News
Sold Out Crowd Attends Norwalk ‘Celebrity Breakfast’
December 12th, 2018

(L to R) Father Robert Kinnally, Ed Bagnulo, Nancy Owens, Richard Madwid, Bill Tommins, Michael Tintrup, Al Barber, & Mark Texeira.

Celebrity guest speaker Father Robert Kinnally, Pastor of St. Aloysius & Chancellor for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

NORWALK—Hundreds of people from around the Norwalk and New Canaan area came out to the Shorehaven Golf Club on December 7 to support the programs of Catholic Charities in the city of Norwalk.

This year’s breakfast featured guest speaker Father Robert Kinnally, chancellor of the Diocese of Bridgeport and pastor of St. Aloysius Parish.

Though quick to poke fun at his “lack of celebrity status,” Father Rob began his inspiring talk by quoting the famous Mother Teresa, saying: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

He then took to the podium to beautifully describe his parents, who he credits as having taught him the importance of charity and how to give of oneself generously.

“My parents didn’t just explain to me why it was important to be charitable, they showed me, every single day by their example,” Father Rob explained, sharing multiple beautiful (and often humorous) stories about his youth.

One such story involved a particular Thanksgiving when then Rob asked his mother “who was coming to dinner?”

Catholic Charities’ President Al Barber

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“Well, how many people are coming?” Father Rob remembers asking.

“I don’t know,” was the answer then too.

In his speech, Father Rob explained that his parents would invite “everyone who didn’t have a seat at someone’s table” to Thanksgiving, which often led to a diverse and varied group each year. This was just one example of their “radical hospitality” that Father Rob referenced throughout his speech.

As his speech closed, Father Rob praised both Catholic Charities programs hosted in the city of Norwalk—Behavioral Health Services and Room to Grow Preschool. Both programs assist individuals, children, and families by educating and counseling them on a daily basis to help them navigate their way through life.

Director of Behavioral Health Richard Madwid

In addition to hearing from Father Rob, Al Barber, president of Catholic Charities began the day, Richard Madwid, director of Behavioral Health Services shared an update on what is happening in the program, and Nancy Owens, director of Room to Grow Preschool elaborated on the importance of the program to the Norwalk community.

Bill Tommins of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors closed out the morning and Msgr. Cullen led the opening prayer.

Director of Room to Grow Preschool Nancy Owens with RTG Board Member Ed Bagnulo

For 25 years, the Norwalk Breakfast has supported Behavioral Health Services and Room to Grow Preschool. Now more than ever the success of this event is vital as the agency strives to expand the services provided by Room to Grow Preschool to include financial literacy, English as a Second Language class, afterschool homework support, and parenting education. Catholic Charities is also working hard to promote the necessity of behavioral services throughout the City of Norwalk to help those struggling and battling mental health issues such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Catholic Charities’ Board Member and Development Board Chair Bill Tommins

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc. is one of the largest private social service providers in Connecticut. Since 1916, Catholic Charities has served all people with programs that feed the hungry and homebound, shelter the homeless, strengthen families, assist the physically and emotionally challenged and deliver consultation and assistance to immigrants. They serve all people without regard to age, race, religion or ability to pay. Catholic Charities puts faith into action by providing food, housing, mental health, adoption, immigration, and family support services to the needy and vulnerable of Fairfield County.

Written by John Grosso
As seen in Fairfield County Catholic



Adoption Builds Families
December 12th, 2018

BRIDGEPORT—For 102 years, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County (CCFC) has provided services for expectant parents and adoptive families. Over the last century the program’s core focus has remained the same: to help those who choose to build their family through adoption, and to help the expectant mothers as well.

Family Directions offers a broad spectrum of services in the pregnancy counseling and adoption area. For example, if an expectant mother who is considering adoption has concerns about being able to parent effectively or being capable of affording the cost of raising a child, the Family Directions staff helps her feel supported and not alone. Whatever the mother’s choice is—keeping the baby or going the adoption route—they are there to help her. In the circumstance where she keeps the baby, the agency provides counseling and guidance for as long as the mother needs it and also assists her in obtaining as many supportive services as possible. If however, she decides on an adoption plan, a coordinator is by her side to make sure she understands all of the legal and emotional elements of her decision.

