Make the Most of Lent

March 12th, 2015

Helping people is simple; it starts with taking action.

  • Your neighbor, your relative, the old man you pass on the street – You know they’re in need.
  • Reach out; offer a helping hand.
  • Join us this Lenten season as we provide help and create hope for our fellow New Yorkers.
Throughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities for updated tips and inspiration.

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Is Running the NYC Marathon on Your Bucket List?

March 11th, 2015

2014TCSNYCM-CCharitiesBillboard
You’re just in time to join the Big Team in the Big City. That’s us, Team Catholic Charities NY running in the TCS New York City Marathon.

Catholic Charities is one of the official charity participants for the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon

There are only a few ways to get into this exclusive event:

• Elite runners qualify based on running time.
• Lucky ones – just 6 percent – get selected through a lottery. Members of New York Road Runners (NYRR) qualify by running 9 races and volunteering for one.
• And remarkable people like you qualify by running for charity.

Join Team Catholic Charities.

Questions?

Email us at TeamCathCharitiesNY@archny.org. Call us at 646-794-2570.

President & Congress Guide Immigration Law — Not Texas Judge

March 10th, 2015
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El Diario, the premier Spanish-language newspaper, turns to Catholic Charities Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services C. Mario Russell for regular updates on immigration reform.

Questions about the impact of Texas Judge Andrew Hanen on immigration reform?

Read Mr. Russell’s latest El Diario column below:

By C. Mario Russell

The lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states against President Obama’s Deferred Action program for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants was bound to draw the attention of the federal courts. And with over 670 federal judges in the United States, one of them—Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas—was bound to find a reason disagree with the President. Because, in his view, Texas would have to absorb the cost of issuing more state driver’s licenses to immigrants who qualified for Deferred Action, last week Judge Hanen ordered that the programs be put on hold. This was to be expected.

On Monday, lawyers for the government filed court papers requesting that the judge’s decision be reversed and that the federal programs immediately be allowed to go forward. This also was to be expected.

This litigation back-and-forth will last for a while, with more preliminary legal battles and more substantive decisions to come from the judge and from the Court of Appeals. Some of the decisions will be appealed further, possibly to the Supreme Court of the United States, which would have the last word. This, too, is to be expected.

Read the rest of this entry »

Funding Government Programs Could Reduce Poverty by 70%!

March 9th, 2015

Three of New York City’s largest religious organizations say local poverty could be reduced by nearly 70% by adding billions of dollars in funding to several government programs, reports a just-released article in the Wall Street Journal.

The study, released today by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and the UJA-Federation of New York, reports this Wall Street Journal excerpt:

…found that targeted spending on government programs like transitional jobs, tax credits for seniors and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, known as SNAP, could lower the rate of poverty in the city by 44% to 69%.

Roughly 20% of New York City residents live below the poverty level, according to data from 2009 to 2013 released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study, conducted by the Urban Institute, found that a $6.4 billion to $9 billion investment in seven government programs— transitional jobs, minimum wage, earnings supplements, tax credits for seniors and those with disabilities, SNAP benefits, child care subsidies and housing vouchers—would have a dramatic effect on poverty across the five boroughs. The study was based on 2012 data.

“This is about the basics of human dignity,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “They have a right to adequate housing. They have a right to decent meals.”

Officials with the religious groups said they had reached out to both Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss the report’s findings.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Also, find out more in Crains New York.

Cardinal Egan

March 6th, 2015

remembering-cardinalegan

Today we say adieux to Cardinal Egan.   While we will miss him greatly, we wish him well in his new heavenly home.

Much has already been said and much more will be written on the occasion of his death yesterday at age 82.  Let me share a few items from the perspective of Catholic Charities that may not have been captured elsewhere.

My words are understandably biased.  Cardinal Egan appointed me as Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York shortly after the tragedy of 9/11.  I was privileged to work together with him.   Here are some of the reasons I think he deserves  appreciation for the time he served as Archbishop of New York

He visited our Catholic Charities agencies and programs, meeting regularly and consistently with the people we help and those doing the helping.  Because he was warm and caring with them, all left feeling uplifted and supported, both with the difficult lives they lived and the difficult work they did.   Thank you, Cardinal Egan.

He built the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities,  a dedicated and generous group of New York leaders who undergird  and oversee the support we provide New Yorkers in need.  To attract these talented individuals he passed on his role as Chair of the Board to John Phelan, the former chair of the New York Stock Exchange.

In multiple ways Cardinal Egan encouraged generous philanthropic support for Catholic Charities.  One of his key initiatives involved his own Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity that he intentionally renamed the Cardinal’s Committee for Charity.  He directed the focus of this group of New York business and civic leaders to provide Catholic Charities with financial resources and counsel to amplify the services we provide and the number of people we serve.

To support partnership between the government and the charitable work of the Church he interfaced with officials in a quiet sophisticated way apart from the limelight.  When issues arose that could have damaged this partnership his efforts were effective in preventing actions that could have hurt poor and vulnerable New Yorkers of all religions.

