Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Potential Pope Visit ‘a Blessing’ for New Yorkers

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

By Mike Vlensky

Wall Street Journal

“Catholic New Yorkers expressed high hopes after Pope Francis said Monday he might visit New York City, which would mark the first papal visit since 2008,” reports Mike Vilensky on August 20, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, an umbrella organization that encompasses 90 agencies serving people throughout the New York Archdiocese, said the new pope’s messages on peace and inequality have spurred a renewed enthusiasm and commitment among donors and charity workers alike.

‘There are no plans yet,’ said Msgr. Sullivan of the possible New York trip, but the tradition has been that if a pope comes to address the United Nations, he usually also makes side trips into the community.

Among the projects on Msgr. Sullivan’s wish list: taking the pope to see children who have fled desperate situations in Central America, visits to homeless shelters and to meet ‘New Yorkers who struggle to have a decent meal at the end of the day.’

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

First-Hand Stories of Tragedy and Survival; JustLove Celebrates World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

A Nigerian man had his finger tips sawed off.  A Muslim child was threatened with death by her Serbian playmates.  They are two of the thousands of refugees helped by Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services whose stories Mark Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department, shared with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on the recent JustLove radio program in celebration of today, World Refugee Day.

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war.  Some, such as the Nigerian man for whom Mr. Von Sternberg successfully gained asylum, lost body parts.  Others lost husbands, wives and children.

Tune in to our recent show on JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio to learn more.

World Refugee Day is a time when the United Nations, Catholic Charities and other civic and religious groups honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program is dedicated to serving survivors of violence and persecution who have fled their home countries to seek a new life in the United States. Catholic Charities Community Services assists family members and sponsors in making applications for refugees who are outside the United States, and for asylees with recently obtained status.

Multilingual, multicultural staff assist in the processing of refugee applications with overseas posts and make pre-arrival arrangements to assure that the refugee will be cared for upon arrival to the United States. After arrival, the office provides direct services, material assistance, job search assistance, job training and placement, ESL classes, school enrollment and other social services.

Do you need help?

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline , a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions. Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

 

Facts About World Refugee Day

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

“No one wants to become a refugee. No one should have to endure this humiliating and arduous ordeal. Yet, millions do. Even one refugee forced to flee, one refugee forced to return to danger is one too many.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on World Refugee Day, when it was first officially marked on June 20, 2001.

  • World Refugee Day, held each year on June 20, was first marked in 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The annual event is recognized in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced. Learn more at the UN Refugee Agency.
  • The theme of World Refugee Day 2012 is Refugees have no choice. You do.” It is part of the United Nations “Dilemmas” campaign, which highlights the difficult decisions refugees must make for survival.
  • There are currently 264,574 refugees and 6,285 asylum seekers in the United States, according to UNHCR. Globally, there are 10.5 million “refugees of concern” at the beginning of 2011.
  • Angelina Jolie, appointed Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, has helped promote World Refugee Day
  • In New York, UNHCR will be commemorating World Refugee Day during an evening event at the UN Secretariat Building in Manhattan. The event will launch a photo and text exhibit on the UNHCR publication, “The State of the World’s Refugees.”Learn about World Refugee Day events taking place worldwide.
  • In Washington, D.C., Khaled Hosseini, Afghan-born author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, as well as UNHCR supporter and former refugee, will be involved in several events featuring international artists. Hosseini will introduce a live performance of “No Place Called Home,” written and performed by Kim Schultz. The play tells the story of an American woman who accidentally falls in love with an Iraqi man while interviewing refugees.
  • Looking for more World Refugee Day events throughout the country? Explore the full list of official World Refugee Day 2012 events in the United States.
  • Looking for World Refugee Day events elsewhere in New York State? There are events taking place today in Utica, Syracuse, and Albany.

Top content on refugee services at Catholic Charities:

  • JustLove on SiriusXM: On a special World Refugee Day broadcast, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with guests who work and volunteer in the field of refugee resettlement and employment.
  • A New, Safer Life. “Manaf Hashim did not know who was threatening to kill him in the note left on the front door of his Baghdad home or in a message left on his cellphone two days later. He suspected he was being targeted because his fiancée, Farah, was Sunni, and he was Shia. He knew only that it was best to heed such warnings…”
  • Burmese Couple Build Life in the Bronx. “Bae Reh and his wife, Moo Pro, were raised on a five-mile-long patch of land they were not permitted to leave, except to gather leaves to fortify the bamboo huts in which they slept. They are refugees from Myanmar whose parents fled to a camp in Thailand to escape a government that drafted citizens at random and forced them to commit atrocities against their own ethnic tribes.
  • On the Road with the Neediest Cases: On the Anniversary of Haiti’s Earthquake. “Jovins told me he feels lucky despite losing half his leg.  The massive earthquake that struck Haiti just over a year ago tore a beam from his home, pinned him down and crushed his leg...”
  • Saving a Refuge, With Help from Our Volunteers. Volunteers help restore St. Rita’s Center for Immigrant and Refugee Services.
  • Learn more about what Catholic Charities does to help refugees and immigrants in New York.