Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Celebrating World Refugee Day 2015

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

By Kelly Agnew-Barajas
Director of Refugee Resettlement at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

Staff, interns and volunteers from Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement were joined by clients new and old to celebrate World Refugee Day last Friday, June 12. Also joining them were staff and clients from fellow immigration service providers including the International Rescue Committee, CAMBA, Refugee and Immigrant Fund, and Safe Horizon.

The event was held at the Friends Meeting house in Manhattan on a hot summer afternoon. Although World Refugee Day is officially on June 20th, the celebration was scheduled earlier to allow Muslims who will be fasting during Ramadan (starting June 17th) to join in the celebration.

Catholic Charities staff and interns set up a photo booth with props and signs.  They also provided sidewalk chalk for kids to draw with. These were a big hit.

The New Americans Hotline that provides information and referrals for immigration questions over the phone  also shared resources and materials.

Everyone enjoyed homemade classic Cuban ropa vieja, Colombian ceviche, Mexican flan, cool watermelon and tons of snacks.

Tsering Dolkar,  an asylee client who was helped by Catholic Charities in 2009, came as a representative of her whole nine person family.

She described how Catholic Charities helped to provide a foundation of support and knowledge which has allowed her and her whole family to thrive. She also expressed profound gratitude for setting her and her family on the right path.

Gold Medalist Chris Mullin Credits CYO for Kicking Off His Career

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

150604-0881By Alice Kenny

Chris Mullin, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award on June 4th at the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Club of Champions Tribute. A two-time gold medalist, Mr. Mullin ranks seventh all-time on the USA Basketball scoring list.

He kicked off this long list of achievements, he said during his acceptance speech, by playing CYO basketball at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Brooklyn.

Honorary Co-Chairs Cardinal Dolan and John K. Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Football Giants, presented the award at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in

Duke Castiglione, sports anchor for FOX 5 New York, served as Master of Ceremonies. Raymond Quartararo, Managing Director of Global Real Estate, JP Morgan Chase & Co., was the Gold Medal Award Honoree.  And Jeanne Mullgrav, Executive Vice President, Capalino+Company, received the Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award.

The John V. Mara award is given to an individual who has exhibited exceptional sportsmanship throughout his or her career.

This sportsmanship, Mr. Mullin said, is thanks to his experience playing Catholic Charities CYO, an experience that instilled core values that influenced his life.

Learn more about this All-Star event. 

Check out these photos on Facebook. 

De Blasio Forms Hotline Between Clergy & City Hall

Monday, June 8th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Mayor de Blasio just announced creation of the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council to serve as a hotline between religious  leaders and City Hall.

“The Clergy Advisory Council will put us in direct communication with these religious leaders,” said Mayor de Blasio when he made his June 7 announcement at First Corinthian Baptist Church.

The council, still in the process of being formed, already consists of more than 45 clergy that to represent various religions throughout the five boroughs. It will offer religious leaders a way to discuss concerns with key city government officials.

“Respecting and engaging New York’s rich diversity of religious institutions and beliefs is critical to building a better New York in which the basics of nutritious food, affordable housing, decent jobs and safe neighborhoods are accessible to all,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director and Council Member Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.

Find out more.

Win the Jackpot – Become a U.S. Citizen!

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Immigrants become American citizens in Newark, N.J. on Jan. 28, 2013. A free legal clinic will advise immigrants seeking citizenship on immigration law and naturalization applications. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By Alice Kenny

If you already have your green card – AKA legal status in the U.S. – join us to take the next big step.

Catholic Charities, in partnership with New York State’s Office for New Americans, is hosting free legal and naturalization clinics.  Attorneys who are experts in immigration law will be available for free legal consultations.


Naturalized citizens:

  1. Earn between 50 and 70-percent more than non-citizens
  2. Are half as likely to live below the poverty line.
  3. Have higher employment rates
  4. Gain access to jobs and licensed professions requiring citizenship
  5. Acquire rights such as the ability to protect children’s rights to remain in the U.S.

When, where and what to bring?

When:  Wednesday, June 10

Where:  Newburgh Armory Unity Center, 321 South William Street, Newburgh, NY.

What to bring: 

Register by contacting Jennifer Ramirez  today, June 9, at  845-562 -4736;

  • When:  Saturday, June 13

Where Catholic Charities Community Services, 218 Church St. Poughkeepsie, NY

What to bring? Click here.

Register by calling 845 452 1400 x 4259.

Questions:  Call our New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636

Read more in The Epoch Times

NY Notables Help Gala Raise $2 Million for People in Need

Monday, June 1st, 2015

cardinaldolan-bryansheaBy Alice Kenny

Great news.  Catholic Charities Annual Gala brought headliners – and headlines – to raise more than $2 million to help our neighbors in need.

The event, highlighted by Bill Cunningham in his New York Times  “Evening Hours” column, brought together 700 New York notables.

“Now in its sixth year, our annual Gala continues to demonstrate the generosity and vibrancy of New York’s business community,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.

And that community turned out in force.  Leaders from the worlds of culture, fashion, law, media, politics, business, philanthropy and religion converged at the event held May 27 at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

Cardinal Dolan honored Brian T. Shea, Vice Chairman and CEO of Investment Services, BNY Melon with the evening’s Deus Caritas Est Award.  Pat Battle, anchor for NBC4 New York, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.  And Tony-Award-winning actress Laura Benanti performed live.

