Very Reverend Patrick J. Keating, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
The Very Reverend Patrick J. Keating, Esq. is the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services, where he coordinates and plans the work of the agency along with the dedicated Board of Directors and his colleagues in the agency.
In 2011, Father Keating joined Catholic Migration Services to strengthen and grow an agency dedicated to welcoming, empowering, and assisting immigrants in Brooklyn and Queens, through a variety of programs that include: Immigration Legal Services, Immigrant Housing Legal Services and Immigrant Workers’ Rights Legal Services.
Father Keating has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College of the City of New York, as well as a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. He will graduate from Brooklyn Law School with a Juris Doctor in the Spring of 2017.
In addition to being the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services, Father Keating is the Associate Vicar for Human Services for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, the Chaplain to the Catholic Lawyers Guild for Kings County, and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and affiliate agencies.
Director of Legal Services
David Colodny oversees the agency’s legal services programs after joining Catholic Migration Services in 2016.
David has spent more than fifteen years in the legal services community providing legal representation to, and advocating for, recent immigrants. Immediately prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, David was a supervising attorney in the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center (UJC), where he managed their workers’ rights program. During his eleven years at UJC, David represented immigrant workers with a variety of employment-related claims in federal and state courts and administrative agency investigations. Before working at UJC, David was the Deputy Director and Director of Legal Services at the D.C. Employment Justice Center (2001-2005) and an associate at the Washington, D.C., based law firm Patton Boggs LLP (1995-2000). David was also an adjunct professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law.
David received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He first became a member of the bar in 1995 in Maryland, and has been a member of the New York bar since 2006.
Managing Attorney – Immigrant Workers’ Rights
Magdalena is the managing attorney for the Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program at Catholic Migration Services. Over the last nine years, Magdalena has worked on behalf of low wage and immigrant workers.
Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, Magdalena worked at the labor/employment firm, Gladstein, Reif & Meginniss. She also worked as a supervising attorney at Make the Road New York, a leading New York community organization that builds the power of working class and immigrant communities. At Make the Road, Magdalena oversaw employment legal services at its offices in three boroughs and provided support to campaigns that combat workplace exploitation. She also maintained her own active caseload primarily involving cases of unpaid wages. Prior to her work at Make the Road, Magdalena worked in the employment law units at MFY Legal Services and Legal Services of New Jersey, where she handled wage and hour, discrimination, unemployment matters and represented clients in administrative proceedings, and state and federal courts. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Rutgers-Newark Law School.
Magdalena is admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Senior Staff Attorney
Alice Davis is a senior staff attorney in the Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program, where she represents workers in wage and hour claims and other employment matters. She received her B.A. from New York University in 2009, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2012. During law school she performed clinical work, providing low-income clients with legal assistance in employment, immigration, and housing matters. Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services in 2013, she served as a Fellow at Legal Services of New Jersey in their Workers’ Legal Rights Project.
Alice is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Supervising Attorney – Removal Defense Project
Alexandra Gonçalves-Peña is a supervising attorney for the Removal Defense Project at Catholic Migration Services. Alexandra specializes in removal defense and asylum law. She has worked in immigration law since 2006 following her graduation from Vermont Law School.
During her career Alexandra has represented hundred of individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and has worked on numerous appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and U.S. Courts of Appeals. Over the course of the last decade, she has worked at Central American Legal Assistance, HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), and most recently as a supervising attorney at the American Friends Services Committee.
Alexandra’s work is driven by her unwavering commitment to working hand in hand with immigrant communities and her belief that all persons in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, should be afforded equal and humane treatment and due process under the law.
Alexandra is admitted to practice law in New York.
Supervising Attorney – Removal Defense Project – Affirmative Filings Unit
Christopher Holtz is a supervising attorney in the Removal Defense Project, where he defends asylees and noncitizens in removal proceedings in U.S. Immigration Court and before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He also represents clients who are affirmatively filing for immigration benefits in our Immigration Legal Services Program. In his work, Chris strives to help clients who otherwise cannot afford legal representation to navigate the complex immigration laws of the U.S.
Prior to joining our staff in 2012, Chris served as a legal intern in the organizations Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program from 2009-2010. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2011, and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Buffalo in 2008. During law school Chris worked with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, where he provided legal services to low-income artists.
