Rosemary Aquilina gently slides the block of ruddy clay out of its silver-and-white package and onto the dining room table at Trinity House, the renovated farmhouse on the Motherhouse grounds. Converted to a shared workspace for the weekend retreat, the table is covered with covered with brown paper and ready for the young women gathered around it to begin the evening’s activity. “When it starts to crack, just get some water from the bowl,” Rosemary advises, guiding the retreatants to begin molding the clay with their hands. As each begins to roll, smooth, and press their individual pieces, Kathy Wray, the Director of St. Joseph Spirituality Center who has invited Rosemary to co-facilitate this retreat, opens her Bible to Genesis, Chapter 2.

Young adult art retreatants gather around the table at Trinity House.

that made it possible. “I’d never been past Sewickley before I got my job at Baden Academy,” the 26-yearold art teacher art teacher says, recalling her first visit to the campus in the fall of 2019. “Oh, there’s

Reading the Sisters’ website and learning about their values and heart for serving every dear neighbor without distinction resonated with Rosemary, inspiring her to reach out and make a connection. “As soon as they had anything for young adults. I was there,” she recalls, adding that “everyone was super friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know me.”

“When I think about clay, I cannot help but think about Genesis 2,” Kathy explains, “because it talks about the relationship between God and us.” She encourages the women to take in the words of Scripture personally as they work with the clay, to feel God breathing the breath of life into them and to consider what it means for God to soften and form them. “What are you shaping me to be now?” she prompts each to ask God as their hands begin to create a piece of art that represents this particular moment in each one’s life. Rosemary works with clay during the young adult art retreat. page 4

Rosemary’s bright smile widens as she remembers that weekend and the ever-deepening connection with the Sisters of St. Joseph Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


nuns here!” she remembers of the happy surprise of discovering that her new workplace, which once housed Mount Gallitzin Academy, was connected to the Motherhouse.

Kathy Wray and Rosemary Aquilina offer retreatants art as a form of prayer. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


In the months that followed, Rosemary began attending “Nuns and Nones” gatherings at Trinity House: small, informal meetups where Sisters could spend time with young people in the area who share page 5

person is and want to understand them. “It didn’t feel like, if I wasn’t 100% Catholic all the time, that I couldn’t be a part of the club,” she says, grateful for their welcoming spirit. The Motherhouse grounds have become a place of respite, community, and opportunity for Rosemary. She brings her friends and fiancé to events with the Sisters, attends young adult retreats and online prayer groups through St. Joseph Spirituality Center, and, at the invitation of Kathy, is helping to introduce art as a form of prayer during retreats for children and young adults.

their desire for a more just, equitable, and loving world, but who may feel alienated from traditional church structures or religion entirely. The local outreach, led by Sister Sarah Crotty, Campus Outreach Coordinator, and Kathy, is modeled after a national movement that works to connect Catholic Sisters with spiritually diverse or nonspiritual millennials to form relationships rooted in the values and concerns they share, like social and environmental justice. “We want to engage with people who are searching, who may not have a comfortable spiritual home” Sister Sarah explains, “and to create a judgmentfree zone, where anyone and everyone is welcome.” According to Rosemary, that’s exactly what she and the Sisters have done. While she’s not a “None” - as in belonging to no particular religion - like many young people, Rosemary has had ups and downs in her faith journey. She appreciates the openness the Sisters have to engaging with people from all backgrounds, not to convert them or to give them “the answers,” but because they truly value who each page 6

This summer, at a children’s retreat led by Sisters Christy Hill and Cynthia Comiskey, Rosemary brought her gifts as an elementary school art teacher to bear as she guided the children to express themselves and their relationship with God through art. After showing the children a collage that she’d made and how it reflects her friendship with God, Rosemary shared with them a fact she’s always found interesting about the connection between art and faith. “The first thing we learn about God in Genesis is that He’s a Creator,” she recalls telling the children. “So really, the first thing we know about God is that He is also an artist. And I think that, in our making of things, that is a way that we can learn about God and grow closer to Him.” She smiles, remembering a collage one young girl shared with her at the end of their time together. “Thank you for the blessing of swimming,” the girl wrote in her collage, which depicted her jumping into the water and included a blue ribbon for a race she’d won. “She’s on the swim team and when she thought about God, she thought about the blessing of swimming. She sees swimming as a way to glorify God,” Rosemary shares, touched by the experience of getting to see what’s important to the kids. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


“The art education side of me and the faith side - I had never really brought them together,” she says, grateful to the Sisters for the opportunity to use her gifts to make the world a better place. “I feel like the Sisters are equipping another generation; they’re finding people who share that same mission.” Rosemary hopes to continue working with the Spirituality Center to bring the experience of art as prayer to more people of all ages, and to carry the Sisters’ vision of “reaching out and helping people, regardless of what they believe” into a culture that she fears “has forgotten that we do belong to each other.”

Upcoming events at Spirituality Center St. Joseph Spirituality Center advances the Sisters’ mission of bringing all people into deeper union with God, one another, and all creation through programs and retreat experiences that blend ecology, art, spirituality, and justice. Upcoming offerings include: Eight-Week Ignatian “Retreat in Everyday Life” Wednesdays, March 2 - April 20 In person: 1:30-3:00 pm at Trinity House or virtual: 6:30-8:00 pm. Study the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in an abbreviated format. Claiming Light and Darkness: Evenings of Poetry for Each Change of Season with Sister Sally Witt. Mondays, March 21, and Monday, June 20 In person: 6:30 pm at Trinity House Earth Day Celebration Sunday, April 24, on the Motherhouse grounds Enjoy music, crafts, storytelling and more at this free, family-friendly event. Watch our Facebook page for more details! Individual Spiritual Direction Share your ongoing prayer and spiritual journey with a confidential companion. Certified spiritual directors can meet in person, on our grounds, or virtually for conversation, prayer, and companionship.

