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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Take A Step Back This Summer

These are very good weeks to remind others and ourselves that society is broader than government and politics. Sometimes rather than engage its best to “shake the dust from our feet.”  There is plenty of room and need to concentrate on family, work, self, friends, relationships and anything or anybody that can advance love, faith, peace, hope, reconciliation, goodness, growth, happiness, etc.  You get the point.  We can’t always avoid confronting what is wrong, yet, sometimes the best approach is to pause, take a step back, not get caught up in the nonsense and possibly risk the contamination of distraction from what is really important. I’m thinking this is one of those times.

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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Using Technology to Fulfill Our Civic Duties & Counter Gun Violence

Kathryn Peters & Amber Goodwin

On this week’s JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with two guests focused on civic duties and countering gun violence in the U.S.

Kathryn Peters, Co-Founder of Democracy Works will be talking about the work and mission of her organization. Democracy Works is a Brooklyn based non-partisan non-profit organization founded in 2010 with the goal of “making voting fit the way we live.” The nonprofit aims to make voting a simple, seamless experience for all Americans so that no eligible voter misses an election. Its team of software developers, public policy wonks and civic organizers design tools meant to upgrade the tech infrastructure of our democracy, thus improving the voting experience for voters and election officials alike.

Amber Goodwin, Founding Director of Community Justice Reform Coalition is also on the show. Community Justice Reform Coalition is a Washington D.C based national advocacy coalition which promotes and invests in evidence based programs to prevent gun-violence and uplift criminal justice reforms in urban communities of color. Msgr. Sullivan and Amber will be discussing these efforts of her coalition, and particularly the work of Operation L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K. (“Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing”) a community-based organization where Amber currently sits on its board. L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K. uses peer-to-peer education and leadership development to inform women and girls of the dangers of gun violence and weapons trafficking.

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In Honor of 4th of July Family Picnics & BBQ’s

One aspect of the administration’s executive order on the travel ban against nationals from certain countries merits special 4th of July attention, viz. what is a bona fide family relationship?

After the recent Supreme Court decision[1], the administration issued guidelines that interpreted a bona fide (real) family relationship to include parents, children and siblings. They left out grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and cousins. They also initially excluded fiancées, but then subsequently included them. By that action alone, the administration demonstrated that there is discretion in the interpretation of a bona fide family relationship.

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This July 4th Weekend: Pledge Allegiance to One Another

The following message was sent to our Catholic Charities network for the 4th of July weekend.

Capitol of the United States

Capitol of the United States

Allow me a word of appreciation and thanks for all you do to make our world a better place – each, in your own way, as trustee, staff, volunteer, donor, or friend. 

I attach my own picture of the Capitol of the United States from the visit I made two days ago with Catholic Charities people from throughout NYS to visit with members of Congress and convey to them the need to enact policies and budgets that give due consideration to the needs of the poor and vulnerable.  Included among our discussions were Catholic Charities’ wide areas of concern: children and youth, those with addictions, the hungry and families needing affordable places to live, immigrants who are feeling particularly anxious and those dealing with emotional and physical challenges.

In light of this visit, and as we approach the 4th of July weekend, I am reminded that the title of the Declaration of Independence is both accurate and partially misleading.  It is accurate in that it is a declaration.  And, it is true that it declared the colonies’ independence from England.  Yet, the title can also be misleading because it fails to capture the values embedded in its non-severable concluding paragraph: God, honor, and solidarity:

“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Continue reading

Bey’s Twins

Further Name Reflection

via GIPHY

Blue is a color, or mood

Ivy is plant – usually green.

“Blue Ivy” combines a plant with a non-traditional color, or, maybe a mood.

Therefore 2 options for “the twins.”

 

With a sweet fruity flavor…

  • Tangerine Orchid
  • Raspberry Elm

With an ominous foretaste of sibling rivalries and insecurities…

  • Green Thistle
  • Yellow Poppy