Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Be Sure to Catch Larry and Friends

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Larry and Friends Event Flyer FINALBy Alice Kenny

Nearly two dozen immigrants, refugees, children and staff listened spellbound last week at Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement department in downtown Manhattan as an illustrator and writer, each New York based but bred in another land, shared their just-published story, Larry and Friends, an ode to immigration, diversity, friendship and acceptance.

The reading served as the kick off for a conversation about challenges immigrants face, some as obvious as learning a new language, others as surprising as getting used to the way Americans coddle their pets.

“Events like this help to create community with the clients we serve,” Catholic Charities Director of Refugee Resettlement Kelly Agnew-Barjas said after the event.

The book, filled with illustrations reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s famed Where the Wild Things Are, was illustrated by Ecuadorian-born Carla Torres and written by Belgian-born, Venezuelan-raised Nat Jasper. Its silly yet sensitive story features a drum-beating African zebra, a tight-rope artist Polish pig, a Colombian street musician alligator and fellow ambitious animals relocated to New York City from around the world.

“We work so hard to help clients and we engage in very serious issues every day,” Ms. Agnew-Barajas added. “It’s important to step back and remember that we are part of a larger immigrant experience in New York City.”

Expedited Immigration Hearings in NYC for Minors

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A federal immigration court in Manhattan that usually deals with fewer than 100 new children’s cases a month is getting a lot busier, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Twenty-nine minors who entered the country unaccompanied by adults appeared Wednesday before Judge James Loprest, Jr., some with attorneys, others with family by their sides. Six-year-old Gabriela and her brother Brandon Lopez, 15, were among the minors hoping to be allowed to legally stay with family already living in the U.S.

The siblings participated in the first day of surge docket hearings at federal immigration court. The “surge docket” is an initiative by the federal government to help expedite the legal process for the more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors who have been processed into the system since October.

The minors are fleeing poverty, gang-violence and death, say advocates from the New York chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

AILA is one of five groups handling unaccompanied minor cases. The others are the Legal Aid Society and nonprofits Catholic Charities, Safe Passage, and The Door. The groups have been preparing for a surge in cases since they learned 3, 347 unaccompanied minors had arrived in the state since January. New York is second to Texas with the most cases.

Gabriela and Brandon needed to leave their home country to get away from extortionists, said their father, 35-year-old Emerson Lopez.

“I began to hear rumors that they were going start charging rent for each head,” Lopez said, referring to his children.

“In my home country, they call them ‘heads.’ They treat people as if they are cattle, and that’s when my wife and I made the decision to send for them,” he said.

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

Find out more about the help Catholic Charities provides in the Latin Post.

Why I Work – and Run – For Catholic Charities

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
b harrison

Barbara Harrison receives service award from Cardinal Dolan

By Barbara Harrison

I work as a case manager for Catholic Charities and see how our St. Nicholas fund helps out so many families throughout the year and brings such joy at Christmas time.

It is one of the best parts of my job to see the joy this programs brings and in this spirit that I wanted to run the marathon to raise funds for this program.

I began running when I was about 50 years old and ran two marathons in the 1990’s.  After that my husband became ill and subsequently passed away.I found other forms of exercise.  I was still raising our four children as well and life was very busy. In my heart I always wanted to run the NYC marathon because it is ”the best.”

I was inspired to run this marathon when my coworker’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in the early spring. She is about my age which will be 69 when I run the race. I understood how frightening and challenging her road ahead would be and how fortunate I am to be in good health and able to run. I decided to enter the race for her to cheer her on in her battle.

My home is in the Hudson Valley and I work in Poughkeepsie, so I felt that it would be fun to represent this area of the Archdiocese by running the marathon.

I run in the morning at 6 a.m. on the beautiful rail trails in our area with my running partner, my daughter, Sarah.  We are currently running about 24 miles weekly and it is wonderful to be preparing for this race.

Learn more about Barbara and help support her run.

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Returns to Her Roots and Tells Bronx Kids to Dream Big

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Big Dream Event 1-2By Alice Kenny

Bronx-born Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned to her roots – and brought her friend and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with her – to encourage low-income children participating in Catholic Charities Alianza Division summer programs including its Mosaic Day Camp and others to dream big.

The “Dream Big Day” event held at the Bronx Children’s Museum was part of a summer arts enrichment program aimed at inspiring children to dream, work hard and follow their passions.