A young girl shares her collage with Rosemary at the children’s retreat. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Financial aid is available for all programs. To learn more, register, or explore custom experiences for individuals or parishes, please visit: or contact St. Joseph Spirituality Center Director Kathy Fletcher Wray at 724-869-6585. page 7

✛ justice & peace

C A cards offer prayers, support for Sisters

associate has devoted life to children, immigrants

Ask Maureen Henry-Labella why she sends Sisters of St. Joseph greeting cards to family and friends, and she replies simply: “I love the Sisters of St. Joseph!”

Suzanne Polen vividly recalls that a newspaper was always open on the dining room table of her home in West Virginia. The stark black and white images she saw while recovering from surgery at age 9 in 1945 still haunt her today.

Since 2003, Maureen has used the cards not only to express her sentiments, but also to support

A ll-Occasion Greeting Cards Sisters of St. Joseph raised


1,583 Memorial Gifts

406 Tribute Gifts

Thank you

to our 609 donors! page 8 - June 30, 2021 July 1, 2020

“My sister told me about the cards. She uses them too,” she says. “I started using them (memorial cards) mostly when someone died, but then I found out about the ones (tribute cards) for those who are living. I began using the ‘get well’ or ‘thinking of you’ cards when a friend was sick or having a hard time. “

“I could see the pictures splashed on the pages, pictures of the end of the war: children crying, people coming out of the concentration camps, all of the destruction,” she says. “Though I didn’t realize it then as a child, I think in my psyche I thought I was the survivor and that I was there for people who are hurting.”

Our greeting cards are complimentary and include a remittance envelope, which Maureen uses to make donations to support the Sisters and their ministries. The cards are available in 19 different designs from the beautiful watercolor paintings and monoprints of the late Sister Jean Ortenzo. Cards are available for many occasions such as anniversary, get well, birthday, sympathy and thinking of you.

Suzanne was born in Roselia Home in Pittsburgh, was adopted as an infant and grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia. A number of members of both her birth and adopted families were first generation U.S. citizens.

Taught by our Sisters at St. Raphael in Pittsburgh, Maureen reconnected years later with Sister Norma Zanieski and the Scott sisters (Sisters Eileen, Rosaleen and Jeanne) at SS. Simon and Jude in Pittsburgh. She stays in regular contact with Sister Norma and values their friendship. “Sister Norma and I talk a lot and we pray. It means so much,” she says.

Now 85, Suzanne describes her early life as challenging, but her family experiences helped to shape who she is and what she cares about most – children and immigrants.

Those who use the cards take comfort in knowing that names of individuals who receive the cards are added to the Memorial Honor Roll or Tribute Honor Roll. Our Sisters remember them in daily prayers and special Masses held twice a year. For more information on the Sisters of St. Joseph All-Occasion Card program, contact Lisa Conti at 724.869.6591 or Cards may also be ordered through our website at under the Support Us tab. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


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Suzanne, foreground on right, participates in a “die-in” protest in Downtown Pittsburgh in 1985. At 85, she says, “I

Suzanne’s adopted parents who had grown up in a small town in West Virginia were unfamiliar with higher education. They wanted her to have important life skills like managing money, and to never be attracted to “elite” groups. Since a new co-ed Jesuit college was to open a year after Suzanne’s graduation from high school, she attended business school for a year with men and women who had served in the Korean War and became aware of racism and antiCatholicism. While awaiting the opening of a new co-ed Jesuit college, Suzanne graduated from high school and, for a year, attended a business school with men and women who had served in the Korean War and became aware of racism and antiCatholicism. It comes as no surprise that, because of her advocacy for justice and peace, immigrants and children, Suzanne would eventually page 10

have tried to move on to a less confrontative life.” Source: Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania History magazine, Summer 2001.

and placed approximately 50 families in the Pittsburgh area. Our Sisters opened their local convent on the Northside to one Haitian family, and Suzanne befriended a Haitian mother raising her son on a third-floor apartment on the Strip District of Pittsburgh. “The little boy, Joseph, wasn’t getting out of the house. I had time on my hands and started taking him to the playground every Saturday,” Suzanne says.

cross paths with our Sisters and become an Associate. “I think that in the Sisters, Suzanne found a group of women who share the same concerns as she does,” says Sister Karen Stoila. “She is one of the greatest cheerleaders for the Congregation and has supported so many of our ministries.” Suzanne recalls that her first encounter with the Congregation was in the 1970s when she met Sister Janice Vanderneck at

a program on Latin America sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center. Suzanne’s association with activist priests led her to Sister Marguerite Kropinak, who introduced her to St. Joseph Spirituality Center and the Sisters of St. Joseph Associates. In the 1990s, Suzanne met Sister Paula Drass at a prayer gathering in the East End of Pittsburgh. Following political turmoil in Haiti in 1997 and the resulting migration of Haitians to the United States, Catholic Charities welcomed Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


