McCabe News Updates

Newsletter - April 2018

posted Apr 27, 2018, 3:15 AM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!

Like me, you probably received the yellow raffle tickets from Supreme Columbiettes.  I have my envelope ready to go.  If you would like to include yours with mine, please bring them to this month’s meeting and I will send them out.  After that, you’re on your own! 

April 28th is the date for this year’s Major Degree.  There are two levels of Columbiette membership.  You start out as a First Degree member.  We conduct this ceremony here in the Church to welcome you to our merry band of ladies.  The Major Degree is the next and final step to full Columbiette membership and allows you all rights and privileges.  If you are a First Degree member, please consider making your Major Degree this year.  The ceremony is beautiful and builds on the First Degree ceremony.  This year’s Major Degree is being held at St. Maria Goretti Church in Wolcott.  It is also a wonderful social event with a Pot Luck lunch afterward.  3rd Degree Knights and Major Degree Columbiettes may witness the ceremony.  There is also room on the Major Degree Team, if you would like to take part.  It’s fun!

Fr. Ted spoke at our meeting to give us more information about the Church Hall Entry.  He has not approved the design and is looking to make changes to have more of the ramp outside and covered.  He would also like to have the ramp away from the property line so the neighbor’s driveway would not have to be taken out and replaced as part of the job.  He did receive one quote that was quite a bit more than we had thought and fixed all of the drainage problems we have on the left side of the Church. 

What a great time we had going to Foxwoods Bingo!  It was so great to see our Sister Columbiette, Becky Jusseaume, win one of the games and go into the money booth.  Thanks to Sue Haulotte for making this possible.

The Princess Tea (May 5th / 11:00am-1:00pm) is shaping up to be a really nice event.  Young ladies (grades 3-6) are invited and it was decided at the meeting that they could bring a friend of the same age group along with a responsible adult.  Cheryl Morin and Donna Coombs have a number of princess-like things that the girls will be doing and it sounds like fun.  They can use about 10 volunteers, if you are available to help out.  You may already be there as this is the same day as the Ladies Tea.  Let Donna or Cheryl know.

We are going ahead with the Ladies Tea as well (May 5th / 1:30-4:00pm).  We are using the same format that we have in the past.  We would like to have 10 sponsored tables for decorating variation.  The Ladies Tea is before our next meeting, so we will conduct the planning via email, which I will do separately from this newsletter. 

I hope you had a chance to stop by our Book Sale and Pancake Breakfast this weekend.  As we discussed at the meeting, our Columbiettes auxiliary adds so much vibrancy to our parish.  Your efforts help our parish to be more social and beautiful. 

Speaking of beautiful, we are going forward with the new flower garden by the Parish Center and Rectory fence.  Would anyone like to assist with the tilling?  Please let me know.  This garden is going to be so beautiful and a great credit to our Columbiette commitment to our Parish.

You may recall what a fabulous time we had when the comedian, Dave Kane, came to our church with his Fr. Misgivings show.  It was so much good, clean fun.  He has a new show, Jokes My Irish Father Told Me, and we have booked him for June 30th.  You can check out his website, for more information.  Flyers and tickets ($20 each) will be available soon. 

I found the gavel!  Traci Edwards can rest easy.

The Cape Cod trip has been scheduled for this year.  It’s the weekend of September 14th.  Ceil Roberge will have the details at the meeting.  If you are interested in going, a $75 deposit holds your spot.  You know (or have heard) how much fun we always have on this trip!!  There are twenty available rooms.  First come, first served.

Our Columbiettes State Convention will be held this year on June 16th at Zandri’s Stillwood Inn in Wallingford.  Please come spend the day with your Sister Columbiettes.  So far JoAnn Rowley, Vicki Rosich, and (possibly) Cheryl Morin have signed up to go.  We are bringing two baskets to be raffled at the Convention – chocolate and lottery.  Please bring a bit of chocolate or a couple of bucks for purchase of lottery tickets to the May or June meeting.  I just looked at my calendar and the Convention has been moved from the original date to a date that I am working to cover my co-worker’s wedding.  Sadly, I cannot go to Convention and I look forward to it every year.  I will choose two delegates to vote on behalf of our Auxiliary.

The Yard Sale has been moved to August 18th.  After May 5th we are able to take donations for the Yard Sale.  Vicki Rosich, Debbie Shaffer, and I will sort and price the items for sale.  There’s room for you, too, if you want to help out.  It’s kind of a dirty job, but we have loads of fun doing it. 

I am putting together our Margaret Mary J. Mangan Award application.  This is awarded to a Columbiettes Auxiliary for excellence in several categories.  We have received this award every year that we have been eligible thanks to all of your hard work.

I gave Fr. Ted a check for his 10% of our fundraising.  He is always very pleased and grateful to receive it.

Remember to put our Columbiettes Get Together on your calendar for May 15th!  We always have so much fun when we get together.  This is a pot luck event for Columbiettes.  Daughters are welcome, too.  This year’s event is at my house.  I am looking forward to hosting all of you!

The new Altar and Tabernacle Cloths in use.  Notice how beautiful and white they are!  Thanks to Donna Coombs, Donna Wisniewski, and Cheryl Morin for this project.

Debbie Shaffer suggested that we open a store to sell items on a regular basis.  This would eliminate the need to have a Yard Sale and would provide a steady income stream.  It is a good idea!  We would have to iron out many details to make it happen.  Please mull this over and bring your ideas to the meeting.

Becky Jusseaume discussed Marina Forbes; a woman from St. Petersburg Russia who is an expert on Faberge eggs and Iconography.  She does charge a fee so we would have to charge attendees to bring this to St. Mary’s, but it could be a really fun event.  We thought that September could be a good time for this.  We will discuss it further at the meeting.

As always, we are a very busy and vibrant group!  I really notice this when I go to put it all down in writing for the newsletter.  Phew! 

Our next meeting will be Monday, May 7th at 7:00pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 6:00pm.  Divine Mercy Chaplet will be in the Parish Center Chapel at 5:30.  This month’s Officers’ Meeting will be Monday, May 14th at 6:00pm at my house.   See you soon!


-        Maryann

Hello Ladies!

This is the email I promised you to talk about the Ladies Tea.  Here’s the basic info:

When:  Saturday, May 5th – 1:30pm-4:00pm

Where:  St. Mary’s Church Hall

Who:  All HSCC ladies are invited.

Wear your finery or come as you are.  It’s your choice!  All Columbiettes are asked to bring one plate of really good food.  Think pinky up, ladies!  We will also have tea, coffee, and water.  Soda?

 Should we make popcorn?

Should we get balloons?

Vicki:  Can you check through the boxes from Bunny to see if there are any good candidates for prizes?

We will have the ice breaker questions on the tables.  Please send me your suggestions for questions!

