Contact Information

153 Washington Place
Passaic, NJ 07055
(973) 470-0844

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Profile of a Friend

Each month on their website, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ, offer a profile of one of their members.  This month, the profile is of our former volunteer and dear friend, Sister Mary Culhane, SC.  Click here to get to know Sister Mary better.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The recent hurricanes and earthquakes have had devastating effects on countries where our women still have family and friends.  We especially ask for prayers for those affected by yesterday's earthquake in Puebla, Mexico.  You may have heard that more than 200 people were killed.  What you may not know is that about 80% of the Mexican population in Passaic comes from Puebla.  We are adding our prayers for everyone affected, especially the families of our women.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sharing the Summer with You, Part III

On Thursday, August 10, Sisters of Christian Charity Maria de la Cruz, Maria Ester and Maria Ingrid visited the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women and the North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) clinic.  These Sisters came to the United States from Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia to participate in a project in honor of the 200th birthday of the founder of the Sisters of Christian Charity, Pauline von Mallinckrodt (1817-1881).  Because August 10 was also the birthday of Sister Maria de la Cruz, our women and children joined in singing and refreshments in her honor.  The Sisters were also able to sample some of the local cuisine on Market St.  We are grateful to Sister Marlene, one of the SCC Provincial Councilors from Mendham, NJ, for escorting the Sisters to Passaic.  Enjoy the photos!

The Sisters were greeted by Andrea, one of this summer's faithful volunteers.

"Happy Birthday" was sung in English . . . 

. . . and Spanish

Our women and children greet our visitors.

The Sisters visit an English class.

The Sisters visit Sister Mary Amata at the NHCAC clinic.

Preparing for lunch: Sister Gerardine and Sister Maria de la Cruz, . . . 

. . .  and Sister Marlene, Sister Maria Ester and Sister Maria Ingrid 

The Sisters sample the local cuisine.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sharing the Summer with You, Part II

As our faithful blog readers know, we have entered into our fourth season of gardening.  We continue to be grateful for our DigIn! Grant from the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, administered by City Green.

On Friday, August 4, our women attended a workshop on vegetable gardening presented by José German, President of Northeast Earth Coalition.  We are grateful to José, whose constant support of our garden has been so very helpful to us.

Here are a few photos of the workshop and the garden:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sharing the Summer With You, Part I

What have we been doing all summer?  We're glad you asked!

On Thursday, July 20, Sister Elaine (our Associate Director) and our crocheters delivered their latest community outreach project to the residents of Hamilton Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation Center -- a facility that is right up the block from the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  Our women crocheted beautiful short capes to wear around the shoulders of those residents in wheelchairs. The staff and residents were grateful for these gifts, as you can tell from the photos. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Passing It On

What do you do when your daughter needs help with Math, but does not qualify for summer school because she has not failed Math?  If you are a mother at the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women, you ask for help here and your daughter gets individual tutoring from a seasoned Math/Physics teacher!

Sister Gerardine Tantsits, SCC, former volunteer and current Administrative Assistant at the Center, always responds enthusiastically to such requests, as she has spent most of her life teaching Math and Science (especially Physics).  Here is Sister Gerardine helping this soon-to-be-sixth-grader (as she does twice a week) with fractions and decimals:

What makes this more exciting for us is that this youngster is also getting help from another volunteer, Andrea.  Here is Andrea showing the younger girl how to access additional Math assistance online.  Why is this exciting for us?  Because Sister Gerardine previously tutored Andrea -- now a student at a local community college --  in English and Math!

We are so happy to be able to fulfill our mission by providing this space for women to express their needs and connecting them with resources to fulfill their needs.  We are happier when one of our women who has been helped here can "pass it on" by using what she has learned to help others.  

Because of our supporters, donors and staff, we can continue to respond to the needs of the families of Passaic.  Thank you!

Friday, June 16, 2017

At the Craft Fair

We enjoyed meeting everyone at St. Philip's carnival in Clifton last evening.  If you are in the area, please come over to the gym to see the beautiful crocheted and quilted items handmade by the women of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  The carnival starts at 6:00 on Friday and 6:30 on Saturday.  Enjoy the photos!

Beautiful quilts ready to greet the guests of the St. Philip's carnival craft fair.

