Celebrate the holiday!
Happy Fourth of July from Catholic Charities!
Celebrate the holiday!
Happy Fourth of July from Catholic Charities!
But just what inspires someone to take on this grueling 26-mile run?
Each of our 12 Team Catholic Charities NYC Marathon runners has a different answer.
Today, let’s here from Jinah Kim, program assistant with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement department.
By Jinah Kim
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement
It was my Alma Mater’s unofficial tradition to run the Boston marathon before graduating and I wasn’t one to miss out on a Boston College tradition. But what was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience in 2012 turned into an ongoing pursuit of physical excellence and mental discipline.
I signed up for the Philadelphia marathon two years later. I fell in love with the way each community assembled to support runners from abroad and close to home, not to mention the joy of running through carless streets while being cheered by enthusiastic crowds of complete strangers.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a marathon runner, but it was such a natural decision for me to join the Catholic Charities team in the world-famous New York City marathon. I work for the Refugee Resettlement Office of Catholic Charities, I love to run, and it’s New York City. Needless to say, I was quite easily convinced.
This marathon will be especially close to my heart, not only because it takes place in a very special place, but also because I’ll be running for refugee resettlement. I’ll be running for every individual who’s been forced to leave his or her home country because of political or religious persecution, for every family torn apart by war and conflict, for every asylum-seeker struggling to make it in New York City without proper housing and work authorization awaiting a court decision.
Our office works with individuals and families from all over the world, assisting to find employment and resettle in New York City. Regardless of the different traditions and cultural backgrounds our clients come from, I believe that they share the common thread of hard work and extraordinary resilience, the very elements that form the backbone in our pursuits of the “American dream.”
Whenever I go for a particularly difficult run, I have to push myself forward and disregard the pain. Our clients go through a very similar struggle in the resettlement process but with much higher stakes involved. We have clients who were once in well-paid and respected executive positions taking on entry-level jobs as cashiers and porters but they oftentimes do so with great willingness and appreciation. We know mothers who have not seen their children in years but still save up money in hopes that they will soon be reunited, uncertain of exactly when that day will come. I have met men and women well into their fifties traveling an hour and a half each way to attend English classes. By working with my clients, I feel that I’ve tapped into the depths of human potential and witnessed the day-to-day diligence required to run in this very real race of life.
I know from past marathons it’s going to hurt like crazy running 26.2 miles and the several months of training leading up to it are going to require immense focus and intentional sacrifice. But just as my clients are on an everyday basis choosing to hope and move forward, for every refugee, asylee, family, individual, adult and child that was forced to flee, I’m choosing to run.
The Vatican today released the itinerary of Pope Francis for his upcoming trip this September to Cuba, Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.
During this five-day, four-city trip, His Holiness will visit with immigrant and refugee families and children served by Catholic Charities at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem on Friday, September 25, 2015.
“We are honored that Pope Francis plans during his short visit to meet and bless immigrant families and children that Catholic Charities serves,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan.
By Alice Kenny
What can be sweeter than watching a toddler take his first steps?
Watch it right here in this just-released video by Good Counsel Inc., an affiliate of Catholic Charities.
The video celebrates Good Counsel’s 30-year anniversary helping women and babies in need.
“I came from absolutely nothing,” one mom, Marisa, says. “Good Counsel took me in and got me on my feet.”
Timothy Cardinal Dolan adds his congratulations as he helps the tiny toddler and greets the moms and babies.
“You’re talking about home,” Cardinal Dolan says. “You’re talking about life; you’re talking a choice on the side of God of babies and moms and families.”
Can you conquer NYC in 26 miles?
Our 12 Team Catholic Charities NYC Marathon runners are taking on the challenge.
Check out their “Tips & Tricks; A Runner’s Guide for the NYC Marathon” as they train for the big day.
Today, let’s here from Vanessa Spoto.
By Vanessa Spoto
I will be running my first marathon on November 1, 2015. After graduating from college, I set a goal to run the New York City marathon. I did not gain entry the last few years but this year I am so grateful to be running for team Catholic Charities.
I worked for Grace Institute – a non-profit organization (affiliated with Catholic Charities) which provides tuition-free business skills training and job placement for underserved women. We worked very closely with Catholic Charities and I am familiar with the good work of the organization. Many of Grace Institute’s graduates have eagerly gone on to work for Catholic Charities and serve an organization that helped them fight hunger, obtain affordable housing, strengthen and reunite their families and much more.
