NYC Gas Explosion: Catholic Charities Mobilizes Help

March 30th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities mobilized to provide crucial help for victims of last week’s gas explosion that leveled three buildings, immediately injuring nearly two dozen people and killing two more.

Staff from Catholic Charities Community Services along with staff from our affiliate, Nazareth Housing, teamed with fellow members of the “LES Ready” group to marshal help for those suffering from this March 26, 2015 disaster.

The blast and ensuing blaze leveled 121 Second Avenue and two neighboring buildings, officials said. Along with the demolished apartment buildings, occupants of four other structures nearby are now reported to be under vacate orders.

LES Ready, also known as the Lower Eastside Long Term Recovery Group, initially formed to help residents of the Lower East Side of Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy pounded their neighborhood and destroyed their homes.  After last Thursday’s gas explosion, this coalition of community groups helped those hurt immediately after the disaster.  They will continue to provide help and services for the long haul as needs emerge.

View eye-witness photos and learn more.

Lenten Countdown

March 27th, 2015


“We must express our faith in action.”  – Pope Francis 

Especially now during Lent, join us at Catholic Charities and express your faith in action.

1.   GIVE

2.    VOLUNTEER

3.    LEND YOUR VOICE

Throughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities for updated tips and inspiration.

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Visit our blog

How to Fight Confusion on Immigration Reform

March 26th, 2015

driptychBy Alice Kenny

As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined three governors in filing a brief on Monday, March 23, 2015 to push back against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Catholic Charities teamed with nonprofit providers to continue to push forward, informing those who could benefit from the President’s plan about the ins and outs of administrative relief.

Immigration attorneys, social  workers  and fellow experts met with 300 people in the heavily Hispanic community of Port Chester in Westchester County at the Don Bosco Workers Community Center.

During the meeting Catholic Charities’ legal team provided information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and Expanded DACA program.

The attorneys also cautioned attendees to stay away from individuals such as “notaries” who may charge high fees for fabricated applications for immigration status.

With so much conflict in the press and on the ground it’s easy to get confused.

Do you have immigration questions?

Call the Catholic Charities operated New Americans Hotline at
1 (800) 566-7636(NYS)  (212) 413–3737 (other states).

 

 

How to Find a Spot in the NYC Marathon

March 25th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Running the New York City Marathon  — the defining moment in a runner’s life.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to get in.

But if you’re reading this you’re in luck.

Catholic Charities is an official charity participant in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon.

We still have spots left – but they’re filling fast.

Questions?

Email us at TeamCathCharitiesNY@archny.org. Call us at 646-794-2570.

 

 

 

 

 

A Manhattan Pilgrimage in What Some Call the City of Sin?

March 23rd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

A Manhattan pilgrimage in what some call the City of Sin?  You got it.

Carrying wooden crosses, young Catholics sloshed down snow-covered sidewalks and stood in sun-filled pews on Saturday, March 21, 2015 as they participated in the Pilgrimage of New York cosponsored by Catholic Charities Junior Board.

Sure, for centuries pilgrims have toured and prayed in places known as the home of saints – the Holy Land, Rome, and Fatima, for instance.  But this weekend marked the sixth annual pilgrimage in New York City.

This year’s pilgrimage honored Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus.  So the dozens of participating “pilgrims” hiked from northern to southern Manhattan from morning to night hearing sermons and visiting churches named after Jesus’ foster father – Saint Joseph Church on Monroe Street, the Church of Saint Joseph of the Holy Family and more.

Check out our Junior Board Facebook page for photos and comments.

Celebrate Spring with Our Lenten Tip of the Day

March 20th, 2015

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” – St. Catherine of Siena

Today as we celebrate the first day of spring, clean your heart, your words, your mind.

 

Join us at Catholic Charities. Be who God meant you to be.

Throughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities for updated tips and inspiration.

