Students visit Haitian Missions

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					              Students visit Haitian Missions

    by DEBBIE SHELDRAKE

     The Niagara Catholic District School Board’s (NCDSB) fourth
annual trip to visit missions of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in
Haiti was a great success. It was facilitated by NCDSB faith
animator, Kelly Stephen, who accompanied students representing
three schools of NCDSB—Lexi Watson, Grade 11, St. Paul Catholic
High School, Niagara Falls; Natosha Steeves, graduate of Blessed
Trinity High School, Grimsby; and Matthew Sheldrake, Grade 7,
St. Peter Catholic Elementary School, St. Catharines.
     NCDSB staff attending the trip included Jackie Watson, Grade
8 teacher, Mary Ward Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Falls,
and Debbie Sheldrake, SCOEP program in Ridgeway. Also
travelling to Haiti was Chris Sheldrake whose craftsman skills in
equipment repair were much appreciated by the sisters.
     The following Haiti schools were visited—St. Marc in the
village of Fleurenceau; St. Croix in the village of Thibeau; St. Croix
in the village of Milot; Regina Assumpta and Marie Immaculée
located in the city of Cap Haitien.
     The group also visited a clinic in Thibeau that is run by the
Sisters of the Holy Cross, and the Marie Porte du
     Ciel (Mary Doorway to Heaven) Orphanage in Cap Haitien
where the sisters care for 60 children ranging in age 17 months to
16 years.
     The relationship-building trip between NCDSB and the Haiti
schools reinforced the message from the students in Haiti of deep,
heart-felt appreciation and thanks for all that NCDSB students do
to support the education of the students in Haiti and the future of
their families.
     This year more than 1/3 of NCDSB Catholic secondary and
elementary schools are participating in various projects to support      Toni ten Den made rectories home for parish priests
these missions. They are—Denis Morris, St. Francis and Holy
Cross high schools along with the following elementary schools:
St. Theresa, St. Christopher, Assumption, Our Lady of Fatima, St.
James, St. Ann, St. Anthony and St. Nicholas in St. Catharines; St.
Charles and Msgr. Clancy in Thorold; St. Paul, Mary Ward,
Cardinal Newman, St. Gabriel Lalemant, Notre Dame and Sacred
Heart in Niagara Falls; Alexander Kuska, St. Augustine and St.
Mary in Welland; St. Elizabeth in Wainfleet; St. Michael in
Niagara-on-the-Lake; St. Edward in Vineland; and St. Joseph in
Snyder.
     For information on how to support these projects contact
Kelly Stephen 905-735-0240 ext 129.
________________________________________________________
                                                                                                 Toni ten Den




                                                                         by DEBRA McCAFFERY

                                                                         It was late spring 1969 when Toni ten Den arrived in
                                                                         Welland, a new bride fresh off the boat from Holland.
    Kids test sports skills at St. Patrick, Caledonia                 Together with her husband Henk, they settled into English
                                                                      classes and the search for employment. Trained as a
                                                                      bookkeeper, Toni found that employers were reluctant to
                                                                      hire her, feeling that her training did not prepare her to
                                                                      work as a bookkeeper in Canada.

                                                                      Parishioners at St. Mary’s in Welland, Toni noticed an ad in
                                                                      the parish bulletin for a housekeeper, and she immediately
                                                                      contacted the pastor, Msgr. Vincent Ferrando. He hired Toni
                                                                      and then promptly left on holidays for a month, leaving her
                                                                      to care for the rectory and Fr. Mastrangelo. Between the two
                                                                      of them they had very little English, and they agreed that if
                                                                      they were to be able to work together, Toni would bring her
                                                                      Dutch/English dictionary and Fr. Mastrangelo would bring
                                                                      his Italian/English dictionary to their conversations.

     A sports challenge, hosted by the parish youth group of St.      And so began nearly 40 years of service to God by helping to
Patrick, Caledonia, was held in February at Notre Dame                create ‘home’ in the rectories of St. Mary (Welland), St. Mary
Elementary School. The event was designed to test basic athletic      of the Assumption, St. Thomas Aquinas and the Cathedral
skills in hockey, basketball, soccer and football. The winners were   of St. Catherine of Alexandria (St. Catharines). Toni’s
(l-r) back row: Eden Acciccaferro, Jackson Burley, Sam Soshycki,      positive attitude and joyful spirit meant that cooking,
Wilson Leclerc; middle row: Marisa Cerasoli, Zach Lundie, Calum       cleaning and laundry were the bare bones of her service—
Giles, Aaron Albanese, Breanna Bird, Jacob Nagy; front row:
                                                                      she was always willing to provide that bit of extra: learning
Daniele Cerasoli, Shawn Kelly, Milena Cerasoli, Liam
McSkimming, Cassie Smye, Austin Lapointe.                             to cook new dishes (especially Italian for Fr. Mastrangelo)
                                                                      wall papering and painting while priests were on retreat, or
   ____________________________________________________               playing cribbage with Fr. Moreau, and then caring for him
                                                                      as he grew older.

                                                                      When Toni speaks of these years, her dedication and
                                                                      devotion are apparent. As in many homes, life is not always
                                                                      easy, but along with the difficult times are many moments
                                                                      of happiness and satisfaction. Rectory homes are no
                                                                      different, and as Toni says, “I always felt it was my second
                                                                      family.”

                                                                      Toni is an active parishioner at St. Mary, St. Catharines—she
                                                                      sings in the choir, participates in CWL (past president) and
                                                                      is a Eucharistic Minister taking communion to the
                                                                      homebound. Together with her husband Henk, she is also a
                                                                      member of the Cursillo movement. They have a beautiful
                                                                      and busy grandson, Aaron, and with all these commitments,
                                                                      Toni is sure to be busy in her retirement.

                                                                      Congratulations Toni, and many blessings in the next phase
                                                                      of your life!