Just a few of the crocheted items available

Beth Crocker (from St. Philip's) welcomes Nancy DiRocco (our faithful volunteer
 and St. Philip's parishioner) and Sister Ann  Marie to the carnival's craft fair.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Women's Crafts on Sale at St. Philip's Carnival

We are grateful to St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Clifton, NJ for allowing us to sell our women's quilting and crocheting at the carnival this week.  If you are in the area, please stop by on Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday (June 15, 16, 17) between 6:30 and 10 pm.  We'll be at the craft fair in the gymnasium.  Click here for more information about the carnival.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thanks, again, to The Beacon!

Once again, we are grateful to everyone at The Beacon, the award-winning newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, for its coverage of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  This article by Cecile Pagliarulo in the April 20 edition is a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to the Partners in Faith donors.  Without your generosity, our ministry could not exist.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Easter

We hope that your Easter season has been a blessed one thus far.  In the spirit of the season, we are sharing with you an article by Sister Ann Marie from Global Sisters Report, "Turning Toward Jesus with Mary of Magdala."  Click here to access the article.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Garden's Fourth Season Begins!

We are happy to announce that we have received a grant to begin our fourth season of gardening.  We are so grateful to everyone at City Green and to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders for continuing the DigIn! program which provides our grants.  We are proud to continue as a member of the DigIn! Community Garden Network.  Here are some photos from last evening's grant presentation ceremony:
Jennifer Papa, City Green Executive Director,
and Jasmine Moreano, City Green Director of Community Engagement,
welcome the grant recipients and guests.

County Freeholder Assad Akhter addresses grant recipients.
County Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara adresses the grant recipients.
Sister Ann Marie, Director of Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women,
receives the grant check.

 Even the animals joined in the celebration!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Women's Conference in the Beacon

Once again we are grateful to The Beacon, the award-winning newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, for its coverage of last Saturday's Women's Conference at St. Paul Inside the Walls. Click here to access Michael Wojcik's  article on the Conference in this week's Beacon.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Women's Conference

We are grateful to everyone at St. Paul Inside the Walls for their efforts in bringing us a wonderful Diocesan Women's Conference, attended by about 250 women.  As you know, we were also able to offer our women's handcrafted items for sale at the conference.  Here are some photos to mark the occasion.

Sister Elaine Maguire, FSP, Associate Director of the Center
and Sister Eleanor Goekler, longtime supporter and Monday
English teacher, await the crowds who will buy our women's quilted
and crocheted items.

The crowd of over 250 women listens attentively to one of the speakers.
(Photo:  St. Paul Inside the Walls Facebook page)

Sister Ann Marie addresses the conference on the topic of
spiritual motherhood.
(Photo:  St. Paul Inside the Walls Facebook page)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weekend plans

We're looking forward to the fourth annual Women's Conference of the Diocese of Paterson on Saturday at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison, NJ.  Sister Ann Marie will be one of the speakers and Sister Elaine will be managing the sale of our women's crocheted and quilted items.  We are honored and grateful to be a part of such a wonderful day.  Click here for more information.

Then on Sunday at 4 pm, we plan to attend the annual diocesan Vespers in celebration of Consecrated Life at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Clifton.  

It will be a busy weekend.  We hope to be able to share some pictures with you next week!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Listening to the Still, Small Dog

As our faithful readers know, from time to time we share spiritual essays in this space.  Today, we share with you an essay by Sister Ann Marie -- "Sometimes It's Not the Sunrise: Listening to the Still, Small Dog" --  that was published on the website, Global Sisters Report.  Click here to access the essay.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

National Catholic Sisters Week

Because the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women involves collaboration among the religious communities of the Diocese of Paterson, it is appropriate that we share with you that March 8-14 is National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW).  Supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, NCSW is a "series of events that instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of women religious."  Click here to learn more about the week.

As part of NCSW, Sister Ann Marie was invited to join an online conversation with other women religious about the past, present and future of religious life.  The video of that conversation, held on Wednesday, March 8, is below.  (Email subscribers who do not see the video embedded in their email may click here to view it on YouTube.)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Where Have We Been?

Hello, faithful readers of Passaic Neighborhood for Women's blog!  Can you believe it's been almost two months since we last posted?

