Posts Tagged ‘family’

My Family’s Faith Has Been Tested but Endured

Monday, September 30th, 2013

By Joe Zenkus

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The Gospel of John Chapter 16 conveys the importance of sticking to your beliefs and living with and by those beliefs regardless of challenges you may face.

My family’s faith has been tested but endured. We lost three young family members while I grew up and we grieved together and then pushed on.

Two of the three may have been prevented; that is why I am running the NYC ING Marathon for the Team Catholic Charities to help potentially prevent other families from suffering such losses. In addition, I am running in memory of my cousins Marc P. Zenkus (1982-2000) & Shawn M. Hendrickson (1978-1998) who both were lost to early.

The Catholic Charities work to strengthen families through multiple services including preventative services for families struggling with substance abuse and other challenges. I am looking forward to raising money to help families receive counseling, recover and overcome substance abuse.

Personally, on November 3rd of this year, I look to overcoming 26.2 miles for the first time ever. Actually, I have never run more than 10 miles until this week! Now is my time of tribulation, but you will see me again at the finish line in Central Park after overcoming maybe not the world but at least New York.

Help support Joe’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how:

Immigration Change to Ease Family Separations

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

“Obama administration officials unveiled rules on Wednesday that will allow many American citizens — perhaps hundreds of thousands — to avoid long separations from immediate family members who are illegal immigrants as they apply to become legal residents.” Read more from The New York Times.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps family members navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

If you need help in finding the services you need, please call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline,1-800-566-7636.



Peter Pan Child Shares Her Gift

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Clara Salas, the cheerful voice at the other end of the Catholic Charities NY Information and Referral Help Line, spoke recently about her cloak-and-dagger childhood. It includes brushes with Castro’s Cuba, clandestine intervention by the CIA and critical support from Catholic Charities.

Clara, at age 14, was spirited into the United States in 1961 as part of CIA project code name Operation Peter Pan. The operation flew more than 14,000 Cuban children into the U.S. after rumors spread that Fidel Castro’s Communist government planned to kidnap Cuban sons and daughters from their parents and send them to Soviet military and labor camps.

Similar to many of her fellow “Peter Pan children,” Clara received support from Catholic Charities after she arrived. It paid her tuition and room and board at Catholic high school academies and ensured that her needs were met until her parents finally escaped from Cuba five years later. Since then, Clara has rebuilt her life. A United States citizen since 1971, she was elected executive secretary for Community Board 4 in Queens, sits on the Elmhurst Hospital Community Advisory Board and plans to complete a doctorate degree in social work at Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

“Life takes strange turns,” Clara said. “Now, at Catholic Charities, I get to give people the guidance and comfort I received when I was a child and first arrived here.”

Please call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900 or click here to learn more.