The Good News 
Newsletter from the Christ Child Society of Summit

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Another Year Begins!
A little over a month ago most of us were just starting to get our lives back together from the chaos caused by Tropical Storm Sandy and the snow storm that visited our area.  It was fitting for our membership that our first thoughts were not for personal comfort, but to reach out to others in greater need...whether offering showers, a warm place to stay, collecting information about those still without power, or collecting clothing and food for those who had lost so much, our membership exemplified the idea that charitable works work best with a personal touch.
It is clear to see that the dream of Mary Virginia Merrick is alive and well in Summit.  As an organization, we have found unique ways to serve in personal ways that make a difference in our community--and whether distributing school supplies in a "store", dusting donations for our rummage sale or putting together layettes, we serve with such joy!  
Our signature programs (the Annual Rummage Sale and the Annual Baby Shower) seamlessly complement our personal outreach (the Layette Program, the School Supplies Drive and our work at Central High School) to make a tangible difference for our community's at-risk-children at various stages in their lives ... just the way that Mary Virginia Merrick envisioned.  Isn't it amazing that all of this was the idea of a single woman?  
Our organization continues to grow in fellowship and dedication to our mission. In fact, we proudly accepted the Membership Growth Award on behalf of our Summit Chapter at the National Convention of the National Christ Child Society in Detroit. Here's to another great year of "good works" with that personal touch.  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year full of service to the Christ Child! 
Kathryn Colao and Lori White, 

Our Board

Co-Presidents     Kathryn Colao and Lori White
Vice Presidents   Lambi Newsham (Past President)
  Margaret Strong (Outreach)
  Christina Amundson (Communications)
Treasurer          Maura Perier

Secretary          Terry Andrews

Spiritual Advisors   Fr. Brian Plate
                              Msgr. Guenther   
In the "News"
Our Board
School Supplies Drive
Layette Cards
Annual Rummage Sale
Spirituality Update
Annual Baby Shower
Layette Update
Knitting Angels
Central High School
Membership News
Save the Dates
Want Ads
CCS Contact List
 Coming Up...
January 8, 2013
First Tuesday Mass
8:30am St. Teresa


January 11, 2013
Central High Visit 9am


January 17, 2013 
"Bring A Friend"
General Meeting 7-9pm 
141 Hillcrest Avenue

February 5, 2013
Home Mass 8:30am


February 6, 2013
"Blankets for Babies" Day
Memorial Hall


February 14, 2013
Central High Visit 9am 

March 5, 2013
First Tuesday Mass
8:30 am St. Teresa

March 7, 2013 
Annual Baby Shower


April 2, 2013
First Tuesday Mass
8:30 am St. Teresa


April 9, 2013
Central High Visit 9am


May 7, 2013
Home Mass 8:30am


May 10, 2013 
New Member Cocktail


May 17, 2013
Central High Visit 9am
Quick Links

Annual School Supplies Drive

This is not your typical school supplies drive. Sure, we collect and sort donations, but we also set up a physical "store" manned by our volunteers where the children we serve can personally select the items that they need for the coming school year.  It is so touching to see the children's faces light up as they walk through and pick out items! 
This year, we partnered with Bridges Outreach to collect and distribute school supplies for the approximately 500  qualifying  children in need in the Summit Public Schools.  This effort typically begins in the spring with a call for donations of needed items. Multiple collections and sorting by dedicated volunteers yields a room full of brand new school supplies where children in need can "shop" for needed items prior to the start of the new school year. What a tremendous effort! Once again we were able to assist over 350 elementary, middle school and high school students that attended our  "store" in August.   As you can imagine, this was particularly helpful in this economy because the children went to school prepared for the business of learning despite the economic challenges that their families are facing.

Many thanks to all of the members (and friends) who helped by donating the much needed items, by sorting, by working on the distribution or by working behind the scenes to make it all possible.  We are staying on for another year as co-chairs of this very worthwhile effort and look forward to working with all of you on the next School Supply Drive.

Sally Golding and Jane Murphy,
School Supplies Drive Co-Chairs
Layette Cards Help us Fund our Work
This beautiful and evocative image appears on the Christ Child Layette Cards that we sell to raise funds for our layette efforts.  What a thoughtful and meaningful way to express sentiments to those important in our lives, while at the same time providing important items to newborns in need!  


