Daughters of Wisdom in the News
St. Mary's Outreach Volunteers Experience Foothills of Berkshires at Wisdom House
An inspirational idea led Daughters of Wisdom, Sr. Camille Solis and Sr. Evelyn Eckhardt along with 14 parishioners who serve as Outreach Volunteers at St. Mary’s Church in East Islip, NY to venture beyond Long Island to Wisdom House in Litchfield, Connecticut for a weekend gathering.
Sr. Camille, Director of Parish Social Ministry at St Mary’s, reported that weeks before the trip, the excitement of those going began to build. Their accommodations would be in the requested farmhouse- a beautiful and rustic home roomy enough for the entire group. Each had a private room, and in no time made themselves comfortable. Sr. Camille expressed, “For lack of a better word, the gathering quickly took on the feel of a retreat; and that it was because we were in the midst of Wisdom’s creation.” And all conditions were perfect as the participants had the fortune of weather that was mild and slightly breezy.
On Sunday, the participants attended an outdoor Mass at the Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, run by the Montfort Missionaries who with the Daughters of Wisdom, the Brothers of Saint Gabriel, lay associates, and co-workers form the Montfortian Family. The Shrine is a replica of the Grotto Lourdes in France. Built of local fieldstone by two Montfort Brothers with the help of Montfort seminarians and people from the area, the Shrine was dedicated in 1958. For the comfort of the guests on this day, Fr. Don La Salle, SMM greeted them and handed out blankets to wear over their shoulders. Sr. Camille commented, “I felt so proud to introduce our group to our Montfortian Family.
About Wisdom House, Sr. Camille commented, “Let me tell you about the food–It was classy and delicious. Healthy never tasted so good! Chef Margaret even baked pastries for purchase that we could to bring home. Our weekend included six meals with snacks and beverages available all day. Wisdom surely set the table for us.”
Back on the grounds of Wisdom House, “a truly sacred time was had as we witnessed the morning mist lift and the day progress, while we walked the classical 7-circuit labyrinth in silence, honoring the journey of each of our lives,” said Sr. Camille.
“Both Deborah Kelly, Wisdom House’s executive director, and Carol Gould, Wisdom House’s Conference Coordinator couldn’t have been more gracious. They met our every need. Over that short time, we all became friends,” Sr. Camille.
Sr. Camille claims, “The Hills are alive with the Blessings of Wisdom. The very best of our weekend was the times we prayed together, shared our own stories, and deepened our intimacy with Wisdom. We rounded out our weekend with a trip for homemade ice cream at Peaches and Cream of Litchfield, another destination place in the area. I asked each person on the trip, what it was like for them. Their answers included a sacred experience, peace, and quiet. And, even FUN.”
Patricia Stewart Appointed Administrative Manager
at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent
We are happy to announce the appointment of Patricia Stewart to the position of Administrative Manager at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent in Sound Beach, NY.
Patricia is from Rocky Point, NY. She and her husband Jeff have two sons, Nicholas, 13 and Jake, 11 and are members of Saint Anthony of Padua R.C. Church where she was a former pre-school teacher.
A graduate of CW Post University, Patricia brings a wealth of experience to her position with expertise in human resources management and recruitment. She has held positions with Maitland-Australian Physiotherapy Seminars as an applications coordinator for continuing education and the Rocky Point, NY School District where she worked in central registration. A former human resources coordinator for The Long Island Head Injury Association, she was also a service coordinator and recruiter for ABLE Healthcare.
Sisters Celebrate Jubilee Years
Sisters, families and friends gathered at Montfort Spiritual Center on July 7, 2018 to recognize 530 years of ministry for Daughters of Wisdom celebrating 75, 70 and 60 years of profession.
Pictured (L-R) Sr. Pat Curreri, Sr. Veronica Byrne, Sr. Mary Jo O'Connor, Father Tom Poth, SMM, Superior of the Vice-Province of the United States, Montfort Missionaries, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, Daughters of Wisdom, Provincial Leader, Father Luiz Augusto Stefani, SMM, Superior General of the Montfort Missionaries, Sr. Jeannine Boutin, and Sr. Mary Jane Cashin.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SISTERS CELEBRATING JUBILEE YEARS
Read more about our Sisters by following the links below.
February 2018- Pictured above (L-R) Sr. Florence Veronica Byrne, DW(Sr. Veronica of the Cross),
Sr. Patricia Curreri, DW (Sr. Fidelis Mary of the Immaculate) and
Sr. Joan Zielinski, DW (Sr. Edward Marie of the Immaculate) all reach milestone Jubilees this month. Sr. Veronica celebrates 70 years, and Sr. Pat and Sr. Joan celebrate 60 years of profession.
