December 12th, 2019
BRIDGEPORT—Mike Donoghue of Darien has been named executive director of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County. The appointment, announced by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, was effective December 2.
Donoghue succeeds Al Barber who has held the post since 2004 and has recently accepted the newly created post as director of Foundations in Charity, one of the foundations created last year through the “We Stand With Christ” capital campaign.
Prior to his move to the non-profit world at Catholic Charities, Mike spent 32 years working in New York City for Wall Street finance and investment firms.
“Mike Donoghue brings the passion, zeal, intellect, experience and love of faith to take Catholic Charities to the next level in its mission of creating a more loving community that serves the most vulnerable and respects the dignity of all people,” said Bishop Caggiano.
“While Mike has had considerable business success, he prepared for this new assignment through years of outstanding volunteer service to the diocese, his parish and the community. He brings great understanding and compassion to those left out of the benefits of our economy and also a commitment to empower them through Catholic Charities programs to move forward in their own lives.”
The bishop said he believes Donoghue will build on the success of Al Barber who left an outstanding business career to take the helm of Catholic Charities for the past 15 years.
“At this time of transition I’m very personally grateful to Al Barber under whose faithful leadership the agency expanded its nutrition, child development and family support services,” the bishop said. “Al rolled up his sleeves to engage with those served by the agency and to build community support, and we are grateful for his service.”
Catholic Charities is one of the largest private social service providers in Fairfield County. Its programs include nutrition, housing mental health, adoption and pregnancy service, immigration and family support service that help more than 10,000 people of all faiths each year.
Mike Donoghue: After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College in 1982 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986, he began his Wall Street career at Morgan Stanley & Co where he worked for 19 years and was named managing director in 1996.
Mike was a founding member of Morgan Stanley’s High Yield Sales and Trading business which he helped grow from inception with eight employees to a $1 Billion business with over 200 employees globally.
He joined startup investment management firm Phoenix Investment Adviser in April 2006 as president of the firm. During his tenure, the firm’s assets under management grew from $35 million with four employees to over $1.5 billion with 24 employees.
Among his many Church and volunteer commitments, Mike Donoghue was invested as a Knight of Malta in 2004 and currently leads the Fairfield County chapter as Area chair with his wife Cece. He has participated in eight Order of Malta pilgrimages to Lourdes, France where the order brings sick people and their caregivers in search of spiritual, emotional and physical healing. Mike was elected to the Order of Malta board of councillors in 2018 and recently completed a five year strategic plan for the American Association. He was also a founding member and the founding co-president of the recently formed (2017) Legatus chapter in Fairfield County.
He has worked as an active volunteer at New Covenant Center, Malta House, Thomas Merton Center, St. Catherine’s Center for Special Needs and the Shepherd’s mentoring program.
Mike and his wife Cece are perhaps best known by Catholics throughout the diocese for their work as the campaign co-chairs for the Annual Catholic Appeal in 2013-2014 during Bishop Caggiano’s first year in the diocese. They are also active supporters and donors to the Ignatian Spirituality Center at Fairfield University, Foundations in Education and the new Veritas Catholic Radio network.
His passion for working with individuals with Special Needs and volunteering led him to serve as head coach and commissioner of the Darien Challenger Baseball League, a position he has held since 2010. He also served as a board member of St. Catherine Academy in Fairfield from 2004–2009 and has been as member of the board of directors of the Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) Children’s Project since 1996. A-T is a rare genetic fatal disease that attacks children.
Mike and his wife Cece and have five children ages 19 to 28 and are members of St Thomas More Parish in Darien.
Catholic Charities sponsors more than 30 programs and services in offices throughout Fairfield County. The main office is located at 238 Jewett, Avenue, Bridgeport 06606 in the Catholic Center.
(For more information call: 203.416.1370 or visit: www.ccfairfield.org.)
New Covenant Center Distributes 500 Turkeys for Thanksgiving
November 21st, 2019
On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, New Covenant Center distributed 500 turkeys from their Richmond Hill Avenue location in Stamford. The program was fortunate to have News 12 Connecticut with them throughout the day to capture the entire process and to see how it impacts those in need.
Golf Outing Raises Funds for Catholic Charities
October 21st, 2019
FAIRFIELD—After being postponed for rain in June, the 2019 Catholic Charities AETNA Golf Classic teed off at The Patterson Club in Fairfield on September 30. This year’s event was even more successful than last year. The event hosted 23 foursomes and raised approximately $95,000 to benefit all of the programs served by Catholic Charities.
In addition to a joyous round of golf, the event hosts a wonderful post-golf banquet during which the agency honored Bobby Crabtree of Colonial Toyota with the Catholic Charities Service Award. Colonial Toyota has been a regular sponsor of the golf outing for at least years and Bobby Crabtree is an active supporter of the agency.
AETNA agreed to be the signature sponsor for next year’s event. This year’s event was also sponsored by Denis & Britta Nayden, Bank of America & Merrill Lynch, TD Bank, The Minton Family, Compass Diversified Holdings, Michael O’Rourke, St. Aloysius Church and Colonial Toyota.
(If you are interested in learning more about becoming involved in next year’s golf outing, please contact Amy Zajac at [email protected].)
Written by Amy Zajac
“Social Service Is An Expression Of Christian Love”
October 18th, 2019
Almost 400 guests and friends of Catholic Charities turned out for the benefit breakfast at The Amber Room Colonnade. The breakfast event raised more than $65,000 for the mental health and social services provided by Catholic Charities in the greater Danbury area.