Chris is admitted to practice law in New York.
Sharone Schwartz Kaufman
Managing Attorney – Immigration Unit
Sharone Kaufman is the Managing Attorney of the Immigration Unit at Catholic Migration Services. She has been representing immigrants in New York City since 2006. Sharone joined Catholic Migration Services in 2008 as a staff attorney in the Immigration Unit where she represented clients in a wide range of immigration matters, with a particular focus on removal defense litigation. In 2016, she became the Managing Attorney of the Immigration Unit. Sharone oversees the entire Immigration Unit which is comprised of attorneys and BIA accredited paralegals, while also maintaining a small caseload. Sharone is also currently an Adjunct Clinical Professor at St. John’s Law School where she teaches and supervises the Bread and Life Immigration Clinic. Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, Sharone worked for several private law firms, where she represented clients in immigration matters as well as a range of civil litigation.
Sharone is a graduate Rutgers University and Seton Hall University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.
Managing Attorney – Housing
Andrew joined Catholic Migration Services in 2016 as the managing attorney of its expanding Housing Program. In that capacity, he supervises the organizations housing attorneys and tenant organizers in both the Queens and Bushwick offices, oversees the housing clinics in both locations, and provides legal representation for tenants and tenant associations.
Andrew began his legal career as an attorney with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. He later became a staff attorney and then a supervising attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Housing Development Unit and Community Development Project. He also served as a Housing Court judge and court attorney.
Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, where he majored in Urban Studies. He earned his law degree from New York University School of Law and received a Master of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Andrew is admitted to practice law in New York.
José M. León
Senior Staff Attorney – Removal Defense Project
Supervising Attorney – Naturalization
José M. León works as a Senior Staff Attorney in the Removal Defense Project, which represents clients in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. He helps clients with defensive asylum claims, defensive Violence Against Women Act petitions, Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident applications, U-Visa Petitions, T-Visa Petitions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petitions in Family Court and with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
José is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Northwestern University. Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, José interned at Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, The Immigration Unit at Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, and completed the year-long Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo Law.
José grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Barcelona, Spain. He speaks Spanish, Catalan, French and German. José is admitted to practice law in New York.
Samantha Lyons is a staff attorney with the Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program, where she provides free legal counsel to low and moderate income immigrant tenants in Queens and Brooklyn. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 2009, and her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2016. Prior to law school, Samantha worked as the Pro Bono Coordinator of a large law firm in Washington, D.C., where she helped manage the firm’s pro bono initiatives and assisted with housing, immigration, wrongful conviction, and other legal matters. During law school, Samantha performed clinical work, providing low-income clients with legal assistance in housing, public defense, and wrongful conviction matters.
Samantha speaks Spanish and is admitted to practice law in New York.
Mariam Magar joined Catholic Migration Services in 2010 as a student attorney with the Immigrant Tenants Advocacy Program where she assisted the staff attorney of ITAP provide free legal counsel to low-moderate income immigrant tenants in Queens and Brooklyn. Currently in her role as a Catholic Migration Legal Fellow and staff attorney she represents clients in housing court. She is also the outreach coordinator for the Arabic-speaking community within the Diocese of Brooklyn. This role requires her to assess the legal needs of the Arabic-speaking community and move to resolve their housing, labor and immigration concerns. Mariam is fulfilled in her work because it keeps her in close communion with her community and enables her to use her skills as an attorney to educate and protect people who are not accustomed to pursuing their rights. She enjoys raising awareness about legal rights and teaching people how to self-advocate.
Mariam graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2012. While in law school Mariam was a Legal Intern with the Queens D.A. office. This experience taught her the importance of always being prepared to face a tough judge and instilled within her an appreciation for the application of the law. She was also a member of the Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (PTAI) where she was able to participate in mock trial competitions.
Mariam speaks Arabic and is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Thomas Power is a Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow with the Immigrant Tenants Advocacy Project, where he helps ITAP provide free legal counsel to low-moderate income immigrant tenants in Queens and Brooklyn. In his role at Catholic Migration Services, he enjoys and prioritizes building tenant power in the communities with which he works, and in the legal system.
