Bishop thanks Catholic Charities, supporters

Letter of Thankgiving ~ November 25, 2015

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Despite being the third wealthiest state in the nation, nearly 1 million of our neighbors now live in poverty.

This number is staggering, but there is hope for many of these individuals thanks, in part, to one of New Jersey’s largest social services providers – Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen.

As the Shepherd of the Diocese of Metuchen, I am most pleased to share with you that, in the past year alone, Catholic Charities provided help to 59,000 individuals living in poverty right here in our diocese, which stretches from east to west across Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties.

It is through donations and sponsorships that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen is able to provide warm beds for the homeless, food for the hungry, emergency aid for disaster victims, services for families in crisis, and hope for a better future to many who live on the fringes of society.

In October, we gathered to recognize our “Champions for Catholic Charities,” a community of corporate and family foundation benefactors who support our vital programs and services for our neighbors in need regardless of faith, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

Through their generous donations, our community partners truly provide the gift of hope to others. This gathering raised $75,000 to support the programs of Catholic Charities.

On behalf of Catholic Charities Board of Trustees, I would like to thank all who supported this charitable event, including our Platinum Medal Sponsor and long-time supporter Thomas J. Sharkey, Jr., president of Meeker, Sharkey & Hurley and Kenneth F. Porter, principal of Porter and Curtis, LLC; as well as our Gold Medal Sponsors: Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, Strato, Mr. and Mrs. George Trapp and Mr. and Mrs. John Tegeler; and our Silver Medal Sponsors: CME Associates, McCarter & English, Wakefern Food Corp./ShopRite and PSE&G.

With all of the many challenges, difficulties and hardships in life, we never know what our neighbors may be struggling to overcome.  Many struggle to overcome a life of poverty.

In our continued outreach to aid and comfort the most vulnerable among us, I cannot help but think of Pope Francis’ recent remarks to members of Congress, when he implored, “I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They, too, need to be given hope.”

As we give praise and thanksgiving for the many wonderful gifts the Lord so freely and generously has granted to us, may we also look for new ways to give of ourselves and to serve as a source of hope to those who are most in need.

May God continue to abundantly bless you and your loved ones now and in the days ahead.

Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski
Diocese of Metuchen