• Welcoming and Integrating Immigrants and Refugees

    In the Bronx, Catholic Charities found “Room in the Inn.”

    On Tuesday evening, when the first two families separated at the border were reunited in New York, I, along with a few other Catholic Charities staff welcomed them to the warmth and safety of one of our agencies in the Bronx. One was a dad from Guatemala, Adan, and his four-year-old son Juan. The other, Javier from Honduras with his son, William, also four. We ate a simple meal together in a family-like dining room. We prayed the Our Father together. One of our staff lent the dads her cell phone to contact their families back home to let them know they were safe and back together. Their rooms were…

  • Commentary

    “Congress shall have the power… to declare War.”

    Last evening, I attended an important event focusing on the first amendment right of religious liberty. This is critically important as religious liberty, domestically and globally, is currently threatened in diverse and challenging ways. In the gift bag was a miniature copy of the Constitution. Since it was the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, I perused it and found Section 8 that states very simply: “Congress shall have the power… to declare War.” This weekend we will remember with appreciation and prayer those who gave their lives fighting wars. Sadly, our political system is so paralyzed and compromised that with regularity men and women of the United States are…

  • JustLove,  Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises

    Disaster Relief & Beyoncé Mass

    On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with three guests about Disaster Relief.  Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York will be calling in to the studio. He recently traveled with Msgr. Sullivan this past weekend down to Puerto Rico to survey recovery efforts since Hurricane Maria devastated the island back on September 20th 2017. Now 7 months later, Msgr. Sullivan and Comptroller DiNapoli will discuss what they witnessed on their trip. The Very Reverend Malcom Clemens Young who is the 9th Dean  of  Grace (Episcopal) Cathedral  in San Francisco, California will be calling into the studio. Dean Young will be discussing with Msgr. Sullivan the “Beyoncé…

  • Welcoming and Integrating Immigrants and Refugees

    DACA Call In Day: February 26

    About 800,000 young Americans brought to United States by their parents as children now face a crisis. Since 2012, Catholic Charities has been assisting these DREAMERS in many ways.  We have directly helped more than 800 DREAMERS to get authorization to work productively, go to college, avoid deportation, maintain family unity, and remain in the United States. I have personally worked alongside these DREAMERS and seen firsthand their industriousness.   They are extremely anxious about the upcoming March 5 deadline imposed by President Trump to end this program.  We read and hear in the media that Congress has become  paralyzed in dealing with this issue. I share with you information from…

  • Commentary,  JustLove

    Hard Work and Sacrifice

    Being great servants makes a nice holy card, but not in real life. There are the C-suites, seats in Church sanctuaries, inner circle tables at banquets, private banking floors, platinum memberships for early plane boarding, etc. These are what we strive for. We were taught by our families to work hard and get ahead. Our schools drive competition to be at the top of class. Thank God – but more precisely thank Jesus. He decided that being on top meant climbing to the top of Calvary’s hill and hanging on a cross so that He could save the world and all in it. He accepted a different way for our…

  • Commentary

    Drum Major Institute Prayer Service Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    5th Avenue Presbyterian Church * Sunday January 14, 2108 * 4:00 PM Invocation – Msgr. Kevin Sullivan Almighty God, Creator & Savior; it is good that you gather us for these moments of hope and solidarity. They sustain us in a world too often devoid of these life-giving virtues. Thank you the blessed legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: a lofty heavenly dream of justice, wedded to gritty earthly action. We rejoice for the many acts of service and volunteering to be carried out this weekend. But, Lord, help us to not so raise up these deeds of caring that we domesticate Dr. King’s memory by failing to call…

  • Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises,  Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises

    This Week: The Glass is More Than Half Empty

      This week the glass is more than half empty for me! After the devastation caused last week by natural disasters, Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and by the student stabbings in the Bronx, I, like so many others, am deeply pained. I spent a good part of this week working on how Catholic Charities of NY might be of support for the individuals and families suffering in Puerto Rico.  Some of my time was spent talking with elected officials and staff in Washington D.C., other time with nonprofit and business leaders. Both the sadness and resolve was intense.    Particularly strong prayer and solidarity goes out to one of our…

  • Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises

    Responding in Charity to Successive Storms

    Kim Burgo & Fred Parrella On this episode of JustLove Monsignor Sullivan will discuss both the recovery efforts taking place in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. He will speak about the changing context of marriage and family. Calling in to the studio is Kim Burgo Vice President for Disaster Response Operations for Catholic Charities USA. She will be talking about the impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on coastal Texas and its surrounding areas as well as the impact that Hurricane Irma has had on the Florida how Catholic Charities USA is helping local Catholic Charities agencies respond to…

  • 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.