August 2018- Pictured above (L-R) Sr. Jeannine Boutin, DW (Sr. Hilaire du Sacre Coeur), Sr. Mary Jo O’Connor, DW (Sr. Maria Christi of Wisdom), Sr. Edna English, DW (Sr. Anne Gregory of the Cross) and Sr. Mary Jane Cashin, DW (Sr. Mary Delores of the Rosary) will all celebrate Jubilee years in August. Sr. Janine will celebrate 75 years, and Sisters Mary Jo, Edna, and Mary Jane will celebrate 60 years of profession.
Another Class of Communicants Graduates Under Sr. Christine Scherer's Guidance
Sunday, May 20, 2018 was a day of celebration for Sr. Christine Scherer, DW as she guided another group of students enrolled in religious education classes at St. Raphael Catholic Parish in Queens, New York to receive their first holy communion. Sr. Chris has led CCD and RCIA programs as the Director of Religious Education at St. Raphael since 2009. Pictured with Sr. Chris (Right, back) are teachers and this year's communicants. Congratulations to all!
St. Agatha’s Montfort Heights Rededicated
May 17, 2018 was a great day in Aroostook County, St. Agatha, Maine. The small community along with the Daughters of Wisdom celebrated years of love, dedication and cooperation that has brought service and quality of life to the people of Montfort Heights.
The joy was found at the Rededication Ceremony of Montfort Heights following the sale of the facility in March to the Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Constructed in 1940 as a boarding school and convent for the Daughters Wisdom, Montfort Heights in St. Agatha, Maine operated until 1966. It was left vacant until 1979 when Queen of Peace Hall was purchased by James Chamberland and Francis Morin. Over the course of three years they refurbished it into a 21-unit affordable housing community for seniors and gave it the name of Montfort Heights. Since 1982, James and Rita Chamberland and Francis and Claudia Morin have worked hard to maintain a first-class facility as a welcoming, safe and affordable home for numerous tenants, while remaining open to new ways to improve the life of the residents.
When the Convent was sold in 2005, a committee was formed to see how it could be used. The idea of a library evolved and Long Lake Public Library opened its doors on July 22, 2007 through the support of grants, fundraisers and an active board. Since then Sisters Joan and Jackie Ayotte have been in ministry there and currently serve on the board of directors. Sr. Jackie is the president. Both look see the library as a continuing legacy for the Daughters of Wisdom in this community where the Sisters have had an uninterrupted presence since 1904 and are still moving forward in mission. The library serves St. Agatha and the surrounding communities and provides services to locate information, guide reading, organize and interpret material for people of all ages, gender, and background. It also collaborates with the local historical society by providing access to its genealogical and historical collections.
Photos above (Top left): (L-R) at the Rededication Ceremony of Montfort Heights are seated: Maude Marin and Sr. Aurelie Michaud, DW; and standing Francis Morin, Sr. Joan Ayotte, DW, Sr. Jackie Ayotte, DW and Claudia Morin.; (Right): Steve Protulis, President & CEO of EHDOC gives Sr. Jackie $1,000.00 donation for the library.; (Bottom left): After the ribbon cutting for the Rededication of Montfort Heights, a time-capsule was placed in the ground.
Daughters and Associates Awarded Zonta Club’s Women of the Year Award
- Daughters and Associates of Wisdom were recognized for their commitment to a yearly joint effort with the Zonta Club of Long Island, NY on May 17, 2018. The group was awarded one of the Club’s Women of the Year Awards for their collaboration to send Birthing Kits to the midwives in Haiti and Africa. The $2 Kit consisting of 7 ordinary items: a 3’x3’ piece of plastic sheeting, soap, 3 12” strings, 1 razor blade, 3 gauze pads, and 2 pairs of surgical gloves, inside a zip lock bag, provides for a clean birth and healthy delivery of the newborn for women in these countries.
Since 2013 Daughters and Associates of Wisdom, along with community volunteers, have helped to assemble 2,848 Birthing Kits. Over the years, the delivery of the Kits to Haiti and Africa has been coordinated by Associate of Wisdom, Maryse Haig whose sister is a Daughter of Wisdom in Haiti.
Also recognized with Women of the Year Awards for their purposeful and unique contributions to the Long Island community were Amy Zaslansky, founder and president of The Book Fairies, and Dr. Mary Carlson, founder and president of Shoes for All. Service Awards were presented to Ed Dana, Executive Director of the Martin De Porres School, Elmont, NY and Nancy Burke and Deborah Wilson, Program Managers from The Center for Transformative Change (The INN), Hempstead, NY.
