Advent Begins 2016

St. Michael’s Church Buffalo, NY
December 2, 2016

Sr. Johnice-Advent2016Advent 2016 has started with Sr. Mary Johnice talking about her experience first meeting and breaking bread with Saint Teresa of Kolkata in the summer of 1985. That meeting sparked the desire for Sister Johnice to start the Response to Love Center. Sister Johnice asked Mother Teresa if she could go to Kolkata to learn to work with the poor, Mother Teresa simply said no. Mother Teresa told Sister Johnice to go back to the East Side of Buffalo and find her own Kolkata, find the poor and look into their eyes; there you will find Jesus that was more than 30 years ago.

Sister Johnice talked about her challenges and successes in starting and running the mission at Response to Love Center. But the advice of Mother Teresa kept Sister Johnice inspired “to do small things with great love.”

Join us at St. Michael's for Advent Celebrations on Thursday evening.
Join us at St. Michael’s for Advent Celebrations on Thursday evening.

Alexander Steam Show Supports Response to Love Center

The organizers of the Alexander Steam Show in cooperation with Sacred Heart Productions have graciously offered to donate part of the proceeds of this years 50th Anniversary Rally to the Response to Love Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and talk about our mission to people who may not know what we do in helping the community on the East Side of Buffalo. We are inviting everyone to come and see Sister Johnice, Volunteers and our Amvets Career Center Veterans on Saturday September 10th.

Alexander Steam Show Supports the Response to Love Center
Alexander Steam Show Supports the Response to Love Center

The Alexander Steam Show is a wonderful family friendly event that has something for everyone. Take a short ride to Alexander NY for a day filled with food fun and help the Response to Love Center continue its mission to help the underserved in our community. Visit the website at: http://alexandersteamshow.com/

Below is a video I took in 2011 at the Alexander Steam Show.

 

A New American

Response to Love Center ESL student Becomes an American
Joan Reeverts – Isratrara Chawdhury – Sr. Johnice

Isratrara Chawdhury is from Bangladesh and has been in the United States for five years. She studies English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Response to Love Center in Buffalo, New York. When she first came to classes she knew very little English and now has worked her way up to Intermediate ESL classes.

Isratrara has become friends with Sister Johnice and the staff, volunteers and especially her ESL teacher Joan Reeverts. Her dedication to learning the customs and language has been an inspiration to all of us especially her fellow students.

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Isratrara and her husband took the U.S. Citizenship test and both passed. On August 18th they will attend the Citizenship swearing in ceremony. Sister Johnice was invited by Isratrara to attend as one of her guests.

 

The Polish Arts Club of Buffalo Honors Sister Mary Johnice

June 30, 2016

Sister Mary Johnice Wins Polish Arts Award
Sister Johnice ~ Bette Hulley

The Polish Arts Club of Buffalo Honors Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz.

Thursday evening June 30th at the Buffalo Airport Millennium Hotel the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo held a Biesiada Evening in the Polish Arts Club Tradition. It is a merry banquet with food, drink and entertainment to honor an outstanding member of Polonia. Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz was the honoree at the event. The event started at 6:00pm with a social hour, dinner and basket raffle to benefit the Response to Love Center.

An opening Prayer and Blessing was given by Rev. Benjamin Fiore SJ Pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Buffalo NY. Then a traditional polish dinner was served.
Guests were invited to come to the microphone to share a favorite story of how Sister Johnice affected their lives.

After dinner Sister had the opportunity to reminisce about her childhood, her Polish roots and family traditions. It was a special moment for all in attendance as many in the audience appreciated the stories Sister told about the “old Polish neighborhood” and traditions. Sister had invited her closest friends and staff to attend. Thank you to the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo for a memorable evening for all.

 

Bikes for people just in time for summer!

 

Bike Donation to the Response to Love Center
Mr. Dick Perini and Sister Johnice taking delivery of the bikes to distribute.

As the warm weather arrives we all want to get out in the sun. For some people that means riding a bike. For some though the cost of a bike is too much, when being able to feed your family takes precedence. Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Molly Marcinelli (Principal of Como Park Elementary School)and her friend Mr. Dick Perini, both kids and needy adults are getting bikes of their own at no cost.

Bike Donation to the Response to Love Center
Vontae gets his bike he was so excited and happy.

The excitement of a child when they get a bike is a wonderful thing to see. Also the relief of an adult that gets a bike that allows them to get to a job without depending on a public transportation system that largely fails the inner city commuter trying to get to a suburban job on the weekends.
A special thanks to Tom’s Pro Bike Shop in Lancaster that is supplying tires tubes and parts to refurbish the donated bikes to make them safe and ride ready for the people we serve.

 

Happy Riding!

A Pastoral Response to the Substance Abuse Epidemic.

A Pastoral Response to the Substance Abuse Epidemic. Was a great training for people who are concerned but lack basic information about what is happening and how they can help. During this free training, we heard from experts about substance abuse, its prevention and its treatment. We learned how to speak with clients, develop relationships that restore hope and dignity, and secure the assistance that will make a long-term difference for individuals and families. Lastly, we spent some time reflecting on the current state of our community and ways that we can help improve things.

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists Speak at Workshop
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists Speak at Workshop

WNY United (http://www.wnyunited.org/) along with Aaron Naegely, Erie County Sheriff’s Office; Sue Boyle , WNY United; Sr. Johnice, Response to Love Center; and Avi Israel, Save the Michaels of the World, Inc. Cheryl Calire, Office of Pro-Life Activities; Fr. Marty Moleski, Calix; all spoke of their experiences and expertise on the subject.

Saturday May 14th 2016, at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora NY. Sister Johnice of the Response to Love Center speaking on the Pastoral Response to the Substance Abuse Epidemic.

 

 

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.

Home Depot Helps Response to Love Center

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A huge thank you to our friends at the Home Depot for sending a team lead by Joshua Kratochvil to remove some old shrubbery and replace it with some evergreen trees. Also to repair a wind damaged fence behind the Peace Garden making it as good as new.

Joshua was accompanied by Joe Saltino and Matt White both from the Home Depot they spent the entire day digging planting and fencing. God Bless them all for the work they did and a special thank you to the Home Depot for the grant to facilitate these needed repairs.