The Good News 
Newsletter from the Christ Child Society of Summit
Winter 2015 Newsletter         

A Message from our Co-Presidents
 The wintry scenes outside our windows are the perfect backdrop for our first ever Winter newsletter.  As our chapter grows, we hope that a shorter and more frequent newsletter will be a better testament to all that we have accomplished together and a good reminder of all that we plan to do this year.   

In the words of our founder, Mary Virginia Merrick,"Nothing is ever too much to do for a child" -- these words are our inspiration.  Understanding that the life of a child spans birth to young adulthood, we actively look for ways in which our chapter can serve children in need in our community at each stage of their development.  Layettes for babies, school supplies for school-age students, mentoring and parenting classes for teen mothers at Central High (now formally the Brighter Tomorrows Children's Academy), and a scholarship for local high school seniors.  We see so much need and we try to figure out a way to address it -- with the help of community partners like St. Teresa of Avila and Bridges and always with the personal touch and the heartfelt love that each child deserves.  Thanks to all of your efforts, we are making a difference in the lives of so many children.  As a Board, we are talking about ways in which we could do more, especially in the area of literacy and we welcome your ideas.   Come to our next General Meeting and share them with us! 


Our chapter has been busy this winter, with a Christ Child Day at the Advent Giving Tree, two layette assemblies, a Tiny Toppers event, the December Home Mass  and the January Meeting and Social.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to Peggy Kane for hosting the December Home Mass and for welcoming Anne Kelley, the new National CCS President, as she visited our chapter.  We also extend our thanks to Allison Lees (and to her family) for letting us take over her home for a very successful January meeting and social -- our first Soup Supper (hopefully, the start of a new chapter tradition).   


As we write this, our Blankets for Babies event is imminent and our February Home Mass follows next week at the home of Marjorie Waltzinger.   We are looking forward to warmer temperatures and to our Spring events, especially our signature Baby Shower on March 25th.   


Our membership drive is underway and we recently sent a letter asking members to pay chapter dues.  Like many chapters around the nations, we have restructured membership to include multiple membership levels with a view to increasing potential donations.  Many thanks to those of you who chose to donate to the National Christ Child Society Annual Appeal, which supports our work on behalf of children and that of other member chapters.  Each member of our chapter is a member of the National Christ Child Society and, as a result, we pay national dues for each member.  Your contributions help to defray from our overall chapter contribution to National CCS and help us better focus our limited budget on the children in need in our community. 


Thank you so much for sharing your time and talents with love and laughter.  Our success in helping children is directly linked to the dedication that you bring to recognize that each child is a promise for the future. 


God Bless!


Kathryn Colao and Lori White



Our Board


Past President

 Kathryn Colao and Lori White

 Lambi Newsham
 Margaret Strong (Outreach) 
 Christina Amundson (Communications)
 Terry Andrews (Projects)
 Maura Perier
 Mary Kull

Spiritual Advisors
Fr. Brian Plate and Msgr. Guenther
Save the Dates


February 4, 2015
Blankets for Babies 

February 10, 2015
Home Mass 8:30am

February 24, 2015
Lenten Mass Offering
Daily 8:30am Mass
St. Teresa of Avila 

February 26, 2015
Girls Night Out
Summit Elks Lodge#1246 

March 25, 2015


April 23, 2015
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall
May 5, 2015
Home Mass 8:30am


May 8, 2015 
"End of Year" Cocktail
Quick Links

Christ Child Day at the Advent Giving Tree 

Advent Giving Tree 2014
Remember your childhood anticipation of Christmas morning?  Sadly, many children in our greater community have no hope of a Christmas gift because they are focused on getting the basic necessities.  One of our founding Board members, Margaret Strong, runs the Advent Giving Tree for St. Teresa of Avila Parish.  It is a labor of love that calls upon the many skills (research, documentation, and planning to name a few) that Margaret honed in her professional life. 
Most of all it calls on her faith and her love because Margaret believes that each child should have a special Christmas. 
Our chapter does not run the Advent Giving Tree, but for the last three years we have helped to wrap, sort and deliver the gifts that St. Teresa parishioners generously buy and deliver for the Advent Giving Tree. These include gifts for the needy children (including the teen mothers and babies at Bright Horizons) that we serve as a chapter.  What a fun way to kick start our own Christmas spirit! 

