Archive for December, 2013

Time Magazine Names Pope Francis “Person of the Year”

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano

Calling Pope Francis “The People’s Pope,” Time magazine today named Pope Francis its Person of the Year.

“For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs, and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time’s 2013 Person of the Year,” Time said in its announcement.

The honor comes just one day after Pope Francis called for a global “wave of prayer” to combat the growing epidemic of hunger.  The Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, Caritas Internacionalis, organized this global campaign of prayer and action.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined with Pope Francis yesterday to pray for the millions of people who face hunger throughout the world, urging others to do so as well.  

Day in and day out, Catholic Charities helps solve the problems of those in need. The hungry, the homeless, the neglected child –  non-Catholics and Catholics alike – receive help and hope promptly, locally, always with compassion and dignity.

Please join us in celebrating this honor for Pope Francis.

Join us, also, in heeding his call.

 

Msgr. Sullivan Invites You to Join in Pope Francis’ Campaign to Combat Hunger

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

To combat the growing epidemic of hunger, Pope Francis launches a worldwide campaign to combat hunger today, Tuesday, December 10.

This effort, ‘One Human Family, Food for All,’ is led by Caritas Internationalis, the association of Catholic Charities agencies from around the world.

Thanks to the help of many, each year, Catholic Charities provides nutritious meals for tens of thousands of our New York neighbors –Non-Catholic and Catholic alike.  Recently, our Catholic Charities agencies met to discuss the increasing demand for food in their communities.  Once again this year, Catholic Charities will spearhead the Feeding Our Neighbors effort with a goal of raising food and funds for one million additional meals.  Feeding Our Neighbors also seeks to raise awareness and be a strong voice for those who do not have enough food.

At 12 Noon on December 10, I will join in prayer with Pope Francis and millions of people throughout the world, to end to hunger.  Will you also please pause for five minutes of prayer and reflection?

May this be an Advent season of hope for our hungry neighbors.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Shoppers Buy for Needy Families

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Volunteers packed the K-Mart in White Plains Saturday morning to shop for needy families as part of the St. Nicholas of Westchester Shopping Day for Catholic Charities, reports the Daily Voice.

Catholic Charities has hosted the event for the past ten years at the K-Mart in Astor Place in Manhattan, said Karen Reynolds, regional supervisor for Catholic Charities. This is the third year that the event has been held in Westchester as well. Reynolds said about 70 volunteers, all wearing red Shopping Day shirts, turned out to buy basic necessities for families in need.

“We shopped for close to 100 families, which covers about 300 individuals. We probably spent over $10,000 here, so it’s also good for the local economy,” Reynolds said. “These are families that we work with throughout the year, who are struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills, and they know that at Christmas time they are not going to be able to afford gifts.”

Penny Pepe was given a profile of a married couple with a 6 year-old daughter. She bought some jeans, a shirt and a hoodie for the father, some pajamas, sweaters and a jacket for the mother, and a scarf, hat, gloves, tops and pants for the little girl.

“It’s that time of the season that’s all about giving back and helping other people,” said Pepe.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities, was pleased with the turnout. He said that the efforts of the volunteers helped the families have a merrier Christmas.

“It’s sad, but even though so many in the county have enough, too many lack the basic necessities. The St. Nicholas shopping day makes sure families have what they need,” Sullivan said.

“We knew there was a need here in Westchester, so we said we want to do something fun and involve the whole community,” said Susan Salice, one of the trustees for Catholic Charities. “Today was a fabulous turnout, beyond what we anticipated.”

The St. Nicholas Shopping Day at the K-Mart in Astor Place will be held next Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. That event is expected to provide necessities for close to 1,000 families.

 Check out these photos on Facebook.

Join us.

To volunteer or learn more about the St. Nicholas Project contact:

Ivy Hurwit
(646) 794-2525
Ivy.Hurwit@archny.org

REMEMBER…This is a year round project – We continue to accept donations all year long to assist New Yorkers in need.
Donate  Volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Faith, Even When Home Is an Uncertain Place

Monday, December 9th, 2013

By John Otis

When asked to tell the story of his life and of the circumstances that left him homeless, Eugene Manu, 21, tripped over his words, his testimony stalled by moments of nervousness and trepidation, filled with false starts and constant backpedaling.

It is no wonder his thoughts could not find purchase. Mr. Manu’s meandering speech seems to reflect the fact that he’s never known any sense of stability or permanence. He is a young man who, despite a strong faith in God, and the guidance offered by certain family members, finds himself better acquainted with doubt and feelings of abandonment.