Thomas graduated from CUNY School of Law in 2016. While in school, he participated in the Workers’ Rights Project and the Economic Justice Project, two clinics that advance the rights of working class people in New York City. Tom was also the managing editor of the CUNY Law Review, a law journal dedicated to promoting social justice scholarship. During law school, he interned as a Peggy Browning Fellow with the Workers Defense Project in Austin, Texas and as an Ella Baker Intern with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Thomas is fluent is Spanish and is admitted to practice law in New York.
Sr. Joan Anzalone
Immigration Counselor, DOJ Accredited Representative
Sr. Joan Anzalone is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustments of Status, Naturalization, Green Card and Visa extensions. She also participates in outreach activities in parishes and community organizations. Prior to working at Catholic Migration Services, Sr. Joan was a social worker for communities in the South Bronx, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the Dominican Republic. Her work with these communities motivated her desire to work directly with immigrants because she wanted to help them feel welcomed in their country. Sr. Joan attended Fordham University where she studied Sociology and Education. She received her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. Sr. Joan is fluent in Spanish
Xiomara Bustamante is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustment of Status, Citizenship, Petitions for the Freedom of Information Act disclosure and Removal of Conditional Residence. For clients who qualify, Xiomara ensures that they understand their right to access to public social benefits. Prior to becoming an Immigration Counselor Xiomara was an administrative assistant at Catholic Migration for 4 years. Xiomara enjoys the variation in her day that comes from the diversity of cases she manages. She delights in giving clients thorough explanations of their rights during their consultations. She is inspired by her client’s perseverance during times of difficulty and she uses this as motivation to exhaust all of her efforts to help enhance each client’s experience with the organization. Xiomara attended Brooklyn College where she studied Computer Science. Xiomara is fluent in Spanish.
Immigration Counselor, DOJ Accredited Representative
Marisol Canales is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustments of Status, Naturalization, Green Card, VAWA, DACA, and RI Visa extensions. She also participates in outreach activities in parishes and community organizations. Prior to working at Catholic Migration Marisol was a receptionist and later an immigration counselor at Emerald Isle Immigration Center. She also worked as an assistant to the Director of Faith Formation at St. Bartholomew Parish in Elmhurst. She enjoys providing direct assistance to immigration because the information and resources gives clients the chance to live a less restrictive life. She is inspired by the personal connections she feels with her clients and by their hard work and perseverance. Her dedication to her clients is fostered by the knowledge that she will be an everlasting part of their life. Marisol attended Universidad del Istmo in Panama where she studied Information Systems. She is currently awaiting her BIA accreditation and is training to become a paralegal. Marisol is fluent in Spanish.
Meihwa is a Paralegal with Catholic Migration Services. She was hired to spearhead and assist with services to Chinese immigrants. Hired in November 2016, she initially focused on outreach in Queens and is currently beginning to extend services within Brooklyn communities. Meihwa has an Associate degree in Legal Assistant Studies, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. Moreover, she has also earned certificates of Certified Paralegal of general legal and paralegal knowledge as well as Advanced Certified Paralegal in specific legal areas from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Meihwa is fluent in Mandarin and manages the organization’s Mandarin hotline.
Amy is our Community Outreach Coordinator under the LEAP coalition. She is an AmeriCorps volunteer serving a second year term with Catholic Migration Services through the Public Allies program. Amy is passionate about housing in New York City and hopes to make a difference in her community through the apprenticeship program and with Catholic Migration. In addition to her outreach efforts, Amy also provides continual support to our housing program through though not limited to interpretation skills and graphic design elements in which she applies when creating outreach material for the community.
Sandra is a Law Clerk with Catholic Migration Services and comes from Miami, Florida where she recently graduated law school at the University of Miami, School of Law. Sandra has a solid background in community engagement and public service as well as direct experience assisting in-need immigrants with not only legal but social service needs. Sandra graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago, where she spent a number of years working in community organizing. She is the oldest daughter of immigrants who fled Cuba and Nicaragua in 1980s, a boxing enthusiast, and a native Spanish speaker.