Mr. Shea shared memories and jokes as he accepted the award.  Most of all, he emphasized his gratitude to Catholic Charities for its work helping the downtrodden.

“Serving the poor with dignity and respect and providing hope and opportunity for people in need is not only fundamental to being a good Catholic,” he said, “but also fundamental to being a good person.”

Check out our Facebook page for photos of the event.

Read more in The New York Times.


Struggling Students; Struggling Schools

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

IMG_8532-smBy Alice Kenny

How do we reach children and families at risk effectively and fast?  Community schools that incorporate social service and support are the solution offered by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  And it’s a solution Catholic Charities is bringing to life in the poverty and crime-ridden neighborhood of Washington Heights.

The principle behind it is simple.  Bring services to where the children and their families already are – at school.  The new community schools program pairs year-round social services with education in high-need neighborhoods.  Services range mental health support to homework help and family counseling.

The city will use $52 million to launch 40 Community Schools.  This includes the High School for Media & Communications in Washington Heights that chose Catholic Charities Community Services Alianza Division as its community partner.

The program will work in  collaboration with the principal, the school leadership team and parents.  To ensure that new programs answer real needs more than 80 students, parents, community leaders, school administrators, counselors and teachers teamed up to share their vision for the newly established Community School program at the High School for Media & Communications on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

Funds will be used to increase attendance, credit accumulation, graduation rates and family engagement.

Interested in Community Schools? Read more in Capital New York.

Cardinal Dolan Hosts All-Star Event

Friday, May 15th, 2015

cardinaldolanccagenciesTimothy Cardinal Dolan hosted an all-star evening on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. The event pulled together more than 300 representatives from the Catholic Charities Federation of 90 independent human services agencies.

“We have some of New York’s most generous and caring people here,” said Telemundo TV’s Nathalia Ortiz who served as the night’s Mistress of Ceremony.

The evening highlighted the Catholic roots and joint mission of agencies spread from Staten Island, throughout the Bronx to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Together they provide more than $725 million in services and touch the lives of about 350,000 people each year.

But the event was more than a Catholic celebration of services. Jennifer Jones Austin, executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), served as keynote speaker. The evening included Trustee, Faithful Servant, Meritorious Service and Volunteer awards for nearly 50 people throughout the New York archdiocese. And it focused on how these individuals and agencies multiply the services they provide by working together as a federation.


Three Ways to End Hunger Now

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

St. Cecilia’s parishioner, Guadalupe Merino, writes a letter to Congress as daughter, Joyce Merino, naps in her arms.

About a hundred people from nonprofit organizations and churches in New York put pen to paper last month and wrote letters to their member of Congress, urging them to reauthorize the child nutrition bill, writes Margaret Tran, a regional organizer at Bread for the World.

Catholic Charities and Bread for the World organized an Offering of Letters at St. Peter’s Church and New York Catholic Youth Day, both in Yonkers, and at St. Cecilia’s Church in East Harlem. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland County in Haverstraw plans to host one in the future.

It is vital that Congress hears from their constituents, especially since over 16 million children in the U.S. don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

This fall, the legislation that funds child nutrition programs will expire. The bill funds five major programs: National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the WIC Program. These programs serve roughly 40 million adults and children nationwide.

1. New York high school students were busy during New York Catholic Youth Day. They were simultaneously involved in a Feeding Our Neighbors food drive (cosponsored by Catholic Charities) and an Offering of Letters. The students and their youth group leaders donated hundreds of pounds of food to local pantries and wrote letters to members of Congress, urging them to support the child nutrition programs.

Youth groups were eager to write letters since they personally know students who struggle with hunger and depend on school meals every day as their only source of nutrition…

2. The senior leaders of the various ministry groups at  St. Cecilia’s also participated in an Offering of Letters… Flor Abad, case manager for Catholic Charities Community Services at St. Cecilia’s, said he was pleased that all the leaders were enthusiastic about advocacy since so many in the community are struggling.

“At St. Cecilia’s food pantry, I see families in need. I hear people who have 5, 6, 7 children in the house and don’t have food,” Abad said.

3. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland County(CCCSR) will host a future Offering of Letters that will engage youth from county parishes to write letters to Congress. The goal will be ambitious – 1,000 letters ahead of CCCSR’s annual September hunger awareness action event.

“Policies and community efforts to increase access and provide education and resources is needed. Our goal is to build a greater sense of community awareness and build an advocacy group to end hunger,” said Martha Robles, executive director of CCCSR.

Read the full Bread for the World blog post.

Sen. Schumer Announces $2.1 Million More for Hurricane Sandy Victims Served by Catholic Charities

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Huge news for the 3,000 families still recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation!

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer just announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved $2.1 million in funding for Catholic Charities, the organization operating the New York State Disaster Case Management Program for Superstorm Sandy victims.

“I am happy to announce that New York State’s Disaster Case Management Program contract will continue, uninterrupted,” said Senator Schumer.  “With roughly 3,000 open cases still unfinished, Sandy victims desperately needed this extension to keep the focus on rebuilding their lives and their properties.

“Without some help and expert advice from great organizations like Catholic Charities, it’s very difficult for homeowners to juggle the competing interests pulling on them. This money will allow this process to continue and we will keep fighting for additional funds.”

Click here for details.

Were you hurt by Hurricane Sandy, have an open case and still need help?

Call our Sandy Referral Line:  855-258-0483

Help is here:  Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.