Photo Credit: Mary DiBiase Blaich, Catholic New York
By Alice Kenny
Esaw Garner sobbed at the interfaith prayer service held in Staten Island on July 14 to commemorate the one-year-anniversary of the tragic death of her husband, Eric Garner.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined fellow leaders, family and friends to honor Mr. Garner who died after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold after attempting to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Mayor Bill de Blasio and local politicians, Rev. Al Sharpton and interfaith leaders, police officers, friends and family stood among the crowd that packed Mount Sinai United Christian Church.
Together they gathered to search for meaning in this death that sparked a movement.
John Woods, Editor and Chief of Catholic New York, reports the words of Cardinal Dolan in the homily he gave at the service:
‘Could the grief that began a year ago just down the street from here and seemed to ooze like a toxic oil spill to places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, and Brooklyn and beyond…be an occasion of repentance and renewal?’ Cardinal Dolan asked.
‘Could our yearlong trial be an opening for God to transform us, from death to life, from despair to hope, from winter to spring?’
The cardinal suggested it could, but that we must first acknowledge God’s supremacy in our lives and place our faith and hope in him as we love one another.
By Alice Kenny
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Harry Belefonti – even players for the New York Yankees, Giants and Islanders – are already adding their voices to the new website we just launched to welcome Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S.
Volunteers from Footwear Plus Magazine teamed up recently with Catholic Charities to brighten the lives of people with mental challenges. Ten volunteers spent five hours in a painting blitz. They worked together to transform the hallways, kitchen and dining area of our Beacon Of Hope House in Staten Island, a residential facility that assists people with psychiatric disabilities.
The volunteers also collaborated to paint a sunny mural, using a design previously sketched by a volunteer artist. Then they topped off the day by hanging their masterpiece at the end of the refurbished hallway, making this homey environment brighter still.
At Catholic Charities we always have plenty of volunteer opportunities.
To commemorate Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, Catholic Charities is providing a platform for everyone to welcome him and share a message of charity. We invite you to click the link below and visit CharityHasNoBoundaries.org.
Please take the opportunity to browse through other video messages and hopefully become inspired to create and upload a video of your own to be featured on the site. A collection of the videos will be shared with Pope Francis during his visit to New York City.
He works days as an alternative asset manager for Ares Management, lending money to companies so they can make loans to small businesses and consumers across the globe.
Then, nights and weekends, he trains to run the New York City TCS Marathon with Team Catholic Charities.
Why does he do it? Where does he find his inspiration? And what keeps him going?
Let’s find out now:
By James Intermont
I will be running my third New York City marathon on November 2nd of this year.
Although the previous 2 were great experiences, this one means more to me because of the cause I am running for. I chose to run for Catholic Big Sisters Big Brothers, (an affiliate of Catholic Charities), because I know firsthand the impact that the organization has on young people throughout New York City.
I have been the mentor to a now, 16-year-old from Brooklyn for the past two and a half years and throughout my experience the organization has provided endless support in our relationship. From the first day I stepped into their office to talk about becoming a mentor the entire organization has been there both for me and my mentee (Dashawn).
Every person who works there radiates positivity, and is always there to lend a hand with advice or support whenever needed. The staff (including Ryan and Shana, my two constant contacts within the organization) have set-up great skills learning workshops and activities for matches to learn and get to know each other. Whenever a question comes up, “How do I approach asking my mentee to stop littering? What is the best way to help them in school? Where can I find the best burger in the city?” the staff has always been there for me, and I look forward to running for them.
Pope Francis plans to make a special stop on his historic visit to New York City; a meeting with immigrants served by Catholic Charities.
In the latest issue of El Diario, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan shares his insider’s perspective on Pope Francis’ upcoming trip.
By Msgr. Kevin Sullivan
Executive Director, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York
With Love is Our Mission as the theme, the itinerary of His Holiness, Pope Francis’ trip to the United States was made public on July 1st. He will be traveling to the United States to attend the World Meeting of Families, taking place on September 26th and 27th, in Philadelphia. Many people are surprised to learn that he has never been to the United States.
His Holiness will be visiting New York on September 24th and 25th primarily to address the United Nations. He will also conduct a multi-religious service at “ground zero” the site of the 9/11 tragedy, hold evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.
In addition of special importance and note to Catholic Charities is his visit on Friday, September 25, to East Harlem, There, Pope Francis will visit with immigrant and refugee families and children served by Catholic Charities agencies in the auditorium of Our Lady Queen of Angels School.
Pope Francis has specifically asked to meet immigrant and refugees on his visit. Special hand-made gifts for the Holy Father are being made by members of Catholic Charities immigration, day laborer, and mothers’ programs. . The excitement is palpable and for those chosen to create these gifts, it is a labor of love – a gift filled with innumerable blessings.
Pope Francis choosing to visit immigrants and refugees is so apt for Catholic Charities. So many of our agencies day-in and day-out take to heart the call of Jesus to “welcome the stranger” and serve newcomers to our country with a wide range of services, both in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Our food pantries feed immigrant children. Agencies in diverse neighborhoods teach English and civics. We help organize and protect day laborers. Mothers are helped to form peer support groups. Children fleeing violence in Central America are provided safe residences and legal services. Refugees from Iraq and African are helped to resettlement. Fearful immigrants are aided in how to avoid exploitation and fraud. Families are re-untied. And in so many more ways, our Catholic Charities agencies welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees. In addition to being helped, hope is created for a better life.