Stephani Espinal-Suero is a community organizer working primarily in the Bushwick and Ridgewood communities. Stephani was born in Dominican Republic and graduated in October 2014 with a Business Administration degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). In February 2015 Stephani began community organizing with Yolanda Coca in Bushwick and Ridgewood. Stephani joined the staff at Catholic Migration in May 2016, and then in September 2016 became a Public Ally. Under the Public Ally program for developing leaders, Stephani continues to expand outreach in the communities of Bushwick and Ridgewood with a focus on tenant organizing to address growing housing concerns.
Mercy Kershner is a member of Mercy Volunteer Corps and a naturalization counselor. She attended Berea College in Kentucky and graduated with a B.A. in Spanish. Since then, she has worked in the legal field in Louisville and also recently returned from a year of teaching English in Pasto, Colombia. Her love for the Latino culture, language, and people was cultivated through her travels to various countries and in an internship with immigrant and refugee children at Americana World Community Center. Mercy is enthusiastic to assist those in need of legal services and to learn more about immigration law. Mercy is proficient in Spanish.
Tenant Organizer, Public Ally Fellow
Lorena Lopez is a Tenant Organizer for Catholic Migration Services. She sustains and develops membership for the coalition by providing informative and educational meetings which empower community members. Lorena also serves as a translator during the monthly housing clinics. She enjoys working with tenants because it satisfies her desire to work towards improving the living conditions of immigrants and enriching their understanding of their rights as tenants. She is motivated by tenants who become self-advocates and beacons of knowledge for other tenants in their buildings or in their communities. Working with the tenants of the Queens Housing Coalition has reinforced her belief in the tenacity of immigrant communities. She is fulfilled in her work because she understands that she plays a small role in a greater movement towards eradicating housing inequality. Prior to her time with Catholic Migration, Lorena worked as a realtor for 4 years with The Mauro Brothers. This opportunity gave her a comprehensive understanding of housing issues from the perspective of landlords in the New York Metropolitan area. Lorena attended BMCC where she studied Business Administration. Lorena is fluent in Spanish.
Naturalization Coordinator, DOJ Accredited Representative
Chloe is the Naturalization Coordinator, and BIA Accredited Representative at Catholic Migration Services. She plans and coordinates citizenship workshops in the community with other non-profit organizations and local law firms. Chloe also assists individual clients by preparing applications for Naturalization. Chloe graduated from the University of Texas in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. While in school in Texas, Chloe devoted her time to volunteering with immigrants’ rights groups and with individuals who have disabilities. Prior to working at Catholic Migration, Chloe worked as an English instructor in Argentina, and later interned at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Washington, D.C. Chloe is fluent in Spanish.
Carlos Ortiz is a Tenant Organizer. His work which takes place mostly in the Borough of Queens is devoted primarily on the Stabilizing NYC campaign, a city-wide effort led by a coalition of 14 organizations of which Catholic Migration is a member. The main focus of Stabilizing NYC is fighting Predatory Equity, and to this effect Carlos engages in tenant outreach, education, meeting facilitation, leadership development and other forms of organizing for both immediate tenant needs as well as more long-terms goals. He also provides support in other aspects of Catholic Migrations Tenant Advocacy program, providing translation and interpretation during clinics, meetings and court appearances, as well as mobilizing for actions. He is motivated by a deep commitment to social justice and a firm belief in community empowerment, which he strives to help facilitate. Carlos attended Columbia University, where he studied Philosophy and Political Science and organized around diverse issues including economic justice, gentrification and immigrant’s rights. Carlos is fluent in Spanish.
Rebecca is the Outreach Coordinator for operations at Catholic Migration Services. In this capacity she informs the parishioners of the Diocese of Brooklyn about upcoming events and existing programs at Catholic Migration. She joined the organization in 2011 as a Mercy Volunteer with the labor and immigration program. She’s also served as an interpreter for the immigration, tenant advocacy and workers’ rights programs. As a Mercy Volunteer she assisted in the development and format improvement of the Línea Laboral hotline to reach a wider range of individuals through different outreach events. Rebecca’s past experience at Catholic Migration Services have enhanced her understanding of the importance of connecting the immigrant community to the different resources the organization offers. She enjoys reaching out to the community about the work of Catholic Migration. Prior to Catholic Migration, Rebecca attended Gordon College in Massachusetts where she graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Spanish. She graduated from a certification program for legal interpretation at New York University and is currently in a double certificate program for interpretation and translation at Hunter College. She hopes one day to be a professional interpreter.
