A tribute to our Moms on Mother’s Day
Sunday is Mother’s Day and The Evangelist asked diocesan employees for their thoughts, appreciations and remembrances of their mothers on this very special day, which we hope will inspire our readers.

My mom is a superhero. I say this because my mother – my wonderful, amazing mother – was gifted the unthinkable task of raising me. My mom has driven me to Urgent Care at 2 a.m. just because my stomach ached, she does my laundry, cooks me dinner, drives me to the mall and to the grocery store and to the moon, if I only asked, because she would find a way. My mom will always be a superhero to me, because she is an amazing woman and incredible friend.
— Emily Benson, Staff Writer, The Evangelist

As Superintendent of our system of schools, I often think of the valuable lessons my mom instilled in me about leadership. She is the proud owner of our family restaurant for nearly 35 years alongside my dad. It is the qualities my mom embodies – a strong work ethic, attention to detail, going above and beyond, and greeting everyone with a smile – that I cherish and admire most. Little did I realize growing up and seeing her in action the influence she would have on my own work habits, beliefs, and values today. Some of my favorite times together are spent learning the art of cooking a traditional family recipe without a single measuring cup or spoon. What’s immeasurable is my love for her. 
 — Giovanni Virgiglio
Diocesan Chancellor and Superintendent of Catholic Schools

She taught me to get proactive and go outside. And don’t forget to get lost in laughter. Genuine laughter. The kind that’s uncontrollable. Let it wash over you even when your stomach hurts and tears blur your vision. My role model since I was 5 years old. One that demonstrates every day you can be beautiful and smart and stubborn in your opinion, but gentle and relentless in your comfort. Her existence serves as my blueprint. 
— Franchesca Caputo, Staff Writer, The Evangelist

My parents had the old-fashioned kind of marriage where the husband was the primary breadwinner and sole decision-maker. After my father’s sudden death in 1982, mom was left alone and bereft. While many predicted she would never survive independently, my mother soared! She worked at a prestigious university until she retired at age 77, and she continued her favorite pastime – bowling – until age 92! She is my rock. #shepersisted
 — Kathleen Gallagher
Director of Pro-Life Activities
New York State Catholic Conference

Dear God, thank you so much for my Mom. You blessed me immensely by giving me such a loving and caring mother. The values she taught, the love she provided, and most importantly the life of faith that she lived has helped shape me to be the person I am today. I smile when I think of the loving embrace you gave my Mom when she passed away. Let her know how much I love her and miss her. Love, Tom
— Thomas Cronin
Advisor to the Bishop for Evangelization

My mother, Maureen Bott, is a loving and compassionate woman who has dedicated her life to my family. She means the world to me and everyone in my family. My mother is also a powerful woman who devoted her career to Catholic education as both a teacher and administrator.
I pray that one day my family and colleagues look at me with the same love, respect, and admiration that I feel for her. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!!
— Dr. Christopher Bott
Associate Superintendent of Schools

For those of us who don’t have a mom still with us, Mother’s Day can trigger sadness or anger or just plain ennui. I haven’t had a mom to celebrate on Mother’s Day for 31 years. Picking out Mother’s Day cards for others, even receiving them from my own children, can be an exercise in melancholy. My ¬≠mother was my best friend, the driving force in my life and the one who instilled in me my deep love of the Catholic faith. I imagine how much she would have loved to be here to see where life has taken me, to know my husband and children, to share a laugh over a cup of coffee as we did so often so long ago. On Mother’s Day, beneath the smile I wear for my three children, will be a tinge of sadness for the years lost, for the woman I still miss, for the mother I honor silently every day of my life not just once a year. 
 — Mary DeTurris Poust 
Director of Communications, 
Associate Publisher, The Evangelist

My mom was a private person who lived with many personal struggles throughout her life. My father died in 2006 and my mom battled depression and dependency for years after. She always clung to her faith, which grew after my father died. She spent hours at our church, volunteering and praying. I know she leaned on that faith when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2016. She battled through chemo and remained strong up to the very end. Mom, I miss you.
— Mike Matvey
Editor, The Evangelist

My mother has lived a life of hard work, sacrifice and prayer. Growing up we always had what we needed, even if it meant she went without. She taught by example not to be afraid of hard work. No matter what the task, she was always there to help her family and friends. The most important thing she taught me is to have faith in God and to believe in the power of prayer.
— Lori Chera
Assistant to the Director of Real Property

Growing up, my mom, Donna, always made sure her family came first, always making sacrifices so her family would never be without. My mom always made sure our bellies were full and so were our hearts! My mom has taught me patience, understanding and empathy. My mom and I are best friends. I am very fortunate to have my mom in my life and I cherish every moment I have with her! I love you MOM! 
— Debbie Quackenbush
Administrative Assistant

