Providing Help, Creating Hope

The 2014 Catholic Charities Annual Report is here!

Download our FY 2014 Annual Report > | View a list of our FY 2014 Donors >

A message from our President and CEO, Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC:

We are called to act with justice.
We are called to love tenderly.
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.*
Dear Friends of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans,

How are you called? The lyrics above are from one of my favorite hymns. In reflecting on my first full year as President and CEO of Catholic Charities, this song immediately came to mind. Catholic Charities is truly called to be the hope and provide the help for the poor, the vulnerable, the lost and the needy. Every day, the people of Catholic Charities are answering the call to be the hands and heart of Jesus here on earth.

We are truly called to act justly. Whether it is advocating for a victim of domestic violence through Project SAVE or providing access to English as a Second Language classes for immigrants and refugees, we give strength, confidence and a voice to those who are marginalized or unable to speak for themselves. We are indeed called to love tenderly. When a caregiver shares a smile with one of our disabled brothers and sisters of Padua Community Services or when we are able to provide support for our parents and youth through Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring, we enfold those in need in Jesus’ loving embrace.

We are certainly called to humbly serve. In all 108 church parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, at least one (or more!) Catholic Charities program has been present to provide assistance to someone in need. With over 500 employees across our many diverse programs and services, it is our daily mission to continue to evolve our ministries as a source of support for our parishes in meeting the needs of those who are struggling.
Yes, we are truly called by name. And we will continue to answer that call through our love, through our services and through the people we serve. By being a supporter of our work, you already share in our answering the call to service. For many, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is the voice of hope and the hand that gives help. We thank you for your continued support and prayers.

God bless you,
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C.

Annual reports are being mailed out to our donors and friends this week. Join our mailing list to get the latest info and news from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans!

 

*From We are Called by David Haas

 


West Bank Catholic Charities Food Distribution Site Moves to First Avenue in Harvey

Harvey, LA – Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Food For Seniors monthly food box distribution site at Hope Haven on Barataria Blvd. in Marrero has been moved to 1245 1st Avenue in Harvey. Enrolled participants should stick to their usual assigned date for the new location. New registrants and participants with assigned dates August 1 -12 who missed their usual date can pick up a food box any day this August.

Food for Seniors distribution site at 1245 1st Avenue in Harvey will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am – 2pm and Wednesday is 12:00 – 5pm.

This program distributes free supplemental food boxes for qualifying low-income senior citizens Enrollment in Food for Seniors program is always open. New and registered participants with questions can call toll free 1-800-522-3333 for more information and enrollment.

Food For Seniors/Food For Families currently holds food box distributions throughout all 64 civil parishes in Louisiana, with more than 40 sites in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Some of these include senior living facilities, senior day care centers and churches. Food for Seniors/Food for Families is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). It is an equal opportunity program of the US Department of Agriculture and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in collaboration with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

How the immigration crisis hits home with me

Martin Gutierrez, VP of Community Ministries, shares his personal journey to U.S. citizenship in light of the unaccompanied minors crisis. Read the statement from the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops on this issue.

How the immigration crisis hits home with me, Published on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 16:58 in the Clarion Herald Written by Martin Gutierrez, Guest Column


On July 19, 1979 – 35 years ago – Nicaragua started a new chapter in her history.Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans also had to turn the page and started writing the next chapter in their lives. My dad, mom, brother, sister and I were among those tens of thousands. This is a long, complex story, but I will attempt to give just a glimpse of it in light of what is now going on with the thousands of minors who are crossing our border seeking protection.All Nicaraguans suffered the consequences of a civil war in the 1970s. In May/June 1979, we received threats that our home was on the “black list.” My dad served in the Nicaraguan Army, and at that time he was a colonel.After consulting with others, we decided that my mom, brother, sister and I would go spend some time at my aunt’s house located outside of Managua, the capital city where we lived. My dad was not with us. He was fulfilling his duties as an officer in the armed forces.In late June, my aunt and those staying with her, received additional death threats. At that point, my mom and dad decided it was a good idea – I am glad they thought of this – to go on a vacation to visit my cousins in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana.

We were blessed to have tourist visas on hand and the resources at the time to get on a plane and start our “vacation.” We arrived in St. Bernard on July 1, 1979, after spending a couple of days in Miami.

My dad stayed in Nicaragua. He was spending a lot of time in the Nicaraguan southern region. We all assumed we would be back home in a two to three weeks when “things calmed down.”

An extended ‘vacation’
Later in July, my dad had to come to the United States on a work-related trip. He stopped by New Orleans to visit us. He explained that things didn’t look good in Nicaragua, and that our vacation might extend for a little while. Dad told us that he was in the U.S. just for a few days and that he had to go back to Nicaragua.

Sometime around the middle of July, my dad called his boss in Nicaragua and explained to him that he was finished with what he needed to do in the U.S. and was ready to go back. His boss instructed him to stay where he was until further orders. I will always be grateful to his boss for giving those orders.

On July 17, the president of Nicaragua resigned and left the country. The other side in the conflict took over the government on July 19. Going back to Nicaragua for my dad would have resulted in him being killed or, at the very least, being placed in prison.