Here's what's been happening:

  • With the help of friends, we have continued our monthly "Know Your Rights" workshops for immigrants.  We continue to provide timely information to our women about where to find assistance with immigration questions and documents.  We are grateful to everyone who has helped us, including Claudia and Rosa and everyone from Make the Road New Jersey.   Additionally, Sister Ann Marie and several of our women participated in the "Know Your Rights" workshop offered by Mayor Lora at City Hall.  By encouraging our women to obtain information from the best possible sources, we hope to diminish their fears.  
  • We have completed the grant application for the fourth season of our garden.
  • In February, the "Agua Viva" women's group returned and will continue for two evenings each month.
  • Sister Pat Reynolds, SC,  is now teaching her Tuesday quilting class via Skype!  While this would not work in every situation, the relationship that Sr. Pat has formed with the women over the past 3+ years has allowed for a smooth transition into this phase of learning.
  • Speaking of the quilters:  Both they and the crocheters are busily preparing to be able to sell some of their items at the Diocesan Women's Conference to be held April 1 at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison, NJ.  Our women are grateful to have been asked to sell their items there.  If you're not busy on Saturday, April 1 from 9 to 1:30, why not come over to St. Paul Inside the Walls for the conference?  (Our Director, Sister Ann Marie, is one of the three speakers.  Click the link above for registration information.)
  • We have had lots of visits from collaborators:  Araceli and Joanne from the City of Passaic Department of Health have come by to talk about more formal collaboration; Liz, the new Director of Constituent Services of Assemblyman Gary Schaer, came by to see how their office could be of assistance to our women; Casey, the Associate Director of Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Christian Charity, came by to learn more about our ministry.
  • Sister Elaine is coordinating our first professionally-produced promotional video, in collaboration with Caitlin Fitzgerald from the Diocese of Paterson (and made possible by a grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Peace).
There's more to report, so stay tuned . . . In the meantime, we ask for your prayers for our women and their families, as we continue to pray for all of you!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


The Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women is a collaborative ministry that provides a peaceful and safe environment for women to meet, share and grow. The Center is guided by the belief that when women are empowered, the family is strengthened.  Through the support of the Diocese of Paterson and its religious communities, through the donations of generous benefactors, through grants from religious communities and the County of Passaic, through the hard work of our staff and volunteers, through our collaboration with other organizations, and through the dedication of our women, we are very happy to share with you that we have surpassed 6,000 visits since opening our doors in September 2013!  During this time, our faithful volunteers have worked over 3,300 hours -- not only planting gardens and teaching English, quilting, crocheting, computers, art and Rosetta Stone, but touching lives and strengthening families in one of the poorest areas of New Jersey.

Currently, we are happy to distribute a multitude of diapers and baby wipes to our women, thanks to the generosity of donors, old and new.  Additionally, Sister Elaine is coordinating our very first, professionally-produced, promotional video.  

What else is in store for 2017?  Stay tuned to our blog and website to find out.  

In the meantime, we say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Today is January 3.  How are you doing with your resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, pray more, read more, work less, be kinder, be less stressed, spend more time with family, or a whole host of other possibilities?  Are you frustrated by your lack of resolve already -- only three days into the new year?  If so, we at the Passaic Neighborhhod Center for Women would like to offer one word to help you get back on track:  hoy.

Hoy?  Yes, hoy!

Translated from Spanish into English, the word hoy means "today."

So, why is our word not "today," rather than hoy?  Are we suggesting that you should add learning Spanish to your well-intentioned,  but seemingly fading, resolutions?

Allow this photo to answer your question:

Indeed, it is a Christmas banner containing the word "HOY," and it currently hangs in Sister Ann Marie's office at the Center.  The word appears on the wall hanging as a result of a miscommunication.  The woman who sewed the banner wanted to affix the English word "JOY," but with Spanish and English pronunciations being what they are and with the intermingling of Spanish and English so frequently in our lives at the Center, the end result became a beautiful Christmas wall hanging containing the word "HOY"  -- that is, TODAY.  And we don't consider that to be a mistake!  In fact, we embrace it!  It is one of the words that guides our lives!

At the very beginning of the Center's ministry, months before we opened our doors to the women for the first time, a wise mentor advised that we should have as our goal to do one thing each day.  That got us through the hard times when, some days, we could only point to that one thing we did.

As time went on and the Center opened and grew, we realized that we only needed to be able to get through the day.  So, we opened the doors in the morning and closed them in the afternoon, being able to look back and appreciate the day, learning what we could learn and preparing for the next day.

Now, over three years into this ministry, planning and preparation for the future are more formalized, but we retain the ability to focus on TODAY.  Following the advice of Jesus in Matthew 6:34, we try not to worry about tomorrow, as "tomorrow will take care of itself" and "sufficient for a day is its own evil."  To focus only on TODAY, on this moment, makes it easier to celebrate the successes and bear the mistakes.

So, dear friends, as we re-commit ourselves to our resolutions, we must remember to focus only on TODAY, not five months from now, or even five days from now -- only HOY!

May God bless your 2017 abundantly!