To underline this point, the former secretary of state praised Ms. Sotomayor and her biography, My Beloved World.

“She tells the story of how as a child of the Bronx, she dreamed big and ended up on the highest court of the land,” Ms. Clinton tells the children seated on the floor around her, “She’s one of our heroes.”

In return for Ms. Clinton’s and Ms. Sotomayor’s inspiration – as well as the opportunity to meet two of the most famous female leaders in person, the day campers, ages 7 – 9, sang and danced performances they had been perfecting for weeks.

Then they hugged Ms. Sotomayor and Ms. Clinton and shouted their thanks.

Cardinal Dolan Says Mass with Immigrant Children

Monday, August 4th, 2014


Check out this slide show

With unaccompanied minors serving as acolytes and filling the chapel, Cardinal Dolan celebrated mass on Sunday, August 3, at Catholic Charities affiliate Lincoln Hall.

These children who recently fled their homelands to escape violence and seek reunification with family members are finding safety at Lincoln Hall, a 19th-century mountain fortress whose history of protecting children alone and in need dates back to the orphans it took in during the Civil Wars

“Caring for the downtrodden, the outcast, the stranger among us, is part of our call as Catholics and we here in the Archdiocese of New York have been doing just that for more than 200 years,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in his recent blog post about the mass.

Every week, in cottages that dot a bluff at Lincoln Hall in Northern Westchester and in shelter facilities for unaccompanied youth across the area, Catholic Charities’ team of lawyers and paralegals encounters many of the thousands of children in the United States who have fled alone from abuse and violence in their homelands and who seek the comfort of a parent or loved one here.

“Pope Francis said it so well,” Cardinal Dolan wrote on his blog, “when he reminded us that ‘this humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.’

“And that is just what Catholic Charities, parishes, professionals and volunteers throughout the country are doing.”

Find out why Rusty McGranahan is running the NYC Marathon with Team Catholic Charities

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

20140622_135749By Rusty McGranahan

I have raced in a number of marathons and triathlons, including  two full Ironman races, but so far not one homeless person, research team, student or child has benefited from my narcissistic quest to stem the tide of middle age.

This year I am trying to be a little different and am proud to be running the New York City Marathon for Catholic Charities of New York.  I have always considered Catholic Charities to be a key part of the support system in all the cities they serve and the organization is a natural extension of my family’s active involvement with our parish and the Catholic schools my three children attend – St. Ignatius Loyola and Regis High School.

To up the ante, I am making two pledges to those sponsoring me in this effort:

1) I will personally match the first $1,000 in donations on my page, and

2) I will work like crazy to achieve one of my life time goals of finishing in under 3 hours.  (I have a lot of work to do on this one.)

I encourage all of my family, friends and colleagues to give something and give generously via the following link:

www.crowdrise.com/TeamCatholicCharities2014/fundraiser/rustymcgranahan

Why I’m Running the NYC Marathon with Team Catholic Charities

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

By James Bowe

I chose to run for Catholic Charities because it addresses such a wide array of human needs regardless of religious background.  Catholic Charities feeds the hungry, provides job training and resources to help people get back on their feet, and offers children and youth better opportunities to learn and grow, among many others.

After graduating from college and hanging up the sprinting spikes, I started to run longer distances and eventually found that running became a sort of escape while simultaneously allowing me to push myself and to continuously challenge myself to run farther and faster.  I made it a goal to run a marathon so now I am running the 2014 NYC marathon for Catholic Charities.  I’m looking forward to challenging myself through training and adding another reason to why I am running:  I am doing it to help raise money for individuals served by Catholic Charities.

While I have not yet run a marathon, I ran four years of varsity indoor and outdoor track and field at Colby College, primarily competing in the 400m dash and 1600m relay.  I also participated in a sprint triathlon in college.  After college I focused on longer distance running and competed in a 5k for WCS in the Bronx Zoo in 2011, the Chicago Rock and Roll half marathon in July 2013 and the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (3.3 miles) in June 2014.

I am training specifically for the marathon for 18 weeks running five to six days per week.  I will be racing in the Bronx 10 mile at the end of September and participating in NYRR long runs in August and September.  Additionally, I will be doing runs with the midtown Nike store running club two to three days per week.

My family and I have been involved with Catholic Charities for some time (primarily in DC where I grew up) so I was able to first hand witness the difference Catholic Charities makes in so many ways for so many individuals.

