Department for Persons with Disabilities
A Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Paterson
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Caritas Gala Supports Catholic Charities, Benefits Those in Need

At the Catholic Charities annual Caritas Gala, held Nov. 4th at the Birchwood Manor, 2 diocesan priests, 1 couple and an individual who has devoted her life to service were cited for their dedication to the Diocese of Paterson, The Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), Straight and Narrow, and Catholic Family and Community Services. All proceeds from this event benefited all three organizations.

Christopher Brancato, Director of Development and Public Relations for DPD, served as master of ceremonies and Monsignor James Mahoney, Vicar General for the Diocese of Paterson presented the awards along with each Executive Director from the 3 agencies.

Bishop Serratelli was unable to make the event, but provided a video 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.

DPD's Award recipients were Dr. Diane and Kevin Cavanagh. 

"Through her board service, Diane Cavanagh has made a difference in the lives of a countless number of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a special educational professional from East Stroudsburg University, her knowledge and guidance has been invaluable to our organization. Both Diane and Kevin, through their devotion to the Knights of Columbus, Columbiettes and other service and church-based groups; have always looked to help those in need. We are blessed to call them supporters and friends," said Scott Milliken, DPD Executive Director.

Dr. Cavanagh has served DPD as a board members for over 15 years. Both she and Kevin have been devoted to our organization as volunteers, supporters and friends.

In addition to the Cavanaghs, award recipients included: Donna Fico (CFCS Award), Father Paddy O'Donovan (Bishop's Award) and Monsignor Herbert Tillyer (Straight and Narrow Award). 450 attendees came out to support the 3 Catholic Charities causes and to honor the 4 distinguished guests. 

"Monsignor Herbert Tillyer is the only person to sit on all three Catholic Charities Boards. Diane and Kevin Cavanagh have helped people with special needs reach their full potential, through kindness and advocacy. Father Paddy O'Donovan is a true steward of faith and service. Donna Fico humbly has helped thousands of people in need throughout Paterson and beyond. The 2017 Caritas Award recipients are the heart of the Diocese," said Monsignor Mahoney.

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.