Parish and community-based works of charity will be the beneficiaries of the inaugural archdiocesan Catholic Charities Campaign for Charity and Justice, which will be taken up in parishes across the archdiocese Nov. 18-19.
The collection through Catholic Charities is part of a three-year pilot program for the local Church. A portion of the money will go, as in the past, to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
The CCHD collection will not be taken at parishes in the archdiocese. The Catholic Charities Campaign for Charity and Justice will be taken up in its place for at least the next three years.
“This collection is an opportunity to reaffirm the partnership between Catholic Charities and the parishes of the Archdiocese of New York in furthering the Gospel responsibility to reach out to our neighbors in need,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the archdiocese.
The collection goal for this year is $500,000. “Our hope is that we will exceed what has been raised previously in the collections for the Campaign for Human Development and that we would continue to grow this as our parishioners see how effective this is in helping parishioners and community-based organizations to help their neighbors in need,” Msgr. Sullivan added.
Cardinal Dolan worked with the national office to help the Campaign for Human Development in the archdiocese to make the transition to the Catholic Charities Campaign for Charity and Justice, Msgr. Sullivan said, “which is in the spirit of that campaign, but it’s more locally focused on the parishes and community-based organizations.”
The archdiocese, he added, has committed to providing $75,000 to the national office “where they can help poorer dioceses.”
Richard Espinal, associate director for parish and community engagement for the Department of Social and Community Development of archdiocesan Catholic Charities, said the collection is a way to allow parishes, which are sometimes the closest to the needs, “to really be able to extend their outreach to the poor, whether it be through an existing ministry, like food pantries, but also allow them to maybe think beyond what they have done in the past, and really start exploring other ways to reach out to the poor and marginalized.”
As examples, Espinal suggested outreach endeavors to single mothers, immigrants, refugees and those who are re-entering society upon release from prison.
A significant change is that in the past, the bulk of the funds was geared toward organizing and advocacy-related work, Espinal said, “and here we want to be able to support some direct services, charitable ministries,” such as home visits to the disabled or helping families struggling with opioid addiction.
Parishes have until Jan. 15 to apply for grants from the collection.
Pastors and parish councils are encouraged to go to the Catholic Charities Campaign for Charity and Justice website for information about the application progress.
Mindful that some parishes may not have the experience of drafting a grant proposal or navigating how to begin a justice ministry, Espinal said that parishes should “contact us, let Catholic Charities help you in putting a framework together if you are not sure. There are a lot of needs; let us be your partner in putting these things together.”
Sunday, Nov. 19, also marks the Church’s inaugural World Day for the Poor. “As a universal Church, we are called to be in solidarity with our neediest neighbors, the poor around us,” Espinal said.
Information: http://www.catholiccharitiesny.org/cccj; Richard.Espinal@archny.org or (212) 371-1000, Ext. 2503.