First look
“Out of the Ashes Came Hope”

To debut Spring 2013

Bishop Joseph A. Francis, far left and Richard Joseph Hughes, 45th Governor of New Jersey, far right, sit next to Monsignor Linder during one of New Community’s groundbreaking ceremonies. Both Francis and Hughes are cited as members of the “50 People I Admire” series.

Monsignor William J. Linder started Chelsea Construction Inc., to serve the contracting needs of its community development projects. Today, over 20 years later, Chelsea Construction continues to provide services to New Community and other builders.


"50 People I Admire"
by Monsignor William J. Linder
(fourth in a series)

In my nearly 45 years here at the helm of New Community, I have met some most interesting and influential people. Many of these individuals are mentioned in a book I am currently working on about my life.

Special recognition will be given to all 50 at New Community's 45th Anniversary Gala taking place on March 9, 2013.

Donald and Stephen Sciaretta Principals
Claremont Construction Group, Inc.

Donald and Stephen Sciaretta took on the family business upon their father, Dominic Sciaretta's, untimely death in 1981. Dominic's sons describe him as a tough, no nonsense, self-sufficient child of the Depression and a World War II combat veteran. But more importantly, they saw how Father Linder transformed their father into a compassionate, caring person, who, along with other "old-school conservative" businessmen, were so inspired by Linder that they dedicated their resources for the betterment of Newark's African American community. This was something these men would not have done without the inspiration and wonderment of this young, committed priest. Shortly before Dominic's death, he met with Father Linder and promised he would make Babyland feel like a "doll house." Sadly, Dominic did not live to see the completion of this work. But at the building's dedication, Father Linder paid a wonderful tribute to him that was deeply appreciated by the entire Sciaretta family and subsequently inspired the sons to continue his legacy and support of NCC. They have since donated significantly to NCC and were the leads in the renovation of St. Joseph Plaza. The older of the two sons, Donald, is now President and CEO of Claremont Construction Group, Inc., and maintains a signature hands-on approach to executive management and makes himself readily available to all clients, including NCC. Stephen Sciaretta joined Claremont following his tenure as an associate attorney at a major Newark, New Jersey law firm.

"Dominic made a personal commitment to build a high-quality child care center for our children at NCC. His belief in our work became contagious and his enthusiasm spread to other contractors and onto his sons, who have since become long-time supporters of NCC. That fatherly example of hard work and commitment to our cause amazed his sons and became a lasting gift for NCC."

Monsignor William J. Linder

Dr. James M. Oleske, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Circle of Life

Board Certified in Pediatric Palliative Care, Dr. Oleske is internationally recognized for his work in the field of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, specifically in the treatment of pediatric AIDS. His work with this fragile population spurred his vision for a freestanding program providing state-of-the-art pain and symptom management and end-of-life care for children with life-limiting illnesses, which became the Circle of Life Children's Center, Inc. Dr. Oleske is Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Pulmonary, Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, and Medical Director, FXB Center for Children at The University Hospital, Newark. (source: http://www.circleoflifenj.org)

"Dr. Oleske was a student under Dr. Leon Smith, another one of our '50 People I Admire,' and has a true passion for helping children with AIDS and those who face a devastating future. His approach to his work is filled with compassion and dedication and he did this at a time when fear and ignorance dominated many medical professionals' ethics and approach to health care. He is a pioneer in his work with children and is truly a good person."

Monsignor William J. Linder





Peter Garcia, President and Founder of the
Victoria Fund

From 1982 to 2005, Pete Garcia served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) in Phoenix, Arizona, though he worked for the organization in other capacities since 1972. During his years as President, he brought the organization's asset base from $15 million to more than $155 million. CPLC, one of the original Ford Foundation Community Development Corporations (CDC) and Title VII CDCs, is among the leading producers of single-family and multifamily housing in the nation and is a major force and advocate of Latinos. It is a statewide entity that serves migrant children, battered women, and people with substance abuse problems, while also developing self-help housing and small business incubators. Garcia oversaw CPLC's purchase and acquisition of more than 2,400 units of affordable multifamily housing. When he saw that many multifamily developments built with HUD finance insurance or mortgages were being sold, he and his staff worked with underwriters and financial institutions, including Fannie Mae, to preserve the housing by packaging several thousand units together with complex financing. The $83 million bond financing transaction preserves the housing stock for working families.

"Peter's work in housing financing made a huge impact on CDC's, allowing them to generate revenue while serving the poor. It was truly incredible how much effort and time he put into this project on behalf of poor working class families and Hispanics."

Monsignor William J. Linder

Jerome M. St. John, Judge Superior Court

Jerome M. St. John has been a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division since August of 2011. He was elevated to the position from the Essex Vicinage Civil Division, where he served from 2009-2011. Previously, St. John served as a judge in the Essex Vicinage Criminal Division, from 2006-2009. A graduate of Villanova University and Seton Hall School of Law, Judge St. John began his legal career in private practice, first at the Newark firm of Kraft & Hughes, and later as a partner at St. John & Wayne in Newark and New York City. Judge St. John also served on the Essex Fells School Board, and the Essex Fells Town Council. He was mayor of Essex Fells from 1996 to 1998. From 2004 to 2005, he served as chairman of the Essex County Utilities Authority.

"Ask anyone at New Community and they will tell you 'Jerome was NCC's #1 Volunteer.' Jerome is a great friend and has been one of our biggest supporters, putting in countless hours, providing pro bono legal work, and without expecting any sort of compensation. He is a really good guy."

Eleanor Josaitis,
Co-Founder, FOCUS Hope CDC, Detroit

Eleanor Josaitis had a passion for justice and provided hope and opportunities to countless thousands for well over four decades. The housewife turned passionate civil rights activist dedicated the last 43 years of her life to "intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice" as proclaimed in the Focus: HOPE mission statement. She became a national advocate for a food program designed to meet the nutritional needs of children and seniors; a proponent of job training programs that gave women and minorities access to the financial mainstream, and a passionate Detroiter who strove to revitalize the city and its neighborhoods.

"What I really liked about Eleanor, and her co-founder Father William Cunningham, was their commitment to poor people and the belief that given an education and an opportunity, they will flourish. Eleanor was the operations person behind this partnership and organized community residents to start FOCUS Hope soon after riots tore through Detroit in the late 60's. But what is truly remarkable was the program they developed. They had the number one automotive and mechanical training program in the country, winning a $100 million grant to do it. Eleanor made it possible because of her belief to do all she could to help the poor and she would fight very hard for those who needed a champion."

Monsignor William J. Linder

© New Community Corporation, 2008