We are not going to have a bunch of prizes, but we do need a couple of them.  We need a prize for the table sponsor vote and one for a drawing of ladies who sign up ahead. 

I was trying to remember if we appropriated any money for this endeavor.  Did we?

We have the Church Hall booked for Friday.  What time would we like to set up?  Remember, we cannot set up for this event the day of after 11:00am because of the Princess Tea.

Please wear your Columbiette badges.  If you don’t have one and want to order, please contact JoAnn Rowley.  I think we could get them in time.  We will have written badges for everyone else, but it is always nice for us to be identified by name as Columbiettes.

Table sponsors bring a centerpiece, tablecloth, and all tableware.  We have tablecloths available in the closet to be used, if you like.  We have five tables right now.  I have e-mailed Fr. Ted to ask if he would be interested in setting up a table.

-          Kathy Kral

-          Traci Edwards

-          Maryann Stradczuk

-          Choir (Debbie Shaffer, Becky Jusseaume, et al)

-          Fr. Steve, Cheryl Morin, Donna Coombs

We need someone to check to see:

-          Do we have enough

o   Tea?

o   Coffee?

o   Sugar?

o   Sweetener?

o   Good napkins?

-          Is our soda outdated?

-          Are the tablecloths looking good for the food tables or in case we need to set up some extra tables?


Would anyone like to volunteer to be on the clean-up committee? 


The Ladies Tea page is up on the website.  Please go ahead and sign up so we can have an idea of who is coming.  If a friend tells you she’s coming, just go ahead to the website and sign her up. 

Newsletter - March 2018

posted Mar 21, 2018, 5:09 PM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!

Welcome to Lent.  I have never felt that giving up chocolate (or fill in the blank) was a good exchange for Jesus hanging on the cross for me.  I’m making a conscious effort to do at least one good deed each day.  Sometimes it’s a kind word for a stranger.  It might be taking an extra minute to listen to someone who seems lost.  I feel like it brings me closer to Jesus and is still a sacrifice for me.

We have a few potential new members – Madeline Allard, Michele Chamberlain, Carol Adams, and Cheryl Viens.  I don’t have any contact information for Madeline or Cheryl.  If you know these ladies, please give me the information so they can be contacted for this.  Maybe you know someone else who would like to join.  Invite them!  We are going to have aFirst Degree on Tuesday, 2/27 in the Church.  We will meet at 6:00pm for rehearsal and the First Degree will begin at 7:00pm.  I have our new robes and will steam them for the occasion.  Yay!  So far the Degree Team consists of Tara Ingraham, Jo Ann Rowley, Donna Coombs (?), Vicki Rosich, Kathy Kral, Traci Edwards, and myself.  Fr. Steve has another obligation and will not be joining us.  

Fr. Ted has asked that all items that are dropped off for donation in the center vestibule be picked up weekly.  If you are on a committee for a project, take a look to see if someone has dropped off something for your project.  Please pick up what’s there for you.  Traci Edwardshas volunteered to grab whatever is ours, but I think if we all take ownership it will be pretty smooth and we won’t wear Traci out.  You can bring the items to the meeting or store them in one of our rooms for regular distribution.  Fr. Ted has made this request of all groups, so only the items for our projects need to be picked up by us. 

Donna Coombs and Linda Pucel have a wonderful idea for the flowers that we have upstairs at the Parish Center.  We are going to get together for a Work Night on Tuesday, March 6th (Parish Center) to put them together in vases or coffee mugs.  These will be brought to a nursing home to brighten the day of some of the residents.  Great idea! Bring any spare vases or coffee mugs you may have.  If you have any ribbons, I’m sure they would help lend a festive air. 

We are hoping to have our Christmas Bazaar this year on November 3rd.  We are awaiting approval from Fr. Ted on the date.

We are selling tickets for Foxwoods Bingo on Friday, April 6th.  If everyone supports this and sells a few, this event will be a great success!  We had so much fun last time, I’ll definitely be there!  There are lots of people who really enjoy this cheap form of entertainment (just $15/ticket).  Ask them!  Sue Haulotte has tickets.

We are going to have a Book Sale 4/14 (2:00-6:00pm) and 4/15 (9:00-1:00).  Flemming’s has generously donated shelving that really helps this ongoing project.  Sue Haulotte and Dorla Barres are on the committee so far.  I’m quite sure they would appreciate help.

In conjunction with the Book Sale, we will be having a Pancake Breakfast – 4/15 (9:00-11:00)!  This is a fun idea that we haven’t tried yet.  Kathy Kral, Linda Champagne, and Tara Ingraham have so far volunteered to be on the committee for this event.  Who’s with them?  Let me know.  The more the merrier. 

We have received donations of rosaries to be able to hand out at events.  Vicki Rosich, Traci Edwards, and Bea Denomme have volunteered to collect them and put them in snack bags so they are nicely separate.  I will print brochures on how to pray the rosary to have them ready to give together. 

We decided at the meeting to offer to host this year’s Major Degree (4/28).  The Degree Team (comprised of State Columbiettes) brings all of the necessary equipment for the ceremony.  Our part is to set up the hall and make sure everything goes well.  The Major Degree is a beautiful ceremony that builds on the First Degree.  Major Degree members are considered full Columbiette members and I encourage all who have not taken their Major Degree to do so while we are hosting.  It is nice to have a State event in Eastern Connecticut!  I am working that day, but Jo Ann Rowley, Tara Ingraham, Kathy Kral, Linda Champagne, and Cheryl Morin have volunteered to host.  I have booked the Church Hall for this event.  

We voted at the meeting to contribute $300 toward sending two students to Steubenville East.  This is a wonderful teen weekend retreat that we have supported since our inception.

We will be having a Ladies Tea once again this year (5/5).  This will be in two parts.  Young ladies grades 4-7 and their moms (or other significant female) will be invited for 11:30-1:00.  This tea will have a theme based on the book Princess & the Kiss, which is a call to purity for young ladies.  You can find out more at  Cheryl Morin and Donna Coombs will be conducting the program and will chair this tea.  The second part will be our standard Ladies Tea (1:30-4:00).  We didn’t form a committee and need to do so.  So far Traci Edwards, Kathy Kral, and I have volunteered to sponsor tables.  Table sponsors would bring the tablecloth (or borrow one of ours), centerpiece, and all utensils and tableware for their table.  Every time our hall has looked amazing!  And we have had a wonderful time.  Some of our members have joined because of their exposure to us through the Ladies Tea and it really is a wonderful parish event. 

We haven’t had a Columbiettes Get Together in some time and have scheduled one for March 8th – 6:00pm at my house (178 Bitgood Road, Griswold).  I will supply all of the plates, silverware, glasses, and ordinary condiments.  The rest will be a pot luck.  Make your favorite recipe, or bring something simple.  It’s up to you, but please come join us for a fun evening.  Daughters and granddaughters are welcome!

