Diversity Reigns

Catholic Charities is a the center of building a more just and compassionate society. We engage in a wide range of activities and interact with many different people.

Here’s a collage for this week –

  1. Twelve consul generals from Latin American countries meet at the Catholic Charities Community Services Immigration and Refugee Resettlement offices. (Top Left)

  2.  Evi Siskos from Telemundo was the MC for Astors Services Junior Gala at the Supreme Courthouse in lower Manhattan. (Top Right)

  3.  Zoe Saldana was taping her guest satellite radio appearance in the same Sirius studios that JustLove was taping.  Here’s a picture of her as she was leaving. (Bottom Left)

  4. Two talented Catholic Charities immigration attorneys from our expert legal team. (Bottom Middle)

  5.  On the same day as Pres. Trump’s Executive Order on religious liberty, the Becket Fund held its annual dinner.  This photo demonstrates the breathe of religious freedom issues in the United States. (Bottom Right)

Hope & Holiness in Erbil

Day 3 in Iraq

Today’s visit to the school for children displaced from Mosul was more celebratory with the presence of Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Warda and Bishop Murphy.  An assembly of more than 440 students gathered in the central square of the school accompanied by marching music. CNEWA’s head Msgr. Kozar made sure that the visitors experienced the uplifting spirit of the school that the Dominican Sisters infuse every day. The deeply spiritual atmosphere of the school is exemplified by the volunteer French catechist and her Iraqi translator who teach the children how to pray to Jesus. CNEWA support and spirit are essential to making the school so successful.

Continue reading

Hope & Courage Amidst Suffering & Persecution

Day 2 in Iraq

In the morning, we visited one of the medical clinics and refugee camps in Erbil.  The camp is overseen by one of the local priests and the Dominican Sisters are actively present.  The clinic is supported by and was built with the assistance of CNEWA.  More than 90 children are seen at the pediatric clinic each day.  Hundreds of adults are seen and administered other medical services at the clinic. 

The camp holds more than 1,200 families – most living in their own trailer.  Some families are doubled up.  About 50 families are living in single room containers in a large warehouse type building. While this is a refugee “camp,” it appears more like a makeshift “village.”  Families try to make the best of the situation – redecorating and renovating their trailers to suit their individual family needs.  Some small businesses have opened and are selling basic necessities.  In the “village,” more than 400 young people are preparing for their First Communion.  Continue reading

Education: A Path to Dignity for Christian Refugees

My First Day in Iraq

On the first day of a mission with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Cardinal Dolan I had an opportunity to visit both an elementary school and a university in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.  Both were only built and opened within the past year to deal with the exodus of Christians fleeing the onslaught of ISIS around Mosul beginning in the summer of 2014. 

These photos reflect the vibrancy of both sites as their very existence brings dignity and hope to those being educated at these schools.   The Dominican Sisters operate the elementary school that is strongly supported by CNEWA and a number of other Catholic humanitarian and pastoral aid organizations.  The University is a public university that CNEWA has provided assistance in the form of furnishings and a generator.  It educates both Christian and Muslim students, men and women together for degrees in the humanities and business. Continue reading

Vatican Statement on Paris Attacks

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here is a translation of a statement issued by the director of the Holy See press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, shortly after the terror attacks in Paris Nov. 13.

Here in the Vatican we are following the terrible news from Paris. We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace. We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.

Let Us Pray…

 

Check Out JustLove to Learn About Poverty and Social Mobility

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L-R: Edin and Clark

What if everything you knew about poverty was wrong? That’s what Msgr. Sullivan investigates with Dr. Kathryn Edin, Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in their discussion on JustLove.   Msgr. Sullivan also speaks with Gregory Clark, Professor of Economics at UC Davis about “The Son Always Rises;” a book tracking social mobility in families over time.

Tune In to JustLove to Hear About One Human Family: Food for All Week of Action

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L-R: David Beckmann and Darcie Nielsen

This weekend on JustLove, Msgr. Sullivan speaks with David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. They discuss Bread for the World’s campaign against domestic and international hunger. Also on the show is Darcie Nielsen, Director of Live the Fast, Inc. Nielsen and Msgr. talk about Live the Fast’s online community and how it helps people grow in faith.

Affordable Housing Needs the Catholic Community’s Continuing Partnership

Haven Plaza 2The topic of housing was covered extensively in the media this past week.  The focus has been the announcement of New York City’s plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.

For those who work with low-income individuals and families, there is perhaps no more pressing need.  Families have the most difficult time finding decent housing they can afford.  Too many families are forced to make choices among essentials – food, rent, or medicine.

It was also good that the work of the Catholic Church over the past four decades in building and constructing affordable housing was recognized.  Of the many positive things the Church has done to help weave the fabric of NY and make our town more compassionate and just, housing may be one area under-recognized.  Arguably, our work with at-risk children and youth, our emergency food programs and immigrants, is better recognized.  However, this week housing was at the forefront.

I was fortunate to be able to hear the Mayor speak so positively about this work. I had the chance to say a few words about how the strength of this work has been the result of the diverse parts of the Church that have engaged in it – charismatic clergy, talented and expert laity, religious communities, parishes, community based organizations and Catholic Charities, in all five boroughs.  Sometimes this gets unwieldy, but when put together, it is a contribution flowing out of our common values that each person is made in the image of God, worthy of dignity and respect and having their basic rights met – and that housing is one of those basic human rights.

The ambitious, complex and critically needed plan of New York City to build and preserve affordable housing does need the continued partnership and energy of the Catholic community.  Once more this is a critically important role we play in building a more just and compassionate society.

It was good to hear the tremendous work of so many recognized this week, to spotlight some of it, and to express hope and commitment that this legacy continue and deepen into the future.

The Lord’s Prayer: Twelve Tips for The Lord’s Prayer, Phrase-by-Phrase -“Our Father”

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1. Our Father

 

Think of the good that human fathers do –

and then multiply that for our heavenly Father

Think of the bad that human fathers do –

think of the opposite;

that’s what our heavenly Father does.

 God ‘s got no human gender or and maybe  both…

So think of the good that human mothers do –

and then multiply that for our heavenly Mother

Think of the bad that human mothers do –

think of the opposite;

that’s what our heavenly Mother does.