At the Catholic Charities annual Caritas Gala, held Nov. 5 at the Birchwood Manor, a diocesan priest, two couples and the Knights of Columbus were cited for their advocacy, service, inspiration and excellence. Proceeds from this event benefitted the 3 Catholic Charities Agencies in the Diocese of Paterson including: The Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), Straight and Narrow, and Catholic Family and Community Services.
Father Edward Lambro, Director of Development and Public Relations for Diocesan Catholic Charities, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Bishop Serratelli gave the opening remarks and blessing, praising, "the outstanding work of our Catholic Charities agencies in the Diocese of Paterson and the worthy honorees of the Caritas Awards."
The purpose of the Caritas Awards is to recognize individuals and/or organizations that are committed to mission of all Catholic Charities agencies: to serve, to advocate, to inspire and to excel.
Both the N.J. State Council and the Paterson Federation Knights of Columbus received a citation for excellence, presented by DPD Executive Director Scott Milliken. In a letter, Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, extended "his gratitude and best wishes to my brother knights who continue go live out the order’s first principle of charity in a personal and effective way."
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven Connecticuit, in 1882; the Order is dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. Throughout 2015, the Order gave over $180 million to charity and performed over 75 million man-hours of voluntary service. Their work here in the Paterson Diocese has been commended by the State, Supreme Council and beyond.
There are 64,000 members of the New Jersey State Knights of Columbus Council. Statewide programs are endless and have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. Their initiatives include Right to Life, support of our veterans both home and abroad, support of religious and civil rights issues, aide to Christians facing genocide in the Middle East, the Shoulder to Shoulder Program in support of law enforcement, disaster relief, support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s support for families and more.
"The Knights of Columbus in the Paterson Federation and beyond have been our most generous supporters throughout our 50 year history. During this time, they have raised nearly $3 million for our cause through their disability drives and other endeavors. In addition, they have donated thousands of volunteer hours and have stood by our values, stating that every life is a gift from God," said Scott Milliken, DPD Executive Director.
In addition to the Knights of Columbus, award recipients included Dr. Brian and Andrea Beyerl of Assumption Parish (Morristown), Monsignor John J. Carroll of Our Lady of the Magnificat (OLM) Parish (Kinnelon), and Peter and Patricia Muratore of Christ the King Parish (New Vernon).
"These amazing Catholics have made a difference in the lives of many, throughout the Paterson Diocese and beyond. They have devoted their lives to various causes including helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, becoming foster parents for children in need, the poor and homeless, pro-life inititives, healthcare and more. They are truly stewards of Christ and we are honored to present them with the 2016 Caritas Awards," said Father Ed Lambro.
Special thanks to anyone who attended or contributed to the Caritas Gala. Your support of this event helps DPD provide a high level of support for people in need.