Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc.
680 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA. 30308
Providing Help. Creating Hope.
Caritas a semi-annual Publication Fall/Winter 2007
Good Samaritan Guild Formed
A Donor Recognition Program to Support the Work of Catholic Charities
On Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Catholic Charities Atlanta unveiled the Good Samaritan Guild, a program designed to recognize
and attract a special group of donors who are committed to providing help and creating hope for people in need throughout Atlanta
and North Georgia.
During a special reception hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Scott Garrett,
Catholic Charities’ Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer,
Joseph Krygiel, introduced the program’s specifics to a select group of
current and prospective donors. Special guest Monsignor Joseph Corbett,
a Vicar General of the Atlanta Archdiocese, was also on hand to share a
special message and deliver the Good Samaritan prayer. Unable to attend
the event, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory shared a pre-taped message of
encouragement and support for Guild members.
The Good Samaritan Guild recognizes annual contributions of $500 and
above with a personalized certificate and a special Mass celebrating the
donor’s generosity. Donors making an annual contribution of $2,500 or
more receive a reproduction of The Good Samaritan painting. This original
work of art, created by Atlanta artist Lynn Felton, was unveiled at the
Joseph Krygiel, CEO for Catholic Charities
November 7th reception. It captures the spirit of the Good Samaritan and Photo: and their contribution to the work of Catholicspeaks about the Good Samaritan
Guild Charities Atlanta
was commissioned exclusively for Catholic Charities Atlanta.
“As the need for our services increases year after year, we are
growing more dependent on a loyal base of people committed to
the financial support of the important work we do,” said Joseph
Krygiel, Catholic Charities’ CEO. “These generous people
understand that creating hope is the most efficient way to help
someone achieve self-sufficiency, and the Good Samaritan Guild
is designed to recognize the vital role our supporters play in
achieving our mission.” According to Jim Aden, a member of
the Catholic Charities board and
chairman of the Guild program,
“We hope by developing a special
donor recognition program peo-
ple throughout the Archdiocese
will be reminded and encouraged
Photo: Guests witness the unveiling of the Good Samaritan painting during the inauguration of to lend a helping hand to their
Catholic Charities’ Good Samaritan Guild celebration. neighbors in need. One of the
best ways to help is by supporting the work of Catholic Chari-
For more information about the Good Samaritan Guild, please contact Catholic Charities at 404.885.7474 or by email to bdob-
From the CEO
My dear friends of Catholic Charities,
As we begin a new year I wish to thank you for your past support of Catholic Charities, and also share
with you some of the latest news about our programs through our agency newsletter, Caritas. The year
ahead, 2008, will present us with both many challenges and opportunities. I am confident with God’s
help and the support of both the Archdiocese and our local community, we will continue to succeed at
assisting those in need who approach our doors for help.
One of the primary goals of our recently completed Strategic Plan was to help foster a “powerful and
visible community presence.” In that regard we will continually strive to make known the services
and good works of our agency to both our Archdiocesan Catholic parishes and also the North Georgia
community in general. Developing a strong relationship between Catholic Charities of Atlanta and our
parishes will help us to become more efficient in responding to community needs, and help strengthen
the local church. We are also developing new initiatives with other Atlanta community charities and
foundations to increase the delivery of our services and enhance their effectiveness in addressing local issues of poverty.
This year we will also hold several fundraising events including our first ever Annual Catholic Charities’ Gala on April 17th at the
Piedmont Driving Club, and a joint golf tournament with the St. Vincent de Paul Society on June 9th at Reynolds Plantation. Your
continued support of our programs through the year end Catholic Charities’ Appeal, our new Good Samaritan Guild and the Archdi-
ocesan Annual Appeal is most appreciated.
I invite you to explore our website, read about our programs, or call our offices to find out answers to your questions about our ser-
vices or ways you can help.
I am most grateful to Archbishop Gregory, who has the heart of a Good Samaritan, for his continued support of all that we do.
Sincerely in Christ,
Joseph J. Krygiel
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc.
