By Alice Kenny
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With unaccompanied minors serving as acolytes and filling the chapel, Cardinal Dolan celebrated mass on Sunday, August 3, at Catholic Charities affiliate Lincoln Hall.
These children who recently fled their homelands to escape violence and seek reunification with family members are finding safety at Lincoln Hall, a 19th-century mountain fortress whose history of protecting children alone and in need dates back to the orphans it took in during the Civil Wars
“Caring for the downtrodden, the outcast, the stranger among us, is part of our call as Catholics and we here in the Archdiocese of New York have been doing just that for more than 200 years,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in his recent blog post about the mass.
Every week, in cottages that dot a bluff at Lincoln Hall in Northern Westchester and in shelter facilities for unaccompanied youth across the area, Catholic Charities’ team of lawyers and paralegals encounters many of the thousands of children in the United States who have fled alone from abuse and violence in their homelands and who seek the comfort of a parent or loved one here.
“Pope Francis said it so well,” Cardinal Dolan wrote on his blog, “when he reminded us that ‘this humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.’
“And that is just what Catholic Charities, parishes, professionals and volunteers throughout the country are doing.”