Get Started

October 03, 2023

Eucharistic Ministers Commissioned, Chapel Rededicated as AHA Turns 144

The Academy of the Holy Angels community observed Feast Day at an October 2 Mass. This year marks the 144th anniversary of Sister Mary Nonna Dunphy’s signing of the deed for the Academy’s original campus in Fort Lee. Dunphy, a School Sister of Notre Dame, executed the document on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, and the Academy took its name from the holiday.


AHA President Melinda Hanlon welcomed the assembly and announced that, after Mass, the chapel in Kelleher Hall would be renamed The Chapel of the Angels in honor of all of the School Sisters who have served AHA for the past 144 years. President Hanlon highlighted their courage, hard work, and achievements, noting that the way AHA moves forward is one form of honoring Holy Angels’ foundresses and sponsors. AHA’s past-president S. Patricia Murphy, SSND; and Director of Auditorium Services S. Mary Foley, SSND, were in attendance at Mass.


Fr. Kevin Kilgore with Eucharistic Ministers Grace Cuttita, Ava Tripodi, Sofia Cardoso, Olivia Papp, Ashley Miskovitz, Attiana Badolati, Keira Corcoran, Rylie Smith, Kristina Migliaccio, Marina Poire, and Caitlin Deiser.


During the Liturgy, celebrant Father Kevin Kilgore of Saint Pius X Church in Old Tappan commissioned 11 Angels as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. AHA’s newest Eucharistic Ministers include Attiana Badolati of Norwood, Sofia Cardoso and Keira Corcoran of Westwood, Grace Cuttita of Glen Rock, Caitlin Deiser of New Milford, Kristina Migliaccio of Franklin Lakes, Ashley Miskovitz and Ava Tripodi of Emerson, Olivia Papp of Hawthorne, Marine Poire of Dumont, and Rylie Smith of Saddle River.


Each Eucharistic Minister is responsible for carrying on the call to bring the Eucharist to others and build up the church.


“I want to become a Eucharistic Minister because it sounds like such a blessing to me to be able to give out the Blood and Body and Christ,” Ashley Miskovitz said before her commissioning. “This is something that is so special, as well as something that means so much considering all that God sacrificed for us.”


Miskovitz said she enjoyed putting together homemade bread as part of her training with Campus Minister Maryanne Miloscia and then-Campus Ministry Director Kathleen Sylvester. Campus Minister Nicholas Fallivene stepped in to continue the training after Sylvester’s June retirement.


“It also was a bonding experience because I was able to do this with my peers,” Miskovitz continued. “I think the biggest challenge is knowing I have the large responsibility of giving out something so important. I know not to worry or be nervous, though, because through the distribution God will be there watching over me.”


Asked about her interest in becoming a Eucharistic Minister, Caitlin Deiser shared, “I feel like it is an opportunity to express my faith in a more extensive way than I have ever before.” During the training, Deiser said she enjoyed interacting with her peers and discussing their beliefs.


Marina Poire said she wanted to pursue the training because she recognizes the importance of the Eucharist.


Attiana Badolati believes that serving as a Eucharistic Minister will bring her closer to God.


Grace Cuttita is also seeking a greater connection with God, and the ability to share His love with others.


“Not only am I called to minister the Body and Blood of Christ, but I am called to be a servant to others,” Cuttita said. “The most interesting part of the training is making eye contact with the person you are ministering Communion to. This allows the person receiving Jesus to have a deeper connection and be able to center themselves, recognizing that they are in the presence of Christ.” 


After Mass, Fr. Kilgore, S. Mary, the Eucharistic Ministers and their families, and members of the administration gathered in Kelleher Hall for the rededication of the chapel.


President Hanlon noted that the chapel was being blessed and renamed in honor of the 190th anniversary of the establishment of the School Sisters, and in honor of the service of the SSNDs to AHA in particular.


“To this day, they sustain us,” she noted. Hanlon pointed out the stained glass windows, which depict Blessed Mother Theresa Gerhardinger, who founded the SSNDs in Bavaria; and Mother Caroline Friess, who led the group of SSNDs who worked in the United States.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County.