Archive for the ‘Archdiocese News’ Category

Check Your Mailbox for Your FitnessGram

Friday, February 21st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

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.

*Visit the FitnessGram website to learn more.

Cardinal Dolan and State’s Catholic Bishops Support DREAM Act for College Kids

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS Timothy Cardinal Dolan (right) supports creating a state DREAM Act that will allowing state financial aid to go to college kids of undocumented immigrants. Here, Dolan with Mayor de Blasio.

ALBANY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the state’s Catholic bishops have come out strongly in favor of creating a state DREAM Act allowing state financial aid to go to the college kids of undocumented immigrants, reports the New York Daily News on February 10.*

“It’s one of our top priorities this year,” state Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust said.

The Catholic Conference, a strong advocate for national immigration reform, views the DREAM Act legislation sponsored by Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Queens) as something the state can do in the interim.

“New York State, with its history of welcoming immigrants, should be at the forefront of these efforts to support immigrant populations who have contributed so much to the vitality of our state,” the conference said in a memo supporting the bill.

The state Assembly passed the measure last year and is expected to do so again soon. The Republicans who help control the Senate oppose the measure. And there are questions whether there is enough support in an election year for passage, even if the measure did make it to the Senate floor.

Do you need immigration or resettlement assistance, do you hope to go to college, have you been defrauded by an immigration practitioner?

Or do you need any other type of immigration help such as

  • Reuniting with your family
  • Obtaining proper work authorization
  • Learning English and civics
  • Preparing for citizenship exams.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline  at 800-566-7636.

Manned by Catholic Charities staff,

  • We fielded more than 25,000 calls each year
  • We make over 42,000 referrals to not-for-profit service providers
  • We answer calls in over 100 languages

Click here for more information.

*Read the full story in The New York Daily News.

Teens Team Up to Fight Hunger

Monday, February 10th, 2014

WHITE PLAINS — Christopher Martinez hefted a cardboard box containing non-perishables like Cheerios and Wacky Mac macaroni headed for the hungry, reports Alex Taylor in The Journal News.

“I wanted to come here because I wanted to help people,” said Martinez, 15, a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Yonkers and member of the St. Peter’s Parish. “Just seeing people in the street when I have so much at my house.”

About 50 Catholic and Jewish teens gathered at UJA’s Westchester offices in White Plains on Sunday afternoon to sort and pack a room piled high with hundreds of bottles, cans and cartons of nonperishable food as part of an interfaith food drive. The outpouring of donations were later delivered to local food pantries.

The event held capped off ‘Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response, ‘ organized by Catholic Charities and the United Jewish Appeal. This Archdiocesan-Wide Drive to Replenish Food Pantries ran from Sunday, January 26th – Sunday, February 2nd 2014. Its goal was to provide 1,000,000 additional meals for hungry New Yorkers, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.
The documented increase in hunger among New York children and families combined with the Senate’s recent vote for yet deeper cuts in the SNAP food stamp program makes the impact of this campaign, now in its third year, even more profound.

One out of five New York families now struggles to feed their children. As a result, hungry families, children and the elderly are braving snow, ice and freezing temperatures to reach local food banks. Catholic Charities food banks served 48% more meals in December 2013 compared with one year earlier.

At Sunday’s event, William Gregson expressed concern about the number of New Yorkers who go hungry on a regular basis.

“I just want to make sure everybody who is in need can get food,” said Gregson, 15, a student at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua.

Check out this Journal News video interview with Catholic Charities Catholic Charities Special Assistant to the Director Luz Tavarez-Salazar who is coordinating the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign .

Just 3 Days Left for Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign

Friday, January 31st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Only three days left for you to pitch in with Feeding Our Neighbors, our Archdiocesan-wide weeklong drive to replenish food pantries supporting non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

“Pope Francis recently wrote ‘if we don’t share our life is a slow suicide,’” Timothy Cardinal Dolan told a crowd at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at the kickoff to this year’s campaign.  “And this is a very simple from-the-heart appeal to share food and it works at this cold time of the year when Christmas charity is almost exhausted and when people are looking for food.”

There is just one goal for Feeding Our Neighbors: that New Yorkers answer the call to feed those who are suffering in our community.

Click here and join us in Feeding our Neighbors and  specify “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field on our Online Gift page.

Or text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick, easy $10 donation. 

