Archive for February, 2013

Bringing Folks Opportunities They Never Knew Possible. Catholic Charities and The NYTimes Neediest Cases Campaign Transform Lives

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

In this end-of-season interview, The New York Times spotlights Stephanie Harrill, Social Worker at Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind, whose extraordinary work has helped transform lives.

“People hear the word charity and they think of a hand out,” she says. “Our services are a hand up.”

By combining the myriad of services Catholic Charities offers with  publicity The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign provides, Ms. Harrill helps blind, homeless, unemployed and often spiritually defeated men and women find work, housing and meaning in their lives.

“I think The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign is fantastic,” Ms Harrill adds.  “For particular clients it can bring opportunities to them that they never knew possible.”

Click here  to listen to her three-part online audio interview with The New York Times

Take the Catholic Charities Random Acts of Kindness Week Challenge

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Show your spirit for service by performing random acts of kindness and you could be eligible to win a prize!

During Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 11-17), tell us what act of kindness you performed during this week and you will be automatically entered for your chance to win a free gift from Catholic Charities.

Your random act of kindness can be big or small, for a stranger or a friend, or even done anonymously. Join Catholic Charities in providing help and creating hope for the community during Random Acts of Kindness Week and beyond.
Visit us on Facebook to enter the contest!



Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Read below the full text of his statement released from the Vatican on February 11, 2013.


Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.  I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects.  And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”



It’s Random Act of Kindness Week. Let’s Celebrate.

Monday, February 11th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

You’re Invited:

What: Random Act of Kindness week 
Uh…What? Just like it sounds: Surprise someone with kindness – this week or every week.
When: February 11-17
Why: Why not!

  • Read to a Child
  • Visit someone sick
  • Help coach a youth sports team
  • Collect canned food for a food bank
  • Mentor an at-risk teen
  • Tutor English
  • Teach seniors to quilt
  •  Help Sandy survivors

And that’s just for starters. Catholic Charities offers dozens of volunteer opportunities for your random – or ongoing – acts of kindness.

Simply type in a key word such as “children” or “marathon” and your zip code.

Ready to start volunteering right away?
Visit Getting Started to learn your next steps.

Roundtable Honors George Horton with National 2013 Servant of Justice Award

Monday, February 11th, 2013

George Horton and his wife, Carolyn, at the Roundtable Dinner.

By Alice Kenny

George Horton, Catholic Charities New York Director of the Department of Social and Community Development, received the 2013 Servant of Justice award at the Roundtable annual awards dinner held in Washington, D.C. on February 9, 2013.  The Roundtable, a national Catholic association of diocesan social action directors, focuses on social action to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

“George Horton uniquely combines a strong passion for justice in public policies with an extraordinary personal compassion for those in need,” Msgr. Kevin Sullivan said when he introduced Mr. Horton for this lifetime achievement award.  “Catholic Charities has been blessed by George’s perspective and goodness for more than three decades.”

Learn more about the Servant of Justice Award, the work of Mr. Horton and his lifetime of service for the poor and vulnerable.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan Testifies before the New York State Legislature: “The Needs of the Poor Must Not Be Ignored.”

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Left to Right: Director Earl Eichelberger, Chair Monsignor Kevin Sullivan and Vice Chair Joe Slavic for Catholic Charities New York State Catholic Conference

By Alice Kenny

Msgr. Sullivan laid out a clear message when he testified before the New York State Legislature in Albany on Wednesday about the state’s upcoming 2013-2014 Human Services Budget.

“The needs of the poor and vulnerable must not be ignored,” he said.

Msgr. Sullivan chairs the NYS Council of Catholic Charities Directors and spoke before the legislature on their behalf.  His testimony covered numerous issues faced by the working poor and those in need including cost of living adjustments, child-care subsidies to allow parents to work and reforms in Medicaid the juvenile justice system.

“It is our hope that humane and wise decisions will be made to deal with the current budget balancing effort; decisions that do not add further stress and hopelessness to those already struggling with great burdens,” Msgr. Sullivan said in conclusion.

“The State Legislature has a history of identifying services that are essential to their constituents and finding a way to address those needs.  We can and must find a way to arrive at a result that does not further jeopardize the poor and vulnerable members of our society — a budget that affirms the dignity of all our state’s people.  We stand ready to work with you in achieving this laudable goal.”

Nervous about the Nor’easter? Catholic Charities Is Here to Help.

Friday, February 8th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Whether it is Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee or now, the impending nor’easter, Catholic Charities is here to help.

Day in and day out, Catholic Charities provides a vast range of programs and services for those struggling with long-term needs or confronting sudden disaster. Our federation of agencies offers a variety of specialized assistance designed to meet individual needs, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Looking for help?


Tragedy, Poverty and Oppression Tear Immigrant Families Apart

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Looking for help reuniting with your family? Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

Click here to find a Catholic Charities agency that can help.

Call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

Looking for help with other needs?  Call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

George Horton, Catholic Charities NY Director of the Department of Social and Community Development, honored with the 2013 Servant of Justice Award

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

The Roundtable, a national Catholic association of diocesan social action directors focused on social action to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable, will honor George Horton, Catholic Charities New York Director of the Department of Social and Community Development, with its 2013 Servant of Justice award at the association’s annual awards dinner held in Washington, D.C. on February 9, 2013.

The award honors current or former Roundtable members whose work, through the tradition of Catholic social teaching, has led to significant progress towards greater social justice and dignity for all members of society.

A past chair of the Roundtable, Mr. Horton has worked for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York since 1981. He became Director of the Department of Community Development in 1991.  This department provides support for community groups through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  It supports Archdiocesan Catholic Relief Services initiatives.  It advocates for just social and economic policies at the State and Federal level.  And it assists parishes and other Archdiocesan offices in understanding and implementing principles of Catholic social teaching.

Mr. Horton also contributes to the Archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic New York and serves as guest host for the JustLove radio program aired on The Catholic Channel Sirius Satellite Radio.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan will introduce Mr. Horton at the ceremony.  Mr. Horton’s family and department staff, including Roundtable member and Catholic Charities Justice and Peace Coordinator Tom Dobbins, say they plan to attend the event.

“I am very honored to receive this award and also honored to have worked for Catholic Charities all these years,” Mr. Horton said. “Our Catholic Charities mission statement focuses on building a compassionate and just society and I’ve been blessed to be part of that effort.

Do you have immigration questions? We have answers.

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Get answers—in your language—by calling Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline, a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions.

Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Romanian, Polish, Albanian, Japanese, and Arabic. The New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

The NYS New Americans Hotline does not provide legal advice. Questions on individual eligibility are referred to legal services agencies for immigration consultations.