I really enjoyed last week’s meeting.  It was nice to spend time with all of you.  I appreciate you more than you know.  Our next regular meeting is Monday, March 5th at 6:30pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 5:30pm.  Divine Mercy Chaplet is being said in the Parish Center Chapel at 5:00pm.  I look forward to seeing you!

-      Maryann

Newsletter - August 2017

posted Aug 12, 2017, 4:46 AM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!


It was a lovely day to have a Golf Tournament!  Once again, the weather got out of the way so we could have a good day.  Thank you, God!  Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s event a success.  Thanks to the committee for all of their hard work throughout the year.  Thanks also to those who made the raffles so amazing – people who donated, gathered, put together, and displayed.  It was a great effort.


Like so many others, I have eliminated my house phone.  Please call or text me on my cell phone – 860-608-6772 – or you can e-mail me – 


I have not heard from Linda DeManuel since her move to Canterbury.  If you have heard from her or have a way to contact her, please let me know.  Thanks!


Our Officers’ Meeting will be this Monday (8/14) – 6:00pm at my house. 


The Sunflower Stroll has been moved to Sunday due to a threat of bad weather for Saturday.  I have a previous engagement and will not be able to attend.  Bea Denomme has graciously offered to bring the items to it that we are distributing.  We do need a couple of people to help set up in my stead.  I am not sure where our spot will be, but it is just that – a spot.  We would need to bring a table or two to put our items on.  We have been asked to check in at the Town Hall (28 Main Street) around 2:00pm.  From there, we will get instructions on where to be, etc.  Parking behind St. Mary School is not a problem, since the event does not conflict with our mass.  Meet at the Parish Center at 2:00pm. 


Ham Dinner tickets are available for sale.  Please take some from Kathy Kral.  Kathy Luty will coordinate the sale of tickets at all masses beginning Labor Day weekend.  There will be a meeting of the committee on August 28th at 5:15 in the parish Center.      


Fr. Steve had his back surgery on Thursday, and says he is doing well.  In fact, he hobbled in to River Ridge to support our Golf Tournament.  He told the ladies that he has pain from the incision, but has no pain in his legs.  Hallelujah!!  We are praying for his continued recovery.


Speaking of Fr. Steve, he has agreed to conduct a Day of Reflection for us on November 11th.  Please put the date on your calendar so you can be there!  Fr. Steve is a font of information.  In the past, he has explained some pretty sticky spiritual situations to us in a way that really makes sense.  He also discussed the lives of some modern saints.  If you have any nagging questions, please feel free to let Fr. Steve or me know.  You could also put an anonymous note in the collection basket.  I can guarantee you that if you have a particular question, somebody else who didn’t voice it has the same question.  And if that wasn’t enough, everyone is invited to come.  You can bring your friends, family, and neighbors.  This event will be free for McCabe Columbiettes.  All others will pay just $10.  We will have more information upcoming, but for now please hold the date.  This is a wonderful way to prepare spiritually for Advent before all the craziness sets in.


Madeline Illinger and Dorla Barres are collecting supplies for backpacks for disadvantaged Griswold students and those in the care of DCF.  When Madeline returns from Alaska, we should have a better idea of what else is needed.  So far, the response seems quite good.  Thanks for your support of this worthwhile project!


I will be leaving on Friday for the Columbiettes Supreme Convention on Long Island.  I am looking forward to sharing ideas with our Sister Columbiettes from around the country and truly enjoy their company as well. 


Janice Steinhagen spearheaded our efforts to help Camp Ahimsa in Voluntown, which is run by Catholic Worker.  You generosity and a check from Columbiettes for $100 yielded three dinners for all of the campers and counselors.  Camp Ahimsa works with inner city kids throughout the year and brings six different small groups to the country for a week each in the summer.  Several of you joined in with Janice and Erich and it sounded like a really wonderful experience all around.  There are pictures on our Facebook page. 


It’s time to get ready for the Christmas Bazaar!  We will have a meeting at my house on August 22nd at 6:00pm.  Bring your best ideas for success!  Here’s who we have for committees so far:

  1. Main Committee:  Sue Haulotte, Jo Ann Rowley, Kristi Surratt, Maryann Stradczuk, Vicki Rosich, Dorla Barres, Debbie Shaffer, Lisa Lavado, Allison Turcotte.

  2. Crafts – Patty Martinell, Jackie Connelly, Ceil Roberge

  3. Silent Auction – Vicki Rosich, Maryann Stradczuk

  4. Vendors – Lisa Lavado

  5. Christmas Decorations – Traci Edwards, Becky Jusseaume

  6. Kitchen – Kathy Kral, Linda Champagne, Barbara Hanes, Jo Ann Rowley


    The Knights of Columbus will be conducting their annual Tootsie Roll Drive – September 14th-16th.  After their 8/24 meeting, we will be asked to help fill in slots.  Patty Martinell is coordinating our effort on this.  A schedule of open spots will be available at the September meeting.


    EWTN has a program that they run on Saturday evenings at 8:00 on the lives of saints.  Check it out!


    State Columbiettes have some canvas tote bags available for (I think) $10 each.  Let me know if you are interested.


    Due to the Labor Day holiday, our next monthly meeting will be September 11th at 7:00pm in the Parish Center.  Social Hour will begin at 6:00pm.  Divine Mercy Chaplet will be in the Parish Center Chapel at 5:30pm.  I look forward to seeing all of you.  Thanks for all you do!


  •  Maryann

Newsletter - July 2017

posted Jul 16, 2017, 3:55 AM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!

Golf Tournament preparations continue!  Several people who have golfed with us are unable to join us this year.  Please ask your golfing friends if they will golf with us ($100).  The Golf Tournament is a really fun event that is enjoyed by all at a reasonable price.  Your golfing friends will be glad you asked them!  We are also looking for more golf hole sponsors ($100).  Sponsors can be a business or individual.  Some of our sponsors place a sign in memorial to a loved one.  Janice Steinhagen is putting the golf poster on Griswold NOW.  We are also looking for more workers the day of the tournament.  You don’t need to know anything about golf to help out and make sure everyone has a good time.  The more the merrier!  If you have any questions, contact Kathy Kral or Paula Nowakowski.

This year, we are trying to split the basket raffle away from the main Golf Tournament committee.  Linda Pucel, Kathy Coletti, Sue Haulotte, Kathy Brophy, and Allison Turcotte have volunteered for the basket raffle committee.  All baskets should be complete by 8/1.  If you have items to donate, please contact any committee member.  

