Posts Tagged ‘catholic’

Teens Team Up to Fight Hunger

Monday, February 10th, 2014

WHITE PLAINS — Christopher Martinez hefted a cardboard box containing non-perishables like Cheerios and Wacky Mac macaroni headed for the hungry, reports Alex Taylor in The Journal News.

“I wanted to come here because I wanted to help people,” said Martinez, 15, a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Yonkers and member of the St. Peter’s Parish. “Just seeing people in the street when I have so much at my house.”

About 50 Catholic and Jewish teens gathered at UJA’s Westchester offices in White Plains on Sunday afternoon to sort and pack a room piled high with hundreds of bottles, cans and cartons of nonperishable food as part of an interfaith food drive. The outpouring of donations were later delivered to local food pantries.

The event held capped off ‘Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response, ‘ organized by Catholic Charities and the United Jewish Appeal. This Archdiocesan-Wide Drive to Replenish Food Pantries ran from Sunday, January 26th – Sunday, February 2nd 2014. Its goal was to provide 1,000,000 additional meals for hungry New Yorkers, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.
The documented increase in hunger among New York children and families combined with the Senate’s recent vote for yet deeper cuts in the SNAP food stamp program makes the impact of this campaign, now in its third year, even more profound.

One out of five New York families now struggles to feed their children. As a result, hungry families, children and the elderly are braving snow, ice and freezing temperatures to reach local food banks. Catholic Charities food banks served 48% more meals in December 2013 compared with one year earlier.

At Sunday’s event, William Gregson expressed concern about the number of New Yorkers who go hungry on a regular basis.

“I just want to make sure everybody who is in need can get food,” said Gregson, 15, a student at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua.

Check out this Journal News video interview with Catholic Charities Catholic Charities Special Assistant to the Director Luz Tavarez-Salazar who is coordinating the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign .

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.

Msgr. Sullivan Invites You to Join in Pope Francis’ Campaign to Combat Hunger

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

To combat the growing epidemic of hunger, Pope Francis launches a worldwide campaign to combat hunger today, Tuesday, December 10.

This effort, ‘One Human Family, Food for All,’ is led by Caritas Internationalis, the association of Catholic Charities agencies from around the world.

Thanks to the help of many, each year, Catholic Charities provides nutritious meals for tens of thousands of our New York neighbors –Non-Catholic and Catholic alike.  Recently, our Catholic Charities agencies met to discuss the increasing demand for food in their communities.  Once again this year, Catholic Charities will spearhead the Feeding Our Neighbors effort with a goal of raising food and funds for one million additional meals.  Feeding Our Neighbors also seeks to raise awareness and be a strong voice for those who do not have enough food.

At 12 Noon on December 10, I will join in prayer with Pope Francis and millions of people throughout the world, to end to hunger.  Will you also please pause for five minutes of prayer and reflection?

May this be an Advent season of hope for our hungry neighbors.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Filling Thanksgiving Plates

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Collaborating once again in a unified effort to tackle hunger, Catholic Charities and UJA-Federation of New York kicked off our second joint Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response initiative on Sunday, November 24, 2013, at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood.  Volunteers assembled 750 Thanksgiving and Hanukkah–themed kosher food packages for distribution to low-income, homebound residents of Washington Heights through a Catholic Charities food pantry and UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies.

This marked the first in a series of specific efforts this season to strengthen the resources for food pantries so they can collect and distribute one million meals throughout New York during winter’s cruelest months.

In the five boroughs, hunger affects approximately 1.4 million individuals. In addition, approximately 2.6 million — or nearly one in three — New Yorkers experience difficulty affording food for themselves and their families. Meanwhile, approximately 1.9 million New Yorkers across all faiths and ethnic communities rely on SNAP, the food stamp program that undergone funding cuts.

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 raise awareness about the issue of hunger and food insufficiency in the community. Through the shared values of “No hungry neighbor should be turned away” and “Let all who are hungry come and eat” the Catholic and Jewish communities collectively pledge to make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry and in need. The interfaith initiative stems from Catholic Charities’ Feeding Our Neighbors campaign, an effort to fight hunger by replenishing dwindling supplies in emergency food programs that continue to be stretched thin.

“Catholic Charities is proud to partner with UJA-Federation on this initiative to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community. Unfortunately, so many families in our community rely on these to survive,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “Over the next few months, with the disturbing cuts to SNAP, our joint projects are even more important for New York’s neediest.”

