About Us


The Mission of The Good News Foundation is to share the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ through hospitality, spiritual growth and renewal, and support of individuals, parish communities and family life.



Our vision is for The Good News Center to become a resource for equipping and strengthening marriages and families in our community.

Our Story

Leroy and Hazel Scheidelman

It is because of the Scheidelmans and Drozes that The Good News Foundation exists. The work that takes place at The Good News Center could not happen without their generosity and foresight. We thank them for being faith-filled people who wanted to lead all people to God and who have left an indelible mark on the Greater Utica area for the past thirty years.

Dc. John and Elizabeth Droz

Called to Sow…
Deacon John Droz and his wife Elizabeth once dreamed of planting the seeds of faith throughout the Mohawk Valley by evangelizing the hearts and minds of all to bring about a “new springtime” of Christianity. Over thirty years ago, their dream was realized as they began the Good News Foundation.

Supported by a generous endowment from Elizabeth’s parents, Leroy and Hazel Scheidelman, the Drozes rolled up their sleeves and set to work. They
held the first meeting right in their own living room. Of all those gathered on that hope-filled night, only two visionaries remain - Elizabeth Droz & Ed Paparella.

Planting Seeds, Strong roots…
Right from the start, the roots of hospitality and outreach took hold as the Good News focused on offering many opportunities for spiritual enrichment, community, and service. From coffeehouses and numerous bible studies to the Wednesday Good News  Luncheons and weekend retreats featuring newcomers like Scott Hahn, it was an exciting time.

Whether participating in Cursillo, Alpha, leadership training,  evangelization workshops or volunteering, there was plenty to do. Making it all happen with the Drozes was the first Good News staff person, Kathy Poupart.

It was in these early years, when the first Good News Grants were awarded to churches and other organizations willing to help in the effort to evangelize. The Hazel Scheidelman Scholarship program also sprung roots during this time to help support and encourage Catholic education in the Utica area. The garden had been planted and much like the beginning of Creation, “God saw that it was good.”

On Fertile Ground…
The patch of soil where the Good News began planting was quickly outgrown. The Foundation would move several times before settling into its current home in 2001. The center’s previous
owners, the Vincentian Order, passed on a heritage of beauty from the expansive woodlands covering 63 acres to the stunning murals and stained glass windows found in the chapel. The Drozes added to it by commissioning an icon of the Crucifixion for the chapel sanctuary and bringing in the many amazing pieces of religious art, sculpture and an extensive collection of Hazel Scheidelman’s personal nun doll collection that grace our Center to this day.


Volunteers and staff cleared the rounds to create the Trail of Peace and Rosary Walk, which includes the Stations of the Cross in Polish. They also created a wooded, shrine area dedicated to the Blessed Mother known as Our Lady of the Pines. Longtime volunteer Emil Truchon donated flowers, shrubs and trees to beautify the open spaces. More recently, volunteers from the Grief Survivors group added their own special touch by planting the Grief  Garden found in front of the center.

Building renovations converted the priests’ former rooms into the offices, meeting rooms and bedrooms we see today. The renovations continue with a complete basement remodel, an air conditioning system, a new parking lot and plans to renovate the Annex.

Seasons of Change, Nurturing Growth…
To help guide the ongoing growth of  The Good News “garden”, Mike Buckley became Director in 2005 and ushered in a new phase of programming. The Good News would continue to evangelize, but the focus of these efforts would now be primarily directed towards marriage and family. Seeds would be sown and nurtured throughout each stage of the life cycle.

“As the family goes…so goes the whole world” -St. John Paul II Outreach to youth would continue through various retreats, scholarships, and grants to schools and youth-related ministries. Young adults would be enriched through the college retreats hosted at our center or numerous diocesan events supported by Good News Grants. Engaged or married couples could receive relationship education and continued support through programs like Retrouvaille or Third Option. Individuals experiencing some of the painful losses of life, whether through the end of a marriage or the death of a loved one, could find encouragement and practical help through the Separated & Divorced Group or Grief Survivors. Our beloved senior population could continue to enjoy spiritual and social nourishment through our revamped, intergenerational programming - luncheons, bible study, retreats, conference transportation, Seder Supper, etc. People of all ages would be invited to participate in our fundraisers and community events - Dance the Night Away, Flags for Heroes & Families, Navigating through Grief Summit, National Day of Prayer.
Reaping the Harvest…

The seeds planted by the Droz-Scheidelman family in 1992 have born tremendous fruit in the community. You see it in the faces of each Good News family where a marriage has been saved, a broken heart has been comforted, or a restless spirit has found a place of refuge and peace. Through continuing collaborative efforts with organizations including the Diocese of Syracuse, Third Option Int’l, Feed Our Vets, Center for Family Life & Recovery, our grant recipients and many others, the Good News Foundation’s reach has extended beyond the borders of the Mohawk Valley. The plentiful harvest is ready and The Good News Foundation invites you to join us as we honor and carry on the legacy of John and Elizabeth Droz - helping families & touching lives. Thanks be to God.

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