Anthony Giobbi and MaryAnn Murtha served as co-chairs of the event. Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, delivered the invocation and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton expressed words of gratitude for those who support the work of Catholic Charities.
In his featured talk, Dr. Murphy, who leads a new health system with seven hospitals serving 1.5 million people in Connecticut and New York, said social services provided by Catholic Charities and other organizations play a critical role in the overall health and wellbeing of families.
He noted that poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, food insecurity and lack of transportation drive up healthcare costs and lead to chronic medical conditions.
“Housing, assistance, counseling, case management, homeless outreach and immigration services are precisely the kinds of service that we know are crucial to improving the health of a community,” Dr. Murphy said
He added that Catholic Charities is part of a long tradition of standing up for the poor and the immigrants that began to arrive in this country in the 19th century.
“Most of us are the children or grandchildren of immigrants and Danbury has long been home to wave after wave of immigrant families. It is the most diverse city in Connecticut and the eleventh most diverse city in the nation with 31 percent of its residents being foreign born,” he said.
He cited the annual report of the Association for Improving Conditions of the Poor that referred to the children of Irish Catholic immigrants as “accumulated poor.”
“The Children’s Aid Society began breaking up Irish families by removing tens of thousands of children from their homes. It was around this time that Catholic child-caring institutions emerged and Catholics learned to leverage their position in charity to win a voice in local, state and national policy making.
He said Catholic Charities not only provides services but it staff are “advocates and justice workers” for the poor, regardless of their faith.
Dr. Murphy, a Fordham University graduate, said that the United States spends 20 percent of its GDP on healthcare but only 10 percent on social services, less than half of other western nations. The gap between the two has led to repeat emergency room and hospital visits, which are costly and a poor use of resources.
“Recent studies have demonstrated the critical relationship between the two. The less a country spends on social services the poorer the outcomes in terms of life expectance and infant mortality. These are areas where we’re losing ground,” he said.
He said the U.S. is number 28 out of 34 countries for low birth rate, and 26 out of 34 developed countries in terms of life expectancy.
“The average life expectance of 78.6 has fallen three years in a row. The last time that happened was 1915 to 1918,” he said.
“The leaders of Catholic Charities know and face the same reality they confronted 150 years ago—private charity alone will not met the needs of the millions,” he said, adding that only shared public and private responsibility and an acceptance that the poor “belong to all of us” will address the challenge of poverty in America.
Dr. Murphy completed his talk by saying “Jesus Christ was born poor, lived poor and died poor. The Church cannot be any different,” he said
Nuvance Health includes Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and Sharon Hospital in Connecticut and Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital Center and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York—plus multiple primary and specialty care physician practice location.
Catholic Charities of Northern Fairfield County’s program include the Behavioral Health Clinic located at 405 Main Street in Danbury, The Family Loan Program to cover auto, rental and childcare expenses, the Morning Glory Breakfast Program located at Dorothy Day Hospitality House at 15 Spring Street, the Homeless Outreach Team, Community Support and Recovery Pathways, 24 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel and New Heights psychosocial recovery programming for adult with mental illness, 64 West Street, Danbury.
(For more information contact Catholic Charities of Northern Fairfield County at 203.743.4412 or online at www.ccfairfield.org.)
As seen on the DOB, Fairfield County Catholic website.
Bishop Frank Caggiano to be Featured Guest Speaker at Norwalk Breakfast
September 27th, 2019
NORWALK— On Friday, December 6, Catholic Charities will hold its 26th Annual Norwalk Breakfast at Shorehaven Golf Club from 7:30-9:30 am. The Norwalk Breakfast is a Christmas event that is held each year to raise the critical funds to support the programs provided in Norwalk—Room to Grow Preschool and Behavioral Health Services. This holiday fundraiser features a spectacular buffet and a raffle. But the highlight of this year’s event is celebrity guest speaker The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Full details on the event, as well as registration for tickets and tables can be found at www.ccfairfield.org/event/2019-norwalk-celebrity-breakfast. Those interested in attending the event are encouraged to register early. Seating is limited and it is anticipated that the event, which usually hosts a sell-out crowd, will reach capacity even faster with Bishop Caggiano as the guest speaker.
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc. is one of the largest private social service providers in Connecticut. The agency puts faith into action by providing a wide variety of services to over 10,000 individuals in Fairfield County, Connecticut annually. In Norwalk, services are provide through Room to Grow preschool and Behavioral Health Services. RTG, a state licensed and nationally accredited preschool program, provides high quality care and education for children ages 3 to 5 years old and recently graduated its largest class to date – 58 students in total. Students attending the program come from low-income families residing in the City of Norwalk. The program capacity is 132 children and is funded through a school readiness grant. However, additional funding is still needed and the Norwalk Breakfast helps support the services the program provides.
Catholic Charities also offers Behavioral Health Services in Norwalk. While the program does take insurance, the agency has been a leader in providing affordable and accessible mental health services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families for over fifty years and is one of the only providers of subsidized mental health services in the region. Clinic staff consists of skilled master level and licensed clinicians with training in various mental health disciplines, including counseling, clinical social work, medication management and marriage and family therapy. Now more than ever, affordable mental health services are vital for the community of Norwalk.
(For more information on the Norwalk Breakfast, please go to www.ccfairfield.org/event/2019-norwalk-celebrity-breakfast or contact Amy Zajac at [email protected].)
(To learn more about the services provided by Catholic Charities, including Room to Grow Preschool and Behavioral Health Services, visit their webpage at www.ccfairfield.org.)