Archive for the ‘Interfaith’ Category

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.

 

Martin Luther King: “Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question”

Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said  that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”

Today, as they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Interfaith Day of Service, 80 Catholic and Jewish teens from Westchester are giving an answer.

Forty youth from St. Peter’s Parish in Yonkers and Holy Rosary in Port Chester will join 40 youth from UJA-Federation to provide a meal and activities for 300 persons in need at the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester.

The day starts early for these 80 teens as they set up, prepare and serve midday meals.  They will also offer art and crafts activities for children attending the event.

The day then ends as youth lead an ecumenical period of reflection; an opportunity to build community while raising hunger awareness.

The event is part of Feeding Our Neighbors, an interfaith campaign to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that serve those in need.

“What are you doing for others?” Rev. King asked.

Join us in answering this urgent question.

 

Read more in the Daily Voice.

Cardinal’s Christmas Luncheon Raises $1.5 Million to Support Those in Need

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The 68th Annual Cardinal’s Christmas luncheon hosted by Catholic Charities and the Ladies of Charity brought in a record-breaking $1.5 million to support Catholic Charities programs that help thousands of needy women and children of all religions throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese.

“The event represents values that are at the heart of Catholic Charities,” Msgr. Kevin Sullivan said.  They include “the Christian faith that motivates our work, the dignity of each individual of every religion or no religion and the solidarity that bridges differences for the sake of doing good.”  Read more in Msgr. Sullivan’s current JustLove blog post.

Honorary chair Anna Murdoch-Mann teamed up once again with luncheon chair, Mary Higgins Clark and corporate chair, Joseph E. Spinnato at the event held on December 18 in the Grand Ballroom of The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Elizabeth Ailes, board member of Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers, owner of the Hudson Valley Freedom Press received the Christmas Angel Award from his Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York  Rosanna Scotto, Co-host of Good Day New York, served as mistress of ceremonies. Elizabeth Ailes is the wife of Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes,

Cardinal Dolan, Honorary Chairman of the luncheon, along with Nancy Waters of the Ladies of Charity, presented the Spirit of Saint Nicholas Award to Pat and Lou DiCerbo.

The luncheon included performances by noted Soprano Jamie Barton and the Our Lady of Pompeii School Chorus from New York City. Students from St. John Chrysostom School presented a tableau, narrated by Cardinal Dolan with a reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke.  Monsignor Kevin Sullivan offered the Invocation.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan Teams with Clergy and Immigrant Leaders to Call for Immigration Reform

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

By Alice Kenny

As part of a national month of prayer and action, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined yesterday with Staten Island Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, mainline Protestant clergy and immigrant leaders to reflect on the lives of new immigrants.  The crowd gathered at St. Margaret Mary ’s Church in Midland Beach, Staten Island, with the church’s pastor, Fr. Erno Diaz, to pray for immigrants’ full inclusion through just and humane comprehensive immigration reform.

They held the event during the August Congressional recess, Director of NYS Interfaith Network for Immigration Relief Diane Steinman said, to persuade House of Representatives members to do the right thing for immigrants and our nation at large,

Among the many speakers was Maggie Kawas, an immigrant who spoke about her father’s deportation and, similar to many immigrant families, the tragic toll it took.

Msgr. Sullivan then spoke about witnessing firsthand the pain and suffering of undocumented immigrants forced to live in the shadows, many who live in fear of deportation or whose families have been shattered by deportation.

Learn more about what he said and the event in SILive.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. Catholic Charities also assists immigrants in avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.

Looking for immigration assistance?  Call us at the New York State (NYS) New Americans Hotline: 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

For help finding other services you need please call us at the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Facts about the Becoming America Congressional Pilgrimage

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Congressman Joe Crowley and Msgr. Kevin Sullivan; Freedom Tower in background.

As talk of immigration reform stalls in Washington, interfaith leaders joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in New York last weekend for the first-ever “Becoming America Congressional Pilgrimage.”

Congressmen including Joe Crowley, Charley Rangel, Mario Diaz-Balart and Michael Grimm joined the pilgrimage to sites that accentuate New York and America’s ethnic diversity such as Ellis Island, Gracie Mansion, the African Burial Ground National Monument, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National September 11 Memorial.

Leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths including Catholic and Evangelical communities welcomed all present.

A concern among many is that families that once worshipped together are now separated by U.S. immigration laws.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan meditated in his remarks on verses from the Gospel of Matthew that advise “for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”

He also encouraged reaffirmation of the pledge made by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence.

“With a firm reliance on divine providence,” he recited, “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

 

Watch NY1 to learn more.

Immigration Reform: Mass Mobilization “from the Bottom Up”

Monday, April 8th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

As the Senate “Gang of 8″ completes its work on a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (CIR) and Congress prepares to debate its provisions, key leaders of New York’s diverse faith communities joined with elected officials at a press conference held at the Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street in Manhattan, on April 5. One leader after another spoke to promote just and humane comprehensive immigration reform, urging Congress to use moral values as a guidepost.

