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The History of the SALT Program

The History of SALT

In 2010, 3 Interns (Alycia, Kristen and Nicolette) working with the Avila Institute of Gerontology on a grant project were asked if they would like to design a  program for young women.  The Vocation Director (Sr. Maria Therese) at the time and the Avila Institute Director (Sr. M. Peter Lillian) felt it would be a great way to encourage more young women to be exposed to a very rewarding ministry, caring for the aged and infirm.  The first pilot program was held in March 3-9 2013 at South Boston, MA.  The program continued to evolve and in 2015 Sr. Peter Lillian asked Stacey Sumereau to “coordinate SALT” under the Direction of Sr. Maria Therese, Vocation Director.  In July of 2015, Sr. Mary O’ Donovan came on board as the new Vocation Director.  Under her direction, and with the assistance of Stacey and in 2018 Melissa Maricich, the SALT Mission Program continues to grow.

The SALT  program has proved to be very successful. There are many ways to measure success for us; success comes not from many surface-level relationships, but from the deep relationships that have been cultivated through SALT. To date there have been nine programs in our Homes, two at Carmel Richmond, Staten Island, NY, two at Teresian House, Albany, NY, two at Mother Angeline McCrory Manor, Columbus, Ohio, two in Ireland at Our Lady’s Manor, Dublin, and one at St. Patrick’s Residence, Naperville, ILL.  

Establishment of SALT website: Funding was obtained from the Catholic Volunteer Network in 2019 to allow for the creation of a stand-alone website for the SALT Program.  We believe that this website will enable us to have an effective recruiting tool and enhance our visibility as well.  This will allow us to sustain the program through regular updates of our activities, share newsletters and provide video testimonials from SALT alumnae.  We are anxious to develop it more fully and raise the visibility of the program to make it perennial.  To do this, it is vital for the SALT Program to have a stand-alone web presence since the internet is the first place people turn to when searching for information.  While we do travel to conferences and university and college campuses to pass out brochures, talk about the program and recruit participants, a website would give us much greater visibility – including internationally.  With the help of a website, we can provide updated information and photos on a regular basis, correspond more quickly with interested parties and spread the message more easily.