Over the past 6 years Sisters and Associates have volunteered to make Birthing Kits with the Zonta Club of Long Island, NY. To date 2,848 Kits have been assembled. Pictured at the awards ceremony are (L-R) Sr. Diane Capozzi, Maryse Haig, AW, Sr. Evelyn Lamoureux, Sr. Evelyn Eckhardt, Ellie Russo Filippone, AW, Pat Wolosz, AW, Sr. Ann Gray, and Sr. Ann Nielsen.
Sr. Cathy Murtha, DW Honored by Spiritual Life Center
- On May 17, 2018, Sr. Cathy Murtha, DW, Sr. Mary Costello, RSM, and Mrs. Mary Blume were honored for their years of service at the Spiritual Life Center of West Hartford, Connecticut. Sr. Cathy served as the Director of the Center from 1992 – 2011. Congratulations to all!
- Photos (L-R) Honorees Sr. Mary Costello, Mary Blume and Sr. Cathy Murtha; Sr. Cathy Murtha, (L). (L-R) Sr. Pat Schmidt, Sr. Mary Stuart, Sr. Rosemarie Greco and in front, Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP.; (L-R) Louise Bouchard Colletti, Bonnie Zaman, AW, Sue O'Brien, AW, Maria Roja, AW, Mary Stuart, DW and Pat Schmidt, DW.
Sr. Marie Franck, DW, Sr. Marie de St. Marc
4/27/1918, 100 Years old!
Radiance of courage, grace, and sense of humor make up the gift of 100 years of life and 81 years of profession for Daughter of Wisdom, Sr. Marie Franck.
Carmel Regina Franck was born in Frenchville, Maine on April 27, 1918, of Frank A. Franck and Edith Michaud in a family of three brothers and six sisters. 81 years professed, Sister entered the congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom on February 2, 1937. Her ministries in education, administration, music, and healthcare occured at St. Mary Gate of Heaven School in Ozone Park, NY; St. Mary’s Academy, Norfolk, Virginia; St. Mary’s Infant Home, Norfolk, Virginia; Maryview Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia; Mt. Carmel School, Waterbury Connecticut, Sterling Home, Waterbury, Connecticut, St. Joseph’s Parish, Shelton Connecticut, Bristol Hospital, Bristol, Connecticut, and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent in Sound Beach, NY where she assisted her elderly Sisters until time of her own retirement.
A 1935 graduate of St. Agatha High School in St. Agatha, Maine, Sr. Marie later earned her permanent teaching certificate from Diocesian Catholic Normal School, Diocese of Brooklyn, NY (1950), and a Bachelor of Music degree from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. (1970). She served on the Commission of Aging in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. Sister is a member of the National Catholic Music Education Association (Washington, DC), and certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. Over the years, she received a Public Service Commendation from the US Census Bureau, was honored by the Hewitt Foundation in 1997 and 1999 for her volunteer work at Garden Heights, Shelton Lake, Connecticut and Sterling Home of Bridgeport, Connecticut; and was recognized for her extraordinary dedication and fine work by the Adult Education Department of Waterbury, Connecticut.
Sister now resides at Maria Regina Convent in Brentwood, NY where she will celebrate her 100th birthday on April 27, 2018. In 2017 at her 80th Jubilee, a former student of St. Mary Gate of Heaven School in Ozone Park, NY, wrote in a letter to Sr. Marie and reminisced as an 11-year-old boy, sharing, “In the winter of 1944 we were expecting a new teacher in 6th grade. What we were not prepared for was a smiling Sr. Marie who laughed with us boys, her eyes behind steel-rimmed glasses betraying her sternness. She had the boys’ respect and admiration but never their fear.”
Happy 100th Birthday, Sr. Marie!
Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW Speaks at Climate Justice Conference
Sister Rosemarie Greco, DW represented Wisdom House at the “Climate Justice Now-For a Livable World!” conference on 2/24/18 in West Hartford, CT. Sister Rosemarie said, "It was clear that climate issues directly affect all cultures, health care, and especially those living in poverty. Money, populations, politics, farming of animals and crops, renewable energy, recycling efforts and more, have a part to play in climate change issues.” Martha Klein, Chapter Chair of Sierra Club of CT and a public health nurse and environmental activist spoke on the need to stop transporting fracked gas through pipelines in CT. Speakers from NAACP, Population programs, Trade Unions for Energy
Democracy, and the CT Puerto Rican Agenda enlightened the more than 100 participants on the interrelation of climate issues and daily life. Learn more by contacting Connecticut.email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ann Gadwah, Political Chair of the CT chapter of the Sierra Club and Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW (pictured above ) pause for a moment before the Climate Justice "Teach-in." The Sierra Club's mission is to "explore, enjoy and protect the planet; to produce and promote responsible use of earth's ecosystems." Sierraclub.org.
