Cathedral Academy Delivers Blankets & Hope
December 11th, 2014

On December 10, 2014, Sister Angela Gertsema and Val Rousseau delivered infant blankets and a “Basket of Hope” to Catholic Charities from the 100 children who participate in the Little Friends of the Sacred Heart group at the Cathedral Academy in Bridgeport. This group meets once a month for prayer and service projects. The blankets were hand made by the children and will be given out to families all over Fairfield County through the St. Nicholas Boutique, the agency’s annual holiday toy distribution project. The “Basket of Hope” is a basket that contains notes of inspiration and good will, which will be donated to the New Heights program. In addition to Sister Angela and Val, the program is facilitated by many teachers including, but not limited to Ann Marie Donnelly, Mary Daley, Katie Slinko, Keisha Noisette, and Susan Gulyas.

More of Our Neighbors Are Hungry Each Day
December 5th, 2014

New Covenant House of Hospitality, Stamford’s one and only soup kitchen, was recently featured in an article in the Stamford Advocate written by Board Chair Paul Harinstein. Read about the good work of New Covenant House and learn why it is so vital to give to the Capital Campaign in the Stamford Advocate.

New Covenant House Appoints John R. Gutman as New Executive Director
November 20th, 2014

New Covenant House, lower Fairfield County’s Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry and a key program of Catholic Charities, announces the appointment of John R. Gutman as Executive Director. John, a longtime volunteer at New Covenant House, brings a wide range of experience from the corporate world. Prior to joining New Covenant House, he was CEO of his own consultancy focused on growing start-ups and mid-tier enterprises through strategic positioning, and corporate sponsorship. Previously, John was a Senior Vice President at several media companies and a Director at the National Basketball Association. Mr. Gutman holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University. Mr. Gutman has lived in Lower Fairfield County for the past 21 years and currently resides in Norwalk with his two college-aged sons.

John will be responsible for leading New Covenant House through the balance of a Capital Campaign targeted to raise $1.7 million for a new facility scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015. The “new” New Covenant House will encompass 8,000 square feet of space at 174 Richmond Hill, a major expansion from its current 2,000 square foot location.

New Covenant House is the largest soup kitchen in lower Fairfield County and serves hot meals twice a day, 365 days a year. Including the breakfast program and food pantry, it provides over 700,000 meals a year. The need for this humanitarian service has doubled in the past 6 years.

Founded over 36 years ago, New Covenant House is an inter-faith program of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, the largest non-governmental provider of human services in the area. They serve the needy and vulnerable including the homeless, elderly, disabled, working poor, and children. No one is turned away. There are no requirements to enter the New Covenant House doors, except a mutual exchange of respect and dignity.

To learn more about New Covenant House or to donate, please go to

Harvest Table is a Hit
November 6th, 2014

On November 3, 2014, the New Covenant House Advisory Board hosted its annual Harvest Table Fundraiser. This year the event was held at the County Club of Darien and was sold out with 216 guests in attendance. “It is the 4th year this event is being held and it has truly become institutional as a fundraising event for Catholic Charities,” says Al Barber, President. The success of the event was due to the hard work of co-chairpersons Holly Richardson and Heide Moeller. The 2014 Harvest Table Fundraiser featured a luncheon, Harvest Market, food demonstration, silent auction, and raffle. The guest speaker for the event was Lulu Powers, author and entertaining designer. The event brought in $45,000 for the New Covenant House of Hospitality – Stamford’s one and only soup kitchen.

Catholic Charities Awards St. Augustine Medals
November 3rd, 2014

On Saturday Oct 25, 2014, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano presented 130 St. Augustine Medal recipients with medal for their “generous and loving service to the Church.” Three medals were presented to Catholic Charities volunteers during the 2014 St. Augustine Medal of Service ceremony.



DSC_1095 SMMr. Don Hickey – Don has been an active member of The Merton House family for than 15 years. As a member of the advisory board, Dona has been a champion of the Merton Celebrity Breakfast acting as a point person and a chief salesman for our annual program booklet. He then puts together 3 or more tables at the event. Don is one of our unsung heroes and he is in the forefront of anything that needs to be done for the program.


DSC_1097 SMMr. William Tommins – Bill has been a member of the Catholic Charities Board for several years and a big supporter of Catholic Charities programs for many years. In particular, Bill co-chaired the 2014 Catholic Charities / AETNA Golf Classic & Lobster Feast and brought in more than $100,000, record amount for the event.


DSC_1100 SMMr. Paul Harinstein – Paul has served on the New Covenant House board for a number of years and has served as its President for the last 3. He has spearheaded a $1.5 million capital campaign to move and expand the facility, which is the largest soup kitchen in the State. Over the last few months, Paul and his team have raised in excess of $1,000,000 making the move very viable.




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