On December 15th, we gathered (in shifts--because the space is limited) in a Sacristy overflowing with unwrapped gifts.  Little by little, our chapter members wrapped each gift, assigned it to the lucky recipient and then assembled bag after bag of wrapped gifts, each sorted by the recipient organizations.  Chapter members gave that most meaningful gift of all -- our precious time and energy.  The end result was a wonderful collection of Christmas joy packed with love ready to be delivered in time for Christmas.  If you missed the fun this year, you can join us next year.  This is a terrific hands-on project and a great way to meet other Chapter members.  
Layette Cards Help us Fund our Work
Look for our layette cards after our Home Masses and signature events.  All proceeds from these cards fund layettes for babies in need served through our Layette Program.  There are may ways to purchase these cards: 

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 from the back of St. Teresa  of Avila Church.

Layette Cards are offered at $10 (partial layette) or $40 or more (full layette).  Our Layette Program can make a significant difference to those born without the benefit of essentials we take for granted.  The names of the donors and honorees will be listed on our website at


In addition to helping fund our Layettes, sales of our Layette Cards help us get our Christ Child message out to the broader community. For that reason, we sold cards at last November's Oak Knoll Royal Boutique. It was wonderful greeting the many members and friends who came by and sharing with them our dedication to helping children at risk in our community. 


Laura Sullivan,


News from the Spirituality Committee

December 2014 Home Mass with AK
In December, we gathered at the home of Peggy Kane to celebrate our Advent Home Mass. Chapter members had an opportunity to visit and meet Anne Kelley, National Christ Child Society President, who joined us for Mass during her visit to our chapter.  Anne shared goals for her presidency and news about the progress of the efforts for the canonization of our founder Mary Virginia Merrick. She noted that the next step in the process is to move the process to Rome, which entails major fund raising efforts.   CLICK HERE to read what Anne said in her blog about her visit.  

Our celebrant, Monsignor Guenther observed that the work of the Christ Child Society is like planting a seed in the hearts and minds of the children that we serve.  That seed is the knowledge that they matter and that someone cares about them.  It grows in their hearts and makes a real difference in their lives.  This is what we are working for, and what Mary Virginia Merrick worked tirelessly for from her wheel chair.  If you think about it, we are trying to help children today because of the seeds that Mary Virginia and her friends planted.  


We experienced the truth of this statement this summer when one of the children who had received our school supplies (now graduated from high school) came to "pay it forward" at this year's school supplies distribution.  What we do sometimes seems like such a little thing, but it matters so much. 


Our next Home Mass will take place on Tuesday, February 10th at 8:30am at the Home of Marjorie Waltzinger.  You will find the dates of remaining Home Masses in the "Save the Dates" section of this newsletter to help you plan ahead.  Hope that you can make one!   


Looking forward to the Lenten season, we would like members to try to gather at St. Teresa of Avila for the 8:30am daily Mass on Tuesday, February 24.  While we plan no reception afterwards, it is always special when our gathered members join in quiet reflection and communion.   


We urge you to continue to pray for the canonization of our founder with the following prayer that Msgr. Guenther shared with us:


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. 


Please contact Elaine Phipps at if you have a special loved one you would like us to keep in our prayers.  We will add your loved one to our intentions at home Masses.  Prayer requests can be made at any time.  


Elaine Phipps,

Spirituality Chair 

Annual Baby Shower


Save the Date! 

Our 9th Annual Baby Shower will take place on 

Thursday, March 25, 2015


Julie Vlass and Sheila Schlageter, Co-Chairs


Layette Update

Since the Fall newsletter, we have held two more layette assemblies: on November 14th and on January 23d. Each time, we assembled 48 layettes for babies in need at Overlook and Morristown Hospitals, for a year to date total of 255 layettes.  

We regularly contact those members who have expressed an interest in working various facets of layette assembly, from shopping for needed baby clothes to delivering the finished layettes. If you are interested in helping with layettes, contact Margaret Strong at  


We have committed to include one adorable, handmade fleece blanket and a hand-knit item in each layette we donate.  Last year, our signature program expanded to include two additional sets of events: Blankets for Babies Days (to make the fleece blankets) and Tiny Toppers (to knit the baby hats).   We are planning to host these successful events again this year so that our members and friends can come together to make the fleece blankets and knitted hats to honor our commitment and include them in the layettes we donate. 


