Posts Tagged ‘Pope John Paul II’

Nelson Mandela; A Hero to the World

Friday, December 6th, 2013


Catholic Charities joins in celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela and in mourning his death.  First a prisoner and then a president, this conqueror of apartheid was a leader for all of us in the movement towards peace.

“Nelson Mandela was a hero to the world,” said His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan.

“His bravery in defending human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, as well as an inspiration to people everywhere.

“As Blessed Pope John Paul II noted during his visit to South Africa in 1995, Nelson Mandela was for many years, ‘a silent and suffering ‘witness’ of your people’s yearning for true liberation,’ who, as President of South Africa, had to then ‘shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.’

In succeeding in these crucial and difficult tasks, Nelson Mandela truly made the world a better place.

May he rest in peace”

Scholars follow in the footsteps of their namesake, Pierre Toussaint

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Donning blue Catholic Charities t-shirts, 18 Pierre Toussaint scholars and three of their friends recently swept floors, painted doors, washed windows and donated their time to make the Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Community Center shine.

Pierre Toussaint scholars are graduating seniors from various schools in the Archdiocese of New York who demonstrate active involvement in a church or faith community.  They also score high on academic achievement.  And they demonstrate a commitment to serving others, similar to the scholars’ namesake, the Venerable Pierre Toussaint.

Mr. Toussaint was born a slave in Haiti in 1766 and died a freeman in New York City in 1853. He touched the hearts of many by living his life, he said, ‘to be an apostle of goodness to everyone he met.’ He was instrumental in raising funds for the first Catholic orphanage, starting the city’s first school for black children, providing funds for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, (a religious community of black nuns), and raising funds to build the Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. With  money he earned as successful entrepreneur he purchased the freedom of others instead of his own.

He was declared a “Venerable” on Dec. 17, 1997 by Pope John Paul II, for the virtuous life that he led, placing him on the path to becoming North America’s first black saint.

The students apparently lived up to their scholarship’s namesake.

“We adults are seeing the best youth come forward through the Pierre Toussaint Scholarship program,” said Catholic Charities Kennedy Center Assistant Director Ted Staniecki, “and I know my mind is at ease seeing the wonderful potential being developed for the future of our society.