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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Dolores Catania Gets Early Mother’s Day Gift from Her "Beautiful" Son, Frankie Jr.

The RHONJ mom kicked off her special weekend with a sweet surprise.

By Joshua Espinoza
Go Inside Dolores Catania and Paulie Connell's Home

Dolores Catania is feeling the love.

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On Thursday, May 9, The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member took to Instagram to share the gorgeous Mother’s Day gift she received from her son, Frankie Catania Jr. The photo showed a dozen red roses inside a pretty glass vase alongside a heart-shaped balloon with the message, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

The early gift also came with a sweet note that read: "Dear Mom, Happy Mother’s Day to a mother that could only be sent to me by God. Love u!”

“Thank u my beautiful Frankie,” Dolores captioned the Instagram Story.

Dolores Catania's Family Life with Ex-Husband, Frank Catania

The Jersey mom shares Frankie Jr. with her ex-husband, Frank Catania, whom she married in 1994. About a year after saying “I do,” the former couple welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Gabby Catania. Dolores and Frank finalized their divorce in 1998, the same year Frankie Jr. was born.

The mother of two spoke about the split in a 2016 interview published on HuffPost, explaining how she and Frank managed to build a friendship years after his infidelity.

Frankie Catania's Mother's Day flowers for Dolores Catania sitting on a table.

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“We had a very difficult time years ago and I had a lot of pain and anger to deal with,” she said. “I mean, he cheated (he is not with that woman now, Thank God) and ended up leaving us right before I was supposed to give birth,” Dolores said. “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears but we were able to work it out. It certainly wasn’t always easy or anything like it looks now.” 

Where does Dolores Catania stand with Frank Catania's fiancée?

A split of Dolores Catania, Paul Connell, Frank Catania, and Brittany Mattessich.

Dolores and Frank have since maintained a healthy co-parenting relationship as they've committed to other people. Dolores is living with her Irish-born boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, while Frank is preparing to tie the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Brittany Mattessich. Dolores celebrated the engagement back in April, when she attended Brittany’s stunning bridal shower with fellow Jersey ’Wives Melissa Gorga and Rachel Fuda.

But what do Dolores’ kids think of their dad’s engagement? Well, it seems they’re quite happy for the couple.

“Congratulations Dad and Brit!” Frankie commented on the engagement announcement. “So excited for you two.”

“Congratulations [Frank] and [Brittany],” Gabby added. “So happy to expand our family.”

Dolores Catania teases big summer trip with her daughter, Gabby

Dolores Catania and Gabby Catania at the Watch What Happens Live clubhouse in New York City.

Dolores is now gearing up for a summer adventure with Gabby, who works as a veterinarian. She revealed their big plans in a recent interview with

“My plans for the summer are pretty amazing,” she said. “I’m going to Africa with my daughter Gabby to work on Rhinos.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Dolores reflected on motherhood and shared some wisdom she acquired along the way.

“The best lesson I learned from my mom is to discipline, but sometimes patience is needed more,” she explained. “So don’t always get so mad at the kids because sometimes they’re just venting, and you have to let them.”

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