Both my brother, Thomas, and I were born in Jersey City. My mother’s name was Veronica and my father, Joseph. My maternal and paternal grandparents were born in Europe and migrated to the United States by way of Ellis Island. My parents were first generation American citizens. At a very early age my brother and I would overhear war stories and the terrible atrocities against the Jews in Poland. We were always sending care packages, mostly clothes, to our relatives in Poland. Unknowingly, we were being educated to the equality of people and care for those in need.
I was raised in the heights and attended Jonathan W. Wakeman School (PS #6) and Saint Dominic Academy. I had a wonderful experience and education at both schools. During high school, I also attended Julliard School / Music Division.
My family was very active and involved in Saint John’s Church. It was at Saint John’s that my love for teaching began to grow. As a high school student I assisted with Sunday School and then, as a senior, I taught a class.
Having experienced the Dominican Sisters at Saint John’s and SDA I knew that I wanted to be like them and follow in their footsteps by teaching children.
To prepare for my teaching ministry, I attended Caldwell University (BA in French and Art), Notre Dame University (MA in French) and Villanova University ( MA in Theology).
And teach, I did! What a privilege it is to be a part of a child’s formative years. I taught at Our Lady of the Lake (Verona), Saint Mary (Rahway) Saint Ann (Newark) Saint Mary (Rutherford) Paul VI High School (Clifton) and Principal at Saint John (Jersey City). I also served for 5 years on the Leadership Team for the Sisters of Saint Dominic.
While principal at Saint John’s the sisters with whom I lived moved to Our Lady of Sorrows Convent. It was during this time, 1979 to be exact, that Father O’Brien encouraged me to join the staff of OLS as a pastoral minister.
And, here I am! A long time? Maybe if you count the number of years but not each day because each day is new and different and the people are the greatest. We are a family. Another ‘newness’ is working with a great community at Our Lady of Mercy. Although, it really isn’t ‘new’ because we have been working and sharing in ministry with the community of OLM ever since Father Farley was pastor. What’s new is seeing how we, as staff can better minister together using our gifts and resources.