It is really inspiring to know that I am running for an organization that touches so many lives, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, with a high level of dignity and compassion across an array of human needs.  I am especially inspired by the many programs and services that are designed to set individuals up to lead a better life, whether it is a child who now has a nurturing after school environment or an out-of-work mother who is given training to get her back in the workforce and enabling her to support herself and her children.

Here is a link to my fundraising for Catholic Charities page:  https://www.crowdrise.com/TeamCatholicCharities2014/fundraiser/jamesbowe

 

Congratulations Team CYO – New York!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
CYO Track_Pedro Bravo

Pedro Bravo (R)

By Alice Kenny

Outstanding CYO track and field athletes throughout the New York Archdiocese converged in Orlando, Florida. last week to beat the heat as well as competitors from across the nation.  They ran so fast, jumped so high and threw javelins, discus and shot puts so far that many qualified to participate in the upcoming Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa.

In this Samson against Goliath reckoning, 45 members of Team CYO New York faced off against 12,000 top athletes to bring home 10 medals from the national AAU Team Championships.  Nine of our athletes, including eight from Westchester County and one from Staten Island, won these honors at the weeklong event held at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

Some of the standouts include Westchester County’s Caroline Davis.  This Holy Family CYO member initially scored first-place and broke the turbo javelin meet record in the process.  Then, on her next throw, she broke her own record with a throw distance of 84 feet.

Meanwhile, Pedro Bravo from Iona Prep ran a smart, calculated race, pushing himself to the limits at the finish line to capture the 8th place medal.  This qualified him for the Junior Olympics in the 1500 Meter Race with an impressive time of 5:00 in the 12-Year-Old Boys Division.

Then there was Shari Brown from Blessed Sacrament in Staten Island who brought home a medal for her eighth-place finish with a triple jump distance of 21′ 9”.

And what about Liliana Gray from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the only athlete to medal in two events.  She earned a seventh-place finish in the Turbo Javelin with a throw of 38’2″and an eighth-place finish for a 16’ 6″ shot put throw in the Ninth-Grade Girls Division.

“Our 45 athletes represented the Archdiocese, their respective schools, parishes and families with dignity and class,” says Catholic Charities Director of CYO Operations Seth Peloso who accompanied the team.

Click here for a list of our top winners and their Junior Olympic qualifying results.

Junior Board Rolls the Dice for Charity

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

At their signature fundraising event of the year, the Catholic Charities Junior Board hosted close to 200 guests for the 6th Annual Junior Board Gala at Battery Gardens on June 12, 2014.  The evening’s theme was a Masquerade Casino Night.  Guests enjoyed playing casino games and posing at the photo booth while raising both money and awareness for the St. Nicholas Project.  Fundraising efforts surrounding the Junior Board Gala brought in more than $47,000 for the St. Nicholas Project.

Through the St. Nicholas Project, Catholic Charities helps nearly 4,000 individuals annually by providing them with essential items to help them stay warm throughout the winter season as well as job training classes, computer literacy classes, food from one of our many food pantries, and school supplies throughout the rest of the year.

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York Junior Board introduces young professionals to the varied programs and works of Catholic Charities through volunteer opportunities, social gatherings, faith-based events, and philanthropic support. The Junior Board helps cultivate the next generation of leaders committed to Catholic Charities and serving those in need in our community.

To learn more, please visit the Junior Board web page and Facebook page

Blessing the Soil: A Gardener’s Dream

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

By Alice Kenny
blessingofthesoilscreeenshot

Catholic Community Services of Rockland Soil Blessing from StudioElevenProductions on Vimeo.

We’ve heard a lot about “Produce the Produce,” the proactive effort by Catholic Community Services of Rockland (CCSR), an affiliate of Catholic Charities, to get more freshly grown fruits and vegetables on the tables of people in need.

And we’ve heard about their annual Blessing of the Soil in their “Garden of Love,” held this year on May 10, 2014.

But hearing and seeing are two different things.

Check out this just-released video of the event.

“Give us this day our daily bread,” prays Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan as he blesses the soil.  “The tragedy is that for so many of our neighbors they are not sure they will have their daily bread this day.  Thanks to the partnership, the work, the generosity, the time and the talent we make sure that many of our neighbors will have their daily bread today.”

Join us in praying and working to feed our neighbors in need.

Find out how you can help.