Contact Information

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from Passaic!

We are grateful for so much this Christmas!  Some anonymous donors shared a Christmas Jar with us.  Are you familiar with Christmas Jars?  They present an opportunity for folks to share their blessings.  Here's what ours (which contained about $75 in donations) said: "Please accept this Christmas Jar in the spirit that it is given, with an open heart and an opportunity to share our blessings with you.  Everyone needs money, everyone needs love and everyone needs hope.  It is truly amazing all that can fit into one Christmas Jar:  One Jar, One Birth, One Savior."  (Go to for more information about this wonderful project.)  Thank you, donors, for our Christmas Jar.

We had the opportunity to celebrate with some of our women during the week before Christmas (and we'll continue the celebration as we note the arrival of the Three Kings in January.)  We'd like to share a slideshow of "The Week Before Christmas" with you.  Click here to view it.  Please note that all of the decorations and gifts you see in the photos come from generous donations.  We are grateful to the donors.  Additionally, we are grateful to all of you for your support during our first three months.  You are in our prayers.  We are taking a few days off for the holiday and will re-open on Thursday, January 2.  We look forward to sharing 2014 with you. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Coming Soon: Wellness Wednesdays

In response to the stated needs of our women, we will deepen our partnership with the Community Health Education Department of St. Mary's Hospital, Passaic, to offer "Wellness Wednesdays" beginning January 22.  Preventive health care, nutrition and access to health care are three of the many topics that will be covered in this weekly series.  We continue to be grateful to the folks at St. Mary's Hospital, who have assisted in this ministry from its inception.  In order to be effective and efficient, health care in the 21st century must move beyond the walls of buildings into the community being served.  Through this partnership, we hope to assist in growing a healthier Passaic.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanks for another fine article in The Beacon

Yesterday's edition of The Beacon, newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, contained a great article about last week's meeting of Bishop Serratelli with the religious superiors of  the Diocese of Paterson and the subsequent visit to the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  We are very grateful to editor Rich Sokerka, reporter Cecile San Agustin and photographer Joe Gigli -- and everyone  at The Beacon -- for their great work and support of our mission.  Click here to link to a pdf of the article.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November Numbers

We are so grateful to our volunteers, who served 140 hours during the month of November!  Additionally, during November there were 84 visits by women and 32 visits by children.  We continue to thank God for all of our collaborators in this ministry and for the graces of working together in Passaic.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Online Donations Now Accepted

We have added a "Donate" button to the blog to make it easier for our friends to support us financially.  To access the blog and find the online donation button:
1.  Go to
2.  Click on "Donate" under the heading "Support Our Mission."
3.  Follow the directions:  Either use your PayPal account or click on "continue" under "Don't have a PayPal Account?" to use your credit card or bank account.

If you have any problems with this online donation process, please contact Sister Ann Marie at or at (973) 470-0844.

As always, donations are also accepted by "snail mail" or in person.  Our address is:  Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women, 153 Washington Place, Passaic, NJ  07055.

Thank you and may God bless you for your generosity. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

We Give Thanks

We are so thankful for the presence of the women who have helped to make this house a home during the first two months.  Here are two of them with their first quilting projects almost finished. 
And here are others during a spontaneous, surprise "Happy Two Months" celebration last week, completely devised and supplied by one of our regular "Thursday women."

We are thankful, too, for the children who visit and remind us that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Finally, we are thankful to you, our supporters and partners in this ministry.  Quite literally, we cannot do it without you.  God bless you and happy Thanksgiving to you!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Why is this blog post's subject "132"?  Because we are celebrating 132 visits from women during the month of October!  If we add visits by children during the month (34) and visits during our opening days in September (30+), we are overwhelmed by the warm reception this new ministry in Passaic has received.  We are so very grateful to everyone who has contributed in any way and we look forward to the future with great hope. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Computer Learners

Three women began to learn or sharpen computer skills on Thursday with Sister Catherine Drury, SC.  Here are two photos to mark the occasion.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Some new faces

Because the students in public schools had the day off on Thursday, we welcomed some new children to the Center as their mothers attended English classes.  It was good for us to meet the older siblings of the little ones we see every week.  See the photos of several siblings below.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

We are so grateful to our volunteers!