That weekly ritual evolved into a long-term relationship as “a second family” for the little boy and eventually his two sisters. Suzanne became godmother to the children and shepherded their education at St. Benedict the Moor and Crossroads, both ministry sites of our Sisters. She remains connected with them today. Suzanne remembers meeting Sister Sandy Kiefer at a rally in downtown Pittsburgh for a black businessman whose killing at a traffic stop by city police drew national attention. It was Sister Sandy who suggested that the Haitian children attend St. Benedict the Moor. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sister Margery Kundar, principal of St. Benedict the Moor at the time, and Sister Donna Cronauer, former teacher, remember well the care that Suzanne showed toward the children. “She was devoted to each one of them. She was not only attentive to their academic growth, but to their faith development as well,” they recall. Suzanne believes her upbringing as an adopted child of first-generation immigrant Americans makes her especially conscious of the plight of immigrants, particularly children, “who get their entire lives juggled and don’t always belong where they end up.”

purchased a book about Thomas Merton, a monk, poet, and prolific writer of spirituality and social justice themes. “The book was exactly what I needed. Like Thomas Merton, I had no idea where I was going. But eventually I found my way. I met the Jesuits, activist priests, the Sisters and Associates,” she recalls. “Though I don’t ever feel content. It’s hard for me to let go of the feeling that there is more for me to do . . . to let go and let God.”

“My concern for children is not just for the ones from a happy family, but more so from the families facing challenges or trials,” she says, drawing a parallel to the Sisters. “People connect with the Sisters because they find spiritual nourishment in demanding situations.” A turning point in Suzanne’s life occurred in 1959 when she walked into a book store and page 11

✛ environment


chris honors his mother by working on our grounds

The Haver Family in 1985: In front, from left, are Mary Jo, Kathy and Joe; in back, from left, are Chris, Denise and Michael.

Volunteering on the grounds in Baden has changed Chris Haver on many layers – personally, environmentally and spiritually. “The surroundings in Baden have really spoken to me, and I feel more at peace being there. The daily stress just kind of melts away when I’m there working,” describes Chris who decided to become a volunteer on the grounds nearly five years ago. The decision to volunteer on the grounds was an intentional one. Chris was searching for a way to give back, to honor his mother, Associate Kathy Haver, and to work through the overwhelming grief of losing her. “My connection to the Sisters is entirely through her. She passed away in April of 2017 and losing her, personally and for my family, has been terribly difficult,” he says. “One of the things that was probably most important to her were the Sisters and the Associates. So, trying to work through that period and that grief, I decided I wanted to do what I could to live like her.”

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Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Chris helps to replace boards for community garden beds on our grounds.

While growing up, the Haver children spent time in Baden, attending the Harvest Festival, having picnics and swimming in the Academy pool. With a soft laugh, Chris recalls that Sundays were often Baden Days and “as kids we knew that when Mom dressed up, she must be going to Baden.” Married and the father of three adult sons, Chris has volunteered in seasonal rotating tasks on the grounds such as spring planting and garden bed preparation, pulling weeds, and replacing or refreshing mulch. He also has helped plant trees and trimmed trees and shrubs. Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


“It’s really funny, I hate weeding at home – I really do – but when I’m in Baden, it doesn’t bother me,” he says. “When I have to do it at home, I am more irritated by it . . . . probably because I’m able to view this work in Baden as my way to give back and appreciate the Earth that was given to us, and I don’t always have that same sense when I’m at home.” During the pandemic, Chris continued to volunteer in a limited capacity. His most recent visit on our grounds occurred this past September 2021 when

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✛ sustainability

he had a chance to say good-bye to Luke Badaczewski, former Director of Grounds & Ecology who coordinated the grounds volunteers. Chris says Luke influenced and nurtured his appreciation for Creation. “We started every volunteer work day with a prayer. He always made sure that prayer is thanking God for being together, for the beauty of the Earth, and our opportunity to take care of this gift that God has given us.” The rippling effects of the work days also have changed Chris’ perspective in other ways. “I’ve gotten very comfortable with what I have, and I am less materialistic about things,” he says. “Maybe it’s part maturity and part influenced by this experience, but I’m happy about taking care of the yard and the plants that I have, so it’s really helped me just appreciate what I have.” Along the way, the Sisters at St. Bernadette School in Monroeville influenced Chris, a former student, who has fond memories of former principals, Sister Judith Kenaan and Sister Carol Arch, and the late Sister Ursula Grimes, who ministered at the parish.

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On his visits to Baden from the North Hills of Pittsburgh, Chris tries to connect with Sister Frances Rooney, who was a prayer partner with his mother.

“There was such an immediate bond between Kathy and me and that extended to her family,” Sister Frances says. “Her husband Joe was lovely and always made me feel included as part of their family. The relationship has been woven together, through Kathy’s love, always reaching out to others in love.”

Sister Frances is confident that Chris will continue “to reflect that love to others because the world is in such need of the richness that comes through (the Havers’) love of people.” In reflection, Chris hopes that his mother would be “happy, proud and honored” that the Sisters and Baden have become a part of his life and that he is continuing those relationships.

“While growing up, we really knew that the Sisters were important to my mother. When starting this work in 2017, I didn’t think about it being long term, but now I take it very seriously,” he says. “I don’t miss a day because I know my mother wouldn’t.”