The Yard Sale/Book Sale is this Saturday (7/22).  The time is now to put up the yard signs!!  I hear we have plenty left, so there’s room for you to take more.   For the Christmas Bazaar, I drove around with signs in my trunk and found public spots that didn’t already have a sign.  Easy peasy!!  I put them in public greens, intersection, and my friends’ yards – along with my own yard.    What a difference this promotion made for the success of our Christmas Bazaar!  We would love to have the same response for the Yard Sale/Book Sale.   We are looking for people to help out working the day of.  Let me know if you can work set up (7:00-9:00am), the sale (9:00am-3:00pm), and/or clean up (3:00-5:00pm).  I hear we have many new donations and are getting together on Thursday (7/20) at 2:00pm in the Parish Center to sort and price the new donations.  This is going to be our best Yard Sale!  Remember to pick up any signs you see after the Yard Sale!

It’s time to start getting ready for the Christmas Bazaar!  Here’s who was on committees last year.  Please let me know if you would like your name added or removed:

  • Main Committee – Sue Haulotte, Jo Ann Rowley, Kristi Surratt, Maryann Stradczuk, Vicki Rosich, Dorla Barres, Debbie Shaffer, Lisa Lavado, Allison Turcotte, Terri Craig
  • Crafts #1 – Patty Martinell, Jackie Connelly, Ceil Roberge
  • Crafts #2 – Terri Craig
  • Silent Auction – Vicki Rosich, Maryann Stradczuk
  • Vendors – Lisa Lavado
  • Christmas Decorations – Traci Edwards, Becky Jusseaume
  • Kitchen – Kathy Kral, Linda Champagne, Barbara Hanes, Jo Ann Rowley

And there’s plenty of room for you, too!  We are going to have a meeting Thursday, July 27th at 6:00pm in the Parish Center to see where we are and make some plans.  Please let me know if you can make it.  Please contact Patty Martinell if you have any crafts (knitted, crocheted, macramé, sewing, you name it!) that could be included in the sale.  If you have yarn hanging around your house that you’d like to have put to good use, let Patty know as well.  

Dorla Barres and Madeline Illinger are once again putting together backpacks for students.  Madeline is putting a list of items in the bulletin.  All supplies should be received by 8/15 and can be brought to our August meeting.

On a spiritual note, Fr. Steve will be conducting a Day of Reflection for us on Saturday, November 11th.  Please put the date on your calendar!  This program is free for McCabe Columbiettes and just $10 for all others.  So, invite your friends!  It’s a great way to have a day out with friends and prepare spiritually for Advent.  Please submit your ideas for what Fr. Steve can talk about.  As you know, he is a wealth of practical information.  

Dave Kane (think Fr. Misgivings Comedy Show comedian) has a new show available called “Jokes My Irish Father Told Me.”  I will set up a date for this in the upcoming year.  We had so much fun at the last show and I’m looking forward to this new show already!

Janice Steinhagen has arranged to bring dinner to Camp Ahimsa on July 17th and July 24th.  You will recall that Camp Ahimsa is run by Catholic Worker to bring inner city kids out to the country.  Last year campers and counselors shared their stories while our Columbiettes were there and their stories were really inspiring.  I think this is another situation where the giver receives more than the recipient.  If you are interested in helping out, please contact Janice Steinhagen.  Janice will be putting up some balloons to help you find the place when you get there.  Helpers will meet at 5:30pm for dinner at 6:00pm.    

If you change your address, e-mail, or phone number, please let us know so we can find you!

I am at a slight disadvantage putting out the newsletter this month as I was not at the meeting due to the meeting date change and my work schedule.  Please let me know if I got the details wrong.  Also, if you have adopted a member who does not have e-mail, please let her know about the Yard Sale and Camp Ahimsa.  The rest of the info can wait until she receives her very own USPS mailed copy of this.  Thanks for helping out our Sister Columbiettes!

Our August meeting will be back to the regular schedule – August 7th.  The meeting will be at 7:00pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour will be at 6:00pm and Divine Mercy Chaplet will be at 5:30pm in the Parish Center Chapel.  See you there!

Thanks for all you do!  I am always impressed with all we are able to accomplish together.  Others have noticed, too!

  • Maryann

Newsletter - June 2017

posted Jun 21, 2017, 3:17 AM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!


It is time to plan our day with Camp Ahimsa in Voluntown.  You will recall that Catholic Worker runs this program to bring inner city kids out to the country.  I was very impressed hearing their story last year and how life changing this can be for the campers.  Janice Steinhagen is putting together a team for this.  She is planning to bring food and supplies for the day.  Would you like to help out?  Let her or me know.  We will appropriate money at the meeting, but we need to get a team together now.


Debbie Shaffer, Vicki Rosich, and I have been working hard to price and organize the items we have for the Yard Sale.  Things are going really well!  In fact, we have a good portion of the first floor storage room emptied.  Sorted items are being moved to another room.  We are taking donations, if you have anything you would like to part with.  Please put them in the storage room and we will sort them from there.  Also, we need help the day of the sale.  There are basically three sections of time that we are looking for help – Set up (7:00-9:00am) / Sale (9:00am-3:00pm / Clean up (3:00-5:00pm).  Take your pick!  We have new lawn signs for the Yard/Book Sale as well.  Like the Christmas Bazaar signs, they say “this Saturday”.  We will be distributing them at the July meeting to be put out on July 16th and picked up after the sale.  This was a very successful marketing idea for the Christmas Bazaar so please consider taking a few signs to put about the area.


Would someone be interested in crocheting a set of golf club covers for the golf tournament raffle or the Christmas bazaar craft table?  If you plan to do this, please be sure to have the cover be longish down the shaft.  If you have a pattern for one, please share. 


We’re rounding the corner on our upcoming Golf Tournament (8/11)!  Do you know anyone who golfs?  Ask them to golf with us!  Do you have connections with a business who would like to promote themselves?  Ask them if they would like to sponsor a hole!  This is our fifth year of golfing, and we have an excellent tournament that is a pleasure to host and everyone has a great time.  The committee works very hard and need all of our help.  This is a large undertaking and we all need to do our part. 


This year we have split the raffles off from the main golf committee and formed a smaller committee for this purpose.  This raffle committee is responsible for gathering items for the raffle and displaying them.  At the State Convention a group brought gift cards displayed on a stick in a small living plant.  What a great idea!  The raffle committee so far is:  Kathy Coletti, Sue Haulotte, Linda Pucel, Kathy Brophy, Allison Turcotte, and Renee Asmar.  Please get together to have a strategy.  Also speak with the main committee (Rosie Payne, Paula Nowakowski, Madeline Illinger, Dorla Barres, Kathy Kral, Karen Aubin, or Kathy Luty) about what they want as they have been running this raffle for four years and know how they want it. 


