MSC Leadership Conference
New Faces – New Spaces – Time Tested Ethics
The Provincial Council and the organizational leadership of the MSC sponsored ministries met on
April 26th and 27th in Malvern, Pennsylvania at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center for their
annual Leadership Conference.
The conference opened with prayer, and remarks from Stella Maris
Provincial Sr. Pietrina Raccuglia, MSC. The traditional
introduction of new members of the Cabrinian community followed.
New leaders in attendance shared a bit about themselves and were
Ministry presentations highlighting the organizational responses to the
New Missionary Vision were the focus of the first day of the
Sr. Pietrina Raccuglia, MSC
On behalf of Dr. Michael Walsh, Cabrini Health CEO, Cath Garner,
Executive Director of Mission Integration, presented the topic Responding to
the Call which explored the cultural alignment of the Cabrini Health
organization’s mission with behavioral practices; the role modeling of senior
leadership and the definition of mission as purpose. A
staff charter outlining the expectations for those
working at Cabrini Health has been developed as a part
of Cabrini Health’s three year strategic plan.
The presentation by the Cabrini Eldercare Consortium,
Building Community Brick by Brick and Word by Word was a two-part
endeavor. In Brick by Brick, Philip Deans, Manager of the Cabrini
Apartments, provided an overview of the individuals of diverse cultures and
backgrounds who reside at the Cabrini Apartments, and the joys and
inherent challenges that accompany such a living community.
Continuing with the Word by Word portion of the Eldercare presentation,
Marianne McGowan, Education Coordinator of Cabrini Immigrant Services, made the point that the
immigrant struggles of Mother Cabrini’s time remain ever new. She shared the inspiring stories of
today’s immigrants who are clients of Cabrini Immigrant Services where they receive instruction in
English as a second language (ESL). Citing the book Grandfather’s Journey by Alan Say, the story of a
Japanese immigrant's journey to America, Marianne emphasized that “language builds community”
and is “the maker of miracles.”
New Spaces in Higher Education
Cabrini College offered its perspective on new spaces with a presentation
by Dr. Jeffrey Gingerich, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Dr.
Mary Laver, Director of International Partnerships. In Shared Mission,
Solidarity and Partnership: Carrying the Cabrinian Charism into
New Spaces in Higher Education, they examined two mission-driven
questions: How does Catholic higher education foster both a deep moral
foundation and strong critical thinking skills? AND, In a quest to be in
solidarity with poor and oppressed communities, what are the possibilities of power sharing with
community partners? Through a review of the core curriculum Justice Matters, Dr. Gingerich
described the themes of the Engagements with the Common Good courses which are designed to
move social justice to the center of undergraduate education. In animating such courses, Dr. Laver
explained that emanating from a rootedness in Catholic Social
Teaching, Cabrini College partners with the Missionary
Sisters, Catholic Relief Services and the nearby city of
Norristown, PA to illuminate for our students the congruence
of the Cabrini College education with the witness and work
of the MSCs worldwide, solidarity as a basis for respectful
relationships between poor and non-poor, and advocacy
as a component of faith-based citizen empowerment.
Dr. Jeff Gingerich and
Dr. Mary Laver
Tweeting the Mission
Rounding out the sessions for day one was a look at new spaces from a
technology standpoint. eMission: What would Mother Cabrini tweet?
was the focus of Cabrini Mission Corps Director Gina Scarpello’s
presentation. Gina demonstrated how Cabrini Mission Corps has “utilized
technology to move into new spaces of missionary activity with the goals
of: building a brand, building stronger connections with ‘right fit’ potential
missioners, other Cabrinian institutions, and others in the [volunteer]
‘business.’” Technology tools such as YouTube, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter
and website construction aids such as WordPress have enabled Gina to
better promote Cabrini Mission Corps, enhance recruitment and strengthen
relationships. Gina encouraged the Cabrinian leaders to listen and connect;
Gina Scarpello to better appreciate that technology can be a powerful relationship and
community builder – especially around mission.
On Monday evening, the Sisters and Cabrinian leaders were the guests of Cabrini College for
campus tours, liturgy and a festive dinner in the College’s historic Mansion. During liturgy, Cabrini
College chaplain Fr. Michael Bielecki, OSA was thanked for his dedicated service to the Cabrini
College community and his many kindnesses to the Missionary Sisters. At the close of the academic
year, Fr. Michael will be leaving the College to assume a mission with the Augustinians.
