Joan Albarella

Poet, Playwright, Novelist,
Producer/Director, Editor, Writing Consultant, Educator,
Reiki Master, Truth Seeker

the last ten years, it has been a privilege to write a series of plays based on the lives of religious women whom I see as modern-day mystics. I wrote, produced and performed in two, and was lucky enough to have my talented sister, Jackie Albarella, appear in the first three, and the equally talented actress, Kelly Meg Brennan, appear in the fourth

      Mother Cabrini's Mission to America tells the life story of Mother Francesca Xavier Cabrini, the first American Saint and the Patroness of Immigrants. She built convents, schools and hospitals from New York to California, wherever large groups of Italian immigrants settled. She moved through ill health and church obstruction to become a saint who saw God in everyone.

      Always In My Heart: The Life of Saint Marianne Cope was written at the request of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities for the occasion of her canonization as a Saint. Mother Marianne Cope served Central New York for twenty-four years as a teacher, nurse, hospital administrator, and Provincial Superior. She then followed a mission calling to serve patients with Hansen's disease (leprosy) in Hawaii. Her life is a journey of strength and unquestioning faith in God. She brought comfort and hope to those condemned to darkness.
       Light and Dark: The Life of Sister Judith Fenyvesi, SSS was compiled from an oral history I recorded. Her Romanian-Jewish family was killed in the holocaust, so she followed a calling from God, and joined the Sisters of Social Service who hid her during the war. She joined the Catholic Resistance Movement and was arrested by the communists. After serving ten years in prison, she eventually joined the Sisters in Buffalo, NY. She  completed her education, and started a Social Work Program at Daemon College. Throughout her life, she fought for social justice, searched for answers, and maintained a quest for better Jewish-Catholic relations.


         This Little Light of Mine: The Story of Sister Karen Klimczak, SSJ was written for the tenth year anniversary of her murder. She was called the Apostle of Peace because she worked with those affected by violence. After a successful teaching career, she felt called to start a home for newly-released male prisoners. It was the urging of the Holy Spirit that prompted her to overcome tremendous obstacles to open the house. She also started outreach programs for other prisoners, their families, and families of victims. She created the word "Peaceprints" to stand for little acts of kindness that each of us should leave behind. It was printed on large doves that are still seen throughout Western New York. Her "Peaceprints" signs represent all those working for nonviolence within themselves and in the world. 
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