Community: Cabrini Guild creates harmony with charities for 75 years

Community: Cabrini Guild creates harmony with charities for 75 years
Linda Micalchuck, from left, Danielle Garrison and Peter Micalchuck of Town Center Realty Group with Stacie Wood-Levin, senior animal control officer of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and Billy Bob, a mastiff-boxer. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

The Cabrini Literary Guild celebrated its 75th anniversary with a melodious party recently at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

President Marie Urrutia harmoniously led the Diamond Jubilee commemoration with help from co-chairs Laurie Leask and Karen Swan.


The guild is a philanthropic and social organization named for Frances Xavier Cabrini, also known as Mother Cabrini, who was born in Italy in 1850 and died in 1917.

She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, according to its website, and was assigned by Pope Leo XIII to go to New York to help the thousands of Italian immigrants living in the United States.


Mother Cabrini began her service in New York in 1889, organizing catechism and education classes for Italian immigrants and soliciting donors to help her establish schools and orphanages.

News of her work spread throughout the United States and around the world.

She is credited for establishing 67 hospitals, orphanages and schools, including Villa Cabrini Academy in Burbank, which is now Woodbury University.

A shrine that she had built there in honor of the Blessed Mother was moved to the nearby St. Francis Xavier Church property after developers purchased the Cabrini land, according to the Italian Catholic Federation website.


Mother Cabrini was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1946. The Missionary Sisters continue today providing services as teachers, nurses, social workers, administrators and members of boards of trustees. They serve on six continents and in 15 countries.

Sister Regina Palamara, center, with event co-chairs Laurie Leask, left, and Karen Swan during the 75th anniversary luncheon of Cabrini Literary Guild.
Sister Regina Palamara, center, with event co-chairs Laurie Leask, left, and Karen Swan during the 75th anniversary luncheon of Cabrini Literary Guild. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Burbank is fortunate to have one of those members serving out of St. Finbar Catholic Church. Sister Regina Palamara has been a member of the Missionary Sisters for 62 years. She is a member of the Cabrini Literary Guild and offered the invocation during the Diamond Jubilee celebration.

The day included a lunch of short rib ravioli and tiramisu for dessert, a silent auction and a grand-prize drawing.

Proceeds go to students of the Archdiocesan high schools who compete in the annual creative writing contest as well as local charities such as the Ascencia homeless shelter, Family Promise of the Verdugos, Glendale Library's literacy program and Glendale YWCA's domestic violence shelter.

Burbank members attending were Nancy Guillen, Joan Sandon, Rosa T. Ortiz, Mary Andrade, Brenda Lantieri and Maria Elena Cano and her husband, Philip Cano.

Also attending were Sandy Bernardino, of Burbank, sitting with her mother, longtime Cabrini member Patricia Price of Glendale and former Burbank resident and Cabrini member Mary Nelson.

A large contingent of members from the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild and their guests included Angie Scholl, Maria Balke, Maureen Walsh, Mary Rough, Roberta Kerr, Donna Mahoney, Ollie Vick, Lucy Brown, Diane Jones and Kathleen Marsden.

The day closed with entertainment by tenor Maximo Marcuso, who sauntered from table to table cuddling and serenading the ladies.


During his rendition of "Besame Mucho," my goosebumps had goosebumps!

Realty office donates pet goods to Burbank shelter

Peter Micalchuck and Susan Featherly, broker owners of Town Center Realty Group in Burbank, and their staff recently donated pet supplies to the Burbank Animal Shelter.

The items were collected from the community as part of the third annual "We Love Our Furry Friends Fun Drive."

"People in the city of Burbank have really pitched in to help us," Micalchuck said. "I think we have over 125 bags of goodies for them — dog walkers, cages, anything that they would possibly need to hopefully get adopted and have a good life."

A dog walker is a harness made for disabled pets that have lost the use of their hind legs, said Cynde Bost, a Realtor with the local business.

Sprouts in Burbank provided bags and the realty agents distributed them to homes in the neighborhoods they serve.

A huge number of donations came from people at the Burbank YMCA, Bost said.

Greeting the realty group at the shelter were Stacie Wood-Levin, senior animal control officer, and Billy Bob, a mastiff-boxer mix who is available for adoption.

Billy Bob is 8 years old and is gentle, so he gets along well with kids and other dogs.

"It's great to have community partners like this who take the time to have donation drives for us, and it really really helps," Wood-Levin said. "They always have been so good to us and spreading the word about our adoptable animals. They are wonderful people."

It's kitten season, now through December, so the donations most needed are KMR (kitten milk replacer), found at local pet stores; canned and dry kitten food, especially Wellness brand; any canned adult dog or cat food, washcloths, towels and gently used blankets.

Just a reminder, Burbank residents can have their pets microchipped for $10.

"We've returned animals that have been missing for months and even years sometimes, so it's a real smart thing to do and it takes just five minutes," Wood-Levin said.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at