Rethinking Mission and Integrity in Tough Times
On day two of the conference, Dr. Carol Taylor, the Director of the
Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, presented
Rethinking Mission and Integrity in Tough Times – Need We
“Sell our Souls” to Succeed? In this session, Carol Taylor, PhD,
RN, explored the overlapping responsibilities of individuals,
organizations and society to meet the everyday integrity challenges in
Catholic ministries. In an interactive presentation, Dr. Taylor led the
participants in an exploration of how everyday decision making
honors or compromises moral integrity, ethical leadership and
trustworthiness. The starting assumption for her presentation was
that “we are all members of a moral community engaged in moral
Dr. Carol Taylor work.” And, that in the accomplishment of this moral work, we need
ethically competent professionals. She defined ethics, integrity, and ethical leadership. She outlined
structures, processes and outcomes that equate with integrity in Catholic ministries and challenged
the leaders to rethink the adequacy of one’s personal and corporate ethical competence and
The meeting drew to a close with remarks by Sr. Pietrina.
Leaders United in Mission
Dr. Ilze Earner, consultant, Dick O’Shea, Board Chair
and Tony Cortese, Executive Director of St. Cabrini
Leaders of Cabrini Spiritual Ministries discussed points
Home, Inc., West Park, deliberate an ethical case study.
made by Dr. Taylor. From left are Nancy Golen,
Administrator of Cabrini Retreat Center, Jeff Lewis,
Administrator of Mother Cabrini Shrine and JoAnn
Seaman, Shrine Director of Development.
From left: Sr. Antonina Avitabile, MSC, CCNR Board Member, makes a point with David
Arditti, Cabrini Eldercare CFO, Mary Devlin, CCNR Administrator, and Philip Deans,
Cabrini Apartments Manager.
From the Vocation Promotion Team…
Come and See
“Who do you say I am? Exploring a Relationship with Jesus”
On April 16-17th Sacred Heart Community was host to a Come and See for the
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Seven women: Miguelina, Paola,
Amparo, Carmen, Crystal, Michelle and Mary came together with members of the
Vocation Promotion Team to pray, reflect and discuss God’s call in their lives.
Friday evening was led by Sr. Antonia Plata, MSC, who invited the participants to
journey with the disciples and Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. Each one was asked
to reflect on her personal faith journey and then to share with one other person.
Saturday included a reflection on Jesus’ call, sisters sharing their vocation story, quiet time, Eucharist
with the local community, and information presented on Mother Cabrini as well as the charism and
spirituality of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During meal times the participants
were encouraged to sit at different tables so the community of sisters living in Sacred Heart Convent
could share their stories with them. ~ Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC
Some of those who attended share these thoughts: It was a big help for me to share this
experience and understand that
God works for the good of each
person. It helped me to listen to
I would like to thank the the other women speak of their
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart growth in discovering Jesus in their
for their time and hospitality in lives and how one connects,
this time of discernment. I can discovers and knows who Jesus
say that I am more self-aware of truly is.
God’s voice and presence in my
life. It is in these small steps
that we can firmly walk forward.
The MSCs are such a nurturing
& caring community. Their
commitment to mission &
serving as the “bearers of the
love of Christ” was truly
This was such an open, informative and prayerful reflected in their hospitality &
experience with the MSCs and the other women who are openness. Thank you for a
beautiful & blessed time
doing their best to discover their true selves and God’s together.
dream for them. The reflection and sharing was so grace-
filled… I could feel Mother Cabrini’s presence with us!
The Come and See was truly a gift of time to reflect, pray, and to be open to my own
vocation/call. It managed in a short time to give me more motivation and energy
around delving into my relationship with Jesus and to uncover and develop a better
understanding of my desire to serve and be with Him.
Michelle and Paola enjoyed the
opportunities for reflection and story at
the Come and See. The practice of journaling allows one
to capture thoughts that perhaps may
otherwise go unexpressed. Crystal
Come and See takes time to reflect and write.
Sacred Heart Convent in New York City served as the center of hospitality for
the Come and See. Participating in the day were seated from left: Paola, Sr.
Barbara Leonardo, MSC, Amparo, and Sr. Philippa Provenzano, MSC.
Standing from left: Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC, Miguelina, Mary, Carmen,
Crystal, Michelle and Sr. Antonia Plata, MSC. The Sisters served as facilitators
for the Come and See.
Pray for More Missionaries
We as Church are called to pray for vocations. God invites each one of us to love
generously and to live justly. Please pray with us for the grace of more individuals
to join the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in responding to God's love and the
needs of all God’s People. The prayer theme for the month of MAY is MARY.
