Contact Information

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Center in the Beacon

Once again, we are grateful to Rich Sokerka (Editor), Cecile San Agustin (Reporter) and everyone at The Beacon -- the award-winning newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, NJ -- for their excellent coverage of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  Highlighting the importance of the diocese's "Partners in Faith" campaign to the Center, the article in this week's Beacon is one of many that has helped us to publicize just how much this ministry is needed in this neighborhood.  Click here to read this week's edition (see especially page 3).

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Need for Yarn

As our faithful blog readers and benefactors know, our women have been learning how to crochet since September 2015.  The photo above attests to the progress they have made in crocheting during the past seven months -- from washcloths to scarves to afghans!  Now, they are asking for your help.  We are in need of funds to buy new yarn for the crocheters' ongoing projects.  Certainly, we will continue to use the leftover or unused skeins that you have already given us from your closets at home. These can be used when the women learn a new skill or want to make something small.  However, we are working toward teaching them how to sell their crocheted items online.  In order to do this, they must have items to sell.  In order to have items to sell, we must buy the yarn they need to do an entire project.

So, what exactly are we asking?  Would you be willing to donate money, Visa gift cards or gift cards for Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore or Michaels to be used to buy the yarn our women need for their larger projects?  An easy way to donate money is to use the "Donate" button on the blog -- accessible by clicking here.  To donate cards, please call Sr. Ann Marie, Director of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women, at (973) 470-0844 or email her at to arrange for drop off or pick up.

This would be a nice project for your parish group, women's or men's group, mission club, school or other organization. By donating to this cause, you are clearly assisting in the mission of the Center, helping to preserve the dignity of our women and strengthening their families.

Thank you for considering this request!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Volunteer Week: What About You?

In his homily at the Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia last September, Pope Francis recounted the story of Katharine Drexel's meeting with Pope Leo XIII in 1887.  You might recall the story:  When Katharine Drexel described the needs of African Americans and Native Americans to the Holy Father, suggesting that missionaries be sent to the West and Southwest United States, his answer was, "What about you? What are you going to do?  Why not become a missionary yourself?"  Katharine Drexel went on to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who exist to this day to serve Black and Native Americans.

During the past week, this blog has been recounting stories of the volunteers at the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  As we continue to grow and our mission takes hold, we are in greater need of volunteer help.  If you have the time to offer even one or two hours each week to teach English, babysit children, teach crocheting or basic sewing, or to offer another service, consider this your invitation to contact us.

"What about you?"

The growth of this ministry depends on so many more taking this question to heart and contacting us to help.  If you (or someone you know) would like to help, please contact the Center at (973) 470-0844 or email Sister Ann Marie at

To our current volunteers, we say, "Thank you."

To our future, as yet unknown volunteers, we ask, "What about you?"

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Volunteer Week Continues

Our Wednesdays are filled with English, English and more English!  Throughout the day, our women can be found working on Rosetta Stone.  From 10 to noon, Marie Mead teaches her ever-growing English class . . . 

. . .  And from 1 to 2 pm, Ann Marie Peterson teaches hers . . . 

. . . As you can see, many different methods are used -- texts, newspapers, computers, and old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.  

Our volunteers are making such a difference.  We are grateful!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Food of Volunteer Week

What would a week of celebration be without food?  We do not know, as we have food in abundance this week to celebrate our volunteers!  Because our women are great cooks, the celebrations at the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women are always graced with good food.  We had tamales, taquitos, pan dulce (or pan de Mexico),  arroz con frijoles rojos, and many more delicacies.  See the photos below for more information -- and THANK YOU, volunteers!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

National Volunteer Week: Tuesday

As we continue to travel through National Volunteer Week 2016, we are delighted to show you photos of our "Tuesday crew."  We are ever so grateful to them for their hard work and dedication to the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women.  Truly, we cannot do this work of God without our volunteers!
In addition to her duties as our coordinator
of the Rosetta Stone program, Sister Gerardine, SCC,
teaches English.  Here she is shown with two of her
students using Easy English News, a monthly
publication that enhances our program.

Sister Marcella, FSP, teaches English on Tuesday mornings,
using various books and other publications with which she
is familiar from her experiences and contacts as a teacher.

Sister Pat, SC, has been teaching quilting at the Center since 2013,         
and at various other places throughout New Jersey for many years.
Here she instructs the women as they begin a new project.

From left:  Angela, Sr. Pat, Rosa, Sr. Marcella, Sr. Gerardine -- our "Tuesday
crew." (Angela is a parishioner at St. Anthony's, Passaic.  She watches over 
the children whose mothers are taking classes on Tuesdays.  Rosa is a postulant
 with the Sisters of Christian Charity.  She is called on to do
a multitude of tasks, including Spanish to English translation.)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy National Volunteer Week!

As we enter into National Volunteer Week, we express our gratitude to Sister Eleanor, SMIC and Sister Margaret, SMIC.  On most Mondays, you'll find Sister Eleanor teaching English and Sister Margaret watching over the children whose mothers are learning English.  To these Sisters and to all volunteers who serve the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women, we say THANK YOU!

Sister Eleanor, Sister Margaret and some of our women share a Monday morning treat during National Volunteer Week.  Sister Eleanor's class is learning poetry.  At the time this picture was taken, Sister Eleanor was introducing "Trees," by Joyce Kilmer.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Busy Week!

Frankly, every week is busy!  We are experiencing consistent growth, for which we are grateful.  Sometimes, the growth is best illustrated in pictures.  So, here they are! First, take a look at our Wednesday English class and our faithful volunteer teacher, Marie Mead:

Marie has been teaching this English class for over two years.  There have been times when the class has consisted of one, two or three women.  Sometimes in the past, we wondered if anyone would come. However, over the years there has been a steady increase in attendance.  On Wednesday, eleven women -- count them, 11! -- attended the class!  Not only are they learning to speak English well, but they are developing lasting relationships with each other and with their teacher.  We really love showing these photos and telling these stories because they illustrate the ongoing fulfillment of the mission of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women -- to provide a peaceful, safe environment for women to meet each other and express their needs.

We have also seen great progress in our crocheting class.  Crocheting began in September under the direction of Sister Mary Rose, SCC and continues under the direction of our Associate Director, Sister Elaine, FSP, with the assistance of some of the women who crochet, especially Gloria.  We are proud of what these women have learned.  They, too, are justifiably proud of their accomplishments.  Take a look at this week's photos:

We are so grateful to our faithful benefactors who make each day of this ministry possible.

God bless you for your support!