We also need more workers the day of the golf tournament.  The more the merrier!  You don’t have to golf to work the tournament.  Helpers register the golfers, sell raffle tickets, run games at some of the golf holes, assist with the raffle, and generally make sure everyone has a good time.  Let me know if you are available.  Already signed up are:   Dorla Barres, Linda Champagne Bea Denomme, Lois Slonski, Linda Pucel, Kathy Coletti, Cheryl Morin (inside only), and  Maryann Stradczuk (2:00pm on).


We need a volunteer to assist with the semi-annual audit of our financial records.  You don’t need to be an accountant; just a reasonable person.  Kathy Brophy serves as the chairperson on this.  I volunteer myself and need one more.  Are you interested?  Please let me know.  Thanks for considering this very important job.


Our sister Columbiette, Karen Sedgwick, had breast cancer surgery on June 1st with great success!  Apparently she will not need any chemo or radiation.  Thanks be to God!  Please keep Karen in your prayers and offer help, if you can.


Our next meeting will be Monday, July 10th at 7:00pm in the Parish Center Dining Room.  Social Hour will be at 6:00.  Divine Mercy Chaplet will be at 5:30 in the Parish Center Chapel.


Thanks for all you do!


  •  Maryann

Connecticut State Convention

posted Jun 11, 2017, 8:41 PM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!


Jo Ann Rowley and I attended the Connecticut State Columbiettes 55th Annual Convention this past Saturday.  This was the best one I’ve been to yet!  And that’s not because I was elected as State Secretary, even though I was.  It was a very good day.  In no particular order, here’s some info: 


At the beginning of 2017, there were 731 Columbiettes in Connecticut.  This is down from (I believe) 786 last year.  That is a pretty significant drop and we did have one auxiliary disband last year.  As a result, we have four delegates to Supreme Convention this year instead of five.  The good news is that we have a new auxiliary in Hamden – St. Rita’s.  These vibrant ladies are poised to do great things and a couple of them were at their first Convention.  So we still have 16 Columbiette auxiliaries in Connecticut. 


Jo Ann presented our $500 donation to Campership.  Almost $10,000 was collected for Campership just at the convention.   Columbiettes helped send 49 campers to camp this year.  Donations were down, but the committee did their best.


The final 30 Week Club annual drawings were done and Kathy Kral won $30!  This is a major fundraiser for Campership and State Columbiettes.  Thanks to all who participate.


This year’s State Officers are as follows:

  • President – Loretta Spataro

  • Vice President – Grace Gambino

  • Secretary – Maryann Stradczuk

  • Financial Secretary – Sue Berry

  • Treasurer – Joan Carlson

  • Advocate – Jackie Ryan

  • Sentinel – Vilma Vega


    Shoeboxes for the Homeless – we reported 81 shoeboxes which will be delivered to Catholic Charities in Norwich in the very near future.  Joan Carlson’s Fr. Hussion Auxiliary is delivering 177 boxes!!!   These donations are greatly appreciated by our local homeless people.  Thanks to Patty Martinell, Ceil Roberge, and Jackie Connelly who put together our boxes with such love and caring. 


    The Supreme Convention will be in August and I will be a delegate representing Connecticut.  Our resolution proposing that family members be able to join Columbiettes at age 16 passed at the Connecticut convention and will be voted on at the Supreme convention.  I am prepared to speak in favor of our resolution.  I hope it passes! 


    Jo Ann distributed our Golf Tournament flyer to everyone at the Convention.  I spoke with our new State President, Loretta Spataro, today and she plans to take up golfing to she can join us! 


    We received a new Caring & Sharing book.  This is produced by Supreme Columbiettes and is a treasure trove of helpful information.  I look forward to digging into these wonderful ideas and sharing them.  Everyone at the convention receives a packet with many reports.  State officers, committee chairs, and Auxiliary presidents all submit reports.  I read them all and really enjoy hearing about what our Sister Columbiettes around the state are doing.  I even re-read my own report!


    Next year’s Convention will be on June 2nd, and may very well be in New London!  This year’s Regional Meeting will be November 4th at St. Rita’s Church in Hamden.  Please plan to join me!


    I will produce our regular newsletter soon!


  •  Maryann

Newsletter - May 2017

posted Jun 11, 2017, 6:18 PM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!


The election results are in and you have chosen the following to be your officers for this year:


President – Maryann Stradczuk

Vice President – Jo Ann Rowley

Financial Secretary – Cheryl Morin

Treasurer – Kathy Kral

Secretary – Donna Coombs

Sentinel – Traci Edwards


Congratulations to all!  The Officers’ Meeting will be this Monday (5/8) at my house at 6:00pm.  Vicki Rosich has agreed to continue managing Vicki’s Bag.  Yay!! 


Thanks to everyone who has been praying for my eyesight!  I had a blood vessel bleed into my eye last Sunday and the doctor put me on eye rest (couldn’t open my eyes) for two days.  Sorry if I looked scary at the meeting!  The bleeding has stopped and I am back to work.  There is still a bunch of junk in my eye, but I am on the mend with nothing but a lifting restriction. 


There are a few spots left for the Knights of Columbus Cape Cod Trip (9/29-10/1).  Ceil & Bob Roberge run this trip and can give you all the details.  I can tell you how much fun Stan and I have had for the last several years.  The cost for double occupancy with 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts is $314. A $50 deposit is due now with the balance paid on arrival to the hotel – Cape Cod Irish Village in West Yarmouth.


Fr. Ted has signed the contract to give permission for Boundaries (John Faulise) to survey the Church for the New Church Hall Entry.  In fact, the work may have already been done.  John will work with Fr. Ted to make sure that the project is what Fr. Ted envisions for our church and also with the architect to have the plans be correctly taking the heights and other measurements into account when drafting the final plans.  Of particular concern is the water issue on that side of the church, so we are being especially careful.  We discussed at one point posting a large thermometer in the church to show the financial progress for this project.  Is anyone crafty enough to be able to create such a poster?  Let me know. 


Fr. Ted has approved our date change of the Christmas Bazaar to November 18th (9:00-3:00).  We can now book vendors, if you know of anyone who may be interested.  We will begin meetings after we are done with the Yard/Book Sale.  We will discuss the various committees to gauge interest at our June meeting.


The Columbiettes State Convention will be on Saturday, June 10th in Stamford.  The cost of going is $45, which covers the meal and swag.  The membership voted last month to cover the $10 registration fee.  Please let me know if you are planning on going.  I have room in the car and am happy to have company.  I love going to the convention because it is great to see what other auxiliaries are doing and how they do it.  And since I have been involved with them for a few years now, I have more friends.  Our delegates vote on important issues affecting the Columbiettes.  You will recall that we voted on a resolution at our April meeting to lower the Columbiettes joining age to 16 for family members.  If our resolution passes the State Convention, it will be voted on at the Supreme Convention in August.  Just goes to show that what we do really matters!