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


together, let us care for our ‘common home’ In 2016, Pope Francis published Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, in which he asked all of us to work together to care for our brothers and sisters and to care for the Earth, the home we share. This responsibility, he wrote, is “essential to a life of value.” In conjunction with the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si,’ Pope Francis issued a worldwide, collaborative “call to action” for Catholic organizations and “all men and women of good” to make a public seven-year commitment to sustainability. In response, our Congregation has written the following statement in our ongoing efforts to live and work sustainably and to encourage you to join us. As Sisters of St. Joseph, we move always toward deepening our call to “be attuned to how all of creation lives and moves and has its being in God.” We believe in a “sacramental universe” of wondrous diversity, a gift of God that requires our care and respect. We believe that God entrusts these resources to us so that we may nurture and sustain them for our dear neighbors now and into the future. Compelled by the Gospel and our Congregation’s love for unity and reconciliation, we respond to “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” with a renewed commitment to address the whole of creation, including concern for nature and justice for the poor. As Sisters of St. Joseph, we align ourselves with the spirit of Laudato Si’ and pledge to collaborate with our partners-in-mission on a seven-year journey of education, advocacy and action for the sake of Earth and all who live on it.

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


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What we are doing Embracing sustainable practices in the ways we live, work, and care for our 80-acres in Baden has helped us to operate the property using 38.8% less energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39.3%, and devote fewer financial resources to energy costs, saving nearly 68% since January 2009. We look to the “5 R’s” of environmentally friendly living - reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, and refuse - for opportunities to conserve, protect, and share the gifts of creation. Some examples include:

REDUCING energy waste and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by retrofitting the Motherhouse with LED light bulbs and replacing the conventional boiler with a more efficient geothermal heating/cooling system;

REUSING rainwater to nourish plants, collecting it in two 50-gallon barrels at our community gardens and incorporating rock gardens and water retention planting areas into the landscape to slow and filter stormwater runoff;

RECYCLING waste and items such as: batteries, pallets, cardboard, cooking oil, glass, paper, metal, cans and plastic, as well as composting grass clippings, chicken droppings, and organic materials from the kitchen;

REPURPOSING old beehives into spacers to feed bees and treat pests in workable hives, as well as furniture from apartments and living areas within the Motherhouse; and

REFUSING to buy single-use, heavily-packaged products or to shop at big box stores, choosing instead to support local small businesses when possible.

What you can do We encourage you to join us in meeting the environmental challenges of this moment through prayer, advocacy, and action. For ideas or to connect with our Sustainability Committee, please visit:

welcome our new associate! Lucianne Nelson had often mulled the idea of going on retreat. When she finally attended a women’s retreat at St. Joseph Spirituality Center several years ago, Lucianne was grateful to leave everything behind, decompress, and savor the solitude.

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Lucianne credits Carla as well as Associate Judith Lewis for supporting and inspiring her to become an Associate.

“I saw how important God was to them,” she recalls, referring to the retreatants. “They shared the positives and negatives in their lives and accepted everyone just as they are.” One of those retreatants was Associate Carla Gregory. “Lucianne’s calm, kind, gentle and supportive demeanor was a palpable presence in the group, as well as in the individual discussions that occurred,” Carla remembers. “Several participants and presenters spoke about being Associates, and Lucianne began asking questions about the Associates and the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She was eager to learn more without realizing that she was already living the charism in her everyday life.”

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make her promises until she was able to be here today in this beautiful, peaceful, holy place surrounded and supported by her family, the Sisters and her fellow Associates.”

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Lucianne, left, and Carla

From that pivotal retreat, Lucianne began a long journey (extended by the pandemic) toward becoming an Associate. With her sponsor, Carla, by her side, Lucianne was installed as a member of the CSJ Association on September 26. In remarks that day, Carla said, “Through her continued faith in God, untiring perseverance and openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Lucianne patiently waited to

Lucianne has been married for 40 years to Mark, who was a volunteer years ago at the Sisters’ Harvest Festival. She has a son Ross, daughter-in-law Brooke, grandson Logan, and daughter Julie. A graduate of Carlow University, Lucianne worked for 35 years as a speech and language therapist in public schools through the Beaver County Intermediate Unit. She is a a parishioner at Mary, Queen of Saints in Beaver County. “My hope, as an Associate, is to share my belief in God,” Lucianne said. “It is vital to show our neighbors and friends that they are all accepted just the way they are. God will direct my spiritual growth to share in any way that I can in this community.”

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✛ memories

hand in its case. This was GOOD was my immediate interpretation! Everything felt right. (I even noted a lamp made from an old unredeemable clarinet) on the counter. The atmosphere spoke love of music!


cherished oboe inspires former student to give back By Rita (Modic) Dargan • Class of 1964 • Mount Gallitzin High School Some things are cherished - just for the memory - no matter if they are useful or not. A special hanky. A stone found on a vacation. A collection of photographs in an album pasted in chronological order. It is those memories that warm the heart and cause an inner appreciation of life lived. On a recent rainy day, my purpose was to clean up the overflowing filing cabinet in my study. It’s tucked into the closet sharing space with shelves full of past interests and hobby paraphernalia. There was my oboe in the original case and my old music books. Patrick bought it for me for our 11th anniversary.

Oboe on her lap, Rita (closest to stage) plays in the orchestra pit during 1963 school production.