During the month of October, our volunteers served 100 hours!  We are so very grateful to them:  Sr. Ursula Carr, SC; Sr. Mary Culhane, SC; Nancy DiRocco; Sr. Catherine Drury, SC; and Sr. Pat Reynolds, SC.

We are asking our friends to volunteer and to encourage others to volunteer (especially on Tuesday mornings, but other times are available, too).  Working with children, answering the door and phone, or a particular skill that you might want to share with our women . . . many possibilities exist.

Contact Sr. Elaine at (973) 470-0844 or for more information.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday Update

On Tuesday, November 5, we were pleased to receive a visit from Sister Ann Cecilia, one of the Little Sisters of Jesus who lives in Paterson.  Sister Cecilia was able to visit our quilting class and our English class on Tuesday morning.  We are so grateful to Sister Cecilia for taking the time to visit and we are so proud of the progress being made by our women in both quilting and English classes.  Here are some photos from Tuesday:
Sr. Cecilia talks with Sr. Pat about the quilting project.

Busy quilters!

Great progress!

Graciela demonstrates her new quilting skills for Sr. Cecilia.

Sr. Cecilia visits with Sr. Mary and two of her English students.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Progress in Quilting

Here are two photos showing the accomplishments of our women during their second week of quilting class with Sister Pat Reynolds:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Speaking of Hope

Thanks to our ministry partners, the Dominican Sisters of Hope, who included an article about the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women in their Fall 2013 newsletter, Speaking of Hope. Click here to read the article.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thank you, Partners!

The October 24 issue of The Beacon contains an article about how the strong support of the Partners in Faith campaign has allowed the Center to open and thrive in its first month of operation. Please click here to read the article, written by Cecile SanAugustin.   We are most grateful to those who have contributed to Partners in Faith and to all of our partners -- the religious communities of the Paterson Diocese, the various diocesan offices and individuals who have given invaluable support, the pastors of the Passaic Deanery, our Passaic neighbors, the staff of St. Mary's Hospital, Passaic and the staff of so many organizations who have encouraged our efforts.  The German theologian Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) has said, "If the only prayer you ever say is 'Thank you,' that is sufficient."  Please allow our prayer of gratitude -- the best prayer we can offer to and for our benefactors and friends -- to suffice.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Quilting Class

We are grateful to Sister Pat Reynolds, SC for teaching our quilting class, which began yesterday, October 22.  Click here to view some photos from the class.  Because Sister Pat was kind enough to share sewing machines and materials with us, our women were able to have a quilting class.  In the future, we will be asking for contributions toward purchasing our own sewing machines and materials.  We are purchasing the machines because it is important that every woman is working from the same machine and that we know the machines are in excellent condition.  (Kind of like teaching a class using the same textbook for each student...)  Thank you for any contributions you can make toward this goal.

When you view the photos, you might notice that there are lists of words on the wall.  These are the words used by the women in the English classes.  As you can see from the multiple lists, the women have learned an abundance of English in just a few weeks!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thank you, Volunteers!

During the month of September, volunteers at the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women gave 54 hours of service.  (Considering we only opened the doors on September 24, this is wonderful!) We are so grateful to these volunteers -- Sister Ursula Carr, SC, Sister Mary Culhane, SC, Nancy DiRocco, and Sister Catherine Drury.  Do you know anyone who would like to volunteer at the Center?  How about college students who have a community service requirement?  Retired women or men looking to volunteer a few hours each week?  Sisters in your religious community? Associates of your religious community?  Please have them call us at (973) 470-0844.  The expansion of our programs depends on increasing our staff of volunteers.  We are most grateful for any volunteers you refer to us.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beacon Coverage of Opening Day

Thank you to our diocesan newspaper, The Beacon,  for covering our opening on September 24.  Click here to read the entire issue.  Be sure not to miss our article on pages 1 and 2. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Raffle Winners

The winners of the opening day raffle were announced on Monday.  Congratulations to Margarita, Patricia L., Patricia M., Lucia and Claribel.  Here we see Margarita and Patricia M. claiming their winning baskets.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

English Classes Begin

On Tuesday, October 1, Sister Ursula Carr, SC and Sister Mary Culhane, SC helped our women begin their journey toward strengthening their English skills.  Two women attended a morning session and five women attended an afternoon session of English class. 