UJA-Federation and Catholic Charities will meet once again in January when Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Msgr. Sullivan and Dr. Ruskay will collect food packages outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral for distribution to a Catholic Charities food pantry and to a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency.

Watch this FOX 5 clip of the event 

See more on NY1 

Help us feed our neighbors.

 

 

 

 

God, Family and Running; Why I’m Running for Team Catholic Charities

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

By Julie Palomba

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) And for that I am truly grateful for God has blessed me with a very full, wonderful life filled with more adventure, love and happiness than I could have ever imagined!

The deepest passions that fill my heart are simple: God, family and running. I see the second two as just an extension of the first.  They are the reasons I get out of bed in the morning. They are on my mind when I go to bed at night. These three passions are what you will find me talking about to anyone who will listen. Mathew 12:34 says: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. Wow; that is true for me as I am eager to talk to anyone about Jesus, my family and/ or running 24 hours a day.

I grew up in Detroit, lived around the country but now am settled in North Carolina. I was raised Catholic and have come to appreciate this fact more as I get older.  I love being a part of my parish and actively participate in their various ministries. It’s just awesome to feel God’s presence daily, respond to His call and feel it is never too late to grow as a Christian.

My family truly inspires me. I have been married 31 years and have five grown children. None of our children were really runners during high school or college but over the years each one has taken up the challenge of competitive running. We love getting together for running events!

I personally did not start running seriously until about four years ago.  Never being very athletic growing up, my first half marathon was a BIG accomplishment for me. I trained, prayed, trained some more and then God carried me through the last three miles of the last incline. Since then, I have been hooked.

I have lost count of the number of events I have completed but I cherish the moments more than the milestones. Each event has its own story but my favorite events are those that I run for charity or with my family. It makes me feel I am a part of something bigger than just myself.  Through all the pain, injuries and sometimes, even tears, I know it is all good!

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Help support Julie’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how:  www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/juliepalombo

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eileen and Peter Grunert

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Sister and brother Eileen and Peter Grunert are making a difference in New York City. Through the Catholic Charities Junior Board they created a new volunteer project for members and friends at the Catholic Charities Community Services Thrift Store, located in the South Bronx. Nearly every month, Eileen and Peter, along with Junior Board members and friends volunteer to sort, tag, price, and organize donations to be sold at the Thrift Store. The group is welcome with open arms and smiles, so appreciative of their assistance.

Eileen is a graduate of the College of the  Holy Cross and currently works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  Her roots in volunteerism go back to church activities, candy-striper at a local hospital in high school, and then as a tutor in college. She eventually moved to NYC and became involved in the Catholic Charities Junior Board when it was first formed in 2008. Eileen was instrumental in the creation of the Midnight Run volunteer opportunity and eventually stepped down to start another Junior Board project….volunteering at the Thrift Store. Eileen credits her parents and her Jesuit education for inspiring her volunteerism. Between balancing work and volunteer activities, Eileen spends her “spare” time with family and friends, reads, and watches Big Bang Theory.

When asked – Why did you choose Catholic Charities as a means to volunteer? – Eileen said, “This organization is very special in that it not only promotes volunteerism, but also weaves in many other important aspects such as faith and meeting other young Catholics in the city.  I’ve made new friends and had wonderful experiences here to date.”

Peter Grunert joined the Junior Board after settling into life in NYC. He is a graduate of Loyola University, Maryland and employed by Citigroup. Similar to Eileen, Peter began volunteering in high school — participating in a service trip to the Dominican Republic — and furthered his commitment to service in college. His Jesuit education was a big impact in Peter’s life and continues to motivate him to give back to the community. Since first introduced to the Junior Board by sister Eileen, Peter was off to a running start, becoming active in multiple committees and activities. After visiting the Thrift Store, he knew that was where he could make the biggest impact.  In addition to volunteering with Catholic Charities, Peter is involved with other groups including Year Up New York and Back on my Feet. To keep things light, Peter enjoys running.

Peter hopes to continue to volunteer throughout your life…”My aim is to always contribute to the broader goals of justice and service, be it volunteering my time, fundraising, offering my support, or in some other meaningful way.”

To learn more and join Eileen and Peter in supporting the Thrift Store, email Staci Bruce, Director of Volunteer Services, at ccvolunteer@archny.org.

76th Annual CYO Club of Champions Tribute and Dinner Raises $700,000 to Support Children and Youth

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Alfred F. Kelly (center), President and CEO of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Company, receives the CYO Club of Champions Gold Medal Award, in recognition of his tireless support of and participation in CYO as both coach and benefactor.