For the families who are adopting, Family Directions helps them prepare to welcome the child into their home and supports them during the entire process. “When you are adopting a child, there is some anxiety because you are dealing with the unknown,” explained Chris, who is an adoptive parent along with his wife Louise. “You wonder if you are going to be capable of this responsibility, which of course biological parents do too. But the difference is, you do not know exactly when you will be taking your child home because you have to wait for the agency to tell you that they have found a match for your family. For biological parents, there is a known due date so that uncertainty is eliminated. Catholic Charities was great at putting our minds at ease while simultaneously guiding us every step of the way.”

Chris and Louise now have five children, four of whom were adopted through Catholic Charities. Although there were many agencies to choose from, the couple chose CCFC for a few reasons. As Catholics, they were naturally attracted to the agency. They were also incredibly impressed by CCFC’s absolute commitment to the well-being of everyone involved: the child, the expectant mother and the adoptive family. Lastly, because CCFC is a nonprofit, they knew the agency had no ulterior motive that could have been driven by financial gain.

“We are extremely proud to offer services that center on adoption,” said Al Barber, the president of Catholic Charities. “Our staff truly cares about everyone involved and keeps in touch with them long after the adoption process is completed.”

For Chris and Louise, the four experiences of taking the leap into adoption with Catholic Charities by their side was nothing short of incredible. As Chris summarized, “It’s like winning the Powerball…but four times over.”

CCFC is licensed by the Department of Children and Families as a child-placing agency and is COA Accredited, with full Hague Accreditation.

Written by Ellen McGinness
As seen in Fairfield County Catholic



A SPECTACULAR HARVEST TABLE!
December 4th, 2018

John Gutman with honorees George Bodenheimer, Moira Colangelo, Linda and Bruce Koe, Michael Boyd, Sarita Hanley, Cathy James, Jay Sandak and Advisory Council member Laure Aubuchon

High school volunteers from Future 5

Over 275 friends of New Covenant Center attended the 8th Annual Harvest Table at the Italian Center in Stamford on November 8, raising over $200,000–an increase of $75,000 over last year! Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres in our Harvest Marketplace, had the chance to bid on 90 silent auction items and participate in a “Pledge to Support” component to the event.

NCCenter Advisory Council Member Laure Aubuchon with her sister A.C. Aubuchon

In recognition of New Covenant Center’s 40 years of feeding the hungry and homeless, we honored five longtime supporters of our program: Robert and Ardis James Foundation, Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation, Sarita Hanley, Michael A. Boyd and Linda and Bruce Koe. We also recognized event Co-Chairs Moira Colangelo, George Bodenheimer and Ed Kearns.

Former Advisory Council Chairman Paul Harinstein and his wife Susan, Stamford Magazine Editor Camilla Herrera; Honoree Sarita Hanley; Catholic Charities’ Director of Marketing Ellen McGinness

Throughout the evening, we paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers who served the hungry in our first 40 years. Three generations of volunteers have helped us provide over 600,000 meals this past year in our Café (aka soup kitchen) and Food Pantry.

THANK YOU to the 275 guests who attended and all of those who participated in this event to help make it our best one ever!

Check out our amazing new video by clicking here !

Harvest Table Committee: Sarita Hanley, Leisa Hinds-Simpson; Sally Kelman; John Gutman; Irene Theriot, Paul Harinstein; Karen McNair; Kaye Leong; Laure Aubuchon; JoAnn Esposito; Ellen McGinness

 

 

 

 

 

 



Norwalk Celebrity Breakfast
November 6th, 2018

NORWALK—Join Catholic Charities for a festive event that will also benefit those most in need.

The 25th Anniversary Norwalk Celebrity Breakfast is being held on December 7 at Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk from 7:30-9:30 am. This year’s guest speaker is Father Robert Kinnally, chancellor of the Diocese of Bridgeport and pastor of St. Aloysius Parish.

