Congratulations on the splendid work being done by the schools of the Archdiocese in educating the next generation!
Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio recognized that work in his visit to St. Francis of Rome preschool in the Bronx. Cardinal Dolan, Dr. Timothy McNiff, head of the Archdiocese Department of Education and Connie McCrory, director of Early Childhood Education were on hand to help bring attention to the topic of Pre-K expansion. Cardinal Dolan expressed his strong support while not endorsing any particular funding model and Mayor de Blasio expressed a desire to partner with the Archdiocese on this important effort.
It is worth noting that the Mayor specifically singled out the long and fruitful partnership with Catholic Charities agencies in providing for the critical needs of the people of New York. When it comes to Universal Pre-K, a number of Catholic Charities agencies are already providing great services and are prepared to expand. Yesterday’s event was a good opportunity to build on this partnership with New York City to provide help and create hope for those in need.
In addition, the proposed expansion of after-school programs for middle school children is another area where a number of our agencies are prepared to step up to the plate and expand service. Simply put, there is much opportunity to broaden the scope of our work and continue impacting the aforementioned next generation of students.
- Monsignor Kevin Sullivan
Archive for the ‘What We Do at Catholic Charities’ Category
Trading in their Washington Heights neighborhood for a tour of Washington, D.C., more than three dozen low-income teens checked out monuments and colleges in our nation’s capital during their recent winter break, thanks to Catholic Charities Community Services-Alianza Division.
The tour, funded through a grant from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and collaboration with the High School for Media & Communications and Catholic Charities Community Services-Alianza Division, offered the students a glimpse of a future outside their neighborhood, a reason to study, and a step-by-step outline of how to apply for and get accepted by top-tier universities.
The visit included stops at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington and Lincoln memorials, a tour of Georgetown, George Washington and Howard universities and photos and selfies in front of the White House.
The trip was one of – and many say the most fun – of numerous offerings Catholic Charities Alianza Division offers young people in the Washington Heights school community.
All the offerings share the same goal: to inspire students to dream big and give them the resources to make it happen.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – THE OPINION PAGES | LETTER
MARCH 3, 2014
To the Editor:
In the eclectic way I look at the morning news, I read these two articles back to back. Two numbers caught my attention: From the first article, apartments selling for as much as $95 million; and from the second article, the cost of two homeless shelter upgrades, $13 million.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture. We cannot refrain from demanding that we do better as a city, as a country and as a world. I am not looking to assign blame, but the end result is just plain wrong. I am more interested in identifying those who are willing to be responsible to help right the situation.
We don’t and we won’t live in a perfect world, but we have to do better. As a first step, let’s just reverse the numbers: Cap the apartment at $13 million, and provide $95 million for shelter upgrades. At least then we’d be moving in the right direction.
Msgr. KEVIN SULLIVAN
Executive Director, Catholic Charities
Archdiocese of New York
High unemployment rates. High incarceration rates. Worst of all, sky-high murder rates among black men gunned down in their youth.
President Obama takes on these key issues in his just-announced “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, issues long-tackled by Catholic Charities.
This past month, for example, Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center in Harlem held its third annual Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. basketball tournament. Run during the February schools break, it provided recreation during the winter recess to keep teens off the streets and inside a supportive environment.
Manhattan District attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (son of former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance. Sr). presented trophies and ribbon medals to the team members who are residents of Juvenal Justice System Homes. Each home comprised one team.
A special five-foot trophy was given to the one player who exhibited the best sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
The motto resounding through each of the five days was “Put down the guns, pick up a ball and recreate. ”
And that’s what they did. Each day different speakers addressed these youth with testimony and advise about how to survive adverse climates. Speakers included Inspector Rodney Harris, commander of the 32nd precinct, Deacon Rodney Beckford, director of Catholic Charities Community Services Kennedy Center and numerous officers from NYPD.
Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. (Stop Another Violent Act) that helped sponsor the event was founded by Jackie Rowe-Adams and fellow mothers who lost sons to gun violence. The group meets and holds events at Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center.
“I didn’t have a dad in the house,” President Obama said when he announced the initiative named after the biblical phrase he often uses to share his belief that society must help those facing challenges. “I made bad choices…I made excuses, sometimes I sold myself short.”
The time to change the cycle is now, President Obama continued. His “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative will work with nonprofit agencies, churches and political leaders to fight back against the drum beat of violence and addiction that has plagued too many for too long.
By Alice Kenny
Wow. This was a close one. While more than a foot of snow was predicted to pummel New York today, the reality, thankfully, turned into just a dusting.
But as we learned this winter when more than five feet of snow pounded our homes, streets and sidewalks and temperatures dropped – and dropped again — into the single digits, severe weather can be just around the corner.
