Catholic Schools Week at Response to Love Center

What is National Catholic Schools Week?

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2016 is January 31 – February 6. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

This year the following Catholic Schools contributed to the mission at Response to Love Center with their time and talents, donations and prayers. Working in our building alongside our volunteers on Monday February 1, 2016 a group from St. Amelia’s

St. Amelia's School Catholic Schools week 2016
St. Amelia’s School Catholic Schools week 2016

Wednesday February 3 St. Monica’s  worked in our dining room serving a delicious complete chicken meal that was prepared and provided by Immaculate Conception School in East Aurora;

Immaculate Conception Chicken Dinner Catholic Schools Week 2016
Immaculate Conception Chicken Dinner Catholic Schools Week 2016

Additionally Recognizing the need and addressing that need St. Christopher’s School organized and had a successful diaper drive helping hundreds of infants in the Buffalo area.

St. Christopher's School Diaper Drive Catholic Schools Week 2016
St. Christopher’s School Diaper Drive Catholic Schools Week 2016

 

God Bless all the Catholic Schools that go over and beyond to help the less fortunate in the Buffalo area through the mission at Response to Love Center.

Daily Themes

Celebrate the following daily themes and celebrations in your (arch)diocese during Catholic Schools Week 2016.

•Sunday – In Our Parish
•Monday – In Our Community
•Tuesday – In Our Students
•Wednesday – In Our Nation (National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools)
•Thursday – In Our Vocations
•Friday – In Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher & Principal Appreciation Day)
•Saturday – In Our Families

Good News for the Nation: Catholic Schools Are Thriving

Catholic schools offer academic excellence and faith-filled education for students nationwide. National test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance and other data show that Catholic schools frequently outperform schools in both the public and private sectors. While some Catholic schools are challenged by declining enrollment and school closures, the good news is that there is a strong demand and enthusiasm for Catholic schools. Thirty-two percent of Catholic schools have waiting lists for admission and new schools are opening across the country. This infographic shares facts and figures about the ongoing excellence and promise of growth represented in our country’s Catholic schools.

From tragedy, a spirit of generosity has emerged

By Denise Jewell Gee | News Columnist | @DeniseJewellGee | Google+

on December 20, 2015 – 4:45 PM

Woman charged with DWI, vehicular manslaughter in collision that killed baby girl

Sister Johnice Rzadkiewicz didn’t expect what would come her way when she opened her cupboards last month to talk about diapers.

Neither did Denise Dion.

Their worlds were on separate paths. Sister Johnice has been working for 30 years at the Response to Love Center on the East Side to help those in poverty. Dion has been working to hold her family together since a devastating drunken-driving accident three years ago took her 7-month-old daughter, Baylee.

Diapers brought them together.

 

 

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It started a month ago, when Sister Johnice answered a call to talk about how difficult it is for mothers who can’t afford diapers. The Response to Love Center had been operating a small baby ministry, but had to break diaper packs apart because of limited resources.

Her message resonated; she saw an overwhelming response. A boy from St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Orchard Park started a collection. Richard and Diane Gurbacki organized a diaper drive at St. Stephen on Grand Island. For everyone who came, Sister Johnice asked them to sit and talk. In came diapers. Out poured stories.

Eventually, word came that a woman who had lost her own baby was among those collecting. It was Denise Dion, whose daughter, Baylee, the one with the sweet smile and baby blue eyes, was killed when a 24-year-old woman who was drunk and on drugs hit their car.

Dion came across Sister Johnice’s story while searching for a new way to mark the Nov. 27 “angelversary” of her daughter’s death. A friend of a friend had started a diaper drive to help the Response to Love Center. For Dion, it felt right to remember her daughter by helping other babies. She had been on her way to buy diapers the morning of the accident. “I thought maybe Baylee would be smiling down if we gave everybody diapers,” Dion said.

The years since Baylee’s death have been unspeakably hard, but Dion is pulling ahead. In August, she married her longtime fiancé, Baylee’s father. They let glowing paper lanterns float into the sky in Baylee’s memory. Another child, a boy, is on the way.

They adopted a section of highway in Baylee’s name. Dion also is planning to speak about drunken driving and start a walk. “We’ve wanted to do more, but grief just gets a hold of you, and you can’t really do what you want to do,” Dion said. Collecting diapers has helped. “It’s kind of taken my mind off the sadness a little bit,” she said.

This week, she plans to take what she has collected to Sister Johnice. She’s looking forward to the meeting. So, too, is Sister Johnice.

“God saw we needed diapers,” Sister Johnice said. “But the hidden meaning and the spirituality of this experience was we found Denise. I really believe that God was using our center and all of the people to bring healing to her life.”

For someone who spent so little time on Earth, Baby Baylee has made a big impact. “It was almost like the Scripture says, ‘A little child will lead you,’ ” Sister Johnice said. “That’s what that baby did. She led us to remember the babies.”

All the talk about babies brought Sister Johnice back to another infant.

