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Unity Through Christ on Migration Day

On Saturday, December 1st the faithful of the Diocese of Brooklyn gathered for the Annual Diocesan Migration Day Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. Immigrants from Brooklyn and Queens celebrated the richness of their faith and diversity dressed in traditional attire and carrying banners from their respective countries and home parishes. It was truly a multicultural experience for those in attendance.

Media Coverage:
Read the full story in The Tablet: Unity Through Christ on Migration Day
See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: Migration Day Mass

 

Catholic Migration Services Honors 2018 Shining Stars

On Friday, October 12th and October 19th, Catholic Migration Services hosted the 2018 Annual Shining Star Award Dinners at Gargulio’s Restaurant in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Approximately 1000 attendees gathered to celebrate honorees who, through their efforts in their communities embody the mission of “welcoming the stranger among us”.

This year 30 leaders representing 29 ethnic ministries received Shining Star Awards. Honorees were selected by their peers in their respective ethnic ministries and were treated to an evening of festivities which included the award ceremony, dinner, and dancing. The 2018 program introduced Rev. Jason Espinal, Associate Vicar for Migration and Ethnic Apostolates and the Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Angels in Brooklyn. Fr. Espinal offered the Invocation and introduced Very Rev. Patrick J. Keating, Esq., CEO of Catholic Migration Services for the Opening Address. In his address, Fr. Keating shared the importance of the role of the immigrant community in the life of the community and Church.

Following the presentation of awards, Fr. Keating welcomed the Most Rev. Witold Mroziewski, Vicar for Migrants and Ethnic Apostolates, Pastor of Holy Cross Church in Maspeth, and the former Coordinator of the Polish Apostolate who later introduced the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn for the Keynote Address. In his address, Bishop DiMarzio spoke about the diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, fondly known as the Diocese of Immigrants. He congratulated the honorees, their work and commitment to their parish communities, the Church, the City, and the Nation. Bishop DiMarzio also informed those present of the proposed change to Public Charge reiterating that Catholic Migration Services will continue to serve, inform, and advocate on behalf of the immigrant community, the backbone of our Diocese.

2018 Shining Star Award Honorees
Ms. Maricoeur Altidor – 2018 Haitian Shining Star
Mrs. Ana Lucia Teixeira Alves – 2018 Brazilian Shining Star
Mrs. Sharon Andrews – 2018 West Indian Shining Star
Mrs. Susana Villegas Armas – 2018 Ecuadorian Shining Star
Ms. Lourdes Batiz – 2018 Garifuna Shining Star
Mrs. Lesia Brykailo – 2018 Ukrainian Shining Star
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Jim & Daisy Calungsod – 2018 Filipino Shining Star
Mrs. Georgeann Campbell – 2018 African-American Shining Star
Ms. Giuditta Coccia, A.O. – 2018 Italian Shining Star
Mr. Walter L. Cooper – 2018 Irish Shining Star
Mr. Arturo Vazquez Diaz – 2018 Mexican Shining Star
Mr. Janusz Grabinski – 2018 Polish Shining Star
Mr. Joaquin Gonzalez – 2018 Shining Star (Spain)
Mrs. Teresa L. Gonzalez – 2018 Shining Star (Cuba)
Mrs. Anna Hlavata – 2018 Czech/Slovak Shining Star
Mr. Saleen Jan – 2018 Pakistani Shining Star
Mr. Terence Nedumparambil Joseph – 2018 Indian Latin Rite Shining Star
Mr. Ji Lin – 2018 Brooklyn Chinese Shining Star
Mr. Phoung Cong Nguyen – 2018 Vietnamese Shining Star
Mr. Enoch Opoku-Mensah – 2018 Ghanaian Shining Star
Mrs. Gladys N. Ozoude – 2018 Nigerian Shining Star
Mrs. Maria Rosario – 2018 Dominican Republic Shining Star
Mr. Yaicinio Rojas Sanchez – 2018 Colombian Shining Star
Mr. Kyung Soo Shin – 2018 Korean Shining Star
Mr. Raimundas Slizys – 2018 Lithuanian Shining Star
Mr. David Triestanto – 2018 Indonesian Shining Star
Ms. Veronica Y. Tsang – 2018 Queens Chinese Shining Star