We hope to see you at our Annual Blankets for Babies Day on 
Wednesday, February 4th!


Many thanks to many members, friends and parishioners who make these days such a success, and to all who answer the calls to assemble our layettes.  
Thanks to everyone...we are making a difference!  

Cheryl Mullery, Margaret Strong and Theresa Sweeney,

Layette Committee

Knitting Angels/Tiny Toppers Update

In January, we held another "Tiny Topper" event at Wool and Grace in Summit to knit the handmade baby hats that bring a sweet personalized touch to our layettes. Wool and Grace makes it easy for us to get together at their store. We can count on many copies of our signature pattern and an ample supply of needles and colorful yarn ready when we arrive. Each ball of yarn makes three adorable baby hats. Did you know that you can pick up the Christ Child baby hat pattern (and supplies) there even if we're not holding an event? 

We are planning more Tiny Toppers events at Wool and Grace and we will try to schedule them in the daytime and in the evening to accommodate our members who work during the day. These events are intimate and well-attended by women at all levels of knitting experience -- from newbies to experts.  If you are interested in knitting, or learning to knit, one of our adorable baby hats, please contact Lori White at
We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Patty Perry, owner of Wool and Grace, who has been so willing to open the store for our members and to provide knitting expertise as needed. 
Membership News


The strength of the Christ Child Society of Summit is its active membership and we welcome members throughout the year.  Since our Fall Newsletter, our chapter welcomed the following new members:
Judith Evangelista          Maureen Harkins          Jacqueline Raykov

Please welcome them when you see then around town or at our next event.

Our 2015 membership drive is currently underway.  By renewing your membership or becoming a new member you will be directly supporting our programs for children including our layette program, our school supplies program, our work with Brighter Tomorrows Children's Academy and our Christ Child Society scholarship.   


Thank you to all of the members who are spreading the word about Christ Child and bringing so many people to our organization!  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. 


To join our Summit chapter, simply visit our website at, or contact either the Membership Chair or the Membership Recruiting Chair at  


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

Support the Christ Child Society While Shopping at Amazon!

You can raise needed funds for our Summit Chapter while shopping at Amazon! 

Amazon's Smile Foundation donates 0.5% of your eligible purchase to the charity of your choice.  In fact, AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Christ Child Society of Summit every time you shop, at no cost to you (same products and prices).  

Here's how:  Just click  On your first visit to the site, type in "Christ Child Society of Summit" in the search line at the bottom of the page to go to the list of charities.  Then, select the Christ Child Society of Summit NJ.  That's it!  You can use your existing Amazon account or set one up.  From then on, each time you sign in, you will see a small legend at the top that says "Supporting the Christ Child Society of Summit NJ" at the top of the page.  SUPER EASY!!!


Please take a moment and sign up for AmazonSmile and help us create another source of funding for our many projects that touch the lives of so many children in need in our community. 

Looking for a Few Good Women...

Uncle Sam
The Christ Child Society of Summit wants YOU!
Would you like to "shadow" our experienced chairs as they manage their programs, and perhaps take on a leadership role in the future?  If you enjoyed one of our events, consider lending another hand at the helm for next year. Or interested in doing some grant writing or helping run our website? You don't have to be experienced -- just willing!  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.
To learn more about our activities and opportunities visit our website or contact the following:  
Baby Shower
Julie Vlass at
Sheila Schlageter at
Blankets for Babies

Central High School 
Early Learning Center
Theresa Sweeney at 

Kathryn Colao at


Cheryl Mullery at
Margaret Strong at 

 Knitting Angels/Tiny Toppers

Maria Ciaravalli at
Cynthia Tarantino at
School Supplies Drive

Jane Murphy at
Sally Golding at
Layette Cards
Laura Sullivan at
Rummage Sale
Lambi Newsham at
Bev Luehs at
Marianne DeSantis at
Prayer Intentions/Mass

Elaine Phipps at
Newsletter/email Blasts
Christina Amundson at
Angeli Breen at

Kathryn Colao at


Membership Recruitment

Kath Franolich at

Betty Ann Lecky at

Maura Perier 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."