Thanksgiving & Black Friday


Barbara Turk & Christopher Cox

On this week’s JustLove episode, Monsignor Sullivan will be speaking with two guests about Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Barbara Turk who is  Director of Food Policy  for New York City’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services will be talking about the work of the of the New York City Office of Food Policy and what her Office is doing to ensure that every New Yorker has access to affordable and nutritious food. Also on the show is Christopher Cox who is Campaign Manager of The Human Thread  – a Catholic advocacy organization dedicated to fostering Catholic awareness of labor and safety issues effecting garment workers in the developing world promoting solidarity between consumers of clothing and the people that produce them. He will be speaking with Msgr.  about his organization’s current postcard campaign urging consumers to encourage Macy’s and Kohls add fair trade clothing items to their stores. The campaign began on Labor Day and concludes on this Friday – Black Friday – November 25th  

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Post Election Perspectives


Roberto Welch, Anthony Davis & Mayerlin Almonte

On JustLove, three guests speak with Monsignor Sullivan about their thoughts on the 2016 Election. Anthony Davis, Team Leader of Material Logistics Management at Jeep Automotive and Roberto Welch, a Baker at a start-up pie company talk about expectations, hopes and direction after the November 8th. Welch provides thoughts from  a millenial’s perspective whereas Davis provides his perspective from an older working-class generation. Also on the show is Mayerlin Almonte, Esq. who is the Co-Founder of Immigration Counsels, LLC. She also talks about the recent election and its impact on immigration

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Catholic Charities in PR “Election Day + 2”


La Perla, Puerto Rico

Catholic Charities is well known for extensive high quality services that touch almost every human need. Another part of mission is probably less known: partnering to build a just and compassionate society through economic and community development.

Today we focused on this lesser known part of our mission. We partnered to raise our awareness and show solidarity to one of the most troubled barrios of San Juan, La Perla. Its reputation for drugs, poverty, violence and lack of opportunity is infamous. A Franciscan priest, decades ago, began to organize to address these issues. Catholic Charities took the lead in organizing a moving walking tour of this historic barrio with approximately 50 SOMOS participants led by a current community organizer Angel Marcano and a volunteer, former NYC Housing Commissioner Bill Alicea.

This neighborhood has such strong emotional reverberations for many Puerto Ricans. It was the birthplace and home of NYS Assemblyman Jose Rivera who joined us on the tour. He pointed out his home and school. He showed us the part of the beach he swam in after school.

This is just a glimpse of our visit. I will probably write more in the future.

Currently, many positive changes can be seen in this barrio with a checkered history and bad reputation, natives and tourists alike were discouraged from visiting. We were told that within the past 3 years much of the drug trafficking has been cleaned up and a renewed sense of the community is emerging. But this positive story comes with threats.

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Election Day 2016 +1

Catholic Charities in Puerto Rico


This year on “Election Day + 1, as our nation focused on the results of this brutal election, Catholic Charities brought our Feeding Our Neighbors program to help one of the most economically hard hit parts of our country, Puerto Rico.   Catholic Charities staff and volunteers from the SOMOS annual conference in Puerto Rico provided thousands of meals to families served by The New York Foundling’s Cardinal O’Connor Head Start program in the area of Santurce among others.

Under the leadership of NYS Assemblyman Marco Crespo and Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, the annual SOMOS conference now includes a volunteer service project in a community in Puerto Rico. Catholic Charities has been proud to be a lead partner in these projects that demonstrate solidarity between the people of New York and Puerto Rico. Luz Tavarez, Catholic Charities’ Director of Government and Community Relations has effectively taken the lead in developing these partnerships and coordinating these projects.

This year’s project highlighted the approach of Catholic Charities agencies to always be attentive to the needs of the families we are serving. In 1973, about a century after its start, one of the oldest and highest quality Catholic Charities agencies, The New York Foundling extended its services to Puerto Rico to help a significant number of families in New York who were returning to the island. In the 1980’s and 90’s The New York Foundling established and expanded its Head Start programs so that today they are at 23 different sites in four different communities that serve almost 1,000 children and their families each year. This impactful work in Puerto Rico is done under the capable leadership of Carmen Villafane and her staff.

The creativity and quality seen at these programs is emblematic of the overall high quality and creative programs of The New York Foundling throughout the neighborhoods of the NY metropolitan area under the leadership of Bill Baccaglini. This work continues the compassionate and professional legacy of the Sisters of Charity in serving those in need.

This modest “Election Day + 1” volunteer service project is an important reminder that the overwhelming obsession with politics that has dominated the media needs to now make room for seeing and reaching out to our neighbors and better understanding their concerns and needs.

Christians Abroad, The Election Season & Social Media Toxicity

radio-1077007_640This weekend on JustLove, guests Michel Constantin, Emergency Response Coordinator,  of CNEWA and Sr. Nancy Usselmann, FSP, Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies join the show to speak with Monsignor Sullivan.  On the show Michel Constantin provides updates on the liberation of villages on Nineveh Plain from Forces ISIS and future opportunities for Christians in this region of Iraq. Also on the show is  Sr. Nancy Usselmann. She speaks with Monsignor about how social media has contributed to the toxicity surrounding this election season.