• JustLove,  Welcoming and Integrating Immigrants and Refugees

    Bringing Light & Hope to Refugees & Victims of Human Trafficking

      On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan focuses on supporting Refugees & Victims of Human Trafficking with Alice Min Soo Chun Alice  is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solight Designs – a for-profit company based in New York that manufactures the “Solar Puff” – a portable/ foldable two-ounce flat-packing solar powered light.   Msgr. Sullivan and Alice will be speaking to us about her invention of the Solar Puff, what inspired her to invent it, and how the Solar Puff has proven to be an incredibly useful tool for providing reliable, safe and affordable lighting to people and families experiencing humanitarian crisis such as the earthquake in Haiti…

  • Commentary

    A Visit to the Dominican Republic – Final Thoughts

    Before moving onto the addendum, I say a genuine word of thanks to our partners in these three visits: Maestro Cares, GOYA and Altagracia Apparel.  Without them the trip could not have happened.  More importantly we will deepen these partnerships as Catholic Charities celebrates our Centennial and launches our next century of providing help and creating hope.  Above all, I salute and recognize the excellent work of Catholic Charities’ Director of Government and Community Relations, Luz Tavarez, who organized, coordinated the whole trip so effectively and also documented it in video, audio and photo. Special thanks to Catholic Charities Communications & Marketing team, especially Paul Costiglio and Fanny Gomez, for…

  • Commentary,  Dominican Republic Visit,  JustLove

    Villa Altagracia – Apparel Factory & Workers – Day 4

      The day began with three generations of the Hodge family, 11 of us, and luggage, crowded into a mini-bus for a two and a half hour trip from La Romana to Villa Altagracia in San Cristobal, located outside of Santo Domingo. The driver had an interesting approach that included driving ten miles in the wrong direction, slowing down on open highways and speeding up in crowded city streets. Oh well. 

  • Commentary,  Dominican Republic Visit,  JustLove

    Our Visit to Hogar Niños de Cristo – Day 3

    Today, we spent the day with 36 boys and young men who now call Niños de Cristo and their dedicated staff their home.  We were joined by Donnie Hodge and his wife Ana.  Donny is the owner of Altagracia Apparel.  I’ll write more about this tomorrow after we visit his “fair wage and working conditions” factory in Villa Altagracia and talk with some of the families whose lives have been changed because of these jobs.    Sadly, some children cannot be raised and nurtured safely with their own families for many different reasons.  Niños de Cristo provides the “family” for about 40 of these youth in the Dominican Republic.  This…

  • Commentary,  Dominican Republic Visit,  JustLove

    Our Visit to the GOYA Plant in Santo Domingo – Day 2

      Our generous partner in feeding hungry New Yorkers, GOYA Foods, invited us to tour its plant in the Dominican Republic.  This provided an opportunity to see one of their busy factories that employs about 500 people. In addition to seeing the hard working men and women on the floor of the plant we also met the factory administrators. We also saw the finca (land) where gauyabas (guava) are grown.  I was accompanied on the tour by the director of quality control, a chemical engineer, charged with complying with regulations of both the Dominican Republic and the United States. He said most of the product from this factory is shipped…

  • Commentary,  Dominican Republic Visit,  JustLove

    Catholic Charities Joins Goya Foods and Maestro Cares in the Dominican Republic – Day 1

      In partnership with Goya Foods and Maestro Cares, singer Marc Anthony’s non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for  orphaned children throughout Latin America, Catholic Charities visits the Dominican Republic to learn more about the children and the work of Maestro Cares. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan illustrates his first day on the island. Stay tuned throughout the week for more updates from the trip. Listen Now