Centennial News

As Catholic Charities Opens Centennial Year, Cardinal Announces $100 Million Campaign - Catholic New York

Cardinal Dolan has announced a campaign to raise $100 million private philanthropic dollars during the next five years to provide help and create hope for children and families of New York, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

The campaign is expected to leverage $4-5 billion when combined with additional private philanthropy and through other funding of Catholic Charities of New York federation of agencies.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he would propose “the largest amount of funding for Catholic Charities and Catholic schools at $300 million this year.” The governor also said he would proclaim April 24 as Catholic Charities Day in the State of New York, a nod to the day in 1917 that Catholic Charities was incorporated by the New York State legislature.

The announcements were made during a noon luncheon Jan. 29 at 30 Rockefeller Center to kick off the centennial year of archdiocesan Catholic Charities.

“Happy Birthday, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York,” Cardinal Dolan said in his keynote address. “And thanks, everybody, for being part of this party this afternoon.” Approximately 145 guests were in attendance.

The cardinal acknowledged the presence of many notable individuals, including Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities and Catherine Kinney, chair of the board of trustees of Catholic Charities as well as members of the organization’s “first rate board” and staff.

Also among the numerous public officials and dignitaries were U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both of whom delivered remarks. Mayor de Blasio proclaimed the day Catholic Charities Day in the City of New York.

Also attending were Diego Gómez Pickering, Consul General of Mexico to New York City; State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; Assembly member Marcos Crespo; and Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City, who offered a toast. Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, delivered words of appreciation and acknowledged that the UJA-Federation shares the same centennial year as Catholic Charities.

Francis X. Comerford, chief revenue officer of NBCU Owned Television Stations, and a trustee of Catholic Charities, gave a welcome. “Live from New York, it’s Sunday afternoon,” he quipped of the luncheon location, Studio 8H, where “Saturday Night Live” is broadcast.

Raising funds will be a critical part of the centennial celebration, Cardinal Dolan said.

“The board of trustees and I are committing ourselves to raising $100 million dollars over the next half decade to fund our ministries, new and seasoned,” he said.

The cardinal added, “When we look at the additional philanthropic revenue raised by our network of 92 agencies, we anticipate that Catholic Charities will raise close to $250 million private dollars on behalf of the kids, families and vulnerable adults we’re honored to serve.”

“From the impressive array of respected leaders in this room, this afternoon, it’s clear that we at Catholic Charities are big time into partnering—part of the genius of Catholic Charities, and certainly of the wisdom of this city, community and country we cherish is the conviction that we are all in this together. So in concert with our allies of other faiths, many of whom are here today, with foundations, business, and with our city, county, state and federal agencies,” he continued, it is projected that the $100 million campaign in private funds “is going to leverage between $4 to $5 billion dollars over the next five years, all to benefit needy New Yorkers.”

“We are also listening to Jesus as we ‘cast out to the deep’ during this centennial year,” the cardinal said, citing a number of “innovative projects” that Catholic Charities is undertaking, including a new recovery center in Sullivan County to address the epidemic of opioid addiction, through a partnership with the state; in response to those on Staten Island anxious about drug abuse, the establishment of HEART (Heroin Epidemic Archdiocesan Response Team), which utilizes a network of CYO sports teams; in partnership with the city and state, the building of 1,000 affordable apartments in the Bronx, while working with the city and with the Bowery Residents’ Committee to “bring homeless from the streets to a safe haven” at a shelter in East Harlem.

“And thanks to our partnership with Goya Foods, we will back supplemental food to services empowering people to independence through a Bronx food hub, and a network of food pantries,” he said.

The cardinal also announced that Catholic Charities would offer an emergency enforcement hotline, and an expansion of “an already effective and powerful outreach to immigrants, all through the Hudson Valley.”

The listing, he said, was indicative of “less than half of the fresh initiatives we’re commencing with this opening of our second century.”

Lynda Baquero, a consumer reporter for NBC News 4 New York and an alumna of Cathedral High School in Manhatttan, served as mistress of ceremonies and also hosted a conversation about the work of Catholic Charities with Ms. Kinney and Msgr. Sullivan.

“Since this diocese was established 209 years ago, the Diocese of New York, her bishops, her priests, her religious sisters and brothers, her deacons and her people have worked hard to obey the mandate of the Bible—to feed the hungry, to care for the widow and orphan, to shelter the homeless, to clothe the naked, to welcome the refugee, to teach our children in our excellent schools, especially those of the poor and the immigrant,” Cardinal Dolan said in his keynote address.

“In 1917,” the cardinal continued, the archdiocese more professionally organized and better coordinated “this dazzling array of apostolates” under Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

“Since then, we’ve invested a lot of sweat, muscle, heart, brains, soul and wallet into strengthening New York’s families and our children...

“With you, cherished partners, we try our best to bring not only help, but hope,” he added. “We do it as Catholics, but we never ask for the religion of any person we assist, nor do we impose ours upon anyone.

“I conclude with heartfelt appreciation to all of you. We’re in it together…

“Help lasts awhile. Hope endures forever. We’re just not talking about another 100 years. We’re talking about eternity, my friends. And thanks for being part of it.”

The same day, Cardinal Dolan commenced Catholic Charities’ centennial year as he celebrated the 10:15 a.m. Mass at nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“Catholic Charities would be the Beatitudes in action,” he said in his homily.

At both the liturgy and luncheon, Cardinal Dolan acknowledged with admiration Cardinal John Farley, who was the archbishop of New York when Catholic Charities officially began.

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