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New Hope

Capital Campaign for Catholic Charities' Thomas Merton Family Center

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Our History


Sacred Heart University prayer group begins handing out sandwiches to the homeless population in Bridgeport. This evolves into the mission known as The Merton House.


The Merton House moves into the program’s current location on Madison Avenue in the Hollow Section of Bridgeport.


The Merton House becomes The Thomas Merton Center – largest day shelter in the region offering prepared meals, food pantry, mail services, case management services, and shower program to our guests.


In 5,500 square feet, staff offers a hand up, not a hand out, to those in need of assistance.

Mission | Values

The Thomas Merton Center is committed to providing a loving, safe and hope-filled community atmosphere. We respond to the needs of our guests and respect the dignity of each person.

We reflect to the individual and the community our shared responsibility to love and support one another.

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Our Future

With our partners, the Catholic Charities Thomas Merton Family Center will provide wraparound services to our guests, helping them along their path to self-sufficiency in a newly renovated 13,000 square foot building at 1406 State Street in the heart of Bridgeport.


  • Southwest Community Health Center
  • Housatonic Community College
  • St. Joseph’s Parenting Center

Greater Impact on More Clients…


Projected increase in individuals served

Projected increase in guests with NEW services

…On Their Journey to Self-Sufficiency!

  • Primary Medical Care
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Dental Care
  • Case Management
  • Housing Assistance
  • Immigration Legal Assistance
  • Family Loan / Financial Education
  • Job Training
  • ESL Classes
  • Parenting Classes
  • Support Groups

Guiding Your Neighbors to


Current Programs

Soup Kitchen
Food Pantry
Day Shelter
Shower Program

Future Additional Services

Current Programs PLUS:

Primary Medical Care
Behavioral Health Care
Dental Care
Case Management
Housing Assistance
Job Training
Immigration Legal Assistance
ESL Classes
Family Loan/Financial Education
Parenting Classes
Support Groups

Our New Home

First Floor

Second Floor

Path to Our New Home at 1406 State Street, Bridgeport

  • 96% 96%


$6,500,000 GOAL

Ways to Give

– Cash
– Check
– Stock

Will the Thomas Merton Family Center be part of your legacy?

Your generosity can provide help and hope for the community.

Naming opportunities create a lasting legacy with Catholic Charities.

Naming Opportunities:

  • Dining Hall
  • Kitchen
  • Food Pantry
  • Multi-Purpose Room
  • Conference Room
  • Break Room
  • Elevator
  • Showers
  • Offices (14)

Ways to give above and beyond the Capital Campaign:

  • Add Thomas Merton Family Center to your will
  • Name Thomas Merton Family Center as a beneficiary to a life insurance plan
  • Set up an Endowment for Thomas Merton Family Center through Foundations in Charity

Hopes and Dreams of Our Guests

In Their Own Words

  • Make a difference
  • Stability and peace
  • To be able to work
  • Win the lottery
  • Happiness in life
  • Properly recuperate from injury
  • Get my movie script discovered
  • Work and Prosper
  • Start a new life in this country
  • Quiero aprender inglés (I want to learn English)
  • Move forward, not backward
  • Access good healthcare
  • Own a cat
  • Have a family of my own
  • Run my own business
  • Qualify to work in this country
  • Have a roof over my head
  • Find a place in this world
  • Be comfortable
  • Find a job
  • Help our youth stay off drugs by providing programs offering positive options

Leadership Team

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano

Bishop, Diocese of Bridgeport

Bill Colson

Director, The Thomas Merton Center

Mike Donoghue

Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County

Sabine Kuczo

Operations Coordinator, The Thomas Merton Center

Catholic Charities’ Thomas Merton Family Center New Home New Hope Campaign Committee

Laure Aubuchon
Carol Calandra
Michael McNulty
Mark Kelly
Sheila Clancy


Nancy Murphy, Board Chair
Tony Giobbi, Vice Chair
Daniel Casal, Treasurer
Anne O. McCrory, Secretary
Laure Aubuchon
Carol Calandra
Cathy Frierson
Lorraine Gibbons
Patricia Glassford
Mike Hanlon
Thomas Heckel
Don McGuire
Kevin O’Brien
Sean O’Connell
Alexander Paluch
Bill Tommins


Edna Borchetta – Co-Chair
Mary Ann O’Connor – Co-Chair
Alberto Martins – Finance
Dave Blagys
Sheila Clancy
Lourdes Delgado
Jack Edwards
Tom Gaudett
Louise Gidez
Mark Kelly
George Logan
Jo Toolan
Alexandros Valiantis


Anne O. McCrory – Chair
Al Barber
Mike Boyd
John Danaher
Tony Fernandez
Louise Gidez
Michael Hanlon
Jerry Knorr
Tom Kolenberg
Mike McNulty

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For more information,

Contact us.

Kathleen Pierce, Capital Campaign Director
203-981-3395 [email protected]