On Saturday, the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office and our generous partner, the American Bible Society, co-sponsored our annual New York Catholic Bible Summit. As always, the very large attendance proved that the people of this archdiocese and those from neighboring dioceses have a deep hunger for sacred scripture. They want to know more about the Bible—not just reading it, but pondering it prayerfully and making it part of their daily lives.
We were delighted to welcome Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio of the Holy See to the United States, along with Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto and Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, who were our keynoters. Our workshop presenters provided wonderful new insights as well on the theme, "Missionary Disciples: Bringing God's Word to the Entire World." Special presentations from Dr. Roy Peterson, president of the American Bible Society, and from the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., added even greater dimension
However, behind our smiles the hearts of those of us in the Catechetical Office were a bit heavy. A dear colleague of ours, a true missionary disciple, was missing: Frances DeFrange, who died this past week.  Frances served as the Staten Island regional catechetical director for 20 years before she retired in 2006
Frances was herself a great organizer of major events. For many years, she was the chair of the Catechetical Congresses which took place upstate and downstate. Now called the Forums, they still carry her imprint.  Frances may have retired but she never really disappeared. That's the way with catechetical people. She helped chaired three major convocations, one of which produced the largest attendance of any of the events of the 2007-2008 archdiocesan bicentennial celebration
A gifted crafter, Frances could turn out 12 tablecloths overnight, create elegant correspondence cards and programs, and so much more. She made everything look easy. She oversaw Staten Island's catechetical office the same way, but behind her calm demeanor and easy humor was an unshakable dedication to the ministry, the directors and coordinators, and the catechists. She also was a shrewd judge of talent, recommending her successor, Sr. Mary Crucifix Pandullo, CSJB, and Sr. Zelide Ceccagno, MSCS, for leadership positions
Her family was the greatest beneficiary of her love and devotion. Our thanks and sympathy go to her husband, Deacon David A. DeFrange of the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J.; two daughters, Dr. Rita DeFrange and her husband, Salvatore Siraguse, of Denver, Colo., and Alicia DeFrange of Cherry Hill, N.J.; her son, David A. DeFrange II and his wife, Krista, of Frenchtown, N.J.; two grandchildren, Luke Anthony DeFrange and Julia Grace DeFrange; her sister, Sr. Theresa Capria, SC of the Convent of Mt. St. Vincent, Bronx, N.Y.; and her brother, John Capria and his wife, Barbara of Stony Point, N.Y
Frances, we will miss you but we know that you will continue to be our advocate before the God you served so well. You always will be a missionary disciple