Religions and Spirituality

Saint Joseph Social Service Center to Hold Celebration to Honor Co-Founders

Saint Joseph Social Service Center co-founders, Sister Jacinta Fernandes and Edie Cheney to be honored at a community celebration. Credits: Courtesy of the St. Joseph Social Service Center

Elizabeth, NJ—The Saint Joseph Social Service Center is about to honor its co-founders, Sister Jacinta Fernandes and Edie Cheney during a community celebration to be held on November 12, 2017, at the Elizabeth High School’s Frank J. Cicarell Academy.

The center history dates back to 1968 and has given help to people in need in Elizabeth ever since. When the American Friends Service Committee began a housing assistance program in Elizabeth, one of its staff members was Sr. Jacinta Fernandes, who is now St Joseph’s Executive Director. She and other Sisters distributed food and clothing from Sacred Heart Convent. This program eventually created the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. In the early 1980’s Edie Cheney was assisting Sr. Jacinta in her charitable works.

Sr. Jacinta and Cheney have been leading St. Joseph Social Service Center, along with the assistance of a competent staff and board and a host of dedicated volunteers. According to the center's new director, Bernadette Murphy, "Jacinta and Edie don't want much fanfare but they are moving on to new ministries at the end of this year."

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St Joseph’s continues to partner with the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless as sister agencies, to serve the poor and homeless of the Elizabeth area.

Since 1983, St. Joseph's has served the materially poor and homeless community of greater Elizabeth, New Jersey, by providing basic human needs such as food, clothing and medications, as well as a wide range of services and programs to help them acquire the material goods and social services they need to live with integrity.

St. Joseph's is an independent, nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization.

The community is invited to join the celebration on November 12, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Frank J. Cicarell Academy, 40 Morrell Street in Elizabeth. Those attending are asked to use the disabled entrance off Morrell St. or enter from MLK Blvd. Parking will be available at the City Hall lot located at the corner of Jefferson and Dickinson Streets. On-street parking is free on Sundays.

For more information about the center, visit is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @TAPElizabeth. 


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