The Yard Sale/Book Sale will be Saturday, July 22nd (9:00-3:00).  I am planning on getting together with Vicki Rosich to go over the items we already have that we can sell.  Please keep the date in mind, if you are able to help the day of the sale.  We will need several people to help bring the items out of the Parish Center and work the sale.  We will also need help bringing the one or two items we have left back into the Parish Center and tidy up.  We are looking for some donations of saleable items, but don’t really have enough help or storage to advertise this.  Please keep it in mind if you have anything you would like to be rid of.  Thanks!  We also offer table space to members who wish to sell their own items the day of.  The cost is $25/table.


We voted at the meeting to purchase robes for our ceremonies.  These will be used for our First Degrees and Installation of Officers which will be held at the very beginning of our June meeting.  Officers:  please bring your jewels!


The Ladies Tea is being postponed and will be held in September or October.  I am working out the date with Sheila and will let you know.


Preparations are fully underway for this year’s Golf Tournament (8/11).  We are trying something different this year and have formed a Basket Raffle Committee to take some of the work off of the main committee.  Good idea!!  So far, the committee consists of Kathy Coletti, Sue Haulotte, Linda Pucel, Kathy Brophy, Allison Turcotte, and Renee Asmar.  Please consider having a meeting to decide how you will handle this new task.  If you have items you would like to donate for baskets, let the committee know and/or bring them to the next monthly meeting.  If you don’t want to bother, consider donating a few bucks and someone will do the shopping for you.   Easy peasy! 


Would you like to be on the main Golf Committee?  Most of the members have been on the committee for five years and have expressed a desire for new blood.  The Golf Tournament has been our top revenue producer every year and a fun social event that we are very proud to host.  Like the Christmas Bazaar, pretty much all of our members participate in one way or another.  Please do what you can to make this project a success.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Ask friends and family who golf to join the fun.

  • Ask businesses to sponsor a hole or donate for the basket raffle.

  • Gather items for raffle donations.

  • Work the day of the tournament.  Workers sell raffle tickets, run games at golf holes, sign in golfers, and generally make sure everyone has a good time.  You don’t need to know much about golf to be good at it.

  • Post brochures where you go – work, stores, gym, etc.


    If you are making items for the Craft Table at the Christmas Bazaar, please feel free to bring them to any monthly meeting.  If you have any questions about this, please contact Patty Martinell, Jackie Connelly, or Ceil Roberge.


    Our Sister Columbiette, Ann Olewnik, is moving at the end of the month back to St. Mary’s, PA.  She will still be a member, but we will not see her nearly as much.  We will miss you, Ann!!  Renee Asmar is putting together a bon voyage party for Ann on Sunday, May 21st at 2:00pm in the Church Hall.  Please let Renee know if you are going so she will know how many tables to set up.  If you can help set up or clean up, let Renee know.  If you are going to the party, please bring a plate of finger foods.


    The Dinner Committee will be meeting soon to discuss the upcoming dinner on October 7th.  That committee consists of Sue Haulotte, Linda DeManuel, Kathy Luty, Allison Turcotte, Kristi Surratt, Kathy Kral, and Renee Asmar.  This is also the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of the Rosary and certainly deserves a good celebration! 


    Our monthly meeting will be Monday, June 5th at 7:00pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 6:00pm.  Divine Mercy Chaplet will be said in the Parish Center Chapel at 5:30.


    I hope your day is fabulous!  Thanks so much for all you do to make our group great!


  •  Maryann

March 2017 Newsletter

posted Mar 9, 2017, 4:34 AM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!


Our sister Columbiette, Paula Nowakowski, is very grateful for the assistance she received from Columbiettes as she recovers from total knee replacement.  Many of you have visited, cooked meals, done laundry, stayed overnight when she was newly home from the hospital, done shopping, and taken care of many things that she was unable to do.  Paula is recovering nicely, but I’m sure still needs some assistance as this is a long recovery.  Her address is 371 Edmond Road in Griswold.  You can also call (860-639-8558) or email (  I’m so proud of your outpouring of support for Paula!


The Pro-Life Baby Shower is this Sunday, March 12th @2:00pm.  This event is a standard issue baby shower that benefits The Cradle Fund of the Norwich Diocese.   Last year’s shower was so much fun we decided to do it again!  Car seats cannot be accepted, but any cash that is donated to this will go toward the purchase of gift cards for the purchase of car seats for disadvantaged families.  So far we have four car seats!  The Cradle Fund is looking for children’s clothes up to size 2.  Diapers and other items are also welcome.  The committee is meeting this Friday, March 10th @6:00pm in the Church Hall for set up.  Feel free to join them, if you are interested in helping out.  There is no need to bring food for this event as they are buying simple foods.  So bring yourself and a baby gift for The Cradle Fund!  I’m looking forward to this lovely event.  Please RSVP on the website so we can have an idea of how many tables to set up.


You may have noticed that the shelves in our closet at the Church Hall are failing and we are unable to organize the closet properly.  Ugh!  If you have an idea for a solution, please bring it.  Thanks!


The Griswold Youth Center is sponsoring a Community Yard Sale on April 8th, and Columbiettes will be there!   We will bring our banner and some of our stuff.  It will be good exposure for us and an opportunity to spread the good news of our group.  Vicki Rosich and I will be getting together this Friday, March 10th at 1:00pm to organize our storage room at the Parish Center and get items together for the sale.  Wanna help?  Just show up!  I suggest wearing grubby clothes and maybe gloves.  This will also be good prep for our upcoming Yard Sale/Book Sale which will be July 22nd.  Note:  the date has been changed.


It is time to nominate officers for the 2017-2018 Columbiette year.  If you knew how much fun we have as officers, you’d take our jobs in a heartbeat.  Yes, the current officers do a fantastic job for us!  We also know that officers (except financial officers) are supposed to serve just two years in each post.  Most of our officers, including myself, have been in their positions since our inception.  Please consider becoming an officer.  I have seen every kind of officer, and know that there is more than one way to do a really great job.  Kathy Brophy (chair), Allison Turcotte, and Becky Jusseaume are on our Nominating Committee and will bring back recommendations to next month’s meeting.  Nominations will also be able to be made from the floor at the May meeting as we hold our elections.  If I am replaced as President, I would still be an officer.  My job title would be Immediate Past President.  Right now we are one shy of a full deck of officers, although Kathy Brophy has done a great job of filling in for the assigned duties of the Past President.


Bob Roberge has the details on this year’s Cape Cod Trip.  As always we will be staying at the Cape Cod Irish Village in West Yarmouth – right on Route 28 in Mid Cape.  The double occupancy rate is $314 per room, and the deposit is $50 (check payable to McCabe Knights of Columbus) and includes two dinners and two breakfasts.  And the food is really good!   We will arrive September 29th and depart October 2nd.  This trip is always a good time.  Reserve early to be sure you get a room!  If you have any questions, contact Bob or Ceil Roberge.


