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Conversations with Sr. Camille

After two attempts to become a sister, woman lives passion through religious education

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Sr. Camille: Mary Naughton has responded to a number of different callings in her 69 years, often with puzzlement and expectation, always with goodwill and good humor.

Mary, what was your childhood like and where did you spend it?

Naughton: I grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, in Little Flower Parish, a wonderful place! We had the Sisters of Mercy in school and I loved them, especially Sister Mary Louis, my first- and fifth-grade teacher, and later Sister Mary Redempta in eighth grade. There were lots of children on my street and we could play outside every afternoon and all summer until supper time. I am still in touch with some of my friends from Little Flower. I went to St. Brendan's Diocesan High School with some wonderful girls from various parishes and met a Sister of St. Joseph, who was to have a major influence on my life, Sister Helen Bernard (Irene Flanagan), and as a result, at the age of 17 I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood.

Lawyer battling lymphoma finds hope in Christ's truth

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Kevin Doyle, 56, is the only person I can think of who was glad to lose his job. This was not because he didn't value what he was doing or because he wasn't respected for his expert handling of an important profession. When New York state abolished the death penalty, Doyle, the capital defender, closed his office and moved on.

New York TV news anchor talks of life off-camera

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Rosanna Scotto, co-anchor of Fox 5's "Good Day New York," is one of New York's favorite reporters. She's been honored many times for her professionalism, and loyal viewers find her cordial and gracious. I spent some time talking to Rosanna about her life away from the camera, especially in terms of devotion to family and the impact of its traditions upon her.

Man raised in orphanages uses memoir to reach the abused, abandoned

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Sr. Camille: The publication of your memoir, Raised by the Church (by Edward Rohs and Judith Estrine), has resulted in numerous interviews in print, radio and television. Why do you think this is?

Edward Rohs: First of all, my story is unique and, as everyone tells me, it's heart-wrenching. Second, very little has been written about orphanages and institutions in New York City. It's a book about the history of orphanages coupled with my personal upbringing in five Catholic orphanages. People are intrigued to learn what it's like to grow up without parents.

Mercy sister overcomes rough start to thrive in education

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At 52, Mercy Sr. Lisa Gambacorto is known as the competent, well-respected directress of Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, N.J. Along the way, she's accumulated other proficiencies: She also taught elementary and high school and served as a student counselor and campus minister. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and two master's degrees in school administration and counseling psychology. She's a licensed marriage and family therapist and had a private practice for seven years before becoming the directress.

Deacon, 84, continues mission in book after arrest for T-shirt

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After the sudden death of his wife of 59 years, Marie, in May 2011, Don Zirkel wrote a book he says Marie helped co-author from her privileged place in the next world as well as her permanent place in his mind and heart.

Couple Power describes the conviction that their marriage in 1952 created a new entity. Besides their individual causes and commitments, they bring a joint energy to the problems of the day.

'America' associate editor sees hope for fractured church

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Kerry Weber has accumulated more experience and more miles in her 29 years than many of us do in a lifetime.

She grew up in western Massachusetts, where she attended Catholic elementary and high schools. She graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island in 2004, having spent her junior year abroad at Oxford University. In 2009, she earned her Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

College graduate infuses community center with God's love

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Bruno Daniel-Garcia, 24, first came to my attention during a benefit marking the 15th anniversary of the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center. The Belle Harbor Yacht Club in Rockaway Park, a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, was 12 miles and a world away from the center and the Brooklyn neighborhood where this composed, handsome college graduate grew up with his parents and brother.

Son's killing leads mother to comfort, counsel those in grief

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On Dec. 9, Miss Vida Toppin, 81, invited a few friends to celebrate her son Paul's 46th birthday.

Those who came to her assisted-living apartment in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., enjoyed soft drinks and snacks, conversation and blessings. Paul's close friend, Daniel Escalera, was there, but Paul was not. He was murdered in October 1992, when he went to the aid of a friend being menaced by a 16-year-old with a gun. Paul, thinking he had diffused the volatile situation, turned to walk away. Bullets in his lung, arm and leg put him in the hospital, where he died 10 days later without regaining consciousness.

D'Arienzo: I am so sorry you suffered that loss. Are you able to talk about that night?

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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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