Who knows what our lives would have been like if we all had to return to Managua?

Very quickly and unexpectedly, one chapter closed and another one opened for my family and most Nicaraguans. Dad ended up going to Miami for one year, and we stayed in St. Bernard. Our tourist visas were valid only for a short time. My parents decided that we would apply for asylum, and this process took a long time.

It is important to know that the only benefit we received when we applied for asylum was authorization to work and my being able to go to public school. Our relatives and new friends provided great support.

Soon my mom (with basically no English) started working at Schwegmann’s supermarket as a bagger. She moved up to cashier and later became cashier supervisor. My dad worked in the maritime industry. He spoke enough English, since he had spent 13 years as a merchant marine officer and had visited the U.S. often.

Grateful for welcoming
So, I went from being a tourist to someone who was exiled to asylee to legal resident and later to American citizen. I will always be grateful to the U.S. government for giving my parents the opportunity to prove their case and gain asylum. I recognize that I entered the country legally. But I also realize that it would have been very easy for us to become illegals (I prefer the term undocumented) if our visa would have expired before we applied for asylum.

The thousands of minors who have crossed our borders and their parents are not leaving Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on a vacation. Their exodus has been triggered by many forces, including fear for their lives. I pray that our government grants them the opportunity to prove their case in a court of law, as the current laws allow.

The laws offer several possible avenues for these families and minors to seek solutions to their situations. Some of these avenues include asylum, special juvenile immigrant visa, a “U” visa and a “T” Visa. The reality is that many will not qualify and/or will not be able to prove their case and will have to go back.

This is a major crisis in a very complex world. The root causes that push these families to leave their countries and the forces that pull them to come to the U.S. must be dealt with. This will not happen overnight. In the meantime, we have to deal with this situation in a fair, humane and just manner.

Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala all rank in the top 5 in murder rates in the world. Fortunately, Nicaragua is relatively calm now, which is one of the reasons Nicaraguan families are not making the tough decisions that others from the three other countries are making.

I am sure that if my kids’ lives were in danger, I would go to extreme measures to protect them.

Martin O. Gutierrez is vice president of Community Services Ministry for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. He can be reached at mgutierrez@ccano.org.

- See more at: http://clarionherald.info/clarion/index.php/guest-column/3567-how-the-immigration-crisis-hits-home-with-me#sthash.NaTTLZiX.dpuf

This August, help keep ‘em covered!

The babies and moms we serve through ACCESS Pregnancy and Referral Centers are in desperate need of diapers and wipes! As a National Diaper Bank affiliate, ACCESS receives diaper requests from families throughout the region. We rely on donations to keep their diaper supply stocked.

You can help keep ‘em covered by giving in the online diaper drive!

 

Follow the link above to go to the ACCESS Walmart.com baby registry to help keep our Diaper Bank stocked! We currently need 80 packs of diapers in various sizes (especially larger sizes 4-6!), 60 packs of wipes, and various other baby items to give to our ACCESS families! The need is constant and we need your help!
ACCESS’ registry number at Walmart.com is 86182949302 or you can enter ACCESS in the first and last name sections under the baby registry.

Or CLICK HERE to make a monetary donation to support ACCESS babies and their families! Select ACCESS in the designation menu!

Donations may also be dropped off at the new Metairie ACCESS location – 921 Aris Ave, 504-832-1503. Thank you for your continued support of our life-affirming ministry and the women and families we serve!

ESL Volunteers Needed for the Fall Semester!

Volunteer to Help Adults Learn English!

Gain teaching experience and have fun helping adult learners practice their English. Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers are needed now!

  • Volunteer 3-6 hours each week
  • One semester commitment (September through December)
  • Several locations available:

Metairie/Kenner – Uptown – Mid-City

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Reliable transportation required

 Materials and training provided. Volunteers should be able to commit one to three days per weekfrom 6:00-8:30 pm or 9:00-11:30 am.

Call 504-861-6348 or email TWheelock@ccano.org for more information

ACCESS Mobile Pregnancy Center is on the move!

Check out the new schedule of stops for the ACCESS Mobile Pregnancy Center, July -October 2014!

The ACCESS Mobile Unit will be parked at these locations from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Tuesdays – Food Pantry of New Orleans, 13150 I-10 Service Rd. (Near the Bullard exit), New Orleans East

Wednesdays– Nativity of Our Lord, 3325 Loyola Drive, Kenner

Thursdays – Hope Haven, 1101 Barataria Blvd., Marrero

Call 504-427-1278 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Basketball Tournament for NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative 7/3

The New Orleans Interfaith Peace Initiative is sponsoring the first New Orleans Peace Tournament targeting young men (ages 18-25) and will be held the Central City neighborhood at the historic New Zion Baptist Church located at 2319 Third Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. This one-day tournament is modeled after the Peace Games in Chicago, spearheaded by Father Mike Pfleger and several NBA Partners and is scheduled for July 3rd from 9am to 5pm and will target 60 young men representing many areas in the Greater New Orleans Area.