Speakers included Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York; Pastor Gilford Monrose, Vice President of CUSH; Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood; Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition; Congresswoman Yvette Clarke; Congressman Joseph Crowley; Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez; Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition; along with several young New York City immigrants.

David Lopez, 19, an undocumented resident of Staten Island and victim of Superstorm Sandy, spoke about challenges he faces since the hurricane destroyed the apartment where he lived and the business where he worked. Now homeless, he is ineligible for FEMA assistance because of his immigration status.

“I started working from the bottom up,” David said. “I want to become something to be able to help this country but I am unable to because of my status.”

When Msgr. Sullivan came to the podium he thanked Mr. Lopez for sharing his story.

“Catholic Charities is both proud and privileged to be part of these new New Yorkers that contribute to the growth and well-being of this country, the one they call home,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “We welcome comprehensive reform that provides a path out of the shadows, strengthens and reunites families and provides for fair and humane legal immigration opportunities.”

Immigrants and advocates will make this case in Washington D.C. on April 10th at a massive mobilization and faith community vigil for citizenship. More than 2000 New Yorkers are expected to participate.

“It is both overdue and heartening that the critical issue of immigration reform is moving to the top of Washington’s agenda,” Monsignor Sullivan said. “Immigrants have not only helped build this nation, but so many of our vibrant institutions, including our parishes.”

Catholic Charities Launches Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign to Collect One Million Meals for Those in Need

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Catholic Charities New York Executive Director shakes hands with John Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York

By Alice Kenny

Responding to already-strained food pantry shelves further depleted by Hurricane Sandy, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan launched the second annual Feeding Our Neighbors  campaign aimed at collecting more than one million meals for those in need.  Cardinal Dolan began this year’s campaign on Sunday, January 27, 2013, during Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities NY concelebrated the mass.

This year, the campaign, which runs through February 3, 2013, represents an interfaith initiative with the UJA-Federation of New York. The Wall Street Journal reported that officials said this was one of the largest interfaith efforts of its kind.

“So often today…we see signs of religion as a cause of hate and division,” Cardinal Dolan told a packed Sunday Mass. “But in New York we are so proud that religion brings people together and that it takes care of God’s most forgotten people.”

Following Mass,  John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, and William E. Rapfogel, executive director and CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), a UJA-Federation of New York beneficiary agency, joined Cardinal Dolan and Msgr. Sullivan in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to load food donations onto Catholic Charities’ Mobile Food Pantry and Met Council trucks for delivery to food pantries, soup kitchens and meal programs that serve New Yorkers in need.

After that, Msgr. Sullivan, Mr. Ruskay and Mr. Rapfogel kicked off UJA-Federation’s “Super Sunday” phone-a-thon to solicit additional donations.

During this time of great need, one in five New York State children grow up in poverty and more than one million New Yorkers do not have enough to eat.

This campaign grows out of an awareness and concern that embraces New Yorkers of all religions who must turn to food pantries, soup kitchens and senior center meal programs, to sustain themselves and their families.

Listen to Msgr. Sullivan’s interview with Mr. Ruskay about the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign aired Saturday, January 26 on JustLove, The Catholic Channel 129 Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Help feed our neighbors:

 

 

 


Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s Work Personified

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

More than 600 people gathered last week at the Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.  This central Harlem landmark hosted celebrations sponsored by multiple groups that regularly meet there including, the Harambee Dance Company and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center New York Support Group.

“Harlem is the central point in the New York Archdiocese of Dr. Martin Luther King’s work personified; he walked the streets of Harlem,” said Kennedy Center Director Deacon Rodney Beckford.

The Deacon also served as the master of ceremonies at the at the Central Harlem Vicariate-sponsored interfaith service held last week at All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Harlem.

“The community was not only familiar with Dr. King as a national figure but as a personal figure; at this time every year all the institutions in Harlem rise to the occasion of remembering him and promoting the justice, peace and equality he espoused,” Deacon Beckford continued. “We at Catholic Charities Kennedy Center have always been at the forefront of that celebration.”

Interfaith Hunger Summit Calls New Yorkers to Action to Fight Hunger

Friday, December 28th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

In New York City, one in five adults and one in four children don’t get enough food. On December 20th, the New York City Interfaith Hunger Summit brought together faith leaders, congregants and concerned New Yorkers from a diverse cross-section to discuss ways to take action to lessen hunger and poverty in our community.

Regardless of a person’s religion, our faith and beliefs call us to serve the poor and help our neighbors. The Interfaith Hunger Summit was organized to promote concrete solutions and develop a “call to action” which asked “elected officials to create jobs and reduce poverty, strengthen the social safety net, and make healthier food more available and affordable in low-income neighborhoods.”

Along with other faith leaders, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities New York, spoke at the summit. He discussed the importance of enabling people to have the food they need in their own homes, as well as the necessity and lasting effects of children under the age of three getting sufficient food.

While the summit was a start, Monsignor Sullivan noted that the conversation needs to expand to the rest of the community to promote meaningful action, and that food, not hunger, should become part of the debate.

To contribute to the Archdiocesan-wide campaign to replenish food pantries, donate to or volunteer for Feeding Our Neighbors and help ensure no hungry neighbor gets turned away.