I know I remarked how I missed playing my oboe. I took lessons from Sr. Ruth (Venard) Sattler in the 1960s as a student at Mount Gallitzin. So, after the special anniversary gift (Patrick always remembered things I said), I took lessons in the late 70s and early 80s. But life took hold and the fine art of music appreciation got whisked away with many more pressing responsibilities: a relocation overseas with Pat’s engineering work, our daughters growing up, my career rebooted, etc. I sighed and moved the instrument in its case to a different shelf, cherishing all those memories. Two days later, I read an article in the

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Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sr. Ruth, left with Rita in 2014

local paper in which a gentleman from the Naples Symphony wrote requesting donations of instruments for the Alva School Band Program (Alva is a more rural, less economically viable community). He listed the school’s address and a contact, Ms. May. A day later, I wrote a letter describing my instrument and saying it had been in the case for more than 30 years and not played or maintained. It was such a timely turn of events. Ms. May called me as soon as she got my note, and a day later, I walked into Cadence Music Store, as instructed by Ms. May, to see if their meager school funds could be used to reinstate the oboe into working condition. The oboe would be evaluated. Oh, walking into that music store warmed my soul. I didn’t even know it existed. It smelled like “old music;” it looked like a music room from my youth. Instantly, I felt at home with my oboe in my Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


The young red-haired gentleman who handled it said that it looked awesome, but he would need to turn it over to the technician. Just a day later, a Saturday, I got a call from Todd praising the instrument and telling me it’s in excellent condition and valued at $1,000-plus and my heart went zing. I am so thrilled to donate it to the school band. Of course, it needed some work but not pricey and easily doable with the meager funds of the school budget. This “abandoned” oboe was just reborn and I felt immense joy. I love the journey - from Patrick’s loving

gift to me – that was meant to bring happiness and hopefully now continue a spark of appreciation of the oboe’s unique sound and contributory value to music. I end with this note: I think we are often so busy we miss the guiding hand of Our Lord. But how timely this all was. A little connection of insignificant events, a tempo set by the rediscovery of my old oboe, the article in the paper. It is so uncanny that while at Mount Gallitzin I was “asked” to switch from clarinet in the school orchestra to oboe because someone donated it to my Mount Gallitzin. The melody of my alma mater, the values taught, the nuns that encouraged us to new thresholds and sprinkled us with ambition and good values will always be a part of my being and most appreciated with fondness.

Sister Mary Frances Grasinger, former Mount Gallitzin High School teacher, from left, reconnects with 1964 graduates Mary Ann Pashuta and Rita Dargan at an all-school reunion in 2007. page 19

✛ development letter



dear partners in mission, Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than receive,” and by living his life in fidelity to these words, He made charity a foundation of our Christian faith. To be charitable means to be a giver, and while we often think of giving in monetary terms, charity in the biblical sense has a much deeper meaning.

Jeanne Minnicks, MBA, CFRE

Charity is an expression of love. God loves us unconditionally, in return, we show our love for God through unselfish acts of kindness and generosity towards others, especially to those in need. Furthermore, in the Letter of James, we are told that everything that is comes from God, who is the Creator and Giver of all things. When we give to any of God’s people, we return to God a portion of that which has been given to us. Our Sisters are shining examples of what it means to be charitable. In the light of the Gospel and the needs of the world, they share whatever they can, particularly with the poor. They also work to promote the dignity of people and to eliminate the causes of injustice and misery. You too reveal your love and compassion for our dear neighbor through acts of charity. When you volunteer to tend our grounds and gardens, advocate for social justice alongside us, help write thank you notes to our donors, or contribute to our St. Joseph the Worker appeal, you give unselfishly of yourself for the good of others.


memory Similar to James 1:17, the Quran reminds the faithful that everything belongs to God. If we’re blessed with abundance, we’re obligated to share what we’ve been given and to care for the most vulnerable among us. Charitable giving is also an essential component of Judaism. The Talmud, a sacred text of the Jewish religion, contains a story about an old man who decided to plant a fig tree. When asked by neighbors why he would work so hard when he’d probably be dead by the time the tree bore fruit, the old man answered, “As my ancestors planted before me, so do I plant for my children.” This story illustrates the idea of tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase which, loosely translated, means “repair the world,” and refers to our responsibility for our own moral, spiritual, and material welfare, as well as for society’s. The news of the world can make us feel disheartened, but today is just a snapshot in time. There are graces at work for the greater good that have survived for millennia and will continue to do so for ages to come. Regardless of religious beliefs or traditions, charity is a universally shared value, and because this is so, people like you and our Sisters will continue to welcome each day with faith and hope, and improve the world for others.

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Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sister Mary Eileen Cook, 91 Sister Mary Immaculate November 19, 2021 Sister Joyce Smith, 79 Sister Constance November 7, 2021 Sister Catherine Elizabeth Williams, 93 November 4, 2021 Sister Ruth Colaianne, 96 Sister Vincent September 24, 2021 Sister Caritas Marshall, 79 September 22, 2021 Sister Silveria Mannion, 93 September 12, 2021

People of other faiths share our charitable values as well. Sadaqa , an Arabic word for charity, is mentioned throughout the Quran, the sacred writings of Islam. Charitable giving is considered one of Islam’s most important responsibilities because it impacts the welfare of the individual and all of society.

Sister Barbara Ann Johnston, 81 Sister Mary Gorman January 24, 2022

Jeanne Minnicks, MBA, CFRE Director of Development

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


To read more about our Sisters or to make a memorial contribution, please visit our website at page 21

✛ annual report to donors

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

sources of contributions

uses of contributions



2020-2021 ■ Unrestricted Gifts......................................$454,402

8% 8%



■ Grants........................................................$280,090

■ General Operating.....................................$703,509 ■ Retirement & Care of the Sisters................$319,729


■ Appeals and Newsletters............................$230,897

34% 10%

■ Restricted Gifts for Ministry..................... $126,939

■ Ministry Support....................................... $231,803 ■ Capital Needs..............................................$66,575


■ Memorials, Tributes and Bequests............. $109,203

■ Community Outreach...................................$9,000

■ Events........................................................ $104,054 ■ Lottery Calendar......................................... $25,031