Media Coverage:
Read the full story in The Tablet: Catholic Migration Services’ Shining Star Awards
See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: Lithuanian “Shining Star” Honoree Helps Restore Brooklyn Church
See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: “Shining Star” Businesswoman Devoted to Faith and Finance
Current’s NET TV’s Full News Coverage: Monday, October 22, 2018

Queens Immigrants Attend Resource Fair and Legal Clinic

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, District Attorney Richard Brown, and the Queens Immigration Task Force held their Annual Immigrant Know Your Rights Week Resource Fair and Legal Clinic on Thursday, June 28th at Queens Center Mall. Over 30 organizations and agencies participated in the resource fair and connected Queens immigrants with information for city services, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. A free legal clinic provided confidential consultations in areas of immigration, housing, employment, and domestic violence. Attorneys from Catholic Migration Services were available for legal consultations and an outreach team informed New Yorkers about the organization’s legal services.

 

Queens residents stop by the Immigrant Resource Fair for a chance to learn about new services, organizations, and agencies.

Queens immigrants chat with the outreach team of Catholic Migration Services to learn about the legal services and know your rights education available through the organization.

Separation of Families Outrages Catholics at Immigration Forum

During an immigration forum on Tuesday, June 19th at St. Leo’s in Corona, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), and Fr. Patrick J. Keating, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Migration Services spoke out against the human rights violations at our southern border.

Fr. Patrick J. Keating, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Migration Services said, “It is inhumane to rip children from their parents’ arms; to punish innocent children, just to deter immigration. We have all seen the images and heard the audio of poor, defenseless children crying for their parents. There has to be a more just way of dealing with the current immigration crisis. The administration has the authority to stop this immediately so that vulnerable children do not suffer any more psychological trauma. Surely, all people of good will can agree, that separating innocent children from their parents is not the answer.”

See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: Separation of Families Outrages Catholics at Immigration Forum

Queens Town Hall on Right to Counsel Well Received in Elmhurst

Right to counsel coalition members, tenants, and community leaders gathered for town hall forum on legislation signed into law August 2017.

On Thursday, April 12th right to counsel coalition members, tenants, and community leaders gathered for a Town Hall Forum in the gymnasium of St. Bartholomew Catholic Academy in Elmhurst, New York to address legislation signed into law on August 11, 2017. Right to Counsel mandates universal access to legal representation for low-income tenants in New York City and is the first City in the nation to establish this type of legislation.

Coalition members, tenants, and community leaders highlighted the history of Intro 214 and its amendments originally introduced in March of 2014 by Council Members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson. Approximately 150 Queens tenants packed the school gymnasium to learn why the Right to Counsel is so important, the eligibility requirements, how to find an attorney, which Queens zip codes will begin implementing RTC, and how to build tenant power.

Queens tenants raise their hands during interactive forum.

After learning that 11433, 11434, and 11373 are the first Queens zip codes to implement RTC, tenants later broke out into small groups facilitated by attorneys and organizers for an opportunity to ask questions, discuss ways to protect themselves and their neighbors, and to complete commitment cards asking tenants to start taking action and ownership of this new tool.

Intro 214-B, the final bill that passed last year, ensures at the end of 5 years, all income eligible tenants will be ensured an attorney when fighting their eviction in housing court. Tenants who are over income, have the right to a consultation with an attorney. The bill also provides for NYCHA tenants whose cases happen in administrative hearings, to have representation as well.

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition is made up of tenant organizing groups, tenant advocates, homeless advocates, senior advocates, disability advocates, academics, legal services organizations and more! We led the campaign that resulted in the passage of Local Law 136, which ensures that low-income tenants are represented in eviction cases by attorneys when they defend their rights and their homes. The Coalition is actively organizing and advocating while this law is being phased in.

Italian-American church in Brooklyn’s ‘Little Guatemala’ gets new lease on life

Once in fear of closing its doors, St. Finbar in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn has seen a revival in the life of their parish thanks to the devout faith of new Guatemalan immigrants. The community has dedicated their time and service to the place of worship they now call home and last year, amidst the uncertainties of immigration policies, leaders at St. Finbar stood by them regardless of their immigration status. Referring parishioners to Catholic Migration Services, the pastor, Fr. Gelfant invited Catholic Migration to host a Know-Your-Rights presentation for his community. The presentation was well attended and those present left reassured of their rights.

Read the full story via National Catholic Reporter: Italian-American church in Brooklyn’s ‘Little Guatemala’ gets new lease on life