Watch and listen as Cardinal Dolan speaks about Feeding Our Neighbors at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign works,” Cardinal Dolan said.

Msgr. Sullivan, Senator Gillibrand & Fellow Leaders Take on Food Insecurity

Monday, January 27th, 2014

On Sunday, January 26, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan met with the leaders of other emergency food providers and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the Food Bank for New York City warehouse in the Bronx.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the impending further cuts of billions of dollars to supplemental nutrition assistance programs (SNAP) by the federal government.

The network of Catholic Charities agencies and programs are a significant part of the efforts to address the issue of hunger and food insufficiency.  In fact, the roundtable discussion took place on the same day as the kickoff of Catholic Charities annual Feeding our Neighbors campaign, an archdiocesan–wide effort to replenish food pantries and respond to the overwhelming need in our New York community.

“It’s just sort of a simple, homemade approach to a big problem,” said Cardinal Dolan recently in support of the campaign.   “Everybody talks about hunger and how bad it is, and our politicians argue about it, debate about it, but the faith community said, ‘Let’s do something about it.’ ”

“The meeting confirmed what Catholic Charities has been experiencing across our own network of emergency food programs throughout the communities in the New York metropolitan area,” said Monsignor Sullivan.  “Since November, after cutbacks in support of ongoing nutrition assistance programs [$5 billion nationwide], we have seen a surge in working families visiting our programs.”

In Washington Heights for example, people have begun lining up before 7am to make sure they can obtain food for their families.  Catholic Charities has over 4,000 families registered for food assistance but only enough food to serve 1,000 families in need each month.

Volunteer efforts and food drives can only do so much to address the overwhelming need.  They cannot come close to replacing the need for government resources and assistance for families struggling to put food on the table.

New York Times Reports Increased Demand for Food Banks as Donations Decline

Friday, January 24th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Exacerbating cuts made last November in food stamp programs that feed the hungry, Congress is now eying significant additional reductions, reports The New York Times on Wednesday, January 22.

“Food banks across the country,” reports The New York Times, “are increasing efforts to prepare for the increased demand even as donations decline.”*

It is crucial now more than ever to join with us in Feeding Our Neighbors, our united effort to fight hunger.

Now in its third year, Catholic Charities will be joined by UJA/Federation to make Feeding Our Neighbors 2014 an interfaith campaign on behalf of New York’s hungry.

Starting January 26th, we’ll be leveraging our collective reach and already expansive networks for even greater impact — with the goal of collecting and distributing a combined one million meals to feed the hungry throughout New York.

Too many children and families struggle every day with hunger.

Feeding Our Neighbors, An Interfaith Response unites Catholic Charities and UJA-Federation of New York, two of the largest faith-based, not-for-profit organizations, to combine efforts to help fight hunger and replenish dwindling supplies.

You can be part of this united effort.  Help us collect and distribute food packages across pantries and shelters throughout the New York area.

Because ultimately, we do the most when we do it together.

Please join us!

Click here to donate – and write “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Reading this on your smart phone?  Text CCHOPE to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.   (Standard text rates apply.)

*Read the full story in The New York Times.

 

CYO Shining Stars Honored in Staten Island

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Seth Peloso, Dr. John P. Reilly, Diane Hesterhagen, Michael Coppotelli, Frank DeCandido, Frank Minotti and Ed Broderick pose at the Staten Island Catholic Charities event. (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) honored students from across Staten Island for their impact on their schools and communities.

At a brunch at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield, NY on Saturday, October 26, 40 youngsters were recognized with the Shining Star Youth Award.

Also honored were  Diane Hesterhagen, principal of St. Adalbert’s School in Port Richmond, and Michael Coppotelli, associate superintendent of schools.

CYO provides recreational, cultural and spiritual activities to the young people of the Archdiocese of New York.

Read the Staten Island Advance to learn more.

Catholic Renewal Raises Crucial Funds for Hungry New Yorkers

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Catholic Renewal

Left: Mark McDermott, Jason Ridings, Alexander Ridings, Deirdre McGuiness, Corinne Ball, Brenda Adrian, Victoria Creason, Pat Nash. Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. (Right)

 

Catholic Renewal held its Third Annual Cocktail Reception at the Kirkland & Ellis Conference Center on Monday, September 9. The event, hosted by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and attended by His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan along with more than 250 attorneys and members of the corporate restructuring industry, raised more than $300,000 for Catholic Charities to feed the hungry throughout the Archdiocese of New York. Now, as one of five families with children in the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York does not have enough to eat, receiving a hot meal is key to their survival.