Our next First Degree Ceremony is April 9th at 2:00pm in the Church.  All prospective members must attend a First Degree Ceremony to become Columbiettes.  The next step is Major Degree, which brings another set of privileges with it.  The next Major Degree Ceremony will be in Old Saybrook on April 22nd.  This is being hosted by our very own District Deputy, Joan Carlson’s Auxiliary and we are thrilled to have this important event in Eastern Connecticut. 


The Ladies Tea is back to May 13th at 1:00pm.  I was hoping to change due to my work schedule change, but the hall was not available.  I’m sorry for the confusion on the date.  The next meeting of the Ladies Tea Committee will be Friday, April 7th at 6:00pm in the Church Hall.  We will take inventory of supplies and make final preparations.  Our formula for this event has been very successful and we look forward to another fun social event.


All of the information in this newsletter is included on our website –  And there’s more!  We have a member’s page that includes two forms.  These are requests for Social Welfare and/or Thank You Notes.  When these are utilized, we have all the information we need to accomplish the job without having to search.  It saves lots of time and confusion, allowing for a better job of things.


We voted to submit a resolution to State and Supreme Columbiettes to lower the joining age of Columbiettes to 16 for family members (daughters, granddaughters, step daughters, nieces, etc.) of adult Columbiettes.  This change requires a amending the Supreme by-laws, which is no small task.  I have reached out to our State and Supreme Advocates on how to proceed with this change.


We will be holding a Kielbasa Dinner / Cupcake Challenge on Saturday, October 7th.  The Dinner Committee thus far consists of Sue Haulotte, Linda DeManuel, Kathy Luty, Allison Turcotte, Kristi Surratt, Kathy Kral, and Renee Asmar.  Becky Jusseaume is a committee of one so far for the Cupcake Challenge.  For the Cupcake Challenge, bakers will submit their best baker’s dozen of decorated cupcakes.  A judging panel will rate the confections on taste, decoration, and texture.  The winner will receive a one of a kind embroidered apron and the title of 2017 Heaven’s Delight Cupcake Challenge Winner.  Wow!  I think it will be lots of fun and we will be selling the cupcakes after the judging.  The date is also the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is certainly worth celebrating.  There was some discussion on whether a dessert should be offered with the dinner.  The committee will decide.


The Golf Tournament will be August 11th.  Now is the time to think about baskets and other prizes for the raffle.  Do you have a group of items that would make a good basket?  The committee would be happy to make them look great.  Do you deal frequently or have connections with a particular business?  Ask them if they would like to sponsor a hole or donate a raffle prize.  All donors receive a letter of thanks for their tax deductible donation.  Maybe you know someone who golfs?  Ask them!  This is a tournament that we all can be very proud to recommend.  Everyone has a great time.  The course is always in great condition.  And because we have connections, the weather has always been stellar.  It’s a win all around.  Please do your part to make this important fundraiser a success!


Kathy Luty is missing a leather glove that she thinks she left at the meeting.  If you have a stray glove, please let her know.  Apparently they have sentimental value.


We will be investigating printing letterhead and envelopes for our Auxiliary.  If anyone has any suggestions, or would like to take on the challenge, please let me know.


The Officers’ Meeting will be Monday, March 13th.  Same bat time.  Same bat channel.


Our next meeting is Monday, April 3rd at 7:00pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 6:00pm.  If you are interested in attending Divine Mercy Chaplet, go to the Parish Center Chapel at 5:00pm.  All of this information is on our website –  Thanks for all you do to make our group great!



  •  Maryann

Newsletter - February 2017

posted Feb 20, 2017, 12:30 PM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!

Most of you know that our Sister Columbiette, Paula Nowakowski, had a total knee replacement on February 8th.  This is a very hard surgery with a long and painful recovery.  In Paula’s case, it is made more difficult as she is responsible for the care of her mother (and our Sister Columbiette), Betty Nowakowski.  Both ladies are in dire need of our help.  I have always said that one of the best things we do as Columbiettes is to support one another.  Paula really needs our help.  Visiting is nice.  Helping out is even nicer.  Some of the things I think would be welcome are:  bringing a meal, taking Paula’s grocery list to the store, driving her to an appointment, or doing the dishes or laundry.  It’s hard to do pretty much anything when you are using a walker and every movement is painful, so any help would be welcome.  Keep in mind, she will probably not be fully functional for a month or two at least.  I know some of you have visited, and Paula is very grateful for any assistance we can give.  Her address is 371 Edmond Road in Griswold.  You can also call (860-376-4993 or 860-639-8558) or email (


Plans for the New Church Hall Entry are going along well.  We are meeting with surveyors to work with the architect and ensure that we are able to mitigate any water issues.  It all takes time.  I brought copies of the current plan to the meeting for everyone to see.  I plan to have some at this month’s meeting as well, so ask me if you are interested in seeing it.  We will soon be looking for donations from parishioners to hopefully be able to complete this project this year.


It seemed like everyone who went to the Epiphany Dinner in January had a great time!  I was able to chat with some people who I haven’t seen in a while.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?  Columbiettes set up the hall and I fielded many compliments on our behalf.  The Church Hall really did look great!!


The Pro-Life Baby Shower is Sunday, March 12th @2:00pm.  This event is a standard issue baby shower that benefits The Cradle Fund.   Last year’s shower was so much fun we decided to do it again!  Car seats cannot be accepted, but any cash that is donated to this will go toward the purchase of gift cards for the purchase of car seats for disadvantaged families.  So far we have three car seats!  The Cradle Fund is looking for children’s clothes up to size 2.  Diapers and other items are also welcome.  The committee (Cheryl Morin, Donna Coombs, Sue Haulotte, Jo Ann Rowley, Linda Champagne, and Kristi Surratt) is meeting Wednesday, February 22nd @6:00pm in the Parish Center.  Feel free to join them, if you are interested in helping out. 


There is only one student from St. Mary’s going to Steubenville East this year and we voted at the meeting to pay for the balance of her costs after the Church paid a part of it.  Steubenville East is a wonderful teen rally that we have been supporting for a few years now. 


The Griswold Youth Center is sponsoring a Community Yard Sale on April 8th.  $10 buys you a space at Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Vicki Rosich, in her role as Yard Sale Chairperson, would like for Columbiettes to have a spot.  I’m all for it!  We will bring our banner and some of our stuff.  It will be good exposure for us and an opportunity to spread the good news of our group.


We discussed the purchase of white robes to be used for our First Degree Ceremonies.  Jo Ann Rowley and I have purchased our own, but the rest of the robes that we are using are pretty shabby and mismatched.  Linda Champagne works at the college and has some knowledge of these things.  She is looking into options and will bring some information to the March meeting.  Our next First Degree will be April 9th.