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Visit our blog

Six Reasons Cardinal Dolan Blessed Our Immigrant & Refugee Services

March 19th, 2015

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In a special event held to bless our work with new immigrants and the central site where this work is carried out, Cardinal Timothy Dolan met, greeted and blessed staff, new immigrants and the Catholic Charities Immigrant and Refugee Services Division at its new location at 80 Maiden Lane yesterday, March 18.

The Division relocated to this downtown Manhattan site in December 2013 to accommodate Catholic Charities’ growing immigration services that respond to the expanding needs of this community. This new location — located near immigration courts, the USCIS office, colleague agencies and a transportation hub for those seeking our assistance from all parts of New York City — has proven ideal for clients and staff alike.

It allows us to serve 100s of individuals who come to us for help each month and provides space for meetings and special initiatives.

As staff shared with Cardinal Dolan, our immigration team has a lot to brag about. The team:

 1.  Leads the regional case management, legal and resettlement response and care for the influx of unaccompanied Central American children.

2.  Helped orchestrate the successful “Terra Firma” medical-legal partnership program for unaccompanied children.

3.  Mobilized a team of more than 30 lawyers and support staff to help educate more than 800 immigrants at multiple parish and community centers in area that spans from Staten Island to upstate Kingston, NY about how they can benefit from President Obama’s Executive Action immigration reforms.

4.  Collaborated in the NYC-wide mass screening event for administrative relief (DAPA/DACA) scheduled for April 12, 2015.

5.  Prepared for the upcoming conference, “Responding to the Needs of Immigrants and Immigrant Families in New York State,” scheduled for March 25, 2015 with more than 300 career professionals already scheduled to attend.

6.  Expanded anti-fraud partnerships with district attorney offices and partners in New York City and state.

Cardinal Dolan shared his hallmark hugs, quips and high fives with staff and those we serve as he toured our legal, services for minors, English and Cultural Instruction and phone hotline programs before blessing staff, friends of Catholic Charities and the many individuals and families who come for help.

Watch this slideshow of the event now.

Women Bought and Sold

March 18th, 2015
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El diario

The premier Spanish-language newspaper “El Diario” turns to Catholic Charities Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services C. Mario Russell for regular updates on immigration reform.

Learn this week in El Diario – and below — about the grotesque reality of human trafficking.

By C. Mario Russell

March is filled with days that should be considered so much more than Hallmark holidays.  It has been designated as Women’s History Month; March 8th celebrated International Women’s Day and March 25th is marked as an International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery. These are important dates designed to recognize the woman for her profound place in the human community and to remember in solidarity the deep wounds she bears at the hands of that community.

Yet these wounds continue, particularly in the world of immigration.

For example, we soon will come upon another important marker: the one-year-anniversary of the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria when, according to Human Rights Watch, children were taken into captivity and sold into marriage, forced to convert from their religion, and made to endure physical and psychological abuse, forced labor, and rape.

Unfortunately, there are other examples as well that are far too close to home. Evelyn, 21, a top ranked student in her native country, was lured from Cameroon into the U.S. by a rich Maryland couple who promised her a bright future and a top-rate education. Instead, she was given no education and forced into servitude for the wealthy couple. And just this January 2015, Cristina Andres pleaded guilty to two counts of commercial sex trafficking. She was prosecuted for recruiting two girls, ages 13 and 17 at the time, with promises of a job in a Nashville restaurant. Instead, she used physical force and threats against the victims and their families to keep the girls in brothels in Memphis and Nashville.

The market for buying and selling of humans is sophisticated and robust, and only occasionally do publicized scenes like these force us to enter into its grotesque and brutal reality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Check out this Pipe Band Marching Down 5th Ave.

March 17th, 2015

By Alice Kenny
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

There’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than to hear a pipe band marching down Fifth Avenue.
And there’s no better group to celebrate with than us here at Catholic Charities.

Are you an Irish emigrant looking for help?
• Today and every day our Project Irish Outreach offers the Irish community advice, counseling and support services.
• For Irish emigration support, contact us at 914-237-5098 or Sr.Christine.hennessy@archny.org

Or are you just looking for the best way to celebrate the big day?

Check out this live pipe band:

And may you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.