As a native New Yorker and avid runner, it has been my dream to run the NYC marathon and experience the 26.2 mile journey through the five boroughs. In addition to training, it’s even more fulfilling to fundraise for an organization that strives to serve our community.
Running is a very large part of my life and I have pursued running longer distances during the past few years. I ran cross country and track and field all throughout high school and college at Fordham University. I have also run the NYC half marathon twice, but this is my first time running for a charity and running a marathon, and it’s very exciting.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.
By Teresa A. Santiago
From its humble beginnings 58 years ago when the Puerto Rican Day Parade was composed of Las Hijas de Maria, La Liga del Sacrado Corazon and Los Cursillistas from parishes around the City to the annual Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Catholic Church has played a crucial role in the Puerto Rican Day Parade and it is part of the parade historic legacy.
Catholic Charities continued this legacy last week with the participation of over 50 staff and volunteers marching up Fifth Avenue, handing out prayer cards with the Patron of Puerto Rico, La Virgen de la Providencia, sunglasses, fans and t-shirts all sporting Catholic Charities information to the 2 million people that lined the parade route.
But Catholic Charities’ involvement was more than just marching in the parade. Catholic Charities has developed an important initiative with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade to provide services to the Puerto Rican/Hispanic community of New York. Catholic Charities along with the leadership of the parade began a food drive last year to support the Feeding our Neighbors Program. The food drive continued this year with Catholic high schools in the Bronx and Manhattan participating in effort. The food collected will stay in the Latino neighborhoods.
In addition, Catholic Charities work with the Office of Hispanic Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York was instrumental in the planning of the annual Parade Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that takes place the first Sunday of June. The Mass went off seamlessly. The entrance procession highlighted many Puerto Rican cultural iconic symbols, like its musical instruments: el cuatro, guiro, panderettas and maracas, images of the Three Kings, La Virgen de La Providencia and vejigante mask. Parade banners were blessed, Las Hijas de Maria offered flowers and Feeding Our Neighbors food boxes were offered. The folkloric Mass, (Misa Jibara) was performed by La Tuna de Mayaguez, a musical choir from Puerto Rico. Fr. Eric Cruz, Catholic Charities’s Bronx Coordinator was the main celebrant of the Mass with co-celebrants Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sulivan, Msgr. Robert Ritchie, Rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fr. Lorenzo Ato, Director of the Hispanic Pastoral Ministry and Fr. Brian McWeeney, Director of Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Affairs for Ethnic Apostolates, and Ecclesial Ministries and Organizations.
Our 12 Team Catholic Charities runners are gearing up for the big day, the TCS New York City Marathon scheduled for November 1, 2015.
They’ll be racing through all five boroughs. They’ll be running more than 26 miles. And they’ll be surrounded by tens of thousands of fellow runners in what is called the largest marathon in the world.
How do they do it?
During the next five months we’ll share with you their tips and training advice. And we’ll also share why they’re running for Team Catholic Charities.
Today, as our inaugural TCS NYC Marathon 2015 blog post, let’s here from Katrina Maniego.
Why I’m Running the NYC Marathon with Team Catholic Charities
By Katrina Maniego
I have already run two to three half marathons but never a full marathon. I am excited to run my first marathon, take it as a challenge and am following a training plan I purchased online to prepare.
I live in NYC but travel for work to Denver, Co, which makes my training interesting. I am in NYC during the weekends and it is where I generally do my long runs. During the week, I am in Denver.
I like the change of environment because it adds a bit of color to my training.
NYC is noisier and more populated. Here I run along the East River, so I run alongside tall buildings and the view of water. I get motivation from all the interesting New Yorkers I see during my run. Also, there is a constant flow of New Yorkers running. I can run any time of the day or night, any kind of weather and there will be someone running with me.
In Denver, the altitude is higher but the air crisper. The mountains are around you and there are a lot of trees. I run a path alongside a creek. It is quite beautiful. If I wanted to run the path from start to end it spans about 12 miles. It’s taking me a bit more effort to do my interval running because of the altitude. But the group I joined to train with is pacing me to some extent and I am making new friends.
The proceeds of this fundraising is particularly targeted to Catholic Charities St. Nicolas Project. I’ve participated in the St. Nicholas shopping spree (using donations to purchase holiday necessities for persons in need .
I think we always should be thinking of ways to help other people and make them happy. But this is especially true during Christmas when we are constantly reminded of the blessings we have and the sacrifice Christ has made for us. We should be more inclined to offer help and support.
Click here to support Katrina’s TCS NYC Marathon campaign.
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.