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Cardinal Dolan's Lenten Journey with Catholic Charities of New York

by John-Mark de Palma

His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, accompanied Catholic Charites Executive Director, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan on a Lenten journey in preparation for the celebration of Easter Sunday. The Cardinal visited five locations to highlight Catholic Charities’ work to create hope and empower the forgotten, the marginalized, the sick, the weak, and the voiceless of New York City, Yonkers, Westchester, and the lower Hudson Valley.

The Cardinal spent the day with children at the Monsignor Boyle Head Start program at Cardinal McCloskey Community Services. The program, started in 2000, has 12 classrooms with 14-20 low-income children in each class. Collectively, these children are part of the 1,500 low-income families in 14 centers and 69 classrooms served by Cardinal McCloskey Community Services in Manhattan and the Bronx.

At the Elizabeth Seaton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, the Cardinal shed light on an important issue facing children and young adults with medically complex conditions – the state mandated loss of care when they turn 21 and the high mortality rate that follows. The Center is looking to raise 45 million dollars to build a new 48 bed facility on the campus for those young adults who are ‘aged out’ of the current facility. 

The Cardinal joined dignitaries, elected officials, and New York City’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray, to dedicate St. Augustine Terrace in the Bronx. Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York’s newest 100% affordable housing building contains 112 units and includes supportive units for members of the Beacon of Hope program.

In lower Manhattan at Catholic Charities’ Offices for Immigration and Refugee Services, the Cardinal and Monsignor Sullivan announced Catholic Charities’ Mission Trip to Central America’s Northern Triangle of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Over 3,000 children arrived in the US from this are in 2018 and the number is expected to rise to over 8,000 in 2019. New York State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, and President of the Jewish Labor Committee, Stewart Applebaum will also be on the trip.

On Holy Thursday, which concludes Lent, Cardinal Dolan attended the Catholic Charities Feeding our Neighbor’s food distribution site in the Washington Heights at St. Rose of Lima Parish. Partnering with Goya Foods, the Cardinal and Monsignor Sullivan drew attention to the year-round need for feeding New York’s hungry. There, Goya Foods renewed its commitment to provide 300,000 pounds of food to Catholic Charities efforts on this front.

Having completed his Lenten journey with the people Catholic Charities of New York serves, Cardinal Dolan will celebrate the Paschal Triduum and Easter Sunday with all the people of New York at historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.