In December of 2015, the Daughters of Divine Charity, Holy Family Province installed Sister Mary Coffelt as their new provincial. Along with Sr. Maria Dulce, the Superior General of the Congregation, Sr. Mary visited with each of the ministries to see the Sisters and to gain a solid understanding of how each of the ministries is carried out. Sister is breathing new life into the vocation committee, focusing the team’s efforts to welcome women who answer His call to become a part of the congregation that serves the Archdioceses of New York and Detroit, and the Dioceses of Cleveland, Fort Wayne/South Bend and San Diego.
Sister Mary also worked closely with the Development Office this past year. With her leadership, $50,000 raised through the Christmas Appeal was distributed among each of the Sisters’ ministries. She is continuing her work with the development staff to raise funds for the St. Elizabeth’s Briarbank Convent entrance renovation.
Furthermore, Sister Mary has stepped into the leadership role on a major project for the St. Joseph Hill Convent and St. Joseph Hill Academy on Staten Island. This project is a combined effort between the Sisters, the school and a group of investors. Its goal is to install solar panels that will nearly eliminate the convent utility expenses and make the building a true green building; it will reduce the utility costs at the school, allowing funding to be redirected to further advanced programs, like STEM, and to provide for building upgrades.
That’s not all! This winter, Sister Mary has assumed the role as president of St. Joseph Hill Academy, a ministry of the Daughters of Divine Charity. Sister Mary’s experience as an elementary school teacher and principal in the Midwest has helped her to take on this new role with ease. Already, Sister Mary has assisted in the preparation for the Middle States Accreditation, opened faculty meetings with a prayers and welcoming statements, welcomed parents, students and prospective families at several school events—serving as a living representation of the Sisters’ legacy at Hill.
At this time, Sr. Mary wishes to express her deepest gratitude to the Province of the Divine Providence in Croatia. This European province answered the United States Province’s request for assistance at the St. Elizabeth Briarbank Convent. She is grateful that for the past two years Sr. Zdenka served with the Sisters in Michigan. While residing with them, she filled in wherever and whenever she could while she was caring for the Sisters.