On Sunday, April 27, Sister Ellen Patricia Finn, O.P., Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Deputy Executive Director was honored by The Bridge To Life, Inc. at their 22nd Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance. Sister and co-honoree Ed Wilkinson, editor and news director of The Tablet and Net TV’s Currents, were named by the organization as this year’s “Champions of Life.”
The Gala was held at Leonard’s of Great Neck on Northern Blvd., in New York. Cocktail hour started the afternoon, followed by dinner and the award presentation. Additionally, there was music, dancing and raffles.
“I was very honored to be recognized by The Bridge To Life as one of their Champions of Life honorees for this year. It was a great event celebrating ‘La Dolce Vita,’“ remarked Sister Ellen. “We at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens are very happy to continue to work with The Bridge To Life and the assistance they provide in increasing our ability to help mothers and expectant mothers in need with so many services we can offer including referrals for prenatal care, housing assistance, counseling, parenting education and other case management services. Catholic Charities’ Services for Pregnant Women programs and The Bridge To Life are important partners in the work to stabilize mothers and families in crisis, I look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Sister has been a member of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville for 49 years, with 45 years of educational, social service administration and leadership development experience. Currently the Deputy Executive Director of CCBQ, the human services agency of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Sister is responsible for all initiatives related to the Agency’s mission and its commitment to social justice and parish and community service and outreach. Additionally, she is responsible for community organizing, the Agency’s long term Disaster Preparation and Response Teams and the Agency’s Housing Management Corporation - which includes more than 3,500 units of affordable housing for older adults, the formerly homeless, low income families and people with developmental disabilities.
Sister has served the neighboring communities for Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens for the past 26 years, serving in many capacities, including Regional Administrator for the then-Brooklyn West vicariate, Family Center Director for the then-Brooklyn South region and Director of the Msgr. O’Brien Senior Citizen Apartments.
As the Regional Administrator of Brooklyn West, she was responsible for the supervision of approximately 500 employees and service lines that provided Homeless Outreach, Supported Housing for the formerly homeless and those struggling with mental illness, as well as staff in the areas of CCBQ’s Older Adult Services, Early Childhood Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the Family Service Center.
As Family Center Director, Sister managed the supervision and program design and implementation of urgently needed grassroots assistance including family crisis intervention, assessment, entitlement information and referral as well as designed and implemented training for Parish leadership teams. She also conducted research regarding needs of the poor in southern Brooklyn and, in collaboration with staff and local community providers developed programs that creatively responded to identified needs.
From 1988-1990, Sister was the Director of Msgr. O’Brien Senior Citizen Apartments. She was responsible for opening and managing 112 units of an independent senior citizen apartment complex. As the Director, she worked collaboratively with local health care and community providers in designing and implementing program responsive to the needs of older adults, including seminars and workshops.
Prior to her work with CCBQ, Sister served the people of Brooklyn as an elementary/junior high school teacher, Principal and Diocesan Director for both Elementary and Adult education for 20 years.
Sister completed master’s degrees in Education from Boston College and in Social Work from Hunter College. She is licensed by the State of New York in both fields and received her bachelor’s degree from Molloy College. Sister is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Catholic Charities USA, where she serves as the Diocesan Director for Parish Social Ministry.
She was the recipient of the Roosevelt Democratic Community Service Award in 1990, the Church Woman United in Brooklyn, Inc. Women Religious Award in 2001 and was recognized for her service to the poor and vulnerable by Benicasa Family Services in 2004. Additionally, she was also elected by the Diocesan Office for Black Catholics as a delegate to the Sixth National Black Catholic Convening in 1987.
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