“Choosing to host the event at New Zion is significant to the Central City Community. Many youth don’t know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., started the Civil Rights movement hear in Central City 50 years ago. We want young men to feel empowered by discussing Peace, just like the leaders revered around the world. We hope that participants leave inspired to bring this spirit of Peace back to their neighborhoods,” states Pastor Nelson Dexter, Temple of Praise Ministries and the Isaiah Institute of New Orleans.

Our goals are to use basketball as a means to help young men build positive relationships, to enlist youth in becoming leaders and peace-makers, and to support them by identifying resources needed such as workforce development and social services that promote a better quality of life. While the participation of pro-basketball players will attract participants, the event’s goals are to provide lasting motivation to young men.

Former Mayor and President of the National Urban League, Marc Morial and United States Attorney Kenneth Polite, have partnered with NOLA Interface Peace Initiative and will address participants and faith-leaders and offer continued support and commitment to peace in New Orleans. From 4:00 – 5:00pm, Marc Morial and additional guest speakers, such as Greg Monroe, with the NBA Detroit Pistons and native of the New Orleans Area, will address tournament participants.

Event partners and guests will include, Isaiah Institute of New Orleans, One Voice Louisiana, Temple of Praise Ministries, Carver Desire Baptist Church, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Loyola University of New Orleans, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, Connor Sports, Members of the New Orleans City Council and a host of other community and corporate partners.

About the NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative
The NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative is a collaborative of 40+ organizations that envisions a united community supportive of the mayor, city government, institutions, and each other; all of us focused on bringing and maintaining peace in our homes, neighborhoods, and city. This initiative will create a network of sustainable neighborhood peace initiatives led by institutions of faith that focus on protecting and enriching the lives of our children and the prosperity of our city.

About the Peace Games
In 2012, Peace Games Tournament inspired hope and motivated in the Chicago communities. Since September 12, 2012, there have been zero reported shootings between the participants in the tournament. This is an extraordinary testament to the power of basketball as a way to promote peace, build relationships and create brotherhood. The Peacemaker Basketball League at St. Sabina also was born from the success of the 2012 Peace Tournament. The impact of the event resonated throughout the south side Chicago community, and inspired young men from the neighborhood to approach Fr. Pfleger about hosting peace games on a regular basis.

Job Fairs in July

Catholic Charities Spirit of Hope Program is hosting several job fairs in July! A variety of companies will be looking for individuals with skills within the following industries: oil and gas, maritime, gaming, construction, medical and health, and hospitality.

 

Wednesday, July 16
10am – 2pm
Our Lady of Lourdes – Annex Building
2621 Colonial Blvd, Violet, LA 70092

Wednesday, July 23
10am – 2pm
St. Patrick’s Parish Hall
28698 Highway 23, Port Sulphur, LA 70083

Wednesday, July 30
10am – 2pm
St. Anthony Parish Hall
2653 Jean Lafitte Blvd, Lafitte, LA 70067

Questions or if you are an employer and would like to join us for these job fairs, contact Shaula Lovera at Phone: (504) 310-6998 or E-mail: slovera@ccano.org

 

Spirit of Hope/Workforce Development
Spirit of Hope began as a collaborative program among Catholic Charities and 15 other non-profit agencies in areas affected by the 2010 BP oil spill. Spirit of Hope’s work continues through workforce development, community outreach and engagement, education, counseling services and psychiatric services. Click here for an overview of the impact of this program.

Thank you from Padua Community Services!

THANK YOU! We can’t say it enough! From our family of staff, children and adults in care at Padua Community Services, THANK YOU for helping us raise $26,119 to help provide care and loving homes to some of our most fragile brothers and sisters! Your support truly makes a difference in the lives of those we serve!

Food for Families/Seniors new site at Westbank YMCA

Announcing another new site for seniors to access our free monthly food box distributions! 

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and Algiers Development District are teaming up through the Food for Families program to serve approximately 500 seniors on the Westbank on a monthly basis. Beginning on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 and every 2nd Wednesday thereafter, Food for Families/Food for Seniors will provide commodity boxes to supplement monthly meals for seniors in the community.

 

In 2013, Food for Families/Food for Seniors served over 67,000 low-income seniors and expecting and new mothers with infants across all 64 Louisiana civil parishes. From 8am to 12pm on June 11th, the Westbank YMCA at Federal City will be the new monthly pick up site for seniors living in the Westbank community where they will receive 20 meals for the month.

 

“Catholic Charities’ Food for Families program and the YMCA are natural partners for the Algiers Development District. We are all committed to improving the lives of our community, especially our seniors” said Kathy Lynn Honaker, Executive Director, Algiers Development District.

 

“We are grateful for the partnership of the Algiers Development District in enabling us to better serve the seniors of the Westbank through this community site. Enrollment in the Food for Families/Food For Seniors Program is always open and we hope the Westbank YMCA site will allow us to reach more seniors who might be in need of this service,” said Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C., President and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “We look forward to working together to ensure the aging Westbank community is receiving the nutrition and support they need through our Food for Families/Food For Seniors program.”