Pintsize Carolers Serenade Cardinal Dolan

Posted on March 19, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Visit to Cardinal McCloskey Marks First Stop in Cardinal’s Lenten Tour

Pintsize carolers wearing their own handmade paper hats reminiscent of chickens…ducks?...well, some farm animal, hard to say, serenaded Timothy Cardinal Dolan with farm animal songs last Thursday, March 14th, during his visit to Monsignor Boyle Head Start in the Bronx. 

Accompanied by Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, last week’s visit marked the first of five Lenten tours Cardinal Dolan plans to make of Catholic Charities NY programs, this time bringing the season’s message of hope to a Head Start program run by Cardinal McCloskey Community Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.

So popular every slot is filled –as well as a growing waiting list - the Monsignor Boyle Head Start program provides childcare and educational enrichment to 230 little guys and gals, from birth to age five in this diverse neighborhood in the North Bronx. 

After taking over and renovating the site in 2000, this New York Archdiocese program now houses 12 classrooms. Between 14-20 toddlers in each room call the program their home for day.  A certified teacher and assistant teacher works in every classroom and family advocates offer emotional and concrete support to the children’s parents. 

Best of all, from many of these toddlers’ perspective, cooks prepare them breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack each day.

All told, Cardinal McCloskey Community Services operates 14 centers with 69 classrooms servicing nearly 1,500 low-income children and families in the Bronx and Manhattan. Their goal is to give these children a leg up in life, despite the challenges of poverty, culture and language spoken at home.

Cardinal Dolan joined Msgr. Sullivan as they crouched down to build Lego castles and speak with the little guys, eye to eye. Later they spoke with parents and teachers, learning more about their dreams for their children.

Sponsored by the Catholic Charities Alliance, Cardinal McCloskey Community Services provides foster care and family reunification in addition to its Bronx-based Head Start Programs.  It also offers group residences for teens, child care, adoption and prevention services and residential services for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

“The day was a great experience for everyone,” said Catholic Charities Director of Federation Advancement Phil Dorian who accompanied the group.  “The overflowing enthusiasm of the children and parents inspired the Cardinal and, meanwhile, his tremendous enthusiasm inspired them as well.”

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