CONTACT: Dolores Nuñez, Development Director
(505) 724-4693 (office)
(505) 720-0747 (cell)
ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO – Seven new community leaders have been appointed to help guide Catholic Charities as it improves the lives of those in need throughout central New Mexico. Thomas Keleher, local attorney recently retired as partner from Keleher & McLeod, will lead Catholic Charities’ Board of Directors as Board Chair for 2019. Mr. Keleher will be taking over from Eddie Fernandez of Legacy Financial who served as Board Chair throughout 2018 with Mr. Keleher as his Vice Chair.
The members beginning their three-year terms on Catholic Charities Board of Directors this month are: Guy Berger of Palms Trading Company, Jack Conrad of CHRISTUS St. Vincent, Don Kawal retired from Klinger Construction, Philip Menicucci of Paramount Custom Cabinets, Bessy Narvaez, James Ortiz of REDW, and Dr. Mary Rose Twohig of Twohig Dentistry.
The Catholic Charities’ Board of Directors is responsible for establishing the agency’s vision, mission, long-range plans and policies; generally overseeing the financial, legal, and programmatic aspects of the organization, and raising funds. Their meetings are open to the public and are held at Catholic Charities offices at 2010 Bridge Blvd. SW on the fourth Wednesday of every other month, except in cases of holiday conflict. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Continuing Board Members are: Thomas Keleher as Board Chair, Lisa Trujillo of Presbyterian Healthcare Services as Vice Chair, Chuck Metzler as Secretary, Eddie Fernandez as Chair Emeritus, Lanell Anderson of State Farm Insurance, Cindy Frame, Loan Phan of On Q Financial, Carmel Rippberger of Aiken Printing, Pat Schroeder of Key Impact, Jerry Sais of Bank of Albuquerque, Fr. Michael Shea of Prince of Peace Catholic Church, and Giulia Urquhart of Coldwell Banker Legacy.
Stepping down from the Board after years of service are: Pamela Alexanderson, Bob Casey, Eddie Gallegos, Susan Keil Smith, Lori Muller, and Virginia Schroeder.
Catholic Charities performed an assessment within the Catholic Charities USA network to determine where aid could have the most impact. The two organizations thank all the donors who gave through their respective organizations to make a difference for those struggling to recover from the natural disasters.
"I extend my deep gratitude to our parishes who generously responded to the archdiocesan special collections. On behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, I extend our prayers and deepest condolences to those who suffered and continue to suffer from this year’s disasters." - Archbishop John C. Wester
"We are amazed at the generosity of our donors, the parishes and the archdiocesan community. Our community saw the need and responded without hesitation to make a difference. We are honored by their confidence in knowing that we would ensure their donations would reach locations where there is the greatest need." - Jim Gannon, Executive Director of Catholic Charities
The donations were distributed as follows:
Both Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services are members of Caritas International, the worldwide charitable association of the Roman Catholic Church.
During this Season of Advent and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Catholic Charities urge you to look at how you might be the difference for a neighbor in need.
In the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Catholic Charities is engaged in working to reduce and eliminate poverty in our community and address the needs of the most vulnerable among us. Its six Centers of Program Excellence assist individuals and families with Childcare, Immigration Legal Assistance, Advancement of Self-Sufficiency, Adult Education, Citizenship Preparation, Transportation Coordination for Seniors, and Newcomer Integration, as well as Parish Social Ministries Engagement. Catholic Charities’ vision for our community is “Honor Human Dignity”. Catholic Charities has been assisting thousands of New Mexicans since its founding in 1945.
For more information on the funding and its distribution please contact: Dolores Nunez at 505.724.4693 or email@example.com--END
The following Migration Symbols were a part of the Share the Journey Mass held on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe.
Shoes- Our shoes protect our feet, feet that travel many, many miles when we have to leave our homeland for fear for our lives in search of safety, feet that ache with blisters and sores from the rigorous journey. We are reminded that our feet stand on Holy Ground.
Life Jacket- No one can forget the image of that little Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish beach in 2015. He and his family were fleeing violence in Syria trying to reach Europe, and were likely the victims of human smuggling.
Water Jug- These water jugs come from the border area in Southern New Mexico where they are the lifeline for migrants in the dry, harsh desert. Many die alone in the desert before they reach their hoped for destination.
Backpack- Often, migrants flee with only the clothing on their back and whatever they can put in a tiny backpack. They leave behind everything they know, all their earthly possession for an uncertain future.
Piece of Fence- This small piece of fence represents all the ways in which we “fence out” those in need. This reminds us that instead of fences and walls, we need to be bridge builders, people of “encounter.”
Globe- This globe shows us we are one human family. We are all connected with our brothers and sisters across the world.
Image of Our Lady holding the globe (Mary, Most Holy, Mother of All Nations-Fr Bill McNichols, SJ): This beautiful icon reminds us we are in the care of God, and our Mother Mary.
Archbishop John C. Wester on the Executive Orders
Relating to Immigrants and Refugees
In light of recent Executive Actions by President Trump, I am deeply concerned for many of our people in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and beyond who feel afraid and isolated. Indeed, during these unsettled times, there are quite a few of us who can easily give into the feeling that we are not safe and that we are in imminent danger from terrorists and other extremists. As a pastor, I believe that it is important to recognize and distinguish between real threats that should concern us and unreal threats that provoke fear because of rhetoric designed to play upon our anxieties as a society. Jesus offers us an alternative: to act out of love and not out of fear.