Total: $1,330,616


Total: $1,330,616


Ten ways you can support the Sisters Pray for and with us

Make a monthly recurring gift

page 22

Support our events

Advocate for justice and peace

Remember the Sisters in your will

Attend a spirituality program

Make a charitable IRA rollover

Share our social media posts

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Volunteer on our grounds

Shop our online store

For more information, visit our website at

page 23

✛ annual report to donors

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Circle of

COMPASSION ($10,000 and above)

Circle of

JOY ($5,000 to $9,999)

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Anonymous (1) Joann Bracci The DLM Foundation Dennis and Barbara Habowski Indiana University Lake Institute on Faith & Giving Albert and Diane Kaneb Michael and Lee King Ladies of Bethany Philip and Patricia Muck Charitable Foundation

Peter and Sue Osenar James and Lori Rausch Peter and Marylin Rander Cheryl Redmond The Religious Support Fund Sisters of St. Joseph Auxiliary United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Villa St. Joseph Corporation, Inc. Wagner Foundation

Anonymous (2) Mary Jo Dressel Estate of Marilyn A. Hite Sandra Jenkins Dennis Kelleher Carole Ortenzo

Sacred Heart Parish #217 William and Marie Schrum Charles and Ellen Sheedy Mary Staudenmaier Matthew Zack and Claire Conaway

Thank you! 635 donors $43,583 in gifts

Sound system in the Chapel “The sound – praying and singing - is much clearer! I don’t have to use a Telex (device) with my hearing aids anymore.” – Sister Betty Hart

page 24

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Circle of

ZEAL ($1,000 to $4,999) Robert and Dr. Susan Alman Dr. Frank A. Anania Anonymous (2) John and Judith Arch Enrico Arzenti Lawrence and Marianne Badaczewski Robert and Arleen Barth Dr. Julia Blum Diny, Stef and Fred Brink Gregory Brown and Dr. Kim Pierce Amy Bubash Thomas Burgunder Cape Cod ATM, Inc. J. Anthony and Kathleen Capon Marianne Caufield Catherine Charnock James Colaianne, Jr. Paul and Ilene Colby Concordia Lutheran Ministries Susan Corbin Marie T. Coschigano Charitable Fund Cura Hospitality Marta David Debo Moving & Storage Thomas and Ruth Demko Donna DiGiovanni John and Gina Dioguardi Vincent Donatelli Family Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Mary Durra Dr. John and Gertrude Echement Joseph and Mary Ellen Ferragonio Thomas and Heather Finke Mary Frankenberry Kathleen Galleher Rev. Keith and Rev. Janet Grill Drew and Doris Grivna Robert and Christine Grochowski Thomas and Carolyn Guiser Dr. William and Dr. Victoria Guy Kathleen Hammond Joseph Haver Heritage Valley Health System Regina Hokanson Holy Family Parish Estate of Eleanor E. Howard Alfred E. Jones and Frances Bridgeman Jones Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation Dorothy Kala Richard and Susan Kelly Edward and Therese Kelly James and Margaret Kervin William and Carolyn Keslar Knights of Columbus Queen of Peace Council #5367 Brian and Suzanne Koble Edwin and Kathleen Koontz

Joan Lavery Paul and Patricia Lebanik Craig and Ellen Liberatore Timothy and Judith Mahoney Robert Mazur Gerald and Audrey McGinnis David Merison John M. Miller James and Mary Nania Vernon C. Neal and Alvina B. Neal Fund Edward and Nancy Norberg Joseph and Amy Novogratz Marge Pakulski Vincent and Beth Palilla Thomas and Christel Parrish LuAnn Pengidore Robert and Christine Pietrandrea The Mary Jane and Joseph P. Platt, Jr. Family Foundation Leo and Evelyn Pohl Michael and Shirley Prendergast Michael R. Quinn Family Charitable Fund Kimberly Radler Paul and Cynthia Rank William Rank Kenneth Reese Living Trust S. Edward and Katherine Renner page 25

✛ annual report to donors

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Reno Brothers Inc. Mark and Meg Rentler Rohrich Toyota Laura Romeo George and Barbara Rovnyak Timothy and Carol Rubritz Diane Sabeh Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Saints John and Paul Parish Gordon and JoAnne Scherer William and Mildred Schmitzer Mary Ellen Schuessler Clare Sechoka

Circle of

PEACE ($250 to $999)

page 26

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

John and Jane Shelley Mary Simmons St. Vincent DePaul Society Jeremy and Catherine Stahl Dennis and Regina Stover Jason and Maureen Tapolci Dennis and Eileen Thimons Thomas and Donna Timcho Dr. Gregory and Dr. Leslie Trecha Dr. Christopher and Barbara Troianos K. Craig and Elaine Trout UIS - Universal Information Systems, Inc.

