Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

Parallels Between My Jewish Faith & the Mission of Catholic Charities

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

meiraFordham University social work graduate student Meira Zack is completing an 8-month internship with Catholic Charities Community Services.

By Meira Zack

I am Jewish and interning here at Catholic Charities has been my first real exposure to Catholicism and its observances. What better place to experience it than the Archdiocese!

As a religious individual, I have always been inspired by the mission-driven attitude behind our work at Catholic Charities Community Services.  This meaningful connection was intensified for me by the period of Lent and the Lenten message repeated in multiple agency emails: “Forty days before Easter when, through prayer, sacrifice and helping others, we transform our Christian love into action.”

This message particularly spoke to me because it parallels the three-fold mantra of the Jewish High Holy Days “Teshuva, Tefeela, uTzedaka, ma’aveerin et ro’ah hagezayra – Repentance, Prayer, and Giving revoke the evil decree.”

It inspired me to meditate on the messages of Teshuva, Tefeela, and Tzedaka, and what they have meant to me in the context of my time here at Catholic Charities.

  • Teshuva/Repentance – repairing damage done and healing wounds between self and God and self and others.  At Catholic Charities Community Services, we repair the relationship between society and its vulnerable populations; we help clients repair damage done in their personal lives.
  • Tefeela/Prayer – faith in God, supplication to God, dialogue with God; communal prayer and solidarity.  At Catholic Charities Community Services we are in a unique position where clients may ask us to pray with or for them; where they may turn to us for religious inspiration and hope.
  • Tzedaka/Giving – giving of one’s self, time, and money.  At Catholic Charities Community Services, we not only give of our time and selves in the work we do every do with clients, but also of our own resources in raising funds for the St. Nicholas Project and pantry items for Feeding Our Neighbors.

The united messages of “prayer-sacrifice-helping others” and “repentance-prayer-giving” teach the same lessons of repair, giving, honesty and togetherness with a focus on God as inspiration, partner, and conduit for “providing help, creating hope, and upholding the dignity of each person as made in the image of God by serving the basic needs of the poor, troubled, frail and oppressed of all religions.”

This is the vision and mission of Catholic Charities.

Celebrate Good Friday with Our Final Lenten Tip of the Day

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

“To live charitably means not looking out for our own interests,” says Pope Francis, “but carrying the burdens of the weakest and poorest among us.”

Each year we provide charity, help and create hope for nearly 400,000 of our neighbors in need.

Join us.

Throughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities for updated tips and inspiration.

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Make the Most of Lent

Thursday, 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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40 Days to Change Your World

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Lent. Forty days before Easter when, through prayer, sacrifice and helping others, we transform our Christian love into action.

Sounds good but how exactly do we do this?

Now — and throughout the Lenten season — we give you our Lenten Messages of Inspiration.

“There are few guarantees but this one I’m betting on,” says Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.”Those who do these three Lenten practices – praying more, sacrificing more and helping others more – will find themselves in a better place when Easter comes around.”

Looking for more inspiration?

Throughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities for updated tips and inspiration.


Lott Seniors Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Catholic Charities Junior Board members partied with seniors at Catholic Charities’ Lott Residence, a home for the elderly in Harlem, in celebration of Mardi Gras.

They danced to a wide range of Bayou beats, feasted on fruit platters, and threw beads while their faces were masqueraded.

“This was a great opportunity for Junior Board members to socialize with our friends at the Lott Residence and spend time with those who are eager to share their stories and listen to ours,” said Catholic Charities Junior Board Member Kellen Dougherty.

“Although our friends at the Lott live in an assisted living facility, the amount of energy and joy that emanates from these residents is incredible, and an inspiration to all of us on the Junior Board.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Lott so we can maintain and strengthen the friendships we have made with so many residents there.”

The event marked one of dozens of volunteer opportunities available this Easter season.

Check them out; Join us and let the good times roll.

Daily Lenten Challenge

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Lenten crossThroughout the Lenten season, check in with Catholic Charities New York for creative ways to engage more fully with the 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Check this post daily during the week for updated tips and inspiration for how to make the most of Lent. Leave comments below to share how you are doing with your Lenten commitments, and with these daily challenges.

For extra support, sign up to receive these daily messages via email here.

April 2 ~ Adopt a Family. Looking to make a difference in the world by the end of Lent? Adopt a family in need through the St. Nicholas Project. By supporting this project, you provide critical social services year-round to families in need in our community.

March 30 ~  Be frugal. Each dollar saved can help a child who is truly hungry. $5 can help us:

…feed one hungry child for 2 days

…provide a family with 3 days of fresh fruits and vegetables

…feed a mother and her child for one day

March 29 ~ Give to a thrift store today. Donate old housewares to a charity thrift store, like the Catholic Charities Community Services Thrift Store, and help support the homes of our neighbors in need.

March 28 ~ Help someone smile today. Integrate a few small — perhaps even anonymous — acts of kindness into your day. What will you do? Share your story in the comments field below this post.

