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​Team Catholic Charities: Running for a Cause

By Catherine Kirch

This Sunday, November 3rd, thousands of runners will flood the streets of New York City for the 2019 NYC Marathon. Last year’s marathon saw over 52,000 finishers from 129 countries, and this year even more runners are expected.

The marathon’s 26.2-mile course spans all five boroughs. Now in its 49th year, the NYC Marathon welcomes professional and amateur runners alike. Many of these runners use the marathon to raise money for a variety of charities.

Ten runners are representing Team Catholic Charities in the marathon. Each of these runners has different reasons for running and for using their marathon experience to raise funds for Catholic Charities of New York.

From his experiences as an employee of Catholic Charities, Kieran O’Shea knows the impact the money he raises will have. An experienced runner, O’Shea is excited about the opportunity to make a difference through participating in the marathon.

Katherine Valentino may be less experienced in running, but she is no stranger to the work of Catholic Charities. Valentino has served on the Junior Board and volunteered with agencies supported by Catholic Charities, and she is also the social media and web manager at the Archdiocese of New York.

Kate Asani chose to run for Team Catholic Charities because she is inspired by the way the organization supports the oppressed populations of New York City, no matter where they come from or what they believe. She is excited and grateful to be able to raise both money and awareness for the causes that Catholic Charities supports.

For other runners, the NYC Marathon is a family affair. Mary-Ann Guyler will run alongside her daughter, Kristen Guyler. Mary-Ann Guyler has served on the Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities for seven years, and is passionate about supporting counselors and programs that help the less fortunate. Kristen Guyler has also served on the Monmouth County Board and recognizes the importance of the work Catholic Charities does to support vulnerable and underserved populations.

James Walsh was also inspired by his family, especially his mother, to run with Team Catholic Charities. In a blog article for CCNY, Walsh describes how Catholic Charities helped his mom through difficult times—and how she gave back to Catholic Charities through the rest of her life.

Esmeralda Hoscoy, Regional Supervisor for Catholic Charities in Westchester County, is also running the marathon, along with Tim Berry, Mike Morris, and Raul Acension. A Venezuelan refugee, Acension received his Occupational Safety and Health Administration certificate and got a job in construction thanks to the Catholic Charities program Obreros Unidos de Yonkers.

When speaking about the marathon, Acension says, “I compare the marathon very much to my life. I’m a runner. Running is my dream, and I run towards my dreams. Whether it’s tiny or huge, we have to chase our dreams.”

On Saturday, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral will host their annual Runner’s Mass, where they will perform a blessing on runners prior to the marathon. The Saturday mass will take place at 5:30 PM.