Recovering from the Storm and Persevering

On this week’s JustLove Monsignor Kevin Sullivan will be speaking with  Jesse Thompson about the Trump Administration’s decision on DACA  and what it means for Dreamers in the weeks and months to come.

 Jesse Thompson, Esq. is a Staff Attorney  in the  Immigration Legal Services Department of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an Obama Administration era policy that shields young unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as minors from deportation. The show will focus on what those young people – referred to as Dreamers – can do now that the President has announced the end of the DACA policy, and what Catholic Charities is doing to assist them.

For more information on the topics covered, please visit CatholicCharitiesNy.org/SupportingImmigrants

Also on the show is Jennifer Carr Allmon, Executive Director of Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops.  Jennifer oversees the day-to –day work of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, including providing technical and training assistance to Dioceses in review and preparation for the Legislative session. She joins Msgr. Sullivan on JustLove to talk about the impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on the city of Houston and the surrounding communities, and what they are doing to assist in that recovery.

For more information on Hurricane Harvey please visit Catholic Charities website

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Crossing Borders & Erecting Barriers

On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with three guests focused on unaccompanied minors and border security.

Catholic Charities New York’s Director of Refugee Resettlement Kelly Agnew-Barajas will be on the show. Msgr. and Kelly talk about what impact the Trump Administration’s termination of the program granting temporary legal residence to minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has had on youth from those countries 

Msgr. Sullivan and Caryn Ashare, Chief Program Officer of Catholic Guardian Services an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York will be talking about Catholic Guardian Service’s work. Ashare will be focusing on how the agency provides assistance and support for unaccompanied minors left in their care.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, who is Senior Fellow at the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence  at the  Brookings Institution and has written on the proposed wall that President Trump has advocated be built on the border with Mexico – will be speaking to Msgr. Sullivan about what she foresees as some of the consequences and potential outcomes of building a physical wall on the Mexican border.

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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 (where the Solar Puff was first used), to its current use of providing lighting – and therefore safety – to Syrian and other refugees in Europe and elsewhere.

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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. 

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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 home is located in the countryside of La Romana, about 1 hour west of Punta Cana.  The home is only 4 years old and took the place of a much more crowded and outdated facility.  This one is simple, clean and warm with a great amount of open outdoor space.  (This is not what we New Yorkers are used to.) Speaking of New Yorkers, the facility’s current psychologist, Karina, is a transplanted New Yorker – Dominican Republic born, but New York raised and educated. Two years ago she returned to the Dominican Republic and is now the on-site psychologist trying to help these youth that have experienced hurt and scars rebuild lives.  Karina guided us through the facility and she demonstrated knowledge, competence, and compassion. These same qualities were present in the home’s program director, Franklin, who oversees the day-to-day life of the home.  He clearly knew everybody by name and they knew him.  He was not a distant administrator but a caring professional that understands the individuality of each young person under the care of Niños de Cristo.  This sense seemed to flow through all the staff we met at the orphanage.

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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 to the United States. He also proudly spoke to me of the care that is taken to ensure no contamination enters into the products. And he shared with me the sad reality of the added precautions required to protect against intentional poisoning as a terrorist action. 

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

boys in Dominican Republic

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.

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The Human Costs of Climate Change & Contamination

Andrea Bruce & Joseph Majkut

On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan will be speaking with two guests focused on the human costs of climate change and contamination.

Joseph Majkut, Ph.D., Director of Climate Science at the Niskanen Center, a policy think-tank based in Washington D.C. will be joining us. Msgr. Sullivan and Joseph will be speaking to us about how the warming climate will likely aggravate inequalities between regions and communities in the United States – with Texas, Florida, the deep South and coastal communities bearing the brunt of the negative impact of increasing temperatures 

Documentary Photographer Andrea Bruce who uses the medium of photography to bring attention to people living in the aftermath of famine, war and environmental and natural disasters will be on the show. Andrea and Msgr. Sullivan will be speaking to us about the assignment she recently undertook on behalf of National Geographic Magazine to document the efforts of communities in India, Haiti and Vietnam to increase sanitation and ensure water safety 

Pope Francis’ Call for Catholics to Become “Missionary Disciples”

In Every Facet of Their Lives

Kerry Robinson & Hosffman Ospino

Kerry Robinson & Hosffman Ospino

On this episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan focuses on Pope Francis’ vision of “missionary discipleship” for Catholics. 

Hosffman Ospino Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Hispanic Ministry at Boston College will be on JustLove. Professor Ospino will be talking about the meaning of “missionary discipleship,” and how it is lived out in an increasingly secular and culturally diverse society like our own. 

Kerry Robinson, the Founding Executive Director and Global Ambassador of the Leadership Roundtable will also be on this week’s episode of JustLove. Her organization is dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the Catholic Church by harnessing the expertise of senior level executives. Msgr. Sullivan and Kerry will be talking about both the role of women in the Church as well as what things we can do to encourage young adults to live out Pope Francis’ vision of “missionary discipleship” in every facet of their lives 

Economic Inequality and Some of Its Causes

Alex Armlovichm & Shekar Narasimhan

On this week’s episode of Just Love Monsignor Sullivan cover’s issues surrounding economic inequality with two guests. 

Joining the show is Shekar Narasimhan Managing Partner of Beekman Advisors – a Virginia based strategic advisory service firm concentrating in the areas of real estate development, mortgage finance and affordable housing. Msgr. and Shekar will be talking about income inequality and particularly how the cost of housing – and especially rental housing – is one of the keys to addressing the needs of those on the lower end of the income scale.

Also on the show is Alex Armlovichm, a Fellow at the  Manhattan Institute where he concentrates on writing about urban issues such as housing policy, transportation and infrastructure. Msgr. Sullivan and Alex will also be examining income inequality on the local level here in New York City, and whether or not Mayor de Blasio’s stated intention to address the “Tale of Two Cities” he spoke of at his inauguration in December of 2014 have decreased income inequality in substantive ways during his time as Mayor.

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