Interest Groups

AMEN organizes a number of interest groups for its registered members.  There are no fees associated with membership in any of these groups although individuals are responsible for book purchases, admission and/or parking fees, lunch/food costs etc.

An overview of each interest group is provided below.  If you have questions about a group, you may email the interest group contact or Teresa Giovanzana, AMEN's Interest Group Chair.  Teresa can assist you in starting a new chapter of an existing interest group that is at maximum capacity or in creating a new interest group if you have an idea for a new adventure!

Current Interest Groups

Baking Group

Baking Group - Bakers and non-bakers alike are welcome! The group meets on a Saturday afternoon at a member's home to bake, try out different recipes, enjoy a variety of yummy baked goods with coffee or tea, and share a few good laughs! The Baking Group meets once a month during the school year (no summer meetings), and hosts an AMEN Holiday cookie exchange during December. 

Contacts: Nandini Shankar, Rose Simon

Book Clubs

Book Clubs - AMEN currently has four active book clubs. We are accepting membership into the fourth.  Each chapter has its own point of contact and chooses its own meeting date, time, location, book list and format.  

The Original AMEN Book Club: Contact - Barbara Gentzkow

About Us:  The original AMEN Book Club first met in January 2002 and have met since then on the last Tuesday of every month, excluding the months of June, July, August and December.  The group started with 20 members and are now at 15.  In the 10 years they have been meeting, these ladies have experienced the highs and lows of being a mother and being a women - watching and praying for the women who have experienced breast cancer, skin cancer, divorce and the loss of a parent.  They have shared the joy of their sons getting married and are most blessed of all with the welcoming of their grandchildren!

The Second Generation Book Club: Contact - Barbara Mellin

About Us:  The Second Generation Book Club meets 9 times a year on the first Monday evening of the month. This group meets each month at a member's home, generally for dinner.  It currently has 12 members which is optimum for the home-based forum.  If you are interested in previewing their meetings to get some ideas for a new book club or getting their reading list, please contact Barbara.

The Third Generation Book Club - Daytime Book Club: Contact - Mari Donnelly

About Us:  The Daytime Book Club meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30 am. The club meets at a restaurant at Santana Row to have lunch and discuss the current book.

The Fourth Generation Book Club: Contact - Abby Perr Baker

About Us:  The Fourth Generation Book Club is on a 6-week reading cycle, meeting at 7:00 pm in Campbell.

College Mentoring Moms

College Mentoring Moms - This group provides support to current Bellarmine moms as they navigate the college process with their sons. No applications or essays for us - simply share your insights into a college your child (son or daughter) is attending or has attended ... favorite restaurants, hotels near the college, places to shop for dorm gear, your perspective on meal plans etc. You will be a reassuring voice to a nervous mom.

Email the following information to Susan if you are willing to be a college mentor mom.

Name
Child(s) year(s) of graduation - can be a son or a daughter
College(s) I know well
Email
Phone

Contact: Susan Munne

Community Volunteer Opportunities

Community Volunteering & Helping Hands - If you are involved with a charitable organization which is in need of hands-on volunteers, whether it be a long- or short-term commitment, we are happy to spread the word to our AMEN community. Just send your name and email address (as the sponsoring AMEN member) and a short description of the opportunity to the contact listed below.

We also offer assistance such as meals to Bellarmine families in need, just as the BMG Helping Hands group does.  Sign up to receive emails about these opportunities.

This group is open to all Bellarmine alumni moms, regardless of their AMEN membership status.

Contact: Linda Chin

Gallery Tour & Lunch Group

Gallery Tour & Lunch Group - This group gets together to enjoy interesting exhibits and walking tours throughout the Bay Area. Members may enjoy a relaxing lunch after the tour. Tours may be docent-led or self-directed, but members are free to wander. Group members are responsible for their own entrance fees and lunch.

Contacts: Rita Janda, Mari Donnelly

Garden Group

Garden Group - The group will begin by meeting about 4 times this academic school year. We're planning outings such as visiting Filoli Gardens in the spring, attending Master Gardener classes and the San Francisco Orchid Show, visiting Love Apple Farm and a bee keeper, and going berry picking.

Contact: Teresa Giovanzana

Globelles Travel & Geography Discussion Group

Globelles - A geography and travel discussion group, which meets the first Thursday of every month during the school year.

Contact: Carmen McHugh

Gourmet Cooking Clubs

Gourmet Cooking Club - AMEN currently has three Gourmet Cooking Clubs. Each group includes 16 women who meet monthly seven time a year at a member's home to cook themed lunches. The groups share recipes, great food and wine, fantastic conversation and a strong circle of friendship.

Contacts: vary by group.

 

The First Gourmet Cooking ClubContacts - Janet Benson, Mary Danna, Mari Donnelly

Saturday Gourmet Cooking Club: Contact - Linda Crotty

Second Saturday Gourmet Cooking Club: Contact- Denise Bridgeman

Hiking Group

Hiking Group -  Looking for some good exercise while enjoying the beautiful outdoors? We hike every Monday at 8:15 am at a variety of open space parks in Santa Clara County such as Almaden Quicksilver, Los Gatos Creek Trail and Santa Teresa County Park. A monthly Saturday hike is offered on the peninsula, which meets at 8:00 am.

Please be sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Layered clothing is a good approach, particularly in the winter months. 

Contact: Teresa Giovanzana

Knitting Group

Knitting Group - We are a small, but lively group of seven women who never seem to get very far in their individual projects. We meet twice a month for two hours - the first and third Wednesdays of the month - at the San Jose home of a Bellarmine alum mother. This chatty group shares their life’s stories and experiences over purl stitches, tea and cookies, and much laughter. Topics from A to Z pop up in our conversations - from politics to religion, marriage and weddings, the joy of grandchildren being born and the sorrow of saying a final good-bye to parents and friends. Advice and sage wisdom is freely shared, and our motto is “What’s discussed at knitting, stays at knitting!”. You are welcome to join whatever your skill level and even if you only crochet! 

Contact: Kathy Pompili

Movie Groups

Movie Groups We offer daytime and evening movie groups for movie lovers. Attendance is voluntary. Monthly movies are announced via email - when you see a scheduled movie you want to see on a date you are free, simply let the appropriate group coordinator know you are coming. 

Contacts: Daytime Movie Group Coordinator - Pat Gray; Evening Movie Group Coordinator - Cari Charron.

Spirituality Group

Women at the Well: Ignatian Spirituality for Mothers - Meets weekly from 8:00 - 9:30 am at Santa Clara University in the St. Francis Chapel. The group will spend 6-8 weeks on one particular topic or practice, range from book discussions, scripture study, meditation, the Examen, The Spiritual Exercises, as well as other prayer practices. The group will take quarterly field trips to sacred spaces around the Bay Area.

Contacts: Sarah Bonini, Debbie Ledesma Clem

Supper Club

Supper Club - We focus on the art of delicious food!  Be it comfort or exotic, the group visits a variety of food establishments to taste, experience, and discuss! Pop-up dinners, culinary events, experiential dining, seasonal farm dinners, backyard cookouts, food trucks - it’s all on the menu for this Supper Club. No cooking or dish washing required!

Contacts: Sandra Lanoie, Rita Mausler, Eva Valencia

Wine & Food Group

Wine & Food Group - We are wine enthusiasts! We gather approximately 4-5 times a year at local venues to enjoy fine wines and good food, and great company! Past venues include Joseph George and Zanotto's, with future events planned for Testarossa, local wine bars, intimate backyard tastings and wine walks.

Contacts: Terri Chapman, Cathy Powers, Kathy Ready