It is also worth noting on this 50th anniversary of the equal rights march from Selma to Montgomery Cardinal Egan’s  presence during the tumultuous sixties in sharing our Church’s vision for the common good.   He was a regular participant with clergy in Chicago, one of  America’s major urban centers, as they worked to overcome racial and social injustice.

In short, Cardinal Egan effectively supported, blessed and encouraged growth of the fair and charitable work of the Church. During his tenure, the 90 affiliated agencies of the Catholic Charities federation grew from providing $500 million to $750 million of services, support that provides help and creates hope for all New Yorkers in need.

And so, again, adieux, fair well, and thank you.  Cardinal Egan, please keep in mind in heaven the needs of those of us still here below – especially, those for whom Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope.

- Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Harlem Girl Says She Doesn’t Like Police

March 5th, 2015

FullSizeRenderBy Alice Kenny

The words of a four-year-old Harlem girl, “I don’t like the police,” sparked a gathering of over 100 children and 40 police officers at Catholic Charities Joseph P. Kennedy Center on February 21.

The little girl, spooked by what she heard about police shootings of unarmed black men, made her comment to Jackie Rowe, founder of Harlem Mother SAVE, an organization founded by mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

“Jackie realized at that point how our babies are affected by what they see and hear from the news, adults and teens,” says Deacon Rodney Beckford who runs center that held the event.  “Indeed, there is the effect police officers have on the community as they carry out their duty while babies watch.”

So Ms. Rowe and community affairs police officers decided to host a small event with a few children to dispel the notion that police are bad.

Instead, the event, held on a stormy winter day, was packed with Harlem children, police chiefs, captains, sergeants and patrolmen.  For four hours mounted police took selfies with children, jumped double dutch, flopped in a two-story bounce ride brought in by the police and painted faces with a clown.

New York City’s highest ranked uniform officer, NYPD Department Chief James O’Neill, fielded questions from children ages 3 – 15 as fellow police gave out NYPD basketballs and ate pizza with the children.

“To bring families and communities together is what Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center exists to do in the Harlem community,” says Deacon Beckford.  “That’s what we at Catholic Charities are called to do day in and day out.”

Catholic Charities Faces Off Against Judicial Order Live On ABC7

March 4th, 2015

CMarioRussellTiempoBy Alice Kenny

Join Mario Russell from Catholic Charities and Senator Adriano Espaillat on ABC7 as they take on the controversial judicial order that just blocked immigration reform.

“I think (the judge) is hiding the ball,” Mr. Russell, Catholic Charities Director of Immigration and Refugee Services tells ABC7 host Joe Torres on the Sunday talk show. “The President isn’t doing anything new that hasn’t been done before.  Deferred action is given all the time.  Employment is just a side benefit.”

So what should the 338,000 potentially eligible people in New York do in the mean time?

“This is a momentary block… that the courts will work out over time,” Mr. Russell says.

“What’s key and this is what we do at Catholic Charities is we work to keep people informed. We give presentations.  We go to community meetings. We’ve met with over a thousand people…sending the same messages-

“Don’t be afraid.  Stay informed.  Continue working on developing the evidence of your case, whether its evidence of residency, of your identity, anything else.”

Watch and learn as Mr. Russell and Senator Espaillat take this controversy head on.

 

 

Share Your Career Tips with Teens

March 3rd, 2015

Catholic Charities, Career day. photo by Stefano GiovanniniBy Alice Kenny

Share your career tips with struggling teens yearning for success.

Join us at our annual Career Day in Washington Heights.

Catholic Charities Alianza Division offers its annual Career Day on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

  • Speak with teens about your career and what it takes to make it work.
  • Help us introduce teens to the world of professional opportunities open to them.

Career Day is part of our Learning to Work program, an in-depth job readiness and career exploration program at the Innovation Diploma Plus High School.

Whatever your vocation, from personal trainer to doctor or chef, you will find an interested audience.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Click to register now.

 

Free Immigration Conference — Run By New York Experts

March 2nd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Don’t get lost in litigation over President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration reform.

Sign up now for a free conference run by immigration experts.

Learn about the President’s proposed action that:

  •  Provides for unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA)
  •  Expands  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
  •  Includes other important initiatives

Take part in key-note presentations led by:

  • Faith leaders
  • Federal, state, and local officials, legal service agencies
  • Community-based agencies
  • National immigrant rights groups.

Participate in discussions that:

  • Examine federal, New York State and New York City policy, outreach, and Executive Action initiatives.
  • Explore legal services mobilization efforts by public and private entities and other collaborative programs in New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley, focused on outreach, public education on benefit eligibility and the risk of fraud, and provision of legal screening, representation and advocacy.
  • Address the role of non-legal, community-based institutions, particularly Catholic parishes, in ensuring the program’s success.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Catholic Migration Services of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) will host this all-day event.

When:  March 25. 2014

Where:  The Sheen Center (in lower Manhattan).

Learn more.

Click to register now.

 Or email your name, title, organization and email address to cms@cmsny.org.