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Funding for school nurses, transportation for nonpublic schools in proposed Del. budget

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When Delaware legislators vote on a state budget June 30, their last day in session for the year, funding for school nurses and transportation stipends will be included, albeit at lower levels than in previous years.

The Delaware Catholic Advocacy Network (DCAN) reported Monday that the Joint Finance Committee, which draws up the budget, had restored $533,000 for nursing and $800,000 for transportation for nonpublic schools.

“While these numbers are slightly less than what our schools received last year, they will help families who struggle to send their children to Catholic schools,” DCAN said in a statement.

DCAN expressed confidence that the funding would survive the vote on Tuesday but cautioned supporters to remain vigilant “as the state has been chipping away at these modest funds for the past few years.”

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Franciscan sister makes big imprint on Tiny Steps

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Dialog reporter

(One in a series during the Year of Consecrated Life)

Sister Elise Betz loves the Franciscan atmosphere that permeates family medicine wing at hospital

WILMINGTON — Early in her ministry as an elementary school teacher, Sister Elise Betz – then called Sister Madonna – would respond to her mother superior’s question about what she wanted to do. The response was always the same: “I want to be a nurse.” Read more »

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Solidarity stories: Immigrants share both sides of experience

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For The Dialog

 

MARYDEL, Md. – Carlos Miguel Chavez came to share the struggles of his migration from his native Guatemala to Maryland some 15 years ago, but he also had a question for diocesan leaders of the Global Solidarity Program between the Diocese of Wilmington and San Marcos, Guatemala.

“How can someone from Guatemala get to be part of the committee?” Chavez asked after Brother Chris Posch asked Guatemalans how the committee could better serve them. Read more »

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Franciscans offer day of service at three locations July 11

June 27th, 2015 Posted in Our Diocese

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The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia will hold a day of service at three locations on July 11 where people can get to know the sisters and help them with their ministry as part of the “Days with Religious” initiative during the Year of Consecrated Life.

One opportunity will be to harvest vegetables at Red Hill Farm, Red Hill and Convent roads in Aston, Pa. Red Hill Farm is a six-acre plot whose members purchase a farm share and, in return, receive a weekly supply of fresh produce.

The second location is Anna’s Place, 226 Norris St., Chester, a hospitality center that offers activities for nearby residents. Volunteers will clean, wash windows and paint.

Also in Chester, volunteers will clean Drexel Neumann Academy, which opened in 2007 as a partnership between the Sisters of St. Francis, Neumann University and St. Katherine Drexel Parish. It offers an education to any child who lives in Chester regardless of religion, race or financial resources. The school is at 1901 Potter St.

The service runs from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and includes lunch and a social at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston. Register by July 1 by calling Donna Smith at (610) 459-4125.

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‘Born Sisters’ Kristen and Kara Zack graduate from Padua to country music’s biggest stage

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Dialog reporter

 

A lot of folks from the area are in Dover this weekend for Big Barrel, the second supersized music festival at Dover Downs International Speedway in as many weekends. A pair of recent Padua Academy graduates are among them, but instead of camping out and catching all the acts, they are one of the acts.

Kristen and Kara Zack (classes of 2012 and 2015, respectively), who along with their three bandmates comprise Born Sisters, have been busy preparing for Big Barrel. The three-day festival includes nearly 40 country artists on two stages and features some of the industry’s biggest names, such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. The party got underway Friday and runs through Sunday. Read more »

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DCAN asks for Del. residents help retaining nursing subsidy

June 26th, 2015 Posted in Our Diocese

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Members of the Delaware General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee have been working on the state budget, which must be passed by Tuesday. One proposal to cut a projected budget deficit is to reduce or eliminate the school nurse subsidy for Catholic schools.

The Delaware Catholic Advocacy Network is asking state residents to contact their representatives and members of the JFC to ask that the subsidy be retained. DCAN believes it is “critically important to ensure that our children have access to quality nursing care during the school day.” Catholic school families, it said, save the state more than $100 million that would be required if their children attended public school.

 

To contact the General Assembly:

 

Messages can be sent through the following link:                 www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/dFJ9LkzqcKKeax7LpOmL6Q.

The co-chairs of the JFC are Rep. Melanie George Smith and Sen. Harris McDowell.

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Dr. M. Eileen Schmitt, former St. Francis Hospital CEO and advocate for poor, dies at 71

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Dr. M. Eileen Schmitt, who spent more than 30 years practicing family medicine in Wilmington, died June 21 following a brief illness. She was 71. Read more »

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St. Mark’s senior is doing 22 in 22 for those who served

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Dialog reporter

 

Jacob DiSabatino backing awareness campaign on scourge of suicides among veterans and active military

 

WILMINGTON — Jacob DiSabatino has his sights set on a future in the military, but his principal focus right now is to help those current and former service personnel whose future doesn’t seem so bright.

DiSabatino, who will be a senior at St. Mark’s High School in the fall, has started a campaign in Delaware to raise money and awareness of the problem of suicide by active-duty military and veterans. The campaign, 22 in 22, reflects the number of veterans who take their own lives each day. In addition, one active-duty soldier, sailor or Marine commits suicide daily. Read more »

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Father Leo Philip McGann, a retired priest of diocese, dies at 80

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Dialog reporter

Father Leo Philip McGann, a retired priest of the Diocese of Wilmington, died June 13 at Virtua Memorial Hospice Unit in Mount Laurel, N.J. He was 80.

Father Leo Philip McGann (file photo)

 

Father McGann was born in Moorestown, N.J., and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Wilmington in 1971.

During his 21 years in service in the diocese, he served as an associate pastor of Holy Cross, Dover; St. John’s-Holy Angels, Newark; and St. Mary Star of the Sea, Ocean City, Md. He was named pastor of Sacred Heart, Chestertown, Md., and four years later he returned to St. Mary Star of the Sea as pastor.

His other roles in the diocese included membership on the diocesan Pastoral Commission and the Liturgical Commission.

Before entering the priesthood, Father McGann had been a member of the Christian Brothers, which he joined as a student at La Salle College. He was a teacher and administrator in Christian Brothers schools in Arlington, Va., Philadelphia, New Mexico and Canada. He was also the director general of the Baltimore province before leaving the congregation.

In 1992 he took medical retirement and moved back to New Jersey, where he lived until his death.

A viewing will be held June 18 from 7-9 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, N.J., his childhood parish. The funeral Mass will be June 19 at 10:30 a.m., also at Good Counsel. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Hainesport, N.J.

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Bishop names new diocesan director of Office of Religious Education

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Bishop Malooly has announced the appointment of Colleen L. Lindsey as the new director of the Office of Religious Education, effective July 1.

Bishop Malooly welcomed Lindsey noting, “Catechetical formation remains one of my four priorities for our diocese. I am grateful to have this position filled by a leader who shares this vision.” Read more »

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