“Grand Reunion” Brings Former Benedictine Academy Students To Elizabeth

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ELIZABETH—A “Grand Reunion” for all classes of Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth (including women who attended the BA Paterson campus) was held on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Elizabeth. Nearly two hundred alumnae of the all-female Catholic college prep secondary school attended.

The event began with a Mass celebrated by the Rev. Edwin Leahy, OSB, at the St. Walburga Monastery Church across from the Academy. A buffet lunch in the Academy auditorium followed. The afternoon featured brief remarks by Academy President Sister Germaine Fritz, OSB and Principal, Kenneth Jennings.

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Guests were welcomed by Benedictine Academy Alumnae Association Mary Barbieri Young ’69 of Somerville. Students Ariana Taveras ’12 of Newark and Emilie Burke ’11 of Colonia, spoke to the guests about what their time at the Academy has meant to them. Mary Ann O’Brien DeSantis ’60, recognized and thanked those who planned the event. Sister Sharon McHugh, OSB, ’67, Prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Elizabeth, said grace.

A highlight of the afternoon was an exhibit of the artwork of the late Peter J. Litrenta, former Dean of Students and Arts/Humanities teacher at the Academy. Litrenta, who passed away in 2008, served at the school for over 30 years (1968-1998). The “Peter J. Litrenta Fund for the Arts” has been established in his name to support the school’s arts education and theatre program.

A committee of Benedictine Academy alumnae and friends planned the Grand Reunion. They include co-chairs, Margaret Harrington MacNeill, ’62, of New Providence and Mary Ann O’Brien DeSantis, ‘60, of Piscataway; and, Mary Doran ’63 of Cranford; MaryAnn Imbriaco ’72 of Hillside; Barbara Arminio LaMort ’67 of Union; Clayre Bialy McCann ’67 of Elizabeth; Sister Roberta McDonald, OSB ’69 of Elizabeth; Virginia McGonegal Martin, ’62, of Whitehouse Station; Ginny Murphy ‘65 of Spring Lake Hts.; Mary Rabadeau of Chatham; Cynthia Hale Readlinger, ’69, of Westfield; Diane Arminio Schmitt ’68 of Cranford; Mary Griffin Shanahan ’48 of Short Hills; and Loretta Capriglione Thornton, ’72, of Berkeley Heights.

Grand reunion Photo 1

Two mother/daughter pairs of alumnae attended Benedictine Academy’s Grand Reunion on Saturday, October 17 at the Elizabeth school. Nearly two hundred graduates of the all-female Catholic college prep secondary school were on hand to celebrate at the event. Pictured are (l-r) Meg Margadonna Maffey ’69 of Spring Lake (formerly of Westfield and Mountainside) with her mother, Victoria Mrozek Margadonna ‘48 of Wall, (formerly of Elizabeth); and, Patricia Queenan Sheehan ’51 of Avon, former Mayor of New Brunswick, and daughter Betsy Sheehan Garlatti ‘ 76 of New Brunswick.

Grand reunion Photo 2

Gathered at the Benedictine Academy Grand Reunion were friends from the sixties: (l-r): Sally Foley ‘66 of Germantown, MD; Maureen Drew Klebaur ’67 of Cranford; Jane Tuttle Lambert ’67 of Cranford; Randi Kjeldsen Kopnicki ’67 of Scotch Plains; and Susan Klebaur Armstrong ’67 of Spring Lake. The event was held for all graduating classes of the school on Saturday, October 17.

Grand reunion Photo 3

Enjoying a moment for a photo at the Benedictine Academy Grand Reunion on October 17 are alumnae (l-r): Soriya Rial Lago ‘96 of Newark; Mireille Moussallem Antinozzi ’96 of Hillside; and Erika Salas ’99 of Roselle Park.

Grand reunion Photo 4

Benedictine Academy’s Class of 1995 was well-represented at the school’s Grand Reunion held for all graduates on Saturday, October 17 at the Elizabeth campus. Pictured are (l-r): Connie Pires Sanchez of Elizabeth; Candice Dortson of Newark; Heather Harris of Rahway; Ameera Snead of Newark; Cambie Egerton of West Orange and Fatima Oliveira Tsiouris of Cliffside Park.

Grand reunion Photo 5

Members of Benedictine Academy’s Class of 1995 enjoyed the Grand Reunion held at the all-female Catholic college prep secondary school on October 17. Pictured are (l-r) Fatima Oliveira Tsiouris of Cliffside Park; Connie Pires Sanchez of Elizabeth and Sandra Amoedo of Hillside.

Grand reunion Photo 6

Artwork by the late Peter J. Litrenta, Dean of Students and Arts and Humanities teacher at Benedictine Academy, was on display at the school’s Grand Reunion, held October 17 in Elizabeth. Pictured with one of Litrenta’s  paintings are (l-r): Priscille Dossekou of Newark, a senior at the all-female Catholic college prep secondary school; Cheryl Potoczak of Lodi, niece of the late artist; and Sister Germaine Fritz, OSB, President of the Academy. Litrenta passed away in July 2008. He served at the Academy from 1966 until the late 1990’s. The “Peter J. Litrenta Fund for the Arts” has been established in his name to support the school’s arts education and theatre program.


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