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Cardinal Dolan Hosts Immigrants

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Discusses President Trump’s Visit with Pope Francis

Yesterday, the same day Pope Francis hosted at the Vatican a big visitor from the United States, President Donald Trump, Cardinal Dolan hosted a special evening prayer services and dinner in his home for lesser known visitors, 14 immigrants and refugees helped by Catholic Charities from across the globe.  Both events allowed for conversations, intimacy and insights outside the glare of cameras.

Fox5 Good Day New York chronicled the two events in a live interview later with Cardinal Dolan and Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.

For those of us lucky enough to witness the dinner Cardinal Dolan hosted, we saw the man we have come to revere, one who mixed a small prayer service just for the immigrants with a warm dinner in his home adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  He joked with children, chatted with their parents and got to know his guests.  While they haled from various places -  Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico – they all are on the path towards legal citizenship in the United States.

“The Catholic Church in New York has welcomed and supported immigrants and refugees for more than 200 years,” Cardinal Dolan said.  “Today, Catholic Charities carries on this noble tradition of giving newcomers to our city and surrounding communities a warm embrace and a helping hand.  We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters as they continue to integrate themselves in the ever-changing America we live in.”

 

The dinner also explored the immigration and refugee services Catholic Charities has provided for the last 100 years, including reuniting families, resettling refugees, obtaining authorization to work, English instruction & help becoming a U.S. citizen, preventing exploitation, and help for unaccompanied immigrant children and their families.

“Catholic Charities provides opportunities for success that newcomers have come to this country to achieve.  Doing this helps all New Yorkers as immigrants have contributed so much of their energy, talent and vitality to make New York the business, civic and cultural leader it has always been,” said Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “For the last 100 years, Catholic Charities has worked tirelessly to welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees through the various services provided by our organization, and we look forward to helping these communities for the next 100 years.”

In attendance was Rigoberto Gutierrez, a Day Laborer and now president of Catholic Charities’ Obreros Unidos group. Gutierrez came from Mexico, where he wanted to study at the University, but he saw that his mom didn’t have enough to eat. So, he left and came to Yonkers and has struggled and worked hard to have a better life. He now has a wife and three children to provide for. He recently applied, via Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, for his residency.

“I came here 15 years ago with a backpack full of dreams.  We are asking for jobs on the corner.  I have a life over here.  Every day I tell my kids, you have to go to school, learn, and pay attention because that’s your future.  I want a better future for them.  I always show my kids to never give up,” said Gutierrez. 

Watch the Fox5 Good Day New York footage to hear more from Cardinal Dolan about Pope Francis’ meeting with President Trump and Cardinal Dolan’s meeting with new immigrants.     

Find out about Catholic Charities’ free and low-cost services for immigrants and refugees