It seems to me that the recent Executive Actions imply that we should be afraid of those coming to the United States, even though we have a rich history of welcoming those who have made our country great over the last two centuries. The truth is that our country has not experienced an act of foreign terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, due in no small part to the rigorous, lengthy and effective security measures put in place for screening and vetting individuals and families fleeing violence and persecution. We must not believe the narrative that we are in danger from those who come to our shores after having been vetted properly and appropriately. In my view, such fear is politically motivated and limits our freedom to act in a more positive, Christ-like manner. I am fully aware of the terrible tragedies that we have witnessed in our country in the last few years. God weeps with us when we experience violence in San Bernardino, Orlando, Charleston, Boston and Newtown or even in our own families. These atrocities separate us, and tear at the heart of who we are as one human family. Yet, they do not define us. Rather, we must not give in to unsubstantiated fear but hear our Lord’s call to respond with love and compassion to those whose fear is genuine and all too well grounded in reality.
Many are experiencing horrific suffering in places like Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan where wars, terror and violence are common fare. The image of the body of the 3-year-old Syrian Kurdish boy comes to mind. Little Aylan Kurdi drowned and washed ashore in Turkey as his family escaped extreme violence in Syria, making their way to Canada. Our news media have shown us so many more images of unbelievable hardship that it is easy to become numb to such suffering. These are genuine fears; real threats that demand a response from us as followers of Christ. Many in our own Archdiocese of Santa Fe are now living with the real fear of being torn from the country where they finally found relief from persecution and the threat of death – this is the fear that demands a legitimate response from us. We have a moral obligation to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are legitimately afraid of separation from other family members by Executive Orders that have been ill conceived and poorly executed.
It is possible and necessary to stay true to our American values and to remember that welcoming the stranger and staying safe within our homeland are not situations that are mutually exclusive; we can do both—keep our nation safe and welcome and resettle immigrants and refugees who are fleeing extreme violence.
When fear rules, it leads to erosion of the values of freedom, democracy, welcome and the common good that are the bedrock of our country. For people of faith, fear has no place in a country such as ours. As Jesus states in the Gospel of Mark, “Fear is useless; what is needed is faith (Mark 5:36).” Pope Francis reminds us that we “are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good.” History has shown that unscrupulous dictators and tyrants use fear for their own benefit to control and manipulate people at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Our country has potent and painful reminders of what happens when fear rules. For example, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the unjust internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the 1939 tragedy of the S.S St. Louis in which 937 German Jews were denied entry to the U.S., and most recently, the post 9/11 National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) requiring “extreme vetting” and the discriminatory targeting of Muslims. Our experience tells us that such programs are ill advised and ineffectual, and fail to honor the basic human dignity of those in need. These responses are based in fear. Our Lord himself tells us that fear is useless, that what is most important is love, compassion, and God’s enduring mercy.
America is a nation of immigrants who have contributed much to our country and to the Catholic Church in the United States. Most of us have ancestors who were once strangers to these shores, and who came to America seeking opportunity for a better life. We owe a debt of gratitude for their struggle, their sacrifice and their hard work. As Catholics, we are proud of the first Catholic immigrants who came in the 1500’s. Yes, there is history of violent encounter in those first contacts, and I hope we have learned from those darker moments and atoned for those transgressions.
However, we need not be fearful of newcomers for they are coming with the same hopes and dreams, for themselves and their children, as our ancestors carried with them when they arrived in this country. Immigrants and refugees of all cultures and religious backgrounds are part of the strong fabric of our country. It is patriotic to welcome them. It is never morally correct to target a religious group. Our country has been richly blessed by the contributions of Muslims and so many other faiths in our great land. Catholic Social teaching reminds us of the moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us; we cannot allow one population to become scapegoats for our country’s problems.
As Catholics in New Mexico, we have the opportunity to stand with people of all faiths and of all countries as we journey with them. Our great Seal of New Mexico depicts an American Bald Eagle shielding a Mexican Eagle under its wings. This symbol embraces the complex history and relationship between Mexico and New Mexico. As New Mexicans, we know friendship, cooperation and solidarity with our neighbors. It is part of who we are. Welcoming immigrants and resettling refugees who are fleeing violence is part of the fabric of American democracy.
We are called to reach out to those on the margins. We stand with them and honor the human dignity of all people. As followers of Christ, we follow Jesus’ way of the cross, through life, death and the promise of new life in resurrection. Jesus demands that we not think of ourselves first but for the needs and cries of the poor, the refugee and those forced to migrate. We walk together in hope and courage knowing we are all part of one human family.
I want to remind us of what Pope Francis stated in his address to Congress in 2015:
Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
I urge all Catholics and people of good will to join me in responding to a request from the Franciscans to pray for peace in Syria by praying daily the beloved St. Francis’ Prayer for Peace:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred let me so love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. Amen.
To keep up with the latest news from the Archdiocese of Santa, please visit our website www.archdiosf.org, like us on Facebook (Archdiocese Santa Fe Official) and follow us on Twitter (@ASFOfficial).
We’ve already seen a 50% increase in participants in our Children’s Learning Center and our Adult Education Center is helping more adults with GED, ESL and Civics classes.
But these are challenging times for local, state and national budgets, with revenue shortfalls making the headlines almost daily. And rumors abound regarding the political landscape, leaving those we serve wondering what the future holds for them.
With your continued support, Catholic Charities will remain strong, viable and available for the most vulnerable in our community. Please remember us as you make your yearly giving budget.
We thank all of our donors for their generosity and we welcome you to call us at (505) 724-4693 to schedule a visit to the house that hope and love built.