Archive for September, 2012

Can You Walk the Walk? Join Catholic Charities NY at The Epiphany School’s Walk-A-Thon!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Volunteer to walk with the Catholic Charities NY team at The Epiphany School’s Walk-A-Thon on Sunday, October 14th to benefit Feeding Our Neighbors.

As a volunteer, you’ll:

• Join staff and friends as we stroll along the East River Promenade on a beautiful fall morning – yes, there will be coffee provided

• Help kick off one of the season’s first Feeding Our Neighbors events

• Feel good knowing you’re doing your part for the campaign – all donations of non-perishable food items go toward Feeding Our Neighbors

• Celebrate after the walk with light refreshments

• Support The Epiphany School, a fixture in New York for almost 125 years.

Ready to join us? Contact Staci-Jo Bruce to sign up, and we’ll see you on October 14th.

Why this Future Dad is Running the NYC ING Marathon

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Michael Murrer’s reasons for running for Team Catholic Charities NY in the NYC ING Marathon on November 4 are many.  First, he says, Catholic Charities is a family affair; his father, Martin Murrer, serves on this nonprofit agency’s board. Next, he has completed a number of 5 and 10ks and has always wanted to run the Big One back here in the Big Apple. Then, there’s the inspiration of being a native New Yorker looking for a way to give back.

But, most of all, he says, “this is the last good chance before stuff gets really crazy.”

Michael, 28, and his wife, Diana, are expecting the birth of their first baby, a girl, at the end of October.

“I always had running the New York marathon in the back of my mind,” Michael says.  “With the baby coming, I realized I better do it now.”

Meanwhile, he said, running the marathon while raising money for Catholic Charities offered an opportunity too good to pass up.  Similar to his father, Michael volunteers for Catholic Charities and serves on its Junior Board for young adults.

“After meeting with (Catholic Charities Executive Director) Msgr. Sullivan, going to Junior Board meetings, and seeing Cardinal Dolan speak at the Catholic Charities gala, I felt inspired, excited and knew that this is something I could get passionate about,” he says.

So now Michael runs one-to-two hours nearly every day, jogging along the East River or the reservoir in Central Park to train for the 26.2 mile marathon.  His workout began with a five-to-seven mile run in the early morning hours of April and May. From there, he worked up to 14-mile runs.  He plans, he says, to reach 20-plus miles by the end of this month.

Michael played football and lacrosse at Bronxville High School in Westchester County, graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in finance in 2007, and now works as an Associate at Jefferies Investment Banking in Manhattan.

When he tells friends and coworkers that he is running for Team Catholic Charities they pay attention, he says.  “Everyone in the course of their life catches a couple of bad breaks and you need organizations like Catholic Charities to get you through them.”

Support Michael Murrer’s fundraising goal for Catholic Charities and cheer him on as he trains for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon.

Antiques and Collectibles; Great Deals for a Great Cause

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Check out Catholic Charities Thrift Store collections online now.

Antiques and collectibles include these 19th Century sconces donated by the estate of a family that played an important role in the American Revolution.

And we have so much more.
Shop online anytime:

Want to make a tax deductible donation?

Call our Donation Line: 718-292-9090 or email:

The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy and Spiritual Life

Monday, September 24th, 2012

By Richard Bertin

After completing back-to-back tours of Catholic middle and high school, laughter and faith weren’t subjects I ever put together.  But now, as Associate Producer of JustLove, our Catholic Charities weekly radio program on Sirius XM Channel 129.  I had the pleasure on September 14 of hearing Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Comedian Stephen Colbert and host Fr. Jim Martin, Author of “Between Heaven and Mirth” and frequent Just Love radio program guest, dig into the lighter sides of faith at Fordham University’s special event “Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life.”

The purpose of the event was to have an open discussion about the relationship between humor and faith, something many of us do not think about when we talk about Catholicism. And who better to discuss this topic than arguably three of the most comedic Catholics in the media?

At first thought, a Cardinal and a Comedy Central satirist might seem like polar opposites. After all, the nature of satire is to poke fun at serious things like politics and religion. Although Cardinal Dolan and Stephen Colbert come from different walks of life they actually have a lot in common. Both are Catholic public figures with massive followings, and both use jokes and laughter in a way that is endearing to their audience. As the evening rolled along it became clear that Stephen Colbert takes his Catholic faith seriously and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the importance of laughter.

“Are there flaws in the Church?” Colbert asked. “Absolutely, but is there great beauty in the Church? Absolutely,” Colbert said to rousing applause. “I like to make jokes about things I love, and I love my church!”

Cardinal Dolan echoed this in his own open remarks by stressing the importance of being joyful with your faith.

“Why is a crabby believer a contradiction?” the Cardinal asked the crowd. He then explained that although we understand Jesus was crucified, he rose three days later for our sake. “‘He, who laughs last, laughs best,” he continued, “so Good Friday did not have the last word…Easter did! That’s why I can laugh.”