When I think of Mother’s Day I think of my mom’s sunny disposition and her way in making most problems disappear. A mother of six, she always laughed and made light of my struggles with my first born, “newborns feel like chickens, she’d say. Practice on them!” We shared a love of sharing a meal, visiting with friends and St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Raised in Queens and getting her education at Pratt Institute, she always pointed out the beauty and rich architecture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral while Christmas and Easter shopping. She was a friend to all and thought of as a “pip” to many. Thinking of her makes me smile! Happy Mother’s Day to all.
— Mary Beck
Assistant to Bishop Scharfenberger

While everyone owes their life to their mother, I especially do. My mother was diagnosed with a medical condition which endangered her life to the point of her being hospitalized for all six months of her pregnancy. The risk to her life was immense, and she had to endure a number of medical interventions. What is more, their health insurance plan refused to cover her hospitalization. Through it all, she and my father remained steadfast in their Catholic faith despite the real and the possible consequences. I was born three months premature and had many medical issues. Once again, my mother remained steadfast that God who had helped her to deliver her child would help her and my father to provide the needed medical care for me. Mother’s Day is another opportunity to thank God for my mother’s faith and for the all the people who supported her, my father, and me so many years ago.
— David G. Amico 
Director, Office of Lay Ministry & Parish Faith Formation

Our mother gave birth to 10 children – six boys and four girls. Each one of us was made to feel special and always cared for. She passed along her abiding faith in God to all of her children and made sacrifices to be sure we all had a Catholic education. In addition to caring for her husband and children, she found time and personal strength to assist her parents, brothers and sisters, and neighbors whenever there was a need. We were all blessed by her presence. 

— Margaret E. Mineau

Volunteer at Catholic Charities

What a blessing to remember and give thanks to God for my mother, the late Marieta (Jane) Rosales Gurley. Faith, family, and friends were her greatest joys. Her favorite movie was “The Sound of Music,” which she said was about her(!) She recounted her own “Climb Every Mountain” scene with her Mother Superior in Manila. Naturally, my Dad, my brother, and I would sing “How do you solve a problem like Marieta?” She loved that!
— Brian F. Gurley, D.M.A.
Director of Music & Organist
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

My mother has always been an incredible role model: for me, my siblings, our friends, their siblings – you name it. She leads by example, saying “yes” when others say “no,” helping at countless school plays, church fundraisers and the like.
She and my father raised us kids with kindness and humor. My childhood was filled with evening trivia, Sunday Mass and dancing in the kitchen. 
It is safe to say, her example made me who I am today. She is a second mother to my friends, a loving grandmother to my nephews, and a personal hero of mine. 
— Eileen Spath
Marketing & Communications Manager, Executive Office
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany

Upon meeting my Mom, you’ll first notice her warm brown eyes and sunny smile. Then you’ll note the flour towel draped over her shoulder. A constant, quiet presence, the simple kitchen tool offers a glimpse into the humble, hidden work of her motherhood. When not being used to take freshly baked bread from the oven, the piece of cotton cloth wipes away toddler tears, becomes a makeshift burp cloth for a grandbaby, whisks away the remains of a haircut or goes flying across the kitchen at a cheeky husband. Tangible evidence of the motherly heart that drops everything in order to serve others, it’s love, disguised as a kitchen towel.
— Kathryn A. Costello 
Communications Specialist

My Mom, Mary Frenette Van Deusen, was a Registered Nurse, graduate of the College of Saint Rose, mother of seven, grandmother to 12, great grandmother to 8 before her death in 2007. She often said she and my Dad raised “seven only children” in Cobleskill. Nothing was a big deal to Mom, it could be figured out or fixed. Consequently, all seven of us operate that way. Family was very important for my folks and remains so for us! 
— Sr. Betsy Van Deusen, CSJ
Director of Community Partnerships
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany

My mother dedicated herself to raising me and my brothers and sisters with all of her heart. She led by example and taught us how at the end of the day that preserving relationships in tough situations is of a tremendous importance. The bonds she strengthened between her and her children, starting in utero and throughout their ages of development, would be one of the keys to her children’s desire to keep a harmonious relationship with her and everyone in the family. She modeled the warmth and love that femininity in its differentiation shines to nurture relationships. When she signed up to be a mother, she signed up 100%. A part of my heart always wants to be carrying a part of her heart wherever I go.
Renée Morgiewicz 
Coordinator of Parish Services & Respect Life Ministry