A change in my work schedule is causing a change in the date of the Christmas Bazaar.  The new date will be Saturday, November 18th.  Lisa Lavado has approved this message and I have changed our website calendar and page.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.


The change in my work schedule is also causing a change in the date for the Ladies Tea, which will now be April 29th.  This keeps our event away from Mother’s Day, which some members thought was a good idea.  The next meeting of the Ladies Tea Committee will be Friday, April 7th in the Church Hall.  We will take inventory of items needed and finalize plans. 


This year’s anniversary celebration will be Sunday, December 10th at the 11:00 mass.  We will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of our founding!  We were thinking of having breakfast together instead of the usual lunch.  I know it’s early, but please mark your calendars.  It is so nice when we are able to get together with our families as well.


We will be putting together a Nominating Committee to bring nominations for new officers to the April meeting.  The Nominating Committee will be evaluating candidates for our six officers for the 2017-2018 year.  Nominations can also be brought from the floor at the May meeting.  Please pray upon whether you would like to be an officer.  Any Major Degree member can hold office, and if you’re not already a Major Degree Member, we can remedy that.  The current officers and I can tell you how very much fun being an officer is!  Our Auxiliary cannot exist without officers, so please consider this important job.  Now that we are established and stable, I believe that some change would be good for our vibrancy.


This year’s Major Degree Ceremony will be Saturday, April 22nd in Old Saybrook.  This is a lot closer than usual and Rhode Island Columbiettes are invited as well as Columbiettes from around Connecticut.   If you have just made your First Degree, please consider Major Degree.  I like to be at the top of my game in all regards, and this is it.  Knights of Columbus have four degrees; Columbiettes have only two.  Major Degree members have some privileges that First Degree members do not and all Columbiettes are encouraged to become Major Degree members. 


Our next meeting is Monday, March 6th at 6:30pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 5:30.  If you are interested in attending Divine Mercy Chaplet, go to the Parish Center Chapel at 5:00pm.  All of this information is on our website –  Thanks for all you do to make our group great!



  •  Maryann

January 2017 Newsletter

posted Jan 5, 2017, 8:22 PM by Maryann Stradczuk

Hello Ladies!

Fr. Steve had a shiny, new calendar and we did our best at the meeting to fill it up!


The new tables have arrived.  Fr. Ted will decide what to do with the old tables.  Some may be used for CCD, etc.


Cheryl Morin reports that we may have a copy of the plans for the Handicapped Ramp for the Church Hall very soon.  We will look it over to see if it is exactly as we pictured, and Fr. Ted will also need to approve the design.  Thanks in part to donations made in the name of Jackie Goddard, the fund for this has nearly $18.000 in it! 


There is a meeting every Monday (7:00-9:00pm) at the Griswold Youth Center (on Ashland Street) to make Sleeping Mats for the Homeless.  All are welcome, and some Columbiettes regularly attend.  Volunteers are needed to fold or cut bags, connect the pieces to make the yarn, and knit or crochet the mats.  Honestly, it’s pretty easy.  If you have ever wanted to learn how to knit or crochet, this is a great opportunity!  If you skip a stitch here or there, nobody will notice.  And you’re doing something good. 


The Kitchen Committee is being chaired by Kathy Kral and includes Lisa Lavado, Linda Champagne, Renee Asmar, and a couple of Scout representatives.  A meeting will be scheduled soon.  Any plans will have to be approved by Fr. Ted and any funding will have to be approved at our Meeting.  We have a great space and it would be really nice to have it updated to be more of a commercial type kitchen. 


The Epiphany Dinner is this Sunday, January 8th at 2:00pm in the Church Hall.  All parishioners are welcome!  Fred and Kathy Kral will be cooking the roast beef, and all in attendance are asked to bring a side dish or dessert.  This is always a great time and I am looking forward to it.  Columbiettes have volunteered to set up and this will take place on Saturday (1/7) at 2:00pm.  We will set up for 100 people, which is 13 tables; with an additional 5 tables for food.  Sheila was pleased to hear that we would be using our tablecloths.  Cheryl Morin and Donna Coombs are working on some lower centerpieces.  Volunteers for the set up are:  Donna Coombs, Vicki Rosich, Kathy Brophy, Linda Champagne, Renee Asmar, and Jo Ann Rowley. 


The semi-annual audit was conducted by Kathy Brophy, Karen Aubin, and myself and I am pleased to report that everything looks to be in order. 


We have scheduled a Pro-Life Baby Shower for Sunday, March 12th at 2:00pm.  Cheryl Morin and Donna Coombs are co-chairing this event with Sue Haulotte, Jo Ann Rowley, Linda Champagne, and Kristi Surratt on the committee.  I recommend a meeting soon as this date is fast approaching.  We voted to appropriate $100 for the purchase of one car seat.  Kathy Brophy will ask the Knights if they are willing to support the purchase of a car seat as well.  This was a really fun event that benefits the Cradle Fund, which is a terrific group supporting disadvantaged women who choose to have their babies. 


The Ladies Tea will be Saturday, May 13th at 1:00pm.  We decided to have 8 tables for people and 3 tables for food.  Please let me know if you are interested in being on the committee for this popular, annual event.  Donna Coombs has volunteered to create an invitation to hand out to the ladies of the Parish.  As in the past, we are asking people to decorate (or sponsor) a table.  With only 8 available tables, this could go fast.  Let me know if you are interested in sponsoring a table.


Our Columbiettes Christmas Party will be Tuesday, January 24th at 6:00pm at my house.  Please bring a dish to share.  Okay, I know Christmas is over but we can sure bring some sparkle to the normally blah month of January!


The Knights of Columbus Pro-Life Mass will be at St. Mary’s Church (5 Hillhouse Road) in New Haven on January 15th at 10:00am.  There is a reception afterward in the Church Hall. 


We are planning a First Degree on Sunday, January 29th at 2:00pm in the Church.  The Degree Team will be Vicki Rosich, Kathy Kral, Jo Ann Rowley, Alex Kral, Ann Olewnik, Becky Jusseaume, Kathy Brophy, and myself.  I was speaking with a couple of ladies who are interested in joining.  Hopefully they can make it that day.  If you know of anyone who is interested in joining, give them a call!


The annual Yard Sale and Book Sale will be Saturday, July 8th (9:00am-3:00pm).  I am hoping that Derek and Adrianna can help us out again! 


All of these dates are on the Columbiettes calendar on our website (  Our next meeting will be February 6th at 6:30pm in the Church Hall.  Social Hour begins at 5:30.  Divine Mercy Chaplet will be at 5:00pm in the Parish Center Chapel.


Thanks so much for all you do to make our parish and community a better place!  I really do feel that we are making a difference and I am very proud of our group.


  •  Maryann

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