Sr. Marie Josée Seide, DW Appointed at
St. Martin of Tours Parish
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sr. Marie Josée Seide, DW to a new position at St. Martin of Tours parish in Amityville, NY. Sr. Marie Josée will be serving as the Director of Outreach for the parish. This past Sunday (1/21/18) Sr. Marie Josée was introduced to the parishioners by the Rev. Gerard Gordon. Blessings on your new journey, Sr. Marie Josée!
Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW Recognized for 27 Years of Ministry
at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center
Celebration of Gratitude for Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW at Wisdom House, December 2017.
Sr. Joan Kobe, DW Named to New CMI Advisory Council
Sr. Joan Kobe, DW was recently named to the Advisory Council of the Collaboration of Ministry Initiative (CMI). Under the leadership of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, the Collaboration for Ministry Initiative began in 2005. CMI supports collaborative efforts among women religious congregations. Active in the Diocese of Charleston, SC since 1994, Sr. Joan currently provides support to the parish of St. Paul the Apostle’s Church in Seneca, SC. She works in the area of immigration assistance, marriage preparation for Spanish speaking couples and Declarations of Nullity. Pictured with Sr. Joan (on the far right) are new Advisory Council members, Sr. Mary Jacqueline Benbenek, CSSF, Sr. Bernadette Marie Cappola, OSC and Sr. Patricia Rogan, OSF.
General Council Visits
September 12, 2017- The Daughters of Wisdom, USA Province welcomed Congregational Leader, Superior General, Sr. Louise Madore, DW, and Councilors Sr. Rani Muthukattil, DW and Sr. Isabelle Retailleau, DW who came from France for a two-week stay for the General Council visit. Pictured (L-R) are USA Provincial Vicar, Sr. Evelyn Lamoureux, DW; USA Provincial Leader, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, DW; Sr. Isabelle Retailleau, DW; Sr. Louise Madore, DW; Sr. Rani Muthukattil, DW; USA Canonical Treasurer, Sr. Evelyn Eckhardt, DW; and USA Provincial Councilor, Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW.
HAPPY 110th BIRTHDAY, ST CHARLES HOSPITAL!
On Monday, February 27, 2017 St. Charles Hospital marked its 110th anniversary with a mass in the Infant Jesus Chapel at St. Charles Hospital and a reception in the Hospital lobby. The event was held to recognize the Hospital's continued mission of compassionate care, which was set forth by the Hospital’s founding order, the Daughters of Wisdom, USA Province in 1907.
Delight in a musical video tour through the Hospital’s early history to the song Hallelujah originally written by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen to lyrics rewritten by St. Charles Hospital's Public Relations Director, Marilyn Fabbricante in commemoration of its 110th Anniversary.
There’s a lot of talent at St. Charles Hospital and it’s not just about medicine….You cannot see them in the video, (photo below) but the choir is comprised of hospital staff and directed by St. Charles Hospital's Grace Sparacino. The video was compiled and edited by Jennifer Semel, MD, Medical Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Pictured below (L-R): Sr. Evelyn Eckhardt, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, James O'Connor, Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer, St. Charles Hospital, and Sr. Barbara O'Dea, the Mass at Infant Jesus Chape,l and the St. Charles Hospital Choir. (Photos: St. Charles Hospital)
Hope is Born in Women's March in Washington, DC
(1/21/17) Millions of women checked into marches all around the country and the world on Saturday, creating a sea of human diversity in places where they gathered. Without any negative incidents reported, women of all ages, ethnicities and religions assembled peacefully to stand up and let their voices be heard for shared concerns: human rights, the environment and immigration. There they committed to being a part of a movement for the common good that will not end with this march.
Our Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW along with Sr. Anne Marie Gardiner, SSND participated in the Washington DC walk and reported back that the mood was ebullient, respectful and inspiring. With the air filled with hand crafted signs expressing a multitude of concerns, the peaceful demonstration united women throughout the world, and as Sister Marie expressed, “were a lesson in civics for our day…. The presence of so many young people gave me hope for our country. And all was done in a peaceful manner. Color, sexual identities and ethnicity did not matter. It was a witness to our unity. Anger did not prevail. Hope did.”
Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW finds an invitation in Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, that challenges her to ask questions about our government’s rush to expand the wall between the United States and Mexico. "Before I Built a Wall"