Archive for the ‘Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises’ Category

Eric Garner: A Death That Sparked A Movement

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
AThe Interfaith Prayer Service for Healing and Reconciliation was held in memory of the one year anniversary of Eric Garner's death.  The service was held at Mt ini United Christian Church in Staten Island.   Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke during the event.  Many members of the Garner Family were in attendance, including his Mother, Step-Father, Wife, and several of his children.  Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke, as did other elected officials and members of the clergy.  The evening concluded with a Vigil Candle Lighting.  NYPD Boro Commander Edward Dellatorre and Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner  lit a single candle together. Mary DiBiase Blaich for Catholic New York

Photo Credit: Mary DiBiase Blaich, Catholic New York

By Alice Kenny

Esaw Garner sobbed at the interfaith prayer service held in Staten Island on July 14 to commemorate the one-year-anniversary of the tragic death of her husband, Eric Garner.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined fellow leaders, family and friends to honor Mr. Garner who died after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold after attempting to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Mayor Bill de Blasio and local politicians, Rev. Al Sharpton and interfaith leaders, police officers, friends and family stood among the crowd that packed Mount Sinai United Christian Church.

Together they gathered to search for meaning in this death that sparked a movement.

John Woods, Editor and Chief of Catholic New York, reports the words of Cardinal Dolan in the homily he gave at the service:

‘Could the grief that began a year ago just down the street from here and seemed to ooze like a toxic oil spill to places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, and Brooklyn and beyond…be an occasion of repentance and renewal?’ Cardinal Dolan asked.

‘Could our yearlong trial be an opening for God to transform us, from death to life, from despair to hope, from winter to spring?’

The cardinal suggested it could, but that we must first acknowledge God’s supremacy in our lives and place our faith and hope in him as we love one another.

Healing with Mosaics

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015


By Alice Kenny

Broken children served by Astor, a Catholic Charities affiliated agency that serves children in need, are pasting broken glass into mosaics. Together, they are beginning to mend.

“There is a healing quality in putting fragmented products into a whole,” says Roberta Andersen.

Ms. Andersen has been helping children create mosaics at Astor Residence for the past 15 years. Many of the children struggle with emotional and psychological problems. These problems make it difficult to experience the simple everyday pleasures of being a child.

So Astor uses art, along with therapies and support to reach them. In their last mosaic project, children, guided by Ms. Andersen and Astor Art Therapist Kathleen Gavin, created a huge bright yellow sunflower.

To make it, they combined ceramic pieces into three separate layers of glass. Each layer was heated in a kiln at different temperatures and then fused together. This varied each layers’ texture and added, Andersen says, to the children’s enjoyment as they moved their hands over their creation.

“We wanted the sunflower mosaic to be a strong, uplifting image of color and light,” Ms. Andersen adds.

The sunflower mosaic now hangs proudly on a residence hallway wall.

Find out more details from Astor Development Associate, Carly Hertica, on The Astor blog.

Inside Scoop on Pope Francis’ NYC Visit

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015


By Alice Kenny

Details are surfacing about the upcoming historic visit by Pope Francis to the U.S.

And Catholic Charities is here to share them with you!

 The Pope’s whirlwind visit, scheduled from Sept. 23-27, touches down in Washington D.C..  It moves to NYC.  And it culminates in Philadelphia.

Here in New York, Kathryn Lopez reports in National Review,

The pope will be visiting a Catholic Charities center…to see how ‘strangers’ are welcomed in the city (by a church that was built by immigrants), as Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities in New York put it.”

 Adding more details, this time about Pope Francis’ visit to those served by Catholic Charities in Washington DC, Matt Hadro reports in Catholic Online,

“The Pope will visit the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities branch where he will meet with homeless persons attending the charity’s weekly St. Maria’s Meal program, blessing the food.”

 Pope Francis, since his election, has made solidarity with the poor and the defense of immigrants his towering priorities. His determination to spend time with those served by Catholic Charities during his short trip along the East Coast comes as no surprise, says Msgr. Sullivan.

“This is so appropriate,” Msgr. Sullivan says.  “So many of our agencies day in and day out serve newcomers to our country with a wide range of services..Our food pantries feed immigrant children…Refugee are helped with resettlement…Fearful immigrants are aided in how to avoid exploitation and fraud.  Families are reunited.”