For me, as a young Catholic, it felt great to see so many young faces in the crowd enjoying the panel and taking part by submitting their own questions, both serious and humorous. When one student asked the panel for advice on whether it was a good idea to date while considering entering the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan replied that it was good to date as part of deciding whether the celibate life of a priest is something he could live with.  He also joked that “by the way, let me give you some of the numbers of my nieces.”

Colbert weighed in on the question by telling the student to “Go for it! It actually could be a great pickup line: ‘I’m thinking of becoming a priest, but you could change that!’” Cardinal Dolan and the crowd roared with laughter.

After seeing Cardinal Dolan, Fr. Martin and Colbert share their joy of being Catholics, I left Fordham with a renewed feeling of pride and joy about my own spirituality and was eager to talk about it with a friend over drinks.  After all, as I learned from the panel, it’s healthy to have fun when reflecting on religion. And besides, I thought, “We’re Catholics, not Puritans!”

You can click here for more laughs and inspiration from the event.

Check out Fr. Martin’s photos on Facebook.

Were you inspired by their conversation? Click here to post your comments.

Community Leaders Come Together at the Kennedy Center

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Catholic Charities Associate Executive Director Joseph Buttigieg, Doris R. Conner, and Kennedy Center Director Deacon Rodney Beckford

On Saturday, September 15th, community leaders, artists and Catholic Charities staff gathered at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center to share ideas, recognize outstanding individuals and discuss future plans for the center.

The first annual event, hosted by the Kennedy Center Advisory Board, was called a mélange, from the French word for “mixture,” signifying both the atmosphere of the mixer and the diverse mix of programs and people involved with the center. Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan addressed attendees regarding the organization’s vision, resources, long-term needs and commitment to the Central Harlem community. The center’s Director, Deacon Rodney Beckford, also spoke about plans for exciting new initiatives and programs coming up.

Located in Harlem and administered by Catholic Charities Community Services, the Kennedy Center provides activities and services ranging from performing arts and sports programs, to a senior center serving nearly 200 seniors daily, to The Rusty Staub Emergency Food Pantry serving 300-500 community members in need every month.

Learn more about programs and services offered by Catholic Charities Community Services.

What program or activity would you most like to see at the Kennedy Center?

Bike Riding with the Camels. Seriously.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, NY joined forces with the Orange County Bicycle Club on Sunday, September 16, for The Ride With the Camels, a 10-to-62-mile ride through forested ridges and rolling farmland that celebrated open space in Orange County, NY.

The event was named after a large pasture that bikers pedaled past that is filled with a herd of grazing camels. They were rescued after movie, advertising, and circus careers by the Sanctuary for Animals, and they live on the farm with hundreds of other rescued animals of different species. The hills, riders say, remind them of the camels’ humps so they saluted them as they rode by.

Proceeds from event celebrated open space in Orange County Proceeds and benefited Catholic Charities of Orange County, NY, the Orange County Land Trust, and the Sanctuary for Animals.

Click here for more information.

Click here to post your response.

What You Need to Know about Coping with Natural Disasters: Learning from Irene

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Catholic Charities and fellow members of the Westchester County Long-Term Recovery Coalition (WCLRC) hosted the public forum, “Learning From Irene: Coping in the Face of a Natural Disaster,” at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck on August 25.

The forum built on experience gained from the Hurricane Irene disaster that struck one year ago to offer information about disaster preparedness, coping skills and how to handle financial challenges caused by disasters.

Learn more about the event.

Read more about how Catholic Charities is providing disaster relief in 34 counties in New York State.


Labor Day; Work is more than a Paycheck

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan told more than 500 union members and labor leaders that “work is cooperation with God’s plan for creation,” when he celebrated Labor Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 8. Union members served as readers, gift bearers and servers at the mass. Then, as they later marched down Fifth Ave. past the Cathedral for the annual Labor Day Parade, they and others were greeted by the Cardinal and Catholic Charities Executive Director Kevin Sullivan.

Cardinal Dolan’s message recapped the recent Labor Day Statement released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Work is more than a paycheck,” the bishops wrote. “It helps raise our families, develop our potential, share in God’s creation, and contribute to the common good.
Click here to read more.

Remembering 9-11

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Tragedies and disasters take a horrible toll on those impacted.
In addition, they provide the opportunity for great compassion and solidarity.
Catholic Charities was privileged to help thousands of New Yorkers of all religions affected by 9/11.
The long term impact of that assistance in helping families to rebuild their lives continues to this day.
Our prayers remain with those victims and also for a world in which such acts of terrorism are no more.

Best Regards,
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan

Homebase Scores Back-to-School Home Run for Children in Need

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Catholic Charities HomeBase, a Catholic Charities Community Services program dedicated to preventing homelessness, teamed up with community partners at a neighborhood back-to-school event on August 31, 2012.  Children received backpacks, clothing and other school supplies they will need for a successful school year.

Read the Homebase newsletter and learn more.