The reception honored Barry W. Ridings, Managing Director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC and member of the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees, for his steadfast commitment to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and its commitment to serve those in need. Mr. Ridings was unable to attend the event due to the unexpected loss of his mother. His sons, Jason and Alexander Ridings, accepted a tribute book on his behalf.

“Giving is very important to my father,” said Jason Ridings. “He has set an example for us to follow.”

Catholic Renewal founding member Mark McDermott of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom spoke about the inspiration that defines this group. Founded in 2010 during one of the nation’s worst economic downturns, Catholic Renewal is a group of Roman Catholic professionals in the corporate restructuring industry committed to building a community and network based on faith and service to provide charitable assistance to individuals and groups in need.

“The word ‘Renewal’ in our name, ‘Catholic Renewal,’ has a dual meaning,” explained Mr. McDermott. “It refers to what we do as restructuring professionals. As I never tire of repeating, we are privileged to be part of the only economic and legal system in the world that allows us to help troubled enterprises try to ‘renew’ themselves: to preserve value; to obtain a fresh start; to preserve jobs.”

Catholic Renewal expressed its deep appreciation for its lead sponsors at the event. These include Ann and Barry W. Ridings, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Lathan & Watkins LLP, Marotta Gund Budd & Dzera, LLC, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Brenda Adrian, Victoria Creason and Deirdre McGuiness served as chairpersons for this event.

“We don’t live in a tale of two cities, but rather one city where people who have a little or a lot more help those who have who have a little or a lot less,” stated Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities. “We greatly appreciate these generous gifts that create hope and Catholic Renewal’s dedication to serve individuals regardless of their religion, everyday, always with dignity and compassion.”

Burned Down, Rebuilt and Cherished, New Community Center Both Reality and Miracle

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny 

At a grand-opening event marked by laughter, tears and gratitude, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan blessed the Catholic Charities Community Center on Adams Street last Friday, June 28.

“Isn’t this place something,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The word miracle’s been used and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. When you come in here you feel right at home…There’s a warmth; there’s an embrace…That’s what we like and that’s what people need and deserve.”

The building was bought by Catholic Charities in 2009 and was being renovated with a $2.1 million state grant after a fire on Dec. 21, 2010 wracked considerable damage to the three-story former St. Peter’s School building. The roof collapsed and there was smoke and water damage throughout the 18,000-square-foot structure.

On Friday, after offering his blessing, the cardinal splashed holy water and joked, “This is a fire retardant, too.”

The Catholic Charities center, formally known as the Father Edmund Burke Ulster County Catholic Charities Community Center, is at 6 Adams Street on a property perched above lower Broadway in the Kingston’s Rondout District. Fr. Burke, formerly the priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on lower Broadway, attended Friday’s ceremony.

The center was about a week away from opening when the 2010 fire set back the renovation effort. Following a second round of renovations, the center now is home to the offices for Ulster County Catholic Charities; a food pantry run by the group; the Agri-Business Child Development agency that offers early childhood education and social services to farm workers’ families and other eligible families; and a large gymnasium for Catholic Youth Organization sports programs. The gym hosted Friday’s ceremony.

Rebuilding the center relied on teamwork and hard work. Thomas J. Kelly, Regional Director of Ulster County Catholic Charities, extended special recognition to Johann Huleatt on behalf of the Bruderhof Community and Community Playthings for their gift of equipment and toys for the renovated waiting room and Tom Urtz and Lew Foote on behalf of ShopRite Supermarkets and the Wakefern Group for their donation of wire shelving and refrigeration units used in the center’s new food pantry.

“Who goes to Catholic Charities?” Cardinal Dolan asked a crowd that included Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, New York Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Kingston Mayor Shane Gallo and a host of others.

“People who have no where else to go,” he answered. “That’s what this is about…You got somebody hungry; You got somebody who needs legal help, … immigration help …a loving, safe, tender place for their kids. You need some place where our people can recreate. They come here because there’s a magnificent diversity of ways that we welcome people as family. We honor their human dignity. We recognize them as a child of God.”