Immigration Counselor, DOJ Accredited Representative
Jeanne Sanon is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustment of Status, Naturalization, Green Card, VAWA, DACA and RI Visa extensions. Three years prior to working at Catholic Migration Services Jeanne taught civics and adult literacy at the Empowerment Centre for Caribbean Immigrants. Jeanne was exposed to the immigrant experience from a very young age. This encounter fostered a deep sense of responsibility to empower the immigrant community, especially Haitian immigrants. The passion for her work is sustained by her belief that individual achievement is most satisfactory when a community has access to the same opportunities. Jeanne is motivated to reach her highest potential only if her community can achieve theirs as well. Jeanne is fulfilled in her work because she knows that she is leaving an everlasting life changing impact on the people she meets. Jeanne attended CUNY York where she received a B.A in English Literature. Jeanne is fluent in Haitian Creole.
Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow
Amandeep Singh, the youngest child of immigrants from Punjab, India, grew up between California, India and North Carolina. His first exposure to immigrant rights advocacy came as an intern at the Sikh Coalition, campaigning and organizing among the Punjabi community in Queens. Afterwards, he spent several years in the Middle East studying Arabic and researching issues of equality and inclusion at a human rights NGO in Cairo, Egypt. As a law student he took part in representation of detained immigrants in removal proceedings with the Legal Aid Society and Iraqi refugees seeking admission into the US with the International Refugee Assistance Project. Amandeep is a graduate of New York University School of Law, a practitioner of Kundalini Yoga, and proficient in Arabic, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu.
Nicole Skaluba is a member of Mercy Volunteer Corps and serves at Catholic Migration Services as a legal assistant with the Workers’ Rights team. Nicole recently graduated from St. Michael’s College in Burlington, VT. She obtained a B.S. in Biology and a minor in both Spanish and Chemistry. During her undergraduate time, Nicole became impassioned for social justice through the Student Global AIDS Campaign, a nation-wide organization that is working to end AIDS by 2030 through political advocacy; Juntos, a migrant farm worker advocacy group; her study abroad experience in Peru; and multiple service trips, both domestic and international. She is excited to grow in knowledge about migrants’ rights and to form connections with Catholic Migration Services and the community the organization serves. When Nicole is not working with underserved communities she enjoys going on outdoor adventures, many types of Latin dance, cooking, journaling, traveling, and reading. Nicole is highly proficient in Spanish.
Joseph Weiman is an Immigration Paralegal with the Removal Defense Project. He helps adults and children in deportation proceedings with their legal cases. After returning from a semester abroad in Bolivia, he worked at Safe Passage Project helping Unaccompanied Minors who are facing deportation. Previously, he worked at Catholic Charities of New York in the Immigration Legal Services Division. He was a Case Manager helping Unaccompanied Minors receive social services in New York City area. Joseph was born and raised in Manhattan. Joseph graduated from Vassar College and is fluent in Spanish.
Caitlin Wright is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustments of Status, Naturalization, Green Card, and Visa extensions. Caitlin started with Catholic Migration Services as a Jesuit Volunteer on the Naturalization team. She graduated in 2017 from Creighton University with a B.A. in English and Spanish and a minor in Legal Studies. In her time at Creighton, Caitlin fostered a passion for social justice pursuits, most notably through her leadership with the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice, a study abroad program in Villa El Salvador, Peru, and an internship with Omaha Together One Community. Caitlin is thrilled to work for an organization dedicated to the livelihood of migrants. Caitlin is proficient in Spanish.
Michelle Vazquez is an administrative assistant at Catholic Migration Services where she aids in maintaining the day to day operations by providing administrative support to all departments. She received her B.S. in Criminal Justice from St. Francis College in 2017. Her experience with the criminal justice system while at St. Francis College, opened her eyes to the injustice that exists, especially within the immigrant community. Michelle’s experience in college combined with her experience as a first-generation Mexican-American made her want to be a part of an organization that does all it can to help the immigrant community. Prior to becoming an administrative assistant, Michelle interned with the Workers’ Rights Program and acquired direct skills and expertise that will continue to help her in her role at Catholic Migration Services while serving the community.
