Maria College in Albany hosted a signing ceremony for an articulation agreement between Maria and SUNY Empire State College. Maria College students can not get early admission into all SUNY Empire State master's degree programs in nursing, education, business management, liberal studies and policy studies. SUNY Empire State is waiving its application fee and recommendation requirement. Learn more at www.mariacollege.edu....

St. Mary's parish in Ballston Spa is once again collecting shoeboxes of Christmas gifts and food for children in a Haitian orphanage. The boxes will be collected at St. Mary's after weekend Masses through Oct. 17. During the week, boxes may be left at St. Mary's School. Monetary donations for rice and beans and shipping costs are also accepted. They will be sent to REV. GIORDANO BELANICH, director of Croatian Relief Services in New Jersey, who will purchase the food locally and ship everything to the CARDINAL STEPINAC Children's Center in Port au Prince, Haiti. Pack shoeboxes with small toys, school supplies, small flashlights with batteries, coloring books, games, shirts, socks, underwear, flip-flops, hard candies, non-perishable foods, rosaries, holy cards, notes and family photos (no war games, soaps or used items). Wrap boxes in holiday paper, labeled with a gender and age range (infant, two-four years, five-nine or 10-14). An $8 donation per box (in separate envelope) would defray shipping costs. Make checks payable to St. Mary's Church and mail to JOSIE UHLINGER, 7 E. Grove St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020. For more information, call (518) 885-9620....

Corpus Christi parish in Round Lake has a new director of youth ministry: JEANIE LEA, a special education teacher....

The Ladies of Charity will sponsor their annual Coats for the Community collection Oct. 27-28; winter coats, hats and mittens in all sizes are being collected at Holy Trinity parish for the needy of Cohoes, Waterford and Watervliet....

St. Mary's parish in Cooperstown has a new director of its religious education program for kindergarten through high school: JAMES WILLSEY....

Youths from All Saints on the Hudson parish in Mechanicville/Stillwater gathered at the flagpoles of each worship site Sept. 27 to pray for civic leaders, schools and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries. The theme this year is, "Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 12:2)....

St. Pius X parish in Loudonville invited kids to bring a favorite stuffed animal to Mass Oct. 1 to be blessed and learn that God cares about all the things that they love, real or not. St. Pius also has a new, free Sunday-morning parents' group, held at the same time as religious education classes to help parents boost their own faith. Babysitting is available. Contact SAMANTHA BLOOM, (518) 390-6153, TERESE MEAGH­ER, (518) 527-8021, LIZ CONDON, (518) 859-2823, or RITA NILES, ritanilesemail@yahoo.com.