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Press Release 101013

Press Release

October 10, 2013Contact:  Gregory Floyd                 973 984-9600       


Sister Francis Raftery, the immediate past President of the College of St. Elizabeth and long-time leader in Catholic education, will be honored by the Tri-County Scholarship Fund (TCSF) at its 32nd Annual Awards Dinner on October 28, 2013.  In an interview with TCSF’s President Gregory Floyd, Sister Francis describes the transformative power of education and celebrates her involvement in TCSF over more than 30 years.

Sister Francis Raftery, S.C. has spent a life-time as a Catholic Educator.  She has been an advocate for faith-based schools on the State and National levels.  The National Catholic Education Association named her Educator of the Year.  Sister Francis served as the Chairperson of the Education Department at the College of Saint Elizabeth and through her ministry was responsible for providing Professional Development for teachers, parents and school principals for the past 38 years.  Between 1997 and 2013, she served as the sixth President of the College of St. Elizabeth.  In June 2013, the Board of Trustees of the College of St. Elizabeth named her Distinguished President Emerita.

Sister Francis has served on the Boards of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Saint Mary’s Hospital in Passaic, Saint Claire’s Health System in Denville, and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.  Presently, she is serving in the Office of Patient Relations at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Passaic. 

Sister Francis holds a doctorate in education from New York University and a master of arts in guidance and counseling from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  A native of Kearny, N.J., she entered the Sisters of Charity after earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education from New Jersey City University.  She taught at the elementary and secondary levels before joining the College of St. Elizabeth. 

Sister Francis’ support for TCSF goes back to its very inception and spans more than 30 years.  “Tri-County is proud to honor Sr. Francis for her many years of dedication to education and her long term commitment to Tri-County’s mission to help bring quality education to our area’s neediest children,” said Gregory Floyd. 

The Interview

In an online interview, Sr. Francis shares some of her wisdom gained in a life of dedication to education and service to the needs of the less fortunate:

Question:  Having spent many years personally involved in the education of young people, what do you believe are the most important goals in K-12 education?

Sr. Francis:  “Goals – the over-all goal of Catholic Education is transformative – that our children learn to Love God and one another.  In this context the process of education begins and continues to prepare them for life in the 21st century.”

Question:  How have you witnessed the difference that quality education can make in the life of a child?

Sr. Francis:  “A quality education moves the child through the transformative process systematically and developmentally.  Children who have this experience are self-confident, other centered, and ready to make a difference in the world.”

Question:  What are you most proud of in your tenure at St. Elizabeth’s?

Sr. Francis:  “My time at CSE was blessed with the shared leadership of a remarkable leadership team.  They in turn joined me in providing the environment for preparing our students to make a difference in the world.”

Question:  What attracted you to Tri-County? 

Sr. Francis:  “I have been involved in Tri-County support since its inception.  The focus on welcoming and supporting children of great promise into values-based educational settings is an inspiration for all.”

Question:  How did you learn about Tri-County?

Sr. Francis:  “I learned about Tri County through the great leadership of Bishop Rodimer and Ed Hennessey.  I also saw the dedication of the members of the Board of Tri-County as they met at CSE each month to strategize and plan for the Scholarship Benefit each year.  They are a remarkable group dedicated to improving the quality of life for our students and their families.  With these resources the dedicated teachers and principals make it happen.”

Question:  What would you say to encourage others to support TCSF?

Sr. Francis:  “Come and see the wonders of TCSF – meet the students and the families.  As you do you will be compelled to support this wonderful work.”

Question:  Finally, what words of encouragement would you give to TCSF recipients and their parents who struggle to overcome challenges to obtaining a quality education?

Sr. Francis:  “Providence can provide, Providence did provide, and Providence will provide when good and generous people share in your hopes and dreams.”

The 2013 Awards Dinner

To hear more from Sr. Francis, please attend TCSF’s Annual Dinner on October 28, 2013 at the Hanover Marriott.  The TCSF Annual Dinner seeks to raise $800,000 to provide hundreds of scholarships for some of the area’s neediest children. 

Since its founding in 1981, TCSF has provided more than $20,000,000 in scholarships to thousands of the neediest children of Morris, Sussex and Passaic Counties.  The majority of these children come from families that live at or below the poverty level.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and help students of all races, religions and backgrounds to attend private schools in grades K through twelve.

For more information about TCSF or the Annual Awards Dinner, for interview opportunities or to make a donation, please contact Gregory Floyd at (973) 984-9600 ( or visit Tri-County’s web site at


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