That’s why Catholic Charities is proud to support National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families’ businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.
As we know firsthand from Hurricane Sandy, being prepared to act quickly can be a matter of survival. Even though severe weather was anticipated in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
- Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan and pull together an emergency supplies kit.
- Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.
By Alice Kenny
Monsignor Patrick McCahill, the force behind services for the Deaf in the New York Archdiocese and recent winner of the Father David Walsh Pastoral Worker of the Year Award, shares a secret known largely only among the Deaf.
“When hearing people talk about the Deaf they think of it as a negative; that you can’t hear,” he says. “But to be Deaf is also a matter of belonging; to belong to a group of capable friends who share a special language.”
Msgr. McCahill was let into this secret during his 45 years ministering to the Deaf.
“He has worked tirelessly to build a Church that is truly home for the Deaf in every ministerial capacity,” said Sr. Barbara Ann Sgro, OP, Coordinator of Deaf Services – Hudson Valley, when she nominated him to the National Catholic Office for the Deaf for this annual award that honors individuals who contributed significant dedication, support and assistance to Deaf Catholics.
The understated monsignor, known for his quiet voice and beloved Irish sweaters, already had his moment of fame when the renowned Deaf Choir he leads used sign language to perform before Pope Benedict during his New York visit in 2008.
But folks within the Deaf community, their families, friends and supporters know him better for the day-to-day difference he makes in their lives.
When he began his ministry, people with hearing impairments were stigmatized, he says. Now they represent every profession, from lawyers to laborers.
“They are respected for their abilities,” he says, “and they have lots of them.”
A New Yorker through and through – his only other home was Yonkers during his stint at St. Joseph’s Seminary – Msgr. McCahill has become adept at translating even the most complex conversations. He is often called on to translate between those speaking English, those speaking Spanish with obscure native dialects, those using American sign language and even those who grew up in isolated villages and developed their own symbols of communication.
As pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Manhattan where he moderates the archdiocesan Deaf Center located there, Msgr. McCahill celebrates sign language mass twice a month. He also travels on alternate weeks to provide sign language mass in Staten Island and White Plains. He conducts prayer services with the Deaf at Rockland Psychiatric Hospital. He supports and hosts Deaf seminarians, taught sign language to seminarians at the Archdiocese of New York’s Dunwoodie Seminary and catechesis at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in the Bronx and New York School for the Deaf in White Plains. He has been involved in Marriage Encounter for the Deaf, National Deaf Cursillo and hosted Cursillos for the Deaf throughout greater New York. He coordinates and facilitates the New York State Pastoral Workers with the Deaf semi-annual gatherings. And he is currently developing a series of Adult Faith Formation videos that use sign language to minister to the Deaf.
Because he runs so many archdiocesan services for the hearing impaired, he says that his biggest concern, perhaps not surprisingly, is inspiring seminarians to join him.
“You have to concentrate, to learn their language,” he says. “It requires a fair amount of work and then it gets in your bloodstream.”
Forget Twitter, Tumblr and the other social networks that have your kids sinking deeper into your couches. Now, thanks to a new partnership between Catholic Charities CYO and the Coca-Cola Foundation we are offering FitnessGrams and other fitness services to promote health – not to mention movement – among our parish youth.
The impact, not to mention the number of youth served, will be revolutionary. More than 24,000 children ages 5 through 17 from 225 parishes throughout the Archdiocese of New York will receive regular “FitnessGrams,”* updates that track their improved health thanks to a program funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation and incorporated by CYO. We already have participation in 100 schools stretching from the southern tip of Staten Island to Liberty, NY, 125 miles away.
CYO has provided meaningful, organized activities that engage our children in competitive sports for over 75 years. Now, thanks to this Coca-Cola grant, we have the means to provide feedback to children and their parents that participation in CYO sports serves as a foundation to lifelong fitness/wellness habits. It adds value to participation in CYO sports by making it clear that CYO is more than just sports. It is fitness.
Our participant pool that ranges from kindergarten to high school seniors already shows a meaningful impact in this first year of the three-year program. It proves that it is never too early to start educating about the importance of fitness or too late to make the change to a healthy lifestyle. The program has reinvigorated physical education teachers’ and school principals’ push in stressing the importance of healthy living.
CYO also plans to offer a lifestyle expert to educate 2,000 head coaches, 225 parish coordinators and seven CYO county directors about the key role nutrition on plays on healthy development.
Finally, FitnessGram assessments – already part of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program — will assess participants’ fitness levels, report the results to students, parents and administrators and educate our community on the importance of everyday activity and life-long health and fitness.
Yes a FitnessGram. Don’t be surprised when you hear from us soon.