“That’s the joy of it,” she said, “helping these little babies, and knowing that on Christmas, the little infant Jesus is going to smile because of the generosity of the community.”

Is there a better week to be reminded of all that can come from giving?

email: djgee@buffnews.com

AT&T Produce Donation to Response to Love Center

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Fresh Produce for Buffalo Families

As the cost of food rises, especially fresh fruits and vegetables it is becoming increasingly difficult for the poor on Buffalo’s East Side to provide a healthy balanced diet to their families. Recognizing this need in the Western New York community, AT&T is working with the Food Bank of Western New York to provide a weekly delivery of fresh produce to Response to Love Center.

The Response to Love Center provides food to nearly 500 individuals monthly through its food pantry, and helps to support local Families, Veterans; seniors and provides Adult Education including English as a Second Language and TASC (High School Equivalency.)

Starting Monday August 31, 2015, and throughout the next 17 weeks, the Food Bank of Western New York will deliver 22 cases – approximately 800 pounds – of fresh produce, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow onions, white potatoes, apples and navel oranges, weekly to Response to Love Center. AT&T’s contribution will result in more than 370 cases or approximately 13,600 pounds of fresh produce for our hungry neighbors in Buffalo.

“We are extremely grateful for this collaboration between the Food Bank of Western New York and AT&T, which will provide 17 weeks of fruits and vegetables to approximately 500 individuals who rely on Response to Love Center’s food pantry each month,” said Michael Gilhooly, Assistant Director of Response to Love Center. “It is a struggle for many of our clients to obtain fresh produce due to geographic and economic barriers, and this wonderful donation will provide them access to nutritious food which they might not have otherwise been able to receive.

Giving back to the community where AT&T colleagues live and work is part of the company’s corporate DNA. For 100 years, AT&T employees have been donating their time and talents to support underserved populations and strengthen communities.

“AT&T’s generous contribution and partnership with the Food Bank helps us to fulfill our mission to obtain and distribute nutritious food to the hungry in Western New York through our 326 member agencies, including Response to Love Center.” said Marylou Borowiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank of Western New York

To see Channel 2 Video CLICK HERE

Rich Product’s Community Service Day.

Response to Love Center Hosts a Rich Product’s Community Service Day.
Response to Love Center Hosts a Rich Product’s Community Service Day.

July 28, 2015
Response to Love Center Hosts a Rich Product’s Community Service Day.

The Response to Love Center had a wonderful opportunity to partner with Rich Products.

The Buffalo headquarters hosted over 200 leaders from their offices around the world. The week long conference included a Community Service Day that served many purposes – team building activities and a way for their associates from different states and countries to get to know one another and serve together; a platform for them to learn about Buffalo; and the benefit of bringing back what they learned to their own regions.

16 Rich Products volunteers from China, Kenya, Georgia (USA) and the Buffalo area learned about the mission at Response to Love Center. They engaged in the dining room, food pantry, special projects and client interaction.

All who were part of the day’s event were inspired by the “Felician Threesome,” Sisters Mary Catherine, Sr. Mary Rose, and Sister Mary Johnice; the staff and volunteers hospitality and the client’s joy.

In gratitude, Rich Products presented a donation of $1000 for the needs and services of the mission at Response to Love Center.

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Amherst Alarm

Thank you Amherst Alarm for ALL You Do for the Response to Love Center. We are proud to have Amherst Alarm keep our building safe with Fire Protection, Break in Protection, and now a brand new DVR system. If you need home or business protection consider Amherst Alarm, Trust the Professionals at Amherst Alarm We do!

 

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Amherst Alarm Protects the Response to Love Center
Trust the Professionals at Amherst Alarm We do!

Amherst Alarm Supports Response to Love Center
Amherst Alarm with our new DVR Monitor

Appeal for Summer Foods…

Response to Love Center Bun Appeal
Please help us with a donation of Hot Dog or Hamburger Buns.
As the warm months are now here we would like to offer our clients summertime type foods such as Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, salads etc.
That said we really need Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns. If you have a summertime event, picnic or Bar-B-Que, and find you have more than you need please consider a donation to help us feed the people in our dining room with some healthy fun summertime food.
Thank You!

United Way Donor Choice Program

United Way of Buffalo & Erie County Donor Choice Program

United Way of Erie County

The Response to Love Center is proud to participate in the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County Donor Choice Program. The United Way Community Care Campaign provides donors with a unique opportunity to support a diverse network of human services.

Any donor may choose to designate all or a portion of his or her total gift to a certified, 501 (c) (3) organization that provides health and human services.

Choose from the list of eligible agencies found on the website, www.uwbec.org/donordesignation .

 

 

To designate your gift to the Response to Love Center.

Write the agency’s name (St. Adalbert’s Response to Love Center,)

Write the agency’s code (2060,)

Then, an amount designated on the pledge form.

If the donor’s employer uses ePledge, the list is available on the ePledge site.

 

For more information visit:

http://www.uwbec.org/

 

Thank you.

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!