Mary Ulloa Steven and Betty Uzupis Rosemarie Varsanik Daniel and Jane Ann Verner Dr. R. Curtis Waligura David and Marianne Walsh Mark and Lyudmila Warchol Harry and Alice Whitehead Rick and Patricia Williams John J. Young Youngstown Hard Chrome Plating & Grinding

Blaine and Susan Allan AmazonSmile Foundation Mary Ellen Anania Thomas Anderson Anonymous (14) Rozan Antonetti Nancy Asay Carol Atkins Wayne and Clara Austin Sean and Julie Auth Stephen and Marie Babich Barbara Bacha Barbara Balcerek Robert and Rita Bates William and Carole Battisti George and Bonnie Baxter Martha Bearer Carolyn Becker John and Genevieve Becker

Marie Belcastro Pat and Mary Belculfine Colleen Bennett Richard and Regina Bennett Joseph and Barbara Beri Stanley and Linda Biel Thomas and Barbara Bigley Linda Birochik David Bischof Christine Bissert BKG Industries, Inc. Mildred Bodenschatz Beth Bowers Lorena Sue Boyce Susan Brassart Bernard Bronczyk Bernard and Carol Brouwerens William and Justine Brown Carol Brown Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Joseph Bruce James and Lorraine Bruni Frances Bungo Catherine Busch Carolyn Bussen Eric Buzza and Andrea Korcan-Buzza Nicholas Cafardi Lois Campbell Patsy Capone David Carlson, Roberta Scuilli and Katherine Carlson Hugh Carr Alan and Suzanne Carson Dr. Richard and Leslie Cassoff William and Kathleen Cavanaugh Angela Cellini Michael and Antoinette Chovanec Margaret Cipcic

Joyce Cipriani Charlene Clarke Kathleen Cleaver Gregory Cloyd and Eileen Kennedy Kennedy & Cloyd Family Charitable Fund Monica Coffin John Coles Robert Colleran Colleran & Company, CPA P.C. Dr. Richard and Ethel Collins Barbara Connors Marie Covington Frank and Adelfa Coyle Patricia Crandell Richard and Eloisa Cratty Thomas Crawford Patricia Criste

Thank you!

Dolores Croyle Helen Culhane Noreen Culhane William Cushwa Mary Jane D’Annibale The Elio and Violet M. D’Appolonia Charitable Trust David and Noreen D’Argenio Madeline Davidson Marianne Davidson Jerry and Bernice Davis Linda DeBor Elaine Decker Mark and Christina Degonish Marlene DeLeon Jo-Anne Dellaidotti Elizabeth Anne Dernbach Jean DeSchriver

$105,315 in gifts

847 donors

Automatic doors in the Motherhouse “The doors are marvelous, especially for someone like me in a chair. You just push a button, and they open.” – Sister Ann Francis Hanley

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


page 27

✛ annual report to donors

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Mark and Melissa Good Lauretta Gordon Arthur and Anne Green Patricia Grimes Michael and Debra Gubanic Judith Guttilla Patricia Hammond, CSJA Margaret Hannan Patricia Hargest Lawrence and Patricia Harkins Dr. Jeffery and Jenny Hawk Stephen and Barbara Hecht Stephen Hegner Charitable Fund Michael and Sheila Henry Joseph and Patricia Henry Janet Hicks Hillhouse Associates, LLC Victoria Hobson-Kielman Daniel and Lori Hodge Mark and Mitzi Hofmann Ivan and Ruth Hofmann Garry and Kathleen Hogan Robert and Shirley Hollman Allen and Shirley Horton Suzanne Hudson Sandra Hueston Mary Ann Isaac James and Joann Jabour Raymond and Marie Jacko Jeffrey and Susan Jackson Kate Jackson Lee Ann Jendrejeski Dr. Romaine Jesky-Smith Fay Jew Deborah Jimenez

Thank you! 1,018 donors $133,840 in gifts

“Be the Light of Christ” to our neighbors “These donations allowed us to continue to reach out to our dear neighbors during the pandemic.” – Sister Sarah Crotty

Mary Diaddigo Christine Didio Francis Dietz Mary DiGregory Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Mission Office Dennis and Kim DiPerna Carmela DiStefano Maria DiTomasso Mary Ann DiVecchio Ann Dixon Ronald and Lil DiZinno Paula Doebler Regina Donley Debra Donley Rev. Garrett Dorsey page 28

Michael and Sherry Durica Bohdan Durkacz Anita Dwyer John and Sylvia Egyud Mary Lou Einloth William and Kathleen Englert Kathleen English Steve Eshbaugh Evergreen Insurance, LLC Michele Fagan Richard Ferro Joel Finger and Kathleen Kundar Karen Fisher Francis Fisher Ellen Fitzgerald William and Rosalia Flaherty

Virginia Flaherty Mary Ann Flaherty-Bennett Gregory and Tracy Fleischut Ronald and Ellen Fleming Katherine France Molly Fulling Andrew and Tammy Gall Alfred Gallo Blaine Mary Anne Galonski Daniel and Jane Gardner John and Michele Garvey Msgr. James Gaston Harry and Peggy Gaughan Brad and Marian Gaumer Carl and Joanne Gibson Clare Gillis Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


Steven Johnson Theresa Jordan John and Maureen Joyce James and Frances Kalmer Diane Kaminski Paulette Kelly James Kenaan Thomas Kennedy Patrick and Barbara Kenney Patricia Kerns John and Mary Kilkeary Charles King Dr. Wayne and Rebecca Kinning Patricia Kirk William and Susan Knoll Anna Marie Kocak-Kassab Janet Korenich Peter Kram William and Pamela Kredel Linda Kuchenbrod Albert LaBella and Maureen Henry-LaBella Patrick Laird Monica Lane Lois Lang Phillip LaRusse, Jr. Gary Laskowski Paul Lebanik, Sr. Judy Lewis Joseph and Anne Liberati David and Kathleen Limauro Giving Account William and Julia Lintz Richard Lira and Gretchen Taylor Mark and Ruth Llewellyn