Sister Mary Culhane, SC teaches the English class how to access ESL materials online.


Sister Ursula Carr, SC and Sister Mary Culhane, SC  teach an afternoon English class.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Congratulations to Our Partners in Ministry, the Sisters of Charity

St. Mary's Hospital, Passaic, NJ
Sr. Elaine and Sister Ann Marie had the opportunity to visit St. Mary's Hospital, Passaic on Monday to celebrate Foundation Day with the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth who minister there.  On September 29, 1859, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth formally opened at St. Mary's in Newark, eventually settling in Convent Station, NJ.  The Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women has benefited so greatly from its collaboration with the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and with the staff of St. Mary's Hospital, one of their sponsored works. Congratulations, Sisters!  Ad multos annos!
(Go to to learn more about the Sisters of Charity.  Click on to learn more about St. Mary's Hospital.)
Sister Marion Scranton, SC, Vice President of Mission at St. Mary's Hospital, speaks with co-workers.  In the background, Sister Elaine Maguire, FSP, speaks with Sister Mary Canavan, SC.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


We opened our doors to welcome the women of Passaic on Tuesday and Thursday this week.  About 30 friends have passed through the doors during these two days (closer to 40 if you count the children).  Several have expressed an interest in learning or strengthening their English skills.  Others have already registered for a quilting class to be offered by Sister Pat Reynolds, SC, starting October 22.  Click here to view photos from Thursday.  Because none of the photos from Tuesday or Thursday are captioned, you might want to know that the staff currently (and thankfully) consists of:

Sister Ursula Carr, SC, Volunteer
Sister Mary Culhane, SC, Volunteer
Nancy DiRocco, Volunteer
Sister Catherine Drury, SC, Volunteer
Sister Elaine Maguire, FSP, Associate Director
Sister Ann Marie Paul, SCC, Director

You will also see a photo of Lydia, the crossing guard at State Street and Washington Place (that is, right outside the door), who has been very instrumental in getting the word out to the women in the neighborhood.  We are grateful for her commitment to the women of Passaic and grateful to God for her charism of hospitality.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Opening Day

Thank you to everyone who played any part in getting us to opening day.  Click here to view a few photos from our first step.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 24 Opening

We will open the doors of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women on Tuesday, September 24 at 9:30 am and will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 am - noon and 1:00 - 3:30.  Being open only two days per week with limited hours at the beginning allows us to evaluate and update as we go.  We hope to be fully opened by the week of October 21.  If you'd like to view the flyers we are using to advertise the opening click here (for English) or here (for Spanish).  Above all, please keep this new ministry in your prayers.  Thank you and God bless you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What a difference YOU have made!

Main Room in June
Main Room in August
Thank you to our donors who have brought us this far.  As we anticipate an opening date toward the end of September (stay tuned to this space for the announcement of the date), we are grateful to you for having made our progress possible.  As you can see from these photos, our main room is looking much more like a living room than it was a little over two months ago.  The addition of area rugs, tables, a love seat, plants and prints have really added to the d├ęcor. 

This photo of the front porch will assist you in understanding our next donation request. We have a newly-renovated, beautiful front porch in need of some furniture.  Since this photo was taken, we added a small, brown table, with two dark brown chairs (and the posts have been painted).  However, the porch is quite large, and could use a few more chairs and tables.  If you would like to donate these items, please contact Sister Ann Marie at (973) 470-0844 or
(E-mail subscribers:  If you do not see the photos in your e-mail message, please click here to go to the blog.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Children's Room

Thank you to our benefactors who have been so very responsive and generous in our previous requests.  We are now looking for items for our children's  room.  It is only about 12' by 15', so keep that in mind as you read the following requests.  We would be most grateful for the following:
  • Safety gates: 6' wide for doorway; 3.5' wide for staircase
  • "Play area" gate (that is, one that surrounds and encloses an area) for younger children
  • Foam tiles (similar to "Edushape" tiles)
  • For pre-school children:  new or gently used toys, books, educational computer games, educational DVD's, board games and puzzles
  • New coloring books and crayons
  • Drawing paper
  • Children's table and chair set
  • Small changing table that is very portable (or another type of portable changing area)
  • Flat screen television
If you are able to donate any of these items, or would like to donate the money for their purchase, please contact Sister Ann Marie at (973) 470-0844 or

Thank you and God bless you!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Computer Room

As we continue the work of preparing to open the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women, we also continue to ask for donations for the ministry.  Today's requests involve the computer room.

