Syrian Family Finds Safety in the Bronx

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Thanks Catholic Charities, Their “Angels on Earth”

Syrian Family Helped by Catholic Charities

The same day a US fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone prompting more terrifying news about  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reign of terror, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Sullivan received the warm thank you note below from the extended family of Syrians we helped reunite.

Azzam Elias, a Muslim refugee, U.S. citizen and Bronx business owner for the past 40 years, along with his wife, Carolann Elias, a Catholic New Yorker born and bred, finally succeeded in bringing Mr. Elias’s two daughters, two son-in-laws and eight grandchildren to safety.  The first group of six, including a red-headed boy and girl, arrived just days before Christmas.  The final six family members just arrived.

In the face of so much tragedy, we would like to share this good news with you:

Carolann Elias

Bronx, NY

June 2017

Dear Monsignor Sullivan,

I am writing to you to acknowledge the amazing work that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is doing and how it has impacted our lives. 

For the past five years my husband and I have worked tirelessly to rescue our Syrian family from the perils of war. 

Finally, with the help of this organization, this dream has become a reality!

At your Manhattan location on Maiden Lane we have met the most incredible and caring individuals who do everything possible to assist those in need.  I would like to name a few of these wonderful people whom we consider angels on earth.  Kelly Agnew-Barajas, Mirela Jaubelli and Mario Russell are just a few who have worked closely with my refugee family.

Words cannot express how grateful we are to have their support.  They have given us the strength to face so many challenges and obstacles. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

We are so blessed that Catholic Charities has become part of our lives!


Carolann Elias and family

Catholic Charities is dedicated to helping refugees and other victims who must flee their countries to escape violence and persecution.  This complicated, comprehensive work often involves fragile survivors.  To make the transition as easy as possible Catholic Charities:

Learn more about Catholic Charities free and low-cost services for refugees

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900