“I have never considered any place home,” he said.

Three months into Mr. Manu’s life, his mother, unmarried and barely scraping by at a minimum wage job, sent him to Ghana to live with his grandmother. He remained there for seven years before coming to the United States to join his mother in New York, where he would end up shuffled between an array of homeless shelters and foster homes, before he was returned to his grandmother’s care in Ghana at age 15.

Last spring, while living at Create, a Harlem shelter affiliated with Catholic Charities, he acquired his G.E.D. and was accepted at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. But at about the same time, he was hospitalized with pneumonia, caused by complications from the hereditary sickle cell anemia he was born with, and nearly died. “I felt like I was drifting away,” he said. “If it wasn’t for God, I would have lost my life.”

Read Mr. Manu’s story in The New York Times. Learn how Catholic Charities is helping him rebuild his life.

Nelson Mandela; A Hero to the World

Friday, December 6th, 2013

 

Catholic Charities joins in celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela and in mourning his death.  First a prisoner and then a president, this conqueror of apartheid was a leader for all of us in the movement towards peace.

“Nelson Mandela was a hero to the world,” said His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan.

“His bravery in defending human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, as well as an inspiration to people everywhere.

“As Blessed Pope John Paul II noted during his visit to South Africa in 1995, Nelson Mandela was for many years, ‘a silent and suffering ‘witness’ of your people’s yearning for true liberation,’ who, as President of South Africa, had to then ‘shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.’

In succeeding in these crucial and difficult tasks, Nelson Mandela truly made the world a better place.

May he rest in peace”

Get In the Spirit of Christmas

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Join Catholic Charities in our commitment to care for the most vulnerable families in New York City and its neighboring communities, by volunteering at our annual Kmart Shopping Day. We help nearly 4,000 individuals by providing them with essential items such as coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, pajamas, socks, and blankets to help them stay warm throughout the winter season and job training classes, computer literacy classes, food from one of our many food pantries, and school supplies throughout the rest of the seasons.

Join us in shopping for those in need. Items are purchased with previously donated funds.  Additional donations are welcome but not required.
Volunteers needed for all or part of the day.

Date: December 14, 2013
Time: 8 am – 3 pm
Location: Kmart, Astor Place, NYC
 

To volunteer or learn more about the St. Nicholas Project contact:

Ivy Hurwit 
(646) 794-2525
Ivy.Hurwit@archny.org

REMEMBER…This is a year round project – We continue to accept donations all year long to assist New Yorkers in need!

Donate  Volunteer

 

 

When the First Hurdle Is Remembering

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Her memory ravaged by damage done to her brain, Nikkiya Simmonds, 32, returned to an apartment that might as well have belonged to a stranger. It was a cozy dwelling, strewn with cute knickknacks and calming artwork that she was tickled to learn that she had chosen, that she was, indeed, home.

But learning the identity of the adorable, yet utterly unfamiliar infant who greeted her was haunting. The child was Ms. Simmonds’s 2-year-old daughter, Nikalia Harrison.

“I remembered being pregnant, but I didn’t remember her,” she said. “I felt real guilty.”

In March, Ms. Simmonds, with no prior history of epilepsy or convulsive episodes, was stricken by a grand mal seizure. The injury to the frontal lobe of her brain was so severe that her mind was purged of every memory of the previous two years, including the entirety of her daughter’s life.

After two months of hospitalization, Ms. Simmonds returned to a new life and a new reality; an eviction notice slipped under her door.

Surviving Hiroshima and Hurricane Sandy, Survivor Struggles to Recover.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

by Alice Kenny

Leaning on his black cane, Fujimoto Takashi, 64, struggles to pronounce words that convey the terror he felt the afternoon his basement apartment in Midland Beach, Staten Island, morphed into a whirlpool of chairs, refrigerator, motion and mementos.

Born in Hiroshima four years after the atom bomb was dropped there, Mr. Takashi already knew devastation first hand. He grew up believing, he said, that if he could make his way to the United States he would find a safe place where he could realize his dream of working as a photographer and thrive.

For a long time, his plan seemed to work. But then Hurricane Sandy struck and stole nearly all he had.

Electrocuted when the storm flooded his basement apartment, Mr. Taskashi lost his health and home.

Read his story in Sunday’s New York Times.

Also learn how Catholic Charities’ Disaster Case Management team is helping him rebuild his life.