 As the photos illustrate, right now this room is empty.  We invite you to vision with us:  Picture this 13' x 12' room with at least three Internet-ready computers (laptops or desktops), at least one printer and the appropriate furniture for everything.  Therefore, we are looking for the following:
  • Three personal computers (laptops or desktops)
  • Monitors for the desktop computers
  • Computer desks/stations for each
  • Computer chairs for each desk/station
  • Printer stand
  • Printer
Would you like do donate any usable (perhaps even "like new") computers, desks, chairs or printer to our ministry?  If so, please contact Sister Ann Marie at (973) 470-0844 or

Thank you -- and do not forget to visit the blog to view our previous requests for material and volunteers!

(E-mail subscribers:  If you do not see photos above, please click here to view this blog post.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Volunteer Needed Now for Garden Project

A high school-aged group of Girl Scouts has offered to plant flowers here as a service project during summer camp in the month of July.  However, we have no garden tools, no flowers to plant and no one to direct the project.  If you know someone who would be able to direct the project -- that is, to determine what flowers to plant and where to plant them -- please contact Sister Ann Marie at (973) 470-0844 or  The time commitment would be limited to planning the project and directing the girls on the day(s) of planting.  However, the girls are in camp only during the month of July, so time is of the essence in starting the project.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Donations Requested

The photo above shows our main gathering room, which is about 25' x 15' with a 10' ceiling, and which we hope to turn into a comfortable space for sharing and learning.  (E-mail subscribers, click here if you do not see a photo above.)  We are seeking the following new or gently used items for this room:
  • Couches (preferably two that match or complement each other)
  • "Living room" chairs (perhaps one or two recliners in addition to arm chairs or other comfortable chairs)
  • Multiple table or floor lamps (including at least two matching table lamps)
  • Matching window treatments for five large windows (about 72" x 32") and a combination of one large window with two smaller windows (about 58" x 84" total, pictured at the end of the room above)
  • Large area rug
  • Bright artwork (perhaps landscapes, seascapes or other nature scenes)
  • House plants.
If you or anyone you know is able to donate these items to the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women or to donate toward their purchase, please contact Sister Ann Marie at (973) 470-0844 or sam

We will make you aware of other needs in future posts, but here is a preview of what will be included in those requests, should you wish to be aware of them now:
  • Desktop computers with monitors or laptop computers (4)
  • Computer desks (and chairs for computer desks)
  • Computer supplies
  • Printer(s)
  • Computer supplies
  • Storage shelves (about 72" high (or shorter) x 36" wide with shelves at least 18" deep).
We are deeply grateful for your assistance as we continue to prepare to serve the women of Passaic.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Volunteers Needed

As we continue to prepare for our opening, we are seeking volunteers to serve on the staff as receptionists/greeters.  These volunteers should have excellent interpersonal and telephone skills and a passion for working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.  Fluency in both Spanish and English would be a "plus."  Daytime hours (Monday through Friday) are flexible.  If you know anyone who might be interested in this volunteer opportunity, please have them contact Sr. Ann Marie via e-mail at or by phone at the Center, (973) 470-0844. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Coming Soon!

Coming soon to Passaic, NJ:  Neighborhood Center for Women at the site of the former St. Nicholas Rectory, 153 Washington Place.  Scheduled to open during summer 2013, the Neighborhood Center for Women is a collaborative effort among the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, the religious communities of the diocese and neighbors in the greater Passaic area.  The Center exists to provide a space to empower women.  In this peaceful and safe environment, women can express their needs, discover community resources to fulfill their needs and strengthen themselves and their families through educational growth. 

"Stay tuned" to this site to follow our progress.