A full lineup of champions was honored at the 76th Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Clubof Champions Tribute and Dinner on Wednesday, June 6, at The Waldorf=Astoria. 750 guests attended the gala event, which raised a record-breaking $700,000 to support children and youth in CYO programs throughout the Archdiocese of New York. (View event photos on Facebook)

The Gold Medal Award,  presented annually to an individual who has provided inspiration and leadership for the youth of New York City, was presented to Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., President and CEO of the 2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee.  Mr. Kelly has been a longtime supporter of CYO, both as a benefactor and as a coach.

“When I do the math,” said Kelly, “with all the coaching, playing myself, and yes, scorekeeping, I’ve calculated that 42 percent of my life has been associated with CYO.”

Kelly also praised the work of CYO in the lives of youth today, saying:

“In a world where young people communicate in a modern-day form of Morse code, text messaging with numerous shortcuts, CYO provides an alternative,” said Mr. Kelly. “CYO, through its art shows, its summer camps, its ministry programs, cheerleading and sports programs, promotes verbal communication—imagine!—wellness, teamwork, friendship, sportsmanship and values. It is these qualities that form the bedrock of becoming a good person. It is these core elements of life, under the umbrella of our Catholic faith, that helps young people get ready for the migration to college, and ultimately adulthood.” Listen to Alfred F. Kelly’s full speech from the CYO Club of Champions Dinner.

Justin Tuck, All-Pro Defensive End of the New York Giants, received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award, given to individuals who have exhibited exceptional sportsmanship throughout their careers. Tuck, who with his wife, Lauran Williamson Tuck, have donated reading materials to support schools in the New York City and central Alabama communities, had this to say about giving back: “I hope that my legacy is about more than getting after Tom Brady a couple of times — but about affecting a change, helping young people take advantage of the education that is afforded to them. I hope I can look back and say that I gave these kids had the opportunities that I’ve been afforded in life.”

Alec J. McAuley, Director of CYO of the Archdiocese of New York, and Joseph E. Panepinto, Director of Staten Island Catholic Charities, received the Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award for their outstanding commitment to youth.

Honorary Co-Chairs of the event included His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, NFL Commissioner Roger S. Goodell, Mrs. Margaret F. Grace and Mrs. Wellington T. Mara. 

The Dinner Co-Chairs were: Mr. and Mrs. William P. Harrington, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel T. Henry, Mr. and Mrs. John K. Mara and Mr. Roger Staubach.  All proceeds from the event will supported CYO programs that serve thousands of children and young people — non-Catholic and Catholic alike– throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

Monsignor Peter Finn, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island, delivered the invocation for the evening. Edward Cardinal Egan delivered closing remarks, thanking the honorees for their presence and their support. “I can think of nothing more beautiful than seeing to it that the next generation is well-formed and well instructed, close to the Lord and close to all that is good. And that’s what CYO is about.”

CYO, a division of Catholic Charities, reaches out to more than 28,000 children and youth in the Archdiocese of New York through hundreds of local sports programs, cultural activities, summer camps, community centers, Youth Ministry Programs and retreat centers. Through this broad array of recreational and spiritual growth and development opportunities, CYO promotes lives of promise, accomplishment and hope for young New Yorkers.

Rockland County Community Garden Provides Healthy Food for the Hungry

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

View more photos of the Blessing of the Soil and the Youth Art Show on Facebook. http://on.fb.me/Kuaosj

There is something special growing in Rockland County. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland (CCSR) is making it possible for the local community to take advantage of fresh, healthy produce grown on-site at the agency’s community garden, named the “Garden of Love.”

For the third year in a row, the growing season was kicked off with hunger awareness art exhibition and a “Blessing of the Soil” ceremony. The ceremony celebrated CCSR’s successful efforts to raise community awareness of hunger and the need to build an integrated, sustainable, and cost-effective response.

Monsignor J. Weber, vicar of Rockland County, was joined by Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Michael Kohut, mayor of Haverstraw. Head chefs from local restaurants, including Guarino’s, Ditto, Union Restaurant, La Hacienda de Manuel, Antoine’s, McGuire’s, and others presented cooking demonstrations focusing on healthy eating and the use of vegetables as ingredients and main courses.

The Youth Hunger Awareness Artwork Project displayed artwork by Rockland County youth focused on the theme of hunger. The public got the chance to learn about the preparation of vegetarian cuisine, meet the young artists and their instructors and learn about the growing problem of hunger in America.