Posts Tagged ‘Catholics’

Celebrating World Autism Day – and the Differences That Make Us Special

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Join us as we celebrate World Autism Day.

Through a network of specialized services, Catholic Charities empowers and cares compassionately for the most vulnerable New Yorkers – non-Catholics and Catholics alike. The developmentally disabled child, the senior adjusting to recent blindness and the emotionally challenged adult need the intensive care and support provided by Catholic Charities to live with dignity and in safety.

“Do not fear people with Autism; embrace them,” says Paul Isaacs, a young writer with autism.
“Do not spite people with Autism; unite them.
“Do not deny people with Autism; accept them for then their abilities will shine.”

Are you or someone you know facing a physical or emotional challenge and looking for help?
Visit us at Catholic Charities and find out more.

Trying Where Others Have Given Up One Person at a Time

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Read Monsignor Kevin Sullivan’s speech at the 2013 Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Dinner :

 

Thank you.

Tonight, with dubious judgment, you graciously present me this medallion named after a black immigrant, slave and saint.  This white, free-born Amercian sinner is appreciative, humbled, inspired and burdened.

I accept this medallion on behalf of Catholic Charities’ thousands of trustees, staff, volunteers and benefactors, who provide help and create hope to New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike – black, brown, yellow and white, overwhelmingly poor and vulnerable, each made in the image of God, worthy of dignity, life and love.

I commend Brother Tyrone and the commissioners of the Office of Black Ministry for devoting the proceeds of this dinner to advancing the education of future leaders, both here and in Haiti.  Nothing is more important.

This 50th anniversary year of the March on Washington compels us tonight to not avoid the issue of race, and I include ethnicity.

That we have – and need – a black ministry office, testifies that race continues to haunt us as both society and church.

That we have a large and expanding Catholic Charities bears witness to our failures to implement the dream of many – including Martin Luther King, Pierre Toussaint, Dorothy Day, and not least, an itinerant preacher from Nazareth named Jesus.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, the poorest and most vulnerable of our society.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, black and brown New Yorkers.  To not correlate these two is to perpetuate the inequality that makes us less as a nation and less as a church.

Pierre Toussaint’s cause for sainthood is so compelling: personal responsibility and social responsibility, the dignity of work, a vibrant faith that integrates the worship of God and love of neighbor.

We are beneficiaries of Pierre Toussaint’s legacy.  We must accept being its burden bearers.

As a society we need to affirm and advance the dignity of work: in cleaning our buildings, teaching our children, driving our buses, caring for our elderly and infirm, on 700 street corners across this nation where 120,000 day laborers gather – and even far away, in the garment factories of  Bangladesh where workers earn $32 a month.  And yes, even in the neighborhood hairdressers, and the butler in the White House.

As a church we cannot remain satisfied with periodic liturgies that celebrate diversity in song and vestment.  These are necessary and life giving, and insiring.  And it is good and holy that “his eye is on the sparrow and he watches over me.”  But let us also make sure that his eye is on board rooms and markets, workplaces and jails.  Let us make certain that he watches over those places, as well.

As Catholic Charities, we must stop smugly touting the diversity in our waiting rooms filled with black and brown families.  Our boast should be that our board rooms and executive management meetings, our investment managers and vendors are black and brown.  Not yet, I am afraid to say, but I too, have a dream.

And to our neighbors of all faiths and no faith who say “amen” to these points, we invite you one more step.  We will pray and we will worship.  We need a God to inspire, support, and challenge us forward – a God whose image within us and everyone else needs to be acknowledged.  And we say to our neighbors, who may not share all our values, we need to be respected, allowed to be inspired by our faith, and exercise those values as together we create the common good.

I appreciate being here with so many who share an ardent desire to make our diverse world more compassionate, equal and just – especially regarding race.   You and I know that actions that put flesh on that ardent desire get a bit uncomfortable, and generate heat.

Let me end by sharing a refrain from a song by Pink that has haunted me for the past few months:

“Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame,
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned,
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.”

Fellow beneficiaries and fellow burden bearers of Pierre Toussaint and many others, we gotta get up and try.

Thank you.

Upstate Catholic Charities Agencies Are Reaching Out to Help Downstate Sandy Victims

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Upstate non-Catholics  and  Catholics alike came together to support those downstate affected by Superstorm Sandy.  Through special collections, fundraisers, school events, and generous individual contributions, the total amount raised by the Catholic Church and its ministries in the five upstate dioceses was $1,364,822.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany Diocese and representing the five upstate bishops.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still recovering from this storm, and these donations will be put to work right away.  We want our fellow New Yorkers, and all affected by the storm, to know that we stand in solidarity with you during this period of recovery.”

Bishop Hubbard, along with his colleagues throughout all New York, issued a special collection for Sandy Relief shortly after the storm wreaked its havoc.  Schools, parishes and the community quickly pulled together vital supplies and arranged to bring them to the disaster zone. A large symbolic check representing the donations raised was presented to Catholic Charities representatives in the three downstate dioceses hardest hit by Sandy including the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The response is especially noteworthy, considering that at a similar time the previous year gifts were coming into upstate New York to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is the overall managing agency administering outreach efforts to help people in 34 counties throughout New York State still recovering from these earlier storms.

In accepting the check from the upstate dioceses, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the New York Archdiocese, said, “In every community of New York State, every day, Catholic Charities helps individuals and families to resolve problems and rebuild lives. When Sandy devastated so many communities in New York City and Long Island, Catholic Charities was present to be able to respond immediately to alleviate hardships and help hurting families. In the immediate aftermath and for the long-term, the range of Catholic Charities services are available to meet critical human needs.”