Victoria Arrao is an Administrative Assistant at the Brooklyn office of Catholic Migration Services where her responsibilities include data gathering and reporting for all departments as well as helping with special events. She began working with the Catholic Migration Office in 2003, prior to its transition to an independent not-for-profit corporation and was later transferred to Resources Professional cleaning a few months later. After the Resources program expired, Victoria returned to Catholic Migration in 2013 and continues to provide essential support to a growing and dedicated team providing crucial services to the community.
Erin Fitzgerald is the Operations Coordinator for Catholic Migration Services where she enhances the organization’s policies, programs and practices as a human resource office and accounting officer. Erin is responsible for preparing pay budgets, operational budgets and maintaining employee records. She enhances programs at Catholic Migration by planning and coordinating fundraising events for the organization. Erin joined Catholic Migration Services in 2008 because she wanted to be a part of an organization that provides services which enhances the freedom of others. Her work at Catholic Migration has been a humbling one because of the insight she has gained learning from the experiences of immigrants in New York City.
Executive Secretary, Office of the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolates and to the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services
Ellen LaCarrubba is the Executive Secretary to the Office of the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolates and to the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services. Ellen works closely with the International Priests and the Coordinators of Ministry representing the different ethnic ministries in the Diocese of Brooklyn. She has an essential role in the organization of the Annual Shining Star Award Dinners, honoring key parishioners of the diocese from over 30 ethnic ministries for their dedicated service to the Church in Brooklyn and Queens. The Annual celebration is one of the most significant fundraisers for the organization, held on two evenings, the festivities highlight the diversity of the community in which Catholic Migration serves.
Nanette Morales is the Office Assistant at the Queens office of Catholic Migration Services where she maintains the day to day operations. She is the crucial point of reference for answering client’s initial questions, scheduling, and assigning client appointments. Nanette joined Catholic Migration in 2012 where alongside her general administrative tasks she occasionally serves as an interpreter for Spanish speaking clients. In her work, Nanette succeeds in creating a positive and welcoming community for both clients and staff to efficiently resolve issues and maintain their workflow. Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, Nanette was an Office Assistant at Brooklyn Psychiatric Center where for 17 years she provided organizational support to psychiatrists, therapists and patients alike. She aspires to become an immigration counselor.
Aida Ocasio is the Administrative Assistant at the Brooklyn office of Catholic Migration Services. She is responsible for performing administrative and office support activities which facilitates the advancement of the organization. She combines her patience and discretion to answer client’s questions, schedule appointments and direct clients to supportive resources and organizations that can enhance their quality of life. Aida joined Catholic Migration over 15 years ago and has been a crucial point of reference for clients given her ability to communicate effectively and her support of client self-advocacy. Since joining the organization Aida has implemented an organized approach toward coordinating day to day operations. In her time at Catholic Migration Aida has been inspired by the positive attitude of staff and clients, and she has maintained a helpful and familiar dynamic in the Brooklyn office. Aida is fluent in Spanish.
Executive Assistant to the Associate Vicar for Human Services and Chief Executive Officer
Nancy Pardo joined Catholic Migration Services in March of 2014 as the Executive Assistant to the Associate Vicar for Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services. In this role, she works directly with the Very Rev. Patrick Keating in the day to day operations which are essential for the mission of the organization, assisting clients with immigration, housing and workers’ rights legal services. Nancy plays a crucial role with Catholic Migration from staff support to her diverse responsibilities. Prior to joining the the team, Nancy worked for 13 years at St. Bartholomew Parish and as a legal assistant with a Manhattan law firm. Nancy is fluent in Spanish.
Ellen Ryan is the development officer for Catholic Migration Services. She is responsible for developing the funding sources needed to keep Catholic Migration in operation, as well as reporting to existing funding sources on the work accomplished through such funding. Since joining Catholic Migration Services in late 2012, she has helped increase our organization’s grant and government portfolio. New funders include two city agencies and several foundations. Ellen practiced law for over twenty years and brings an understanding of our organization’s legal services program and operations not common among development officers. She earned a J.D. and M.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from New York University. Her hobbies include hugging trees, skating (ice and inline), and hiking in the great outdoors. When stuck indoors, her favorite pastimes are reading, cooking and looking for whatever she misplaced last week.