Catholic Charities provides two vital programs in the City of Norwalk – Behavioral Health Services and Room to Grow Preschool. These programs assist individuals, children and families by educating and counseling them on a daily basis to help them navigate their way through life. For some, if it were not for these services provided by Catholic Charities, they would go without.

For 25 years, the Norwalk Breakfast has supported these two programs. Now more than ever the success of this event is vital as the agency strives to expand the services provided by Room to Grow Preschool to include financial literacy, English as a Second Language classes, afterschool homework support and parenting education. Catholic Charities is also working hard to promote the necessity of behavioral services throughout the City of Norwalk to help those struggling and battling mental health issues such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Valet service is included. Table sponsorships and individuals tickets for this event are on sale now at: https://25thnorwalkbreakfast.eventbrite.com. For more information contact Amy Zajac at (203) 416-1336.

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc. is one of the largest private social service providers in Connecticut. Since 1916, Catholic Charities has served all people with programs that feed the hungry and homebound, shelter the homeless, strengthen families, assist the physically and emotionally challenged, and deliver consultation and assistance to immigrants. We serve all people without regard to age, race, religion, or ability to pay. Catholic Charities puts faith into action by providing food, housing, mental health, adoption, immigration and family support services to the needy and vulnerable of Fairfield County. For more information visit: www.ccfairfield.org.

As seen in Fairfield County Catholic.



Northern Fairfield County Breakfast is a Hit
October 29th, 2018

Tony Giobbi, Al Barber, MaryAnn Murtha and Kevin Briody

DANBURY—Over 300 people came out to the Amber Room Colonade on October 25 to support the programs and services of Catholic Charities of Northern Fairfield County, including Behavioral Health, Community Support Program, Family Loan Program, Homeless Outreach Team, Housing, Morning Glory Breakfast Program and New Heights. They were there to support the programs which focus on services for the needy, homeless, and those struggling with mental issues, but walked away with so much more.

The event promised a “celebrity” speaker, yet two-time Emmy Award Winner Kevin Briody will tell you himself that he considers himself anything but that. In fact, he sees the staff of Catholic Charities as the true celebrities as they are faced with the daily challenge of helping those in need. Kevin charmed the audience with the story about his life from growing up in Ridgefield and hitch hiking to St. Mary’s Church to meeting his wife and taking a chance on song writing. His life has changed over the years, but it was always grounded in faith.

Kevin has done quite well as a song writer. His compelling song “We’re All Heroes” opened the Special Olympic World Games and Austism Speaks commissioned him to write the song “Bring Them Back” to help generate awareness. After speaking to the group, Kevin performed two of his songs which were filled with so much emotion, that many could be seen wiping away the tears from their eyes.

In addition to Hearing from Kevin Briody, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton spoke about the importance of the

Father Chip O’Neill with the Leggett Family and friends.

services provided by Catholic Charities and Father Chip O’Neill honored former Advisory Board Member Bob Leggett who passed away this year. Finally, Regional Director Michelle Conderino expressed how important it is to support Catholic Charities and provided insight into the number of people being served in the Danbury area by the agency. At the end, she implored people to take the centerpieces on the table and give them to anyone who could use some compassion and in need of brightening their day.

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc. is one of the largest private social service providers in Connecticut. Since 1916, Catholic Charities has served all people with programs that feed the hungry and homebound, shelter the homeless, strengthen families, assist the physically and emotionally challenged, and deliver consultation and assistance to immigrants. We serve all people without regard to age, race, religion, or ability to pay. Catholic Charities puts faith into action by providing food, housing, mental health, adoption, immigration and family support services to the needy and vulnerable of Fairfield County. For more information visit: www.ccfairfield.org.

As featured on the Diocese of Bridgeport website under Fairfield County Catholic.



Corporate Offices: 238 Jewett Ave Bridgeport, CT 06606
Phone: 203.416.1503
Fax: 203.372.5045

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