To access all Prayers for More Missionaries please visit:
Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Pizza and Prayer
On April 10th, 2010, the Columbus Community of MSCs and Cabrini Mission
Corps missioners in New York City hosted a “Pizza and Prayer” event for
Mother Cabrini High School students. The Saturday afternoon opened with
introductions and conversations including what the MSCs do for fun, life
before the convent, and various mission experiences. Pizza came next, and advice from both sisters
and students followed with ice cream. Delicious! The students were surprised to find out that sisters
even ate pizza!
The time with the students ended with prayer and a blessing for the students, administrators and
faculty, and their peers at the high school. A wonderful time was had by all and the day ended with
one of the students performing a “free-style” rap as an impromptu gift for the sisters!
Check out the YouTube clip here for an overview of the fun:
- Crystal Catalan & Michelle Sherman
(CMC missioners at Mother Cabrini High School)
Enjoying pizza and prayer at Columbus
Top Row: MSCs: Sr. Antonina Avitabile,
Sr. Antonia Plata, Sr. Angelina Randazzo,
Sr. Archangel Turco, and Sr. James Skane
Bottom Row: MCHS juniors: India Epps,
Milan Chaney, and Jiselle Corley
Top row: Missioners Mary Meleski,
Michelle Sherman, and Crystal Catalan
pose with MCHS juniors India Epps,
Milan Chaney, and Jiselle Corley
Cabrini College, Radnor, PA
15 Students Lobby Congress for Comprehensive Immigration
Fifteen Cabrini College students culminated a semester-long study of immigration with a trip to the
nation's capital Friday, April 23, to meet with senate aides to discuss the need for
comprehensive immigration reform.
The students met with staff at the offices of Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey of
Pennsylvania, and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
To prepare for their Senate visit, the students carefully studied a variety of viewpoints in order to
develop their own points of view. The students focused their discussions on several key aspects of
the issue: a "path to earned citizenship" for undocumented persons currently in the United States,
reform of the employment-based and family-based immigration systems, and the need to address the
root causes of migration.
The class worked closely with staff at Catholic Relief Services and the Justice for Immigrants
Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The class is part of Cabrini College's new core curriculum, Justice Matters, which prepares students
to be engaged in important societal issues. Over the course of their four years, students develop life-
long skills for civic engagement in the pursuit of social justice.
In addition to lobbying, students participated in the March 21 rally in Washington. Some of the
students also met with Senator Specter's local office and delivered messages from students at Cabrini
College and St. Joseph's University.
Cabrini College has an official partnership with CRS. In addition to the college core curriculum on
social justice, students have developed a co-curricular ambassador program consisting of student
groups focused on issues like migration, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, food and water security,
and Fair Trade and microfinance.
~ submitted by Dr. Jerry Zurek
Please pray for Janet Boehm who has just entered hospice care in Mountain View Hospital,
Mountain View, California. Jan is a former Missionary Sister who is suffering from central
nervous system lymphoma. Jan is thankfully surrounded by very close friends who have been
family to her for years.
Baby Jack Baxter
On Monday, the Province Communications Office sent out an urgent prayer request for Jack
Baxter, the six month-old son of Christy Baxter, the former Alumni Director at Cabrini College,
who on Tuesday morning was about to undergo extensive and lengthy surgery on his arm.
On Tuesday afternoon, we received the following email message from Christy:
This morning, an amazing thing happened...an hour before
Jack was to go under for surgery, he bent his elbow and
began showing us ‐ and all hospital personnel! ‐ his bicep
strength. All of the work of the last months paid off just in
the nick of time...apparently our youngest has a flair for the
We have more work to do...Jack's shoulder still needs to
strengthen, as he is still weak in the external rotation of his
Please, please do share with the sisters...we know that Jack's
improvement is thanks to the power of prayer, and Matt and
I want to thank the Cabrini and MSC communities for being
such a key part of that effort. We are speechless, in awe,
and full of wonder and love for all of those around the world
who prayed for our dear boy.
Paul, the son of Dr. Adeline Bethany of Cabrini College, has been moved to Bryn Mawr
Rehab and is progressing nicely. Paul is in good spirits despite the long recovery he has
ahead of him and Adeline is beginning to relax a little! Paul and Adeline both really
appreciate all the prayers and good wishes. Please keep the prayers coming.
Tom and I wish to thank the global Cabrini community for your prayers and for your words
of strength and encouragement during this difficult time. Tom is home from the hospital
and recovering. Please continue to keep us in your prayers during this recovery process
~ Marianne McGowan