“They’re desperate and have lost everything.”

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair giving the welcoming prayer at the Karen New Year Celebration 2755

“They’re desperate and have lost everything. They live in fear and are very grateful for what we do. Most are very spiritual and grateful to God.”— Paula Mann-Agnew, Catholic Charities’ director of programs.

“Since the Syrian refugee crisis escalated last year, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Hartford (CCAOH) has stood poised to help resettle families sent to Connecticut. Connecticut is one of the states that has volunteered to accept Syrian refugees” according to Wendy Healy’s “Catholic Charities: all refugees welcome” article in The Catholic Transcript’s March 2016 issue.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Hartford is one of the principal gateway organizations for resettling refugees in Connecticut. Through its Migration, Refugee and Immigration Program Services, Catholic Charities “has a 60-year history of welcoming the stranger and those in need” via its Hartford office. As Healy’s article emphasizes “Catholic Charities’ efforts are only possible through partnerships, ” and that “support has been robust from individuals, churches and the interfaith community.” 

Through my involvement with Hartford’s Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association’s Welcoming Committee, I have come to know first hand the good work of Catholic Charities’ staff and volunteers, some of whom are refugees who have successfully assimilated into greater Hartford. Last January I wrote about the New Year Celebration 2755 with the Karen refugees from Myanmar (Burma). Most in attendance were resettled in Hartford through the Catholic Charities program. 

I encourage you to read Healy’s article to get the full picture of Catholic Charities’ commitment to refugee and immigrant resettlement, and check out the Catholic Charities website to find out more about how to get involved. 

Don Shaw, Jr.
Write and Editor

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