In a display of compassion and solidarity, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens recently joined the Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn and Reverend Felix Sanchez, Pastor of St. Pius V Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica, Queens to welcome asylees at the Catholic Charities Satellite Center opened at the parish to address the emergency needs of newcomers in the community.
During his trip to the parish, Bishop Brennan met with staff and volunteers to learn about the life of the community and the collaboration with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. Together, Catholic Charities and the parish community of St. Pius V are working to alleviate and provide concrete services and resources to asylees through emergency food, clothing and diapers, referrals to contracted benefits (IDNYC, WIC, ESOL, etc.), Center for Pregnant Women Workforce Development Resources, Metro-Plus Health Insurance, and limited legal assistance via Catholic Migration Services.
Bishop Brennan later made his way to the pop-up satellite center in the parish hall/basement where asylees gathered for a meal. There, he enthusiastically greeted them, listened to their stories, assisted in the distribution of hot meals, blessed the food, and offered a pastoral message for the asylee community.
The group also had an opportunity to ask questions. They instead thanked the Bishop and parish community for opening their doors and supporting them as they seek refuge and safety away from home.
“We are a welcoming Church”, said Bishop Brennan while addressing the crowd. “Gifted by the Creator to enable us to carry on the mission of Jesus Christ.”
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens continues to welcome and provide asylum seekers with essential emergency services who leave horrendous situations in their home countries in search of safety, work, and an opportunity to provide for themselves and families. The soup kitchen at St. Pius V feeds dozens of individuals weekly and the asylees are appreciative of the generosity from the community.
A news segment from NET NY can be found here: Lending a Helping Hand: Bishop Brennan Helps Feed Incoming Migrants