Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Mar
  • 12

Partners off to strong start

Posted By March 12, 2015 | 3:10 pm | Featured Article #3

The annual Partners in Charity Appeal which began Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday, has received  3,127 gifts and pledges totaling $1,255,682, according to Michael P. Gillespie, diocesan director of Stewardship and Development.
That is about 25 percent of the $5 million goal.
“This response during Lent demonstrates the support local Catholics have regarding the mission of the Catholic Church in Central Massachusetts,” Bishop McManus said. “I thank God for the generosity of our people and am grateful that they continue to participate in our diocesan-wide efforts to support pastoral, educational and charitable services made possible by this annual appeal.”
About half the parishes in the diocese began their appeal drives last weekend and will continue in-pew solicitations for the next two weekends.
Mr. Gillespie said that this year he is seeing a continued increase in the use of online donations. He said that office has worked on making it easier to participate through the website (www.partners-charity.net) since it’s the means that more people use today to donate and handle financial transactions.
“Our goal this year was to make it as convenient and flexible as possible for our donors,” he added. Donors can identify their parish affiliation so that their donation is counted toward that parish’s individual goal.
He said he also is noticing more donors choosing to enroll in various giving “societies,” many of which are named after saints including recently canonized St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. One new society, named the Holy Family Society in recognition of this year’s focus on the family, has been introduced for donations of $7,500 or greater. Another new society, invoking the guidance of St. John Vianney, recognizes any priests who have made a contribution of $1,000 or more. The society honor rolls are publicly acknowledged after the appeal has concluded in a published appeal report.
The website also offers information about what is supported by the appeal and a short video featuring Bishop McManus and people who have been impacted by this appeal. Those wishing more information may visit www.partners-charity.net or contact a local pastor or the Office of Development at 508-929-4368.
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal  helps to support charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the diocese. They include:
Charity: Catholic Charities, Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Services, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Cemetery System, Diocesan Development, Stewardship
Education: Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Office, Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Seminarian Education, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity, Communications Office
Ministry: African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Minister to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, Cathedral of St. Paul, Vocations, Office for Divine Worship, Wells Street House.

 

Nazareth Home: Family-style with a Catholic atmosphere

One in a series of stories on agencies and
ministries supported by Partners in Charity

By Mairgread Gray
CFP Correspondent

LEICESTER –  It can be difficult for some boys growing up in today’s world. The McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys is a safe haven for them. It is also the only such home in Central Massachusetts serving 6- to 18-year-olds, according to Kim Pare, executive director.
Nine students who live and study at the school are provided with individualized education. There is also one day-student. In addition, there are 16 boys who live at Nazareth but are able to leave to go to school. Nazareth, as it is fondly called, has the capacity for eight more day-students. Presently, the school is for kindergarten through Grade 8. There are no girls attending the school.
Sister Janet Ballentine, a Sister of Mercy, has been  at McAuley Nazareth Home since 1965. The Sisters of Mercy brought the home into existence in 1901, she explained. Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy, hence the use of McAuley in the name.
“The spirit and values of the Sisters of Mercy are here.  Monsignor (Edmond) Tinsley has influenced Nazareth for the last 60 years. We were an orphanage in the sixties – then it went to residential treatment.  He developed programs and personnel training and the physical facilities. Nazareth has evolved to what it is today – growing in new thinking with the best practices as priorities,” Sister Janet said.
Ms. Pare said many of the children come to the home after psychiatric hospitalizations. Nine of the boys have multiple diagnoses.
Nazareth has contracts with the state Department of Children and Families and the state Department of Mental Health which cover the round-the-clock staffing and basic care.
“Many of the children cannot function in the foster care system or in their own homes. The children we serve are so traumatized, neglected and abused, they can’t handle being in foster care,” Ms. Pare said.
Nazareth is one of 28 agencies and ministries supported by Partners in Charity.
“The Partners in Charity grant is a very small percentage of our funding. Most of our funding comes from the DCF and DMH,” Ms. Pare said.
“But without it (Partners in Charity), it would hamper our mission,” she said.
Partners in Charity gives a grant of $30,000 to Nazareth for which the home is very grateful.
Sister Janet said Partners in Charity is a significant part of the funding that enables them to provide quality-of-life services. They can buy things such as new school supplies and Halloween costumes, or they can pay for fees so boys can participate in town recreational basketball, baseball and soccer teams. The Partners in Charity grant also enables them to enjoy occasional activities such as bowling, going to the movies or roller skating.
Sister Janet has been a teacher, social worker, child care worker and finally executive director over the 46 years she has been at Nazareth. She now is a volunteer and board member. She retired from being the executive director in 2009 and Ms. Pare took over the administration. Ms. Pare started in child care and became a special education teacher before she was tapped to be executive director.
Ms. Pare described Nazareth as family-style with a Catholic atmosphere. Sister Janet conducts a prayer service every Saturday morning for all the staff and children.
Ms. Pare said sometimes parents voluntarily give up a child in order to get services for him. They agree to place the child at Nazareth because of the religious affiliation with the diocese. The parent may have had religious training and wants the child to grow and foster his spiritual development.
“There is a level of trust knowing people (at the home) have faith-based values,” Sister Janet said.
Ms. Pare said the religious element draws staff, too.  “Having the religious aspect is an attraction. The staff is faith-based and incorporates spiritual appreciation. The spiritual aspect is incorporated into the school.”
The typical stay is from eight months to 2 1/2 years.  The goal is to get the children to a less restrictive setting, Sister Janet said. They learn coping skills, and a small percentage reunify with their parents. Usually they go to a foster home where they will receive undivided attention. Some students go to adoption.
“Some kids are looking for a forever-home but they are few and far between,” Ms. Pare said.
The school is in session for 216 days of the year. Ms. Pare said the students have behavioral challenges – many  are substantially challenged. They need a predictable routine.
There are two full-time teachers and two full-time aides. There are a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist, as well.
Most of the students come from Central and Western Massachusetts but they have had students from New Bedford and Fall River.

– Partners in Charity serves 28 agencies and ministries in the Diocese of Worcester. The 2015 theme is Faith in Action: United as the Family of God. The goal for this year’s appeal is $5 million. Donations can be made in your parish; by direct mail to Partners in Charity, 49 Elm St., Worcester, MA 01609 or online at www.partners-charity.net.