Check out Pope Francis’ full itinerary in Catholic Online.

Read CrossStreets as we continue to bring you breaking news on Pope Francis’ upcoming visit!

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.

Breaking News! Community Policing & Catholic Charities

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 1.35.32 PMThe NYPD announced details last week of its new neighborhood policing strategy, reports ABC News 7.

Hundreds more beat cops are working in neighborhoods where violence continues to dominate.

Eddie Silverio, director of Catholic Charities Community Services Alianza Youth Services, joined Mayor Bill DeBlasio and others to speak about their joint work in Washington Heights.

“We continue to improve communication between youth and the police department,” Mr. Silverio says.

These 1,300 new officers aren’t just extra bodies, they’re the start of a new proactive approach to policing that involves you as a team player!

The pilot program rolled out in the 34th Precinct a little over a month ago and already crime statistics are going down. It’s a trend local  leaders hope will now continue city wide.

It’s a bold new strategic plan local leaders believe will give a much needed edge to the NYPD in the ongoing fight against crime.

1,300 additional officers are not only targeting problem areas but building real relationships with everyday people to forge a united front.

In Washington Heights where the new plan has already been executed, officers at a community meeting Thursday night encouraged neighbors to get more involved.

“We are now doing a bottom up approach where an officer knows the community, the community knows the officer, we stop the problem many cases before it even happens,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Called “One City Safe and Fair Everywhere” Mayor De Blasio along with Commissioner Bratton laid out the details of the new policing framework, which also entails additional training so officers can better engage and activate the communities they serve.

Watch the live event on ABC News 7.

Mad Men or Junior Board? You Decide

Friday, June 26th, 2015

JuniorBoard-MobileHeaderBy Alice Kenny

Decked out as our Mad Men favorites – Don Draper, Peggy Olsen, Roger Sterling – nearly 150 Catholic Charities Junior Board members and their friends celebrated the board’s Mad Men-themed gala earlier this month.

The event, in typical Mad Men style, of course included drinks, dancing, card games and mingling.  More important, these budding young members of the Catholic Charities family raised nearly $30,000  to benefit Catholic Charities St. Nicholas Project.  This year-round project provides warm clothes and necessities for thousands of New Yorkers.

“There are so many people in need,” says Grace Nordloh, a co-chair of the Junior Board Gala, “and they rely on our generosity to help them endure the winter season.”

The Mad Men series may have ended but Catholic Charities continues.

Will Don return to NYC and reunite with his children?  Who knows.

But we do know you’re very welcome to have fun with our Junior Board.

Click here to learn more.

Check out these photos on Facebook. 

Rent Laws Expired But You Still Have Rights

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Tenants are fuming; others are frightened, as the fate of rent regulations remain in limbo. Days after the rent law expired, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders remain in a standoff on how much landlords can charge for rent-regulated apartments in New York City and its suburbs.

Don’t worry. You still have rights.

According to the NYC Dept. of Housing:

If you are one of the more than two million New Yorkers who lives in rent-regulated housing, here’s what you need to know:

  • Your lease is still in effect and remains in effect through the term of the lease.
  • There are still laws on the books protecting you from harassment, and the City is enforcing those laws.
  • We have put together an emergency hotline: Call 311 if you have any concerns or questions about your apartment.
  • If your landlord is harassing you, withholding services, or trying to exploit any lapse in the rent regulation laws to get you to leave your apartment, you should call 311 immediately.

Catholic Charities supports a vast network of shelters, temporary, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing to help families and individuals.

Learn more.


Tips and Tricks for Running the NYC Marathon

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

2015-01-14 21 24 26-3Our 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. 

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. 

New Video Highlights Impact of Our Work and Personal Story of One Family

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Before cancer struck, Yarsely, 27, and her husband, Jean Carlos, 28, each held jobs to support themselves and their two little girls.

“We wanted to grow old together, a 50-year-anniversary couple,” Yaresely says in this just-released video. “But life gave us something else.”

When Jean Carlos was diagnosed with leukemia, Yaresely realized she had to become the sole breadwinner — with better skills to land a better job. So she turned to Catholic Charities affiliate Grace Institute for its award winning, free job training.

She graduated last October, the same day Jean Carlos slipped into his final coma.