March 27 ~ Remind yourself of your Lenten pledges today, and take some time to re-ignite your commitments. There are many ways to give back through Catholic Charities.

March 26 ~Pray for those who generously serve our neighbors in need within our 90 agencies throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

March 23 ~ Provide a meal for those suffering from hunger today. Donate food or volunteer at a food pantry near you. Last year, Catholic Charities provided 6.5 million meals for the hungry.

March 22 ~ Practice Patience. Take the time to answer questions with extra patience and thoughtfulness today. Be kind to strangers who stop you for directions. Be generous to a coworker in need of assistance.  Learn about the compassionate services Catholic Charities provides every day for those in our community with special needs.

March 21 ~ Pray for those who are homeless, for families in the shelter system, and for those who are searching for a home. Take action to help the homeless by volunteering with our Junior Board’s Midnight Runs.

March 20 ~ Welcome and Support Immigrants and Refugees. Know someone who has a question about immigration or refugee services in New York? Make a note to direct them to the Catholic Charities Immigration Hotline for free, professional consultation. Today, the immigration hotline answered 119 calls for help and advice in 18 different languages. The Catholic Charities Immigration Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

March 19 ~ Pray for the unemployed in our community. Catholic Charities helped 7,900 people with job training and placement this past year.

March 16 ~ Take an active role in our political process. Learn about ways to advocate for a just society, and how Catholic Charities works to make this possible.

March 15 ~ Pray for families today. Each year, our agency network helps more than 3,300 families stay together.

March 14 ~ Learn about your Community

Today, put aside some time to learn more about your community. In what ways are your neighbors in need? In what ways can you help? Learn your state’s or your neighborhood’s hunger statistics — you might be surprised.  And check out the services that provided by our 90 agencies. There is one near you, working hard each day to help your neighbors.

March 13 ~ Join a Group

The best way to adopt a habit of generosity and selflessness is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Join a community of leaders dedicated to charity.

Cardinal’s Committee for Charity

The Catholic Charities Junior Board

March 12 ~ Make Your Commitments Mobile

Make the most of each day in Lent – even in the midst of a busy life. Check out this list of web-based and mobile resources to help you keep prayer, fasting and almsgiving central to this sacred season.

March 9 ~ Make a Small Sacrifice

On this Lenten Friday, sacrifice the cost of a small or large indulgence today to help feed a family in need. Instead of a latte and pastry, a $10 can provide fresh produce for a hungry family. Instead of dinner at a restaurant, a $50 gift can provide safe shelter for a mother and her children. 

March 8 ~ Support Fair Trade

While shopping for yourself or your family, buy fair trade products when possible. This ensures that workers are paid a fair wage and that sustainable production practices are being followed. Buying fair trade coffee is an excellent – and easy – place to start. Catholic Charities supports international social justice across the globe.

March 7 ~ Find Ways to Give Back

Use your talents to support a meaningful cause. The Catholic Charities Junior Board provides opportunities for leadership and service.

March 6 ~ Welcoming Newcomers

Be kind and generous to your New York neighbors. Learn about Catholic Charities’ heritage of welcoming immigrants and refugees.

March 5 ~ Resolving Crises

Give emotional support to someone in need today. Talk to a friend in need or write a letter – anything to show that you care.

Catholic Charities provides compassionate and professional therapy  to more than 3,000 individuals each year.

March 2 ~ Nurturing Children

Spend some time today talking to a child in your life. Pray that he or she has the opportunities necessary to succeed in life and reach their full potential.

Each year, Catholic Charities helps more than 4,000 children reach their potential through day care and Head Start programs.

March 1 ~ Catholic Social Teaching

Learn about Catholic Social Teaching, and how we are called to help others. Be a part of Catholic Charities’ advocacy for social justice and human dignity.

February 29 ~ Help your neighbors

Help a neighbor in danger of eviction preserve their home by directing them to help at Catholic Charities. The team at Catholic Charities prevents eviction for more than 4,800 families each year, and helps an additional 17,000 individuals in need find emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent affordable housing. Learn more.

February 28 ~ Pray for Others

Pray for those in our community who are struggling to live even the most modest lives. For a glimpse into the life of one of your neighbors in need, read about a man we are helping to support his family and achieve a better life.

Little to Show for Strong Work Ethic and a Degree

February 27 ~Building New Habits.

Today, adopt one small daily or weekly selfless habit that you will pledge to continue throughout Lent, and make good deeds part of your everyday life.

Follow us on Facebook to participate in the Catholic Charities community online, and share your voice with us.

February 23 ~ Where do you volunteer?

Make a Lenten goal to serve our community. If you already volunteer, try to increase your service hours this season. If you don’t volunteer, joining Catholic Charities’ diverse volunteer corps is a good way to start. You can explore a variety of our volunteer opportunities online.

February 22 ~ Ash Wednesday

Watch a special Ash Wednesday video message from Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.