Layette Cards can be given in honor of, in memory of, or for any other occasion you choose; birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day, Thank You, to send care packages to your child away at school, or as a special Christmas gift for someone who has everything.  


You may purchase a single card for $10, which will help to fund items for layettes, or you may choose to make a donation in the amount of $40 or more, underwriting an entire layette.  With each layette given, an enclosure card indicates the name of the person it honors. 


Now, members and friends can donate on-line or by filling out our Layette envelopes.  It's so easy; here's how:

1. Buy cards on-line at with payment by credit card using the PayPal system.

2. Buy cards at the next Christ Child Mass or meeting. 

3. Pick up some Layette order envelopes in the rear of St. Teresa of Avila Church or from Angela Schroeder at 


Our Layette Card program has the potential to make a significant difference to those born without the benefit of essentials we take for granted. It is an important step in continuing the work of Mary Virginia Merrick; "Nothing is ever too much to do for a child."


Donations since May 2012



Rosary Smith's 50th Birthday  (Lambi Newsham)
Ellie Denuel - Mothers' Day  (Lambi Newsham)
Betty Jane Seigel - Retirement  (Lucy Remus)
Norah Marie Bischoff - Retirement (Lucy Remus)
Nancy Hocart  (Amy Goldy)
Mary Brown  (Anne Marie Cahill)
Mary Dahnza  (Corrinne Kelly)
Bernard and Dorothy Kennedy (Eugene Kennedy)
Elizabeth and Seamus  (E.T. Doogan)
Cuny, Williams, and Roberts Families  (Sue Roberts)
Margaret Baker  (Michael Fialcowitz)
Dierdre Gelline  (Judith McCarthy)
Chris Seery  (Kathleen Rogers)
Thomas  (Bobbi McAneny)
The Christ Child  (The Biunno Family)
Ivan Lozina - Recovery from illness  (Michele Cohen)
Norma Wachob - Recovery from illness  (Michele Cohen)
Chensun Mills - Birthday  (Michele Cohen)
Corrinne Kelly - Birthday  (Michele Cohen)
Suzanne Hayles, Oak Knoll Teacher - illness  (The Schroeder Family)
Christopher Finn Mylod - Birth  (Rosemary Mylod)
Norah Marie and Walt Bischoff  (Angela Schroeder)
Lucy Remus  (Angela Schroeder)
Mary Lou Carter  (Angela Schroeder)
Rhonda Bowker (Angela Schroeder)
Marian Talian (Angela Schroeder)
Tracy Haliburton (The Sweeney Family)
May Abraham Fridel and Family - Christmas (The Amundson Family)
Sister Guadalupe Maria - Christmas (The Amundson Family)
Father John Clermont - Christmas (The Amundson Family
Rev. Marco Celis - Christmas (The Amundson Family)
Father Brian Plate - Christmas (Christ Child Society of Summit, 
The Amundson Family)

Merlin Leonard  (Lucy Remus)
Sara DeLabio  (Michele Cohen)
Jean Hughes  (Michele Cohen)
Quinn Finnegan  (Angela Schroeder)
Sophie Krupa  (Sue Roberts)
Cecilia Hill  (Sue Roberts)
Betsy Dunn Kennedy  (Ann Marvin)
Donald Ferry,  father of Angela Schroeder (Christ Child Society of Summit, 
Michele Cohen, Marianna Hurrell, Linda Massengill, Lori White)
John T. Shanahan (The Colao Family)

Jim Archen                Lambi Newsham
Eileen Rath                Beth Tully
Ed Casey                    Kathy Gettings
Pat Moore                  Linda Massengill
Doug Silva                  Mary Kull


Annual Rummage Sale 


rummage sale 2012


We held our 4th Annual "Collectables and Delectables" Rummage Sale on October 6th at St. Teresa's Memorial Hall.  It was a great example of the amazing coordinated effort that this group is capable of, sharing our diverse talents on multiple days so seamlessly despite so many calls for our time.


A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who

  • Donated items
  • Helped set up (sorting, cleaning, staging and pricing)
  • Volunteered for a shift
  • Baked delicious treats, and
  • Helped clean up

As always with our group of remarkable women, we had fun looking and laughing at the "goods" collected, but most of all we strengthened our Summit chapter's presence of doing "good" things at St. Teresa's and the Summit community WHILE raising needed funds to continue our important work.  We have decided to chair the rummage sale again next year and we look forward to working with you again.


