October 29th, 2018
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
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.
Immigration Services in the News
October 23rd, 2018
In the October edition of Fairfield County Catholic, an article written by Brian D. Wallace summarized the trip taken by Catholic Charities’ Immigration Services caseworker Maria Palacios to McAllen, Texas where she worked with migrants at the border. You can read the article in its entirety here.
Leading By Example
September 20th, 2018
The recent edition of Fairfield County Catholic included an article by Joe Pisano about Catholic Charities’ President Al Barber. A copy of that article can be found here.
First Annual Charities Cup A Huge Success
August 20th, 2018
FAIRFIELD—In describing the international sport of rugby, Pope Francis has said, “It makes us think of life, because our whole life we are heading for a goal. We need to run together, pass the ball from hand to hand, until we get to it. Playing rugby is hard; it is no walk in the park. I think that makes it useful to toughen the spirit, the will.”
Taking inspiration from the Holy Father’s words, rugby teams from around Fairfield County came together on June 23 at Fairfield University’s Rafferty Stadium for the first annual “Charity Cup,” a fundraiser in support of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County (CCFC). Organized by Fairfield Yankee rugby player and St. Joseph High School theology teacher Michael Pappa, in tandem with CCFC board member Pete Maloney, the day brought in over $3,500 for the agency.
“The first ever Charity Cup was a win all around. Local players volunteered their time playing in a healthy competition to support a great cause,” Pappa summarized.
Over one hundred rugby players, from middle schoolers to seasoned veterans, competed in multiple matches throughout the day. For the youth teams, Fairfield Rugby Club defeated Aspetuck Rugby in three consecutive matches. On the adult side, the Fairfield Yankees, Danbury Madhatters, Greenwich Rugby, Fairfield Lady Yankees, and Danbury Women’s Rugby battled it out in a round-robin format.
With support from agile college players and hometown-hero-turned-professional player Myles McQuone, the Fairfield Yankees men’s team overwhelmed their competition with relentless fast-paced play. In the women’s division, the experience, skill and depth of the Danbury Women’s Rugby team led them to victory, despite a valiant effort by their opponents, the Lady Yankees.
Dr. Mark Nemec, president of Fairfield University and a hard-nosed rugby player, participated in the touch rugby matches and presented trophies to the winning teams. Rugby United New York, the metropolitan area’s first professional rugby team, was a sponsor of the event and had representatives on site in support of the day. Additional sponsors and supporters included Grace O’Malley’s, Yankee Social, Jr’s Deli and Grille and American Medical Response.
The Fairfield Yankees team donated their tournament winnings to CCFC’s Thomas Merton Center, while Danbury Women’s Rugby donated their purse to CCFC’s Morning Glory Breakfast Program.
(To support Catholic Charities, contact Bob Donahue at 203.416.1313 or [email protected].)
Written by Ellen McGinness as published in Fairfield County Catholic
Preparing Something Special
August 20th, 2018
STAMFORD—“He’ll do anything for the kids,” says Executive Director John Gutman, of Chef Michael Arditti. The New Covenant Center Chef has been preparing and cooking the weekday meals for two years for the kids and moms at Inspirica House (shelter) in Stamford.
This week Michael donned his hoodie, winter gloves and Hollywood glasses to spend time in the New Covenant Center—4 degree freezer searching for something special to provide two lunches for 150 kids during the last week of the Boys and Girls Summer Camp at the Yerwood Center,
“Michael found chicken tenders for one of the meals. The MAVFoundation, who advocates for the end to hunger, approached us about helping out during the last week of camp. New Covenant Center served lunch to the camp yesterday and will serve another lunch tomorrow. We also want to thank St. John Church of Darien for donating juice, water, energy bars and tangerines as part of the lunches for the campers,” Gutman.
New Covenant Center provides more than 600,000 meals yearly to the working poor, elderly and homeless of the greater Stamford area. Its mission is focused on hunger prevention and social services for a better life.
The 8,200 square foot center includes dining and pantry services, bath and shower facilities for homeless guests, and a laundry room, barber services, job skills training and social programs provided at the soup kitchen to help people become more independent.
Sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the inner city soup kitchen relies on hundreds of interfaith volunteers along with its small professional staff to provide nutrition and social services. Services are open to people of all faith, free of charge.
Written by Fairfield County Catholic