Gregory and Camille Llewellyn Myrsine Loykas Guy and Arleen Lucci Dr. Margaret Lyday Jean Macaluso Robert and Virginia Mack Lanny Mackins Catherine Madden JoAnn Maher Patrick Maher, Jr. MaryAnne Majestic Joseph and Marlene Malaskovitz Robert and Patricia Maloney Charles and Mary Pat Manogue Loretta Martella Marie Martineck Bernard and Meredith Martino B.J. Maurer Motor Co. Inc. Ted Maznicki Patrick McCann Daniel and Sheila McCarthy Richard and Lauren McCarthy Christine McClure Ellen McCracken Margaret McCune William and Regina McDermott David and Kerry McElroy Joseph and Diane McNally McNamara Family Fund Janice Melonic Joseph and Patricia Messina Christine Meyer Nancy Miklos Janet Milan William and Mary Ann Millar page 29

✛ annual report to donors

✛ annual report to donors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Patty and John Miller Charitable Fund Michael Miniotas Jeanne Minnicks Richard and Dolores Moffatt Dr. John and Betty Moraca Barbara Moretti Evelyn Morgan Brother Charles E. Mrozinski, FSC Lawrence and Marianne Murray Dr. Stacie Murrer Virginia Muth Dr. Albert and Barbara Nalli Nebiolo Family Charitable Fund James and Maureen Nelson David Nguyen Virginia Oberleitner Dr. Martin and Barbara O’Brien David O’Leary Valerie Oltmanns Andrew and Marianne O’Neill Fred and Kathleen O’Roark Anthony and Cynthia Ortenzo Kelly Overstreet Richard and Ann Packer Linda Panchura E. Thomas and Joyce Pappert David Parrendo Amy Pasquarelli Janice Paul Dan Zitelli and Trina Peduzzi Zitelli Mark and Mary Anne Peluso Peter and Tricia Pesut Jill Peterson Karen Petruny page 30

Vincent Petti and Linda L. Torres John and Ching Plocinik Lawrence and Teresa Plutko Stephen Pohl Andrea Porath John and Carole Ragan John and Twila Rank Michele Rapp Christina Reft Marilyn Reitmeyer Lawrence and Fran Rich Judith Richeal Victoria Rinchetti Dennis Roddy and Joyce Gannon Linda Rohol Stephanie Rooney Julia Rubino Paul Rubritz Michael and Lisa Ruggiero June Sarkis Sarver Landscape Maintenance Co. Jonathan Scanlon Rev. Dr. Irene Scaramazza Dr. Richard Scarnati David Scharf Alan Schlossberg and Loretta L. Hurley Edmund Schuster Jerome and Mayanne Schwartz John and Susan Sciarretti Mary Ann Scott Rev. Carl Scovel James and Geraldine Seidl Thomas and Pamela Seighman Patricia Shaffer Robert Shalamon, Jr.

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Martin and Margaret Simon Jeff Singer and Maureen Whitley Thomas and Rosemary Sippel Sisters of St. Joseph Associates Sisters of St. Joseph Auxiliary St. Mary’s Kittanning Lawrence and Lois Skogerson Arlene Smith Sr. Sally Smolen, RSM Barbara Sodini Samuel and Judith Spanos Evelyn Specht Donald Spinella St. Ignatius Church St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Victor Stelma James Sterling Angela Stevens Stephen and Susan Steward William and Karen Stotler Jill Stubber Marilyn Sullivan Anthony and Kathleen Sullivan John and Kathleen Suosio Patricia Swartzlander, CSJA Elizabeth Sweeney Stephen and Joyce Tambolas Holly Tate Robert and Mary Jane Tate Arthur and Christine Taylor The Blackbaud Giving Fund David and Amy Thimons Cynthia Tierno Ralph and Sheila Todaro Lawrence Toohill Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


$65,185 in gifts

Thank you! 664 donors

Outdoor pavilion

Carol Torbic Rodney and Molly Torbic Phillip and Annemarie Torrez Stephen and Debra Turcsanyi Diane Tyra Donna Updike Joan Van Dyke Richard and Lura Vereb Dianne Vernet Albert and Susan Vicinie Robert and Theresa Vidas Kathleen Voigt Rose Marie Volpe Lorraine Walley Philip Washy Kathleen Washy Mary Jane Waymire Joan Weber Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


“When completed, our hope is that Sisters can easily travel to this spot for praying in nature and gathering with family and friends.” – Sister Patti Young

Rosemary Weber Mark Welch Dr. John and Dorothy Weldon Thomas and Carla Welte Lois Wendel Linda Whitford John and Linda Wichmann Clyde and Louise Willebrand Paul and Mary Anne Windisch Thomas and Loretta Witt Deborah Wolf Mary Kay Wood Justine Woytovich Carole Yuhasz Karyn Zaffuto Louis Zegarelli

Circle of

GRACE We are deeply grateful to the 2,593 donors whose yearly contributions up to $249 have blessed us greatly with a cumulative gift of $185,639.60. We regret that we are not able to publish the individual names, but we hold them in our hearts and prayers.

page 31

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

1020 State Street • Baden, PA 15005

Save the Date! Auxiliary Spring Luncheon: May 21 Celebrate 60 Years of Peace and Love with the Sisters at the Spring Luncheon on Saturday, May 21, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Mars, PA.

For more luncheon information or to purchase raffle tickets, please contact Christina Thornburg at

Pick 4 Raffle Ticket Sale

724.869.6574 or

Each ticket has two numbers with prizes ($100 to $500) awarded daily for the month of June 2022. Winner is based on 7 p.m. Pick 4 PA Lottery Number. One ticket for $10; five tickets for $40.

page 32

Sisters of St. Joseph / winter


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