Thank you all for your commitment!

Bev Leuhs and Lambi Newsham, 

2012 Rummage Co-chairs


News from the Spirituality Committee

Mary Virginia Merrick
Mary Virginia Merrick

We began our new year of "good works" with a Home Mass at Lambi Newsham's beautiful home. In a touching service, Father Guenther acknowledged the role of Guardian Angels in our lives and noted that we all are to some extent playing that role for the needy children we serve. He updated us on the ongoing canonization efforts to recognize the amazing legacy of our founder, Mary Virginia Merrick.  This is a topic near to Msgr. Guenther's heart; he shared with us the following prayer that he first learned as a 7th grader:

Listen to our prayer sweet Jesus

You're the one we dearly love

Grant that soon our Mary Virginia

May be made with Saints above.


While it should not surprise any of us that a single woman can make a huge difference, our founder was wheel-chair ridden and working in the late 19th century.  Any one of these two impediments may have stopped someone else, but not Mary Virginia Merrick.  Long before women even had the right to vote, she gave needy children a voice.  


On December 4th, Father Brian Plate celebrated our second Home Mass at the gracious home of Maria Jacobello in memory of her beloved husband. Standing next to the fire roaring in the welcoming fireplace, Father Brian took the opportunity to bless Maria's home and to give us all some perspective about the importance of our spiritual lives.  


We will continue to meet on the first Tuesday of each month for the regular 8:30am Mass at St. Teresa of Avila unless we schedule a Home Mass. To facilitate your planning, I am sharing the dates of upcoming Home Masses:

February 5 and May 7.

Please let Linda Massengill know if you have a special loved one you would like us to keep in our prayers.  We will add their name to our prayer list, which is brought to our monthly Mass gatherings, and we will include your loved one's name in our  newsletter.  Prayer requests can be made at any time.  
Please include the following persons in your prayers:


The Higgins Family

David Ferry, cousin of Angela Schroeder, who passed recently

Sister Maria of the Cross Gennaro, who passed recently

Thomas Rogers, friend of Maria Martine

Jack Dalton, father of Ann Marvin

Patsy Hammond, friend of several Christ Child members

Francie, friend of Marilyn Chambeau

Glen Curley, friend of Lori White

Vincent Clarke, brother of Maura Perier

Mike Farrell, who passed recently, and his family

Gina Bertoglio, friend of Linda Massengill


Linda Massengill,

Spirituality Chair 

Annual Baby Shower

  Memorial Hall

Our 7th Annual Baby Shower will take place on 

Thursday, March 7th.

Save the date!    


Kathy Gettings and Julie Vlass, Co-Chairs


Layette Update

celtic shower 2011 1The Layette Committee is happy to report the approval of permanent storage space for our layette donations and assembly in Memorial Hall.  After the Christmas holidays, we will be purchasing storage bins and settling into the new space.  


Please join us for the First Annual "Blankets for Babies" Day on Wednesday, February 6 at Memorial Hall.  ALL skills will be needed on this fun day to cut and assemble our signature fleece blankets and keep up with our tradition of "including one in each layette."  Training will most definitely be provided; stop by as your schedule permits throughout the day--supervised teens in need of community service hours are welcome.  


To date, we have delivered the following layettes:              

Overlook                  109                                  

Morristown              109                   

Other                       14                



Thanks to everyone...we are making a difference!  If you are interested in helping with assembling, shopping for, or delivering layettes, please contact Theresa Sweeney at


Theresa Sweeney and Janet Keller

Layette Committee Chairs 

Knitting Angels Update

The Knitting Angels continue to produce beautiful handmade baby items (like knit blankets, sweaters, knit hats and mittens) to bring that special personalized touch to our layettes. This is one of the ways in which we make our service special and unique.  

We are always looking for groups or individuals to make blankets for the layettesJanet Keller can provide the instructions (with pictures!) for this easy, fun project. If you or a friend would like to make a blanket or two, contact Janet at

Central High School Update 

Lambi reading during March 2012 visit
Lambi reading during March visit

Our relationship with The Infant and Toddler Learning Center at Central High School in Newark continues to flourish.  