Our Catholic Charities agencies fulfill Pope Francis’ clear message: “helping the poor and vulnerable, of all religions, is essential to our Christian faith.” Our work touches almost every human need and the vision of our charity has no boundaries.
What does Pope Francis want to visit during his Sept. 24-25 whirlwind touchdown in New York?
Who does he want to meet?
How can we get a glimpse of him?
And what’s our chance of meeting him face-t0-face?
Cardinal Dolan takes on all these questions in a recent Catholic New York news story.
By Ron Lajoi
Catholic New York
Some of these would be “must see” stops for any traveler on a whirlwind 36-hour visit to the Big Apple. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is of course on the itinerary. So are the United Nations, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and Madison Square Garden. But so is Our Lady Queen of Angels, an inner-city Catholic elementary school in East Harlem, certainly a less likely tourist attraction. But Pope Francis is no ordinary visitor.
“The Pope is very gracious in saying I’m trusting you. What would you like me to see?” said Cardinal Dolan at an informal press briefing June 30 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to discuss the Holy Father’s impending visit to New York Sept. 24-25 as part his larger visit to the United States. New York is the second leg of a three-city visit that begins in Washington, D.C., two days earlier.
“From the beginning he let it be known that he obviously was going to the U.N., that he wanted to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But he wanted to see, and these were his words, an inner-city Catholic school. And he wanted to see a Catholic Charities site and he particularly highlighted care for the immigrants,” the Cardinal explained.
The Pope will visit a third grade classroom at Our Lady Queen of Angels…
At the school Pope Francis will also meet in the gymnasium with recent immigrants, refugees and other poor and marginalized people who are cared for by Catholic Charities programs.
When asked what he hoped to show the Holy Father, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, responded, “the strangers who are welcomed by Catholic Charities.”
…A Papal Visit team chaired by Al Kelly, former president of American Express, who also served as president and chief executive officer of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee in 2014, is coordinating the sprawling itinerary. Organizers expect huge crowds.
…Kelly said two motorcades were being planned to allow as many people as possible to see the Pope.
…Cardinal Dolan said a lottery system would be used to distribute tickets, through the parishes mostly, to events such as the Mass at Madison Square Garden.
“Any of the tickets that we distribute through any sources will not have a charge associated with them,” he said. “They will all be free.”
Anthony Severo, Employment Coordinator for Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind and a member of the Brooklyn Chamber’s Ambassador Committee, wrote in Brooklyn’s Progress, about his success pairing visually impaired persons trained by the Catholic Guild with jobs at a local non-profit agency.
Here is an excerpt:
By Anthony Severo
Employment Coordinator, Catholic Guild for the Blind
Kim Fasano, Board Chair of Reaching-Out Community Services…attended one of our Work Readiness Workshops that I conduct, where she had the opportunity to meet our diverse clients and assess the skill sets they can offer…She became enamored with several of the group participants and felt their skills would be applicable at Reaching-Out Community Services…
As with most non-profits, there are budget constraints, but thanks to the contract the Catholic Guild for the Blind has with the New York State Commission for the Blind, we were able to set up two Work Experience Trainings.
This program allows for our visually impaired clients to gain experience or re-acclimate themselves to work, while also providing assistance to an organization at no cost. During the 260 hours the person is interning, he or she is on the payroll of the Catholic Charities Community Services and is covered by our worker’s compensation and short-term disability.
This literally creates a “win-win” scenario. The non-profit in this instance can get more work accomplished without impacting their budget, while our clients attain real world work experience and the chance to prove how capable visally impaired people really are with and without assistive technology – which we supply if needed…
Our Team Catholic Charities NY Marathon runners train for months. They rise when the rest of us are sound asleep. And they jog through snow, sun and sweat.
Now, with just over three months to go until the Big Day – the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon – let’s find out what inspires someone to take on this grueling 26-mile run.
Each of our 12 Team Catholic Charities NY Marathon runners has a different answer.
Today, let’s here from Nick Libertiny.
I will be running my first competitive running race on November 1, 2015. I am running the New York City Marathon to raise money for a Catholic Charities affiliated agency, Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers ,for which I am a mentor.
I am the youngest of four children and have always been active and competitive. When the opportunity presented itself I realized that this would be a big challenge for me and would take hard work and dedication to prepare myself for the race. That’s how much the program means to me – it’s worth the effort to raise money for it.
Only being a casual runner I’ve moved up from running roughly 6 -9 miles a week to 20-25 miles per week. It has not been easy – the aches and pains only intensify! However I believe I’m making good progress: 4 miles a day plus a long run usually gets me to my weekly goal.
It’s been a great experience discussing Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers with my friends and family and listening to their comments and ideas. The donations have been helpful too! I look forward to meeting my goals and raising awareness along the way for the wonderful program that directly benefits children every single day.