From left to right: Sr. Connie Marie Lewandowski, SM Geralyn Mroczkowski, SM Therese Szczepczynski, SM Barbara Ann Bosch, S Ann Marie Klasky, S Mary Beth Bromer, and SM Doloria Birr.

St. Joseph Academy (SJA) honored the women and legacy of the St. Joseph’s Woman’s Club at a Donor Appreciation Luncheon on September 27, 2019.

“The SJA connection to the Woman’s Club extends 111 years,” said Dr. Tabia Jones, President and CEO of SJA. “That is the perfect illustration of God’s plan for our leadership so we thank you. We have been prosperous because of you. We are hope-filled and our students have bright futures ahead of them.”

Supported by the Felician Sisters, SJA began as St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum in 1907. Shortly after ground was broken, the Woman’s Club formed to help the Felician Sisters foster the care and upbringing of orphan and neglected children through fundraising events. These events included the Annual Orphan’s Picnic, a week-long festival, and the Charity Ball, deemed “the event of the year.” The Woman’s Club’s largest fundraiser was the purchase of a summer home, where children enjoyed summer events not available in the city. The Woman’s Club also raised funds to purchase items needed for the ministry, including cribs, books, games, playground equipment, and more.

Sr. Geralyn Mroczkowski, Our Lady of Hope Provincial Councilor and Director of Ministry, said she was touched with how the Woman’s Club had adjusted to the changing needs of society and the children. She added that the Woman’s Club has successfully fulfilled the Felician core values for ministry in their work throughout the years. These core values are respect for human dignity, compassion, transformation, solidarity with the poor, and justice and peace.

In 2018, the Woman’s Club made the decision to dissolve, but their legacy will continue to live on at SJA permanently. A plaque and a statue from the Felician Sisters and Felician Services were dedicated to the Woman’s Club in the SJA Atrium, located near the entrance of the Early Childhood Education Center. The plaque is engraved “with gratitude for the 111 years of generous support of the children served at St. Joseph Ministries since 1907.”

To see photos from the Donor Appreciation Lunch, click here.

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