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Sale of book will benefit Bourger Women with Children Program
Posted 03/06/2017 11:54AM

Rev. James Calderone, O.F.M., Ed.D., A.C.S.W., L.S.W. (inactive), professor emeritus of social work at Misericordia University, and Rodrigo "Popi'' Gereda have collaborated to write and illustrate their second book together. The sale of "Woman of Samaria: a Reflection on the Spiritual Journey'' benefit the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program at Misericordia University.

Published by Cougar Press, the 74-page soft-cover book chronicles the story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well and her chance encounter with Jesus that has been shared through the millennia. Noted as a story of conversion, or a "turning of the heart,'' "Woman of Samaria: a Reflection on the Spiritual Journey'' offers a brief reflection through poetry, commentary, and picture of this timeless tale.

"The authors of this reflection consider the woman of Samaria's walk to be one icon for the spiritual journey,'' Rev. Calderone and Mr. Gereda write in the preface of their book. "Many on the path may identify with the woman of Samaria's process of spiritual maturing. In our speculative interpretation, we understand 'conversion to be a shared experience which embraces the woman, Jesus, and all whom they encounter.''

Rev. Calderone and Mr. Gereda make the assumption in their writing that the hearts of people are touched and changed over a lifetime – and perhaps beyond – and the conversion that takes place is a growing experience, the essence of which is shared with others.

At Misericordia University, Rev. Calderone served as chair of the Department of Social Work, director of the Professional Studies Program, chair of Faculty Senate, and dean of the former College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences. During his tenure, he was awarded two of the three highest awards presented to faculty – the Judge Max and Tillie Rosenn Excellence in Teaching Award and the Pauly and Sidney Friedman Excellence in Service Award.

Mr. Gereda is the former facilitator for the Interfaith Resource Center for Peace and Justice. He is the chief mediation trainer for The Father James Doyle, C.S.C., Community Mediation Institute and is working toward his Masters in Divinity.

To order a copy of the book, please contact Rev. Calderone by calling him at (570) 674-6209 or e-mailing him at The book is $20.

This is the second book the authors have written and illustrated together to benefit the Bourger Women with Children Program. "Taking the Next Step: Poetry, Reflections, and Illustrations for the Journey'' was published in 2016. The sale raised $1,500. A matching grant enabled the authors to donate $3,000 to the program for single mothers and their children.

The Bourger Women with Children Program accommodates up to 16 mothers and 32 children and removes barriers to academic and professional achievement for single mothers, while introducing their children to the benefits of higher education. Established in 2000, the novel program provides housing to single women at the poverty level and up to two children each, so mothers can attend college and earn a bachelor's degree.

The program provides free housing, support services and scholarships for academically qualified, single mothers and their children at three homes owned by Misericordia University on Lake Street – Pauly House, Rasmussen House at Rosary Hall, and Moffat House. Since its inception, baccalaureate-degree graduates have established careers in nursing, education, communications, occupational therapy, social work, medical imaging, psychology, business administration, and speech-language pathology.

For more information about the Bourger Women with Children Program at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or log on to


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