CCS Summit donated school supplies, with backpacks donated by Bridges, for 32 teens in September.  While we had to cancel our plans to help with the planned Halloween celebration due to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, we helped with a Thanksgiving luncheon instead.  This month, we will give gifts to the babies from St. Teresa's Advent Giving Tree, and will give a gift to each teen parent, as well as provide decorations and goodies for a holiday celebration. These are opportunities to nurture the teen parents and show them our support.  


Our work at Central High gives us an opportunity to fulfill our mission of "Challenging Poverty: One Child at a Time." Mary Virginia Merrick, the founder of CCS is quoted: "....personal contact with the needy for the love of Christ develops true charity and gives it vital force."  It is in this spirit that we will continue having dedicated volunteers visit the center regularly, meeting needs as they arise in child care assistance, reception duties and eventually, mentoring teens. We look forward to many other opportunities to acknowledge the blessings that these children bring to the lives of their teen parents (and to our lives too).  


Volunteer hours are flexible and during the school day, making this service opportunity suitable for people with children of their own.  Please contact Kathryn Colao at if you are interested in visiting and volunteering at Central High School.

Membership News
CCS children logo
The Christ Child Society of Summit is a great organization because, through it, we can touch the lives of children who need help.  The strength of the Christ Child Society of Summit is its active membership and we welcome members throughout the year.  Our "new" members tend to jump right in--many new members have visited Central High, helped with layettes, taken leadership roles in our organization and come to our shower. We plan some of our activities during the day, in the evenings and even on weekends so that our members can make at least one despite their busy schedules.  Please feel free to talk to your friends about the good work that we do at the Christ Child Society of Summit and to invite them to our meetings and events. 

Each year, we host a special "Bring a Friend" meeting/cocktail party to help integrate new members and to introduce new "friends" to our organization. We invite you to join us for our "Bring a Friend" meeting on Thursday, January 17th from 7pm to 9pm.  Terry Andrews is hosting it this year at her home at 141 Hillcrest Avenue in Summit...and bring a friend!

To join our Summit chapter, simply visit our website and follow the prompts or contact our Membership Chair, Betty Ann Lecky, at 


If you are an existing member, please remember that dues are payable each January.   As was the case last year, you can pay your dues on line at our website  Don't forget to keep us informed of any changes in your email address, mailing address, or phone number.  Contact Betty Ann at with any changes, or if you have a friend who is interested in joining.  

Save the Dates....

January 17- "Bring a Friend" General Meeting 7:00-9:00pm
 141 Hillcrest Avenue
February 5 - Home Mass 8:30am
February 6 - First Annual "Blankets for Babies" Day
Memorial Hall
March 7 - Annual Baby Shower
May 7 - Home Mass 8:30am
May 10 - New Member Cocktails



See our website calendar for more information.

Looking for a Few Good Women...

Uncle Sam
The Christ Child Society of Summit wants YOU!
We would like to have "shadow chairs" who are interested  in learning the ropes and possibly assuming a leadership role in the future.  There are also opportunities available to help with our newsletter and website and to volunteer at our signature events or service programs. We also need someone with experience writing grants.  Please consider donating a bit more of your time and talents to the Christ Child Society and help us succeed in our mission to make a difference in the lives of children in need.  Contact Lori White at  if you are interested.

Christ Child Society Contact List

To learn more about our activities and opportunities visit our website or contact the following:

Baby Shower                       Julie Vlass at
                                          Kathy Gettings at

Central High School
Infant and Toddler Ctr:      Kathryn Colao at

Layettes                           Theresa Sweeney at

                                         Margaret Strong at
                                         Janet Keller at

Knitting Angels                   Janet Keller at

School Supplies Drive         Jane Murphy at  

                                         Sally Golding at


Layette Cards                   Angela Schroeder at

Rummage Sale                     Lambi Newsham at     
                                          Bev Leuhs at   

Prayer Intentions/Mass      Linda Massengill at

Newsletter/email Blasts      Christina Amundson at

Publicity                              Christie McGinn at

Website                              Marybeth Robb at
                                           Kathryn Colao at

Membership                        Betty Ann Lecky at

The Christ Child Society Prayer
"Remember in the sacrifice of Your own and only Child, 
all children everywhere throughout the world, 
and grant that, like Your Son, as they increase in years, 
they may grow in grace and wisdom before You, and in the sight of all, 
for the improvement and saving of the world.
 Jesus, the Friend of little children, bless the little children of the world."