Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Cardinal Dolan Reveals Inside Scoop for Pope Francis’ NYC Visit

Friday, July 17th, 2015


What does Pope Francis want to visit during his Sept. 24-25 whirlwind touchdown in New York?

Who does he want to meet?

How can we get a glimpse of him?

And what’s our chance of meeting him face-t0-face?

Cardinal Dolan takes on all these questions in a recent Catholic New York news story.

By Ron Lajoi

Catholic New York

Some of these would be “must see” stops for any traveler on a whirlwind 36-hour visit to the Big Apple. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is of course on the itinerary. So are the United Nations, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and Madison Square Garden. But so is Our Lady Queen of Angels, an inner-city Catholic elementary school in East Harlem, certainly a less likely tourist attraction. But Pope Francis is no ordinary visitor.

“The Pope is very gracious in saying I’m trusting you. What would you like me to see?” said Cardinal Dolan at an informal press briefing June 30 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to discuss the Holy Father’s impending visit to New York Sept. 24-25 as part his larger visit to the United States. New York is the second leg of a three-city visit that begins in Washington, D.C., two days earlier.

“From the beginning he let it be known that he obviously was going to the U.N., that he wanted to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But he wanted to see, and these were his words, an inner-city Catholic school. And he wanted to see a Catholic Charities site and he particularly highlighted care for the immigrants,” the Cardinal explained.

The Pope will visit a third grade classroom at Our Lady Queen of Angels…

At the school Pope Francis will also meet in the gymnasium with recent immigrants, refugees and other poor and marginalized people who are cared for by Catholic Charities programs.

When asked what he hoped to show the Holy Father, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, responded, “the strangers who are welcomed by Catholic Charities.”

…A Papal Visit team chaired by Al Kelly, former president of American Express, who also served as president and chief executive officer of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee in 2014, is coordinating the sprawling itinerary. Organizers expect huge crowds.

…Kelly said two motorcades were being planned to allow as many people as possible to see the Pope.

…Cardinal Dolan said a lottery system would be used to distribute tickets, through the parishes mostly, to events such as the Mass at Madison Square Garden.

“Any of the tickets that we distribute through any sources will not have a charge associated with them,” he said. “They will all be free.”

An Insider’s Take on Training for the NYC Marathon

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Our Team Catholic Charities NY  Marathon runners train for months. They rise when the rest of us are sound asleep. And they jog through snow, sun and sweat.

Now, with just over three months to go until the Big Day – the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon  – let’s find out what inspires someone to take on this grueling 26-mile run.

Each of our 12 Team Catholic Charities NY Marathon runners has a different answer.

Today, let’s here from Nick Libertiny.

I will be running my first competitive running race on November 1, 2015.  I am running the New York City Marathon to raise money for a Catholic Charities affiliated agency, Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers ,for which I am a mentor.

I am the youngest of four children and have always been active and competitive.  When the opportunity presented itself I realized that this would be a big challenge for me and would take hard work and dedication to prepare myself for the race.  That’s how much the program means to me – it’s worth the effort to raise money for it.

Only being a casual runner I’ve moved up from running roughly 6 -9 miles a week to 20-25 miles per week.  It has not been easy – the aches and pains only intensify! However I believe I’m making good progress: 4 miles a day plus a long run usually gets me to my weekly goal.

It’s been a great experience discussing Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers with my friends and family and listening to their comments and ideas.  The donations have been helpful too!  I look forward to meeting my goals and raising awareness along the way for the wonderful program that directly benefits children every single day.

Support Nick’s run for Team Catholic Charities!

Clues on What to Expect During Pope Francis’ Visit to NYC

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
Pope From Rome

AFP photo / Vincenzo Pintovincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

During one of the Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff, on-the-plane news conferences that have become a hallmarks of his pontificate, he continues to make history on his flight back from Paraguay to Rome.

And as we parse his words, we begin to get an idea of what can we expect from this humble but bold Pope when he visits our Gotham City this September.

Kevin Clarke, a reporter for the Washington Post, writes today that:

Pope Francis is not interested in changing political or economic systems, but in changing hearts, in acts of personal conversion that can lead to social transformation. He is not calling just for better mitigation of the suffering of the poor or reforms of global markets, but change which is redemptive for everyone.

His is a revolution of conscience that “saves” the tiny percentage of the world’s rich from the spiritual morass of materialism as much as it rescues billions around the world from the blunt deprivations of poverty.

He has come not to profess socialism, but to proclaim a social moral principle: that a just economic order—one well within our reach—is one that serves people and protects the earth, not one that exhausts people and creation as disposable economic inputs.

We embrace Pope Francis’ mission at Catholic Charities.  For more than a century we have rebuilt lives and touched every human need promptly, locally, day in and day out.

We applaud you, Pope Francis.  We welcome you.  And we look forward to your visit.

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

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Our Team Catholic Charities NYC Marathon runners train for months.  They rise when the rest of us are still sound asleep to jog through snow, sun and sweat.

Now, with less than four months to go until the Big Day – the TCS NYC Marathon 2015 – let’s find out 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 Reid Whiting.

By Reid Whiting

I will be running my sixth marathon on Sunday, Nimage001-1ovember 1, five of which have come at the celebration of New York City known as the NYC Marathon.

I continue to run the NYC Marathon due to the pageantry and excitement that is omnipresent throughout the streets of the five boroughs and seen in the faces of each and every runner and spectator on that magical first Sunday of November.

This year, however, will be a particularly special NYC Marathon for me, running for the first time as a member of Team Catholic Charities.

I heard about Catholic Charities through an organization through which I mentor an inspiring teenager and was instantly taken aback by the wealth of assistance and hope Catholic Charities provides for millions of people each year, regardless of their religious, social or economic background.  Catholic Charities’ central mission to reduce poverty by providing services to people in need, advocating for justice in social structures and calling for others to do the same is what I will be running in support of in November.

I hope you will support the same by donating to this great cause!  Thank you for your generosity!  Now, back to training …

Support Reid’s run on Crowdrise.

Happy Fourth of July

Friday, July 3rd, 2015


Celebrate dignity.

Celebrate independence.

Celebrate the holiday!

Happy Fourth of July from Catholic Charities!

For Every Refugee Forced to Flee, I’m Choosing to Run

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.16.02 AMJust four months to go until the Big Day – the TCS NYC Marathon 2015!

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

Program Assistant

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.

 Root for Jinah.

Pope Francis Plans to Meet Immigrants Served by Catholic Charities NY

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015


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.

Congratulations, Good Counsel!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

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.”

Watch the video.

Learn more.

Tips & Tricks: A Runner’s Guide to the NYC Marathon

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

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.

Root for Vanessa!

Catholic Charities Celebrates the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Monday, June 22nd, 2015


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.