How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place?

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Sr. Johnice ~ Fr. Thomas Doyle

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place…?

A joyful visit from the Rev. Thomas D. Doyle Pastor, Staff and parishioners from Our Lady of Peace Parish in Clarence New York took place and May 12, 2014.

Through their generous giving, as a Lenten project, funds were collected for the installation of stained glass windows at the new Response to Love Center Chapel.

Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz welcomed and thanked everyone for their special gift.

The windows were given to the Center by the Diocese of Buffalo, installed by McHugh Art Studios and the woodworking, frames and ornamentation by John Trabucco, artisan.

During the visit all were awestruck by the magnificence of the sun shining through the stained glass.

The “Dwelling Place of God” is beautiful and a “wonder to behold” where many will gather in prayer, retreats and meditation.

God is good!

Congratulations well deserved…


Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz CSSF nominated Canisius High School Campus Minister Father Fred Betti SJ for the “Touchdown for Teachers” award, sponsored by M&T Bank. Throughout the past 10 years Fr. Betti has been an inspiration and gift to the Response to Love Center.

Under his guidance and direction, the youth from Canisius High School, have served in the dining room, the pantry and thrift shops. Before, during and after the installation of the new elevator, hours were spent this year remodeling and moving the Center’s food pantry food pantry warehouse and dining room.

Father Betti was notified as one of the five finalists, and named as one of the four runners up, receiving $100 in grant funds for Canisius High School and two tickets to the Buffalo Bills draft party on May 8. As nominator Sister was invited as a guest to the Buffalo Bills draft party, held the UB Alumni Arena. The evening’s event was filled with thousands of Buffalo Bills fans who look forward to the new lineup for the upcoming year.

Volunteer Appreciation Mass and Luncheon

May 1, 2014 Mass was held at St. John Kanty Parish in Buffalo


Sister Johnice and Bishop Malone Distributing the Third Millennium Pins to volunteers

Thursday May 1, 2014 (Feast of St Joseph the Worker.)

A Mass of Thanksgiving took place at Saint John Kanty Church in Buffalo New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Response to Love Center and Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Rev. Richard J. Malone Bishop of Buffalo was the main celebrant for the special occasion with celebrants Rev. Msgr. Paul Litwin Chancellor, Rev. Steven Jekielek, Rev. James Fugle, Rev. Fredrick Betti S.J. and Deacons Marc Leadersforf and David Velasquez.

Sister Johnice welcomed all with recognition of the founding of the Response to Love Center some 30 years ago with the help and approval of the late Msgr. Joe Bialek Pastor of St. Adalbert’s at the time.

The music was prepared by Mr. Kevin Durkin and enhanced by the voices of 35 Canisius High School students.

After communion Bishop Malone blessed each volunteer and presented them with a “Third Millennium Pin.” The pin is significant as it is a challenge from Pope Francis to live a spirit of faith, hope and love in their ministry to the poor. After the Mass a buffet was hosted at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, NY for the Clergy, Sisters, Staff and volunteers. Kathleen Majchrzak, Volunteer Coordinator, prepared the afternoon with song and awards recognition for volunteers.

The awards presented for 2014 included:

“Volunteer of the Year”… respecting the dignity of all and supporting the journey of each person with compassionate presence…

“Saint Matthew Award”… recognizing volunteers who like Jesus invited a friend to “FOLLOW ME” in service to others

“Companions on the Journey”… recognizing those volunteers who count their service in terms of decades rather than days.

Center Happenings

Elevator Construction Begins!

After years of waiting the Response to Love Center is starting the installation of an elevator to allow for handicapped people to access all our services. We have been serving people in the parking lot in all kinds of weather because our building has at least 10 steps at each entrance. This will change hopefully as soon as November 1 2013 with the installation of an entrance ramp and a full sized elevator. The elevator construction has begun and we are now appealing for financial help to complete the project. To see photos of the progress made CLICK HERE

To help fund the elevator project please CLICK HERE

St. John's Tuna-Peanut Butter Drive 2013

Picture:  1st row:  Analee DeGlopper and Marissa Lakeman; 2nd row:  Dianne LoCurto Barrali (Class of 1963) and Erin Tracy; 3rd row:  Ben Leahy, Josh Warrington, and Adam Brown.

Protein Power Assists Local Agency

Event:  Protein Power Assists Local Agency   Date:  Saturday, March 16, 2013    Location:  St. John the Baptist Church & School, 1085 Englewood Avenue, Kenmore, NY  14223     Protein Power has been the focus of St. John the Baptist’s students these past weeks.  Students took up a collection of peanut butter and protein to stock the shelves of Buffalo’s Response to Love Center.  Dianne LoCurto Barrali, a volunteer at the Response to Love Center, specifically partnered with the St. John’s students.  Mrs. Barrali, a graduate of St. John’s Class of 1965, was aware that the school focuses on specific outreach projects, such as sending their middle school students regularly to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.  Michelle Salemi, the school’s Director of Advancement, welcomed this opportunity to raise awareness among the entire school.  Ms. Salemi noted, Focusing on the proteins was really key to the success of this drive.  Protein is not only an important nutrient, but it’s often an expensive one for people to afford.  Having our students focus just two items—peanut butter and fish—allowed us to provide much needed protein to the agency’s food pantry and it felt especially good assisting one of our alums to help our own community.  It was a perfect opportunity to combine the Catholic call for Lenten almsgiving with a worthy service project.  Much power will come from this protein project! Picture:  1st row:  Analee DeGlopper and Marissa Lakeman; 2nd row:  Dianne LoCurto Barrali (Class of 1963) and Erin Tracy; 3rd row:  Ben Leahy, Josh Warrington, and Adam Brown.

As Posted on  12-26-2012

BUFFALO, NY- It was a true Christmas celebration at the Response to Love Center Tuesday. Just weeks agowhen the community center’s boiler broke, they feared they wouldn’t be able to serve those in need this holiday season. But thanks to the generosity of Western New Yorkers, the center is filled with warmth, and so are the hearts of those who gathered there today.

“It’s a time of coming together as a family, as a community, as a neighborhood, and it’s really joyful,” said the Center’s director, Sister Mary Johnice.

Hundreds of Buffalo’s less fortunate filled the Response to Love Center Christmas day. Their Christmas meals with turkey, stuffing and all the fixings didn’t just fill their bellies, they filled their hearts as well.

“There’s really a sense and a spirit here that these are our people and we’re able to provide now for them with the warmth in the building, and just the warmth of the volunteers here who come from all over WNY,” said the Center’s maintenance supervisor, Michael Gilhooly.

Volunteers were glad to share their Christmas Day with strangers who could use a smile.

“We can be kind of stressed with all the work that has to go on. But when you see who it’s going to and what it’s worth, your time, your talent, everything that you do is meaningful,” Sr. Johnice said.

This holiday season the community recognized the invaluable work the center does each and every day, and donors from across the country gave more than $100,000 to replace the broken boiler. They’ve since given the new boiler a very fitting name.

“The plaque on the boiler says ‘Emmanuel- God With Us.’ Not only for the boiler but that He will be with us continuously,” said Sr. Johnice.

By receiving this very special gift, it means the Response to Love Center can go on and keep giving.

“It’s the year of giving. It’s the year of faith, and the whole community came together, and it really showed that we’re not alone,” she said.

The center plans on using the leftover donations to add an elevator to the front of the building, so it can be accessible to even more people in need.