Welcome to new Employees at Catholic Charities Atlanta
Parish & Social Justice Ministries Administrative Support Team
Colleen M. Smith, Communications Associate Sr. Jeanne Urschel, CSJ, Admin. Assistant
Sarah Otto, Intern, CCHD/CRS Lisa Zayas, Executive Admin.Assistant
Family Enrichment Program Pregnancy, Parenting & Adoptions
Loretta Siefferman, ESL Coordinator Carmen Troy, Casework Supervisor
Lavon Smith, ESL Coordinator, Athens Karen Mann, Pregnancy Counselor
Immigration & Resettlement Services Emergency Assistance Program
Janeen Hicks, Staff Attorney & Litigation Supervisor Senait Tedla, Information & Referral Specialist
Rebeca Salmon, Immigration Attorney Susan Gill, Receptionist, Athens
Kate Quinn, Resettlement Specialist Felipe Perez, Information & Referral Specialist
Catholic Charities Volunteers
Catholic Charities extends a big “thank you” to its volunteer.
Kate Quinn, a Jesuit Volunteer from Detroit Michigan, joined the
Refugee Resettlement team in August. A graduate of Aquinas College,
Kate brings cross-cultural and international experience with her,
which she has put to use helping refugees acculturate and become
self-sufficient. Kate lives in community in the West End with three
other Jesuit Volunteers. She is a very brave, loving and energetic
person. We are very fortunate to have her during her one year
commitment to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
For information about volunteer opportunities at Catholic Charities,
please contact Margaret Prickett, Manager-Volunteer Resources at
(404) 885-7271 or e-mail email@example.com
Photo: (m.) Kate Quinn, Jesuit Volunteer shown with Marga-
ret Prickett, (r.) Manager-Volunteer Resources, Catholic
Charities and friend (l.) at Scott’s Run Fundraiser at the
Carter Center in early October 2007.
Emergency Assistance Program
Katrina Helpers still active
by: Carolyn Gilliard, Manager-Emergency Assistance Program
August 2007 marked the 2nd anniversary of the tragedy that was
Hurricane Katrina. You might think that by now all evacuees were
safely settled in homes and apartments, with jobs to keep them in rent,
food and the necessities of every day life. Unfortunately not so. Many
still struggle to make ends meet and many agencies are still working with
clients, including Catholic Charities. In recent months, grants from the
United Way and Catholic Charities USA have been awarded to our
Emergency Assistance Program allowing us the continuation of services
to Katrina clients. Through this extension of grants, we are able to pro-
vide direct assistance for rent and utilities and employment referral ser- Photo: Georgia Advocacy Office staff enjoy their day at
vices until mid 2008. retreat.
At the end of September, Catholic Charities’ Emergency Assistance
Program hosted a case managers' retreat for all “Katrina Aid Today”
partner agencies working with Katrina survivors in the metro Atlanta
area and N. Georgia. The retreat was to demonstrate our apprecia-
tion to all the case managers of the partner agencies and to thank
them for their hard work and dedication in service to the many
Katrina clients. It was a time for the staff to debrief and to share their
experiences past and present with colleagues. It was a day to relax,
play games, and just have a good time. In attendance were staff from
the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the Boat People SOS,
Photo: Listening and sharing can have therapeutic value and the St. Vincent De Paul Society and our own Catholic Charities Emer-
also be fun at the same time. gency Assistance Program staff. “The retreat was a great success, just
what these people needed. They shared their stories and were able to
laugh in a relaxed atmosphere…” stated Senait Tedla, Information and Referral Specialist at Catholic Charities.
Village of St. Joseph Counseling Services (VSJ)
Letter from a Client to her Village of St. Joseph Counseling Therapist received in 2007.
“ Dear Dr. Laila,
It was a blessing to have met you and to have been able to benefit from the wisdom and knowledge that God has bestowed
upon you. We are very grateful for your help and guidance. Things are much better at home.
May God send many blessings your way and that he continues to give you the wisdom to counsel those in need.
Father and Son, a story of Love
by: A VSJ Counseling Therapist
Our client, an older gentleman, had not heard from his son in
many years. He was distraught by the loss of his only child
and didn’t know how to repair the relationship even if he did
find him. As his therapist, I guided my client in exploring the
areas of conflict and helped him to problem-solve possible
scenarios of how to talk through the “issues” which had
divided father and son. The need to reconnect and the deep
pain of loss felt by the client, led to my suggestion to use the
internet as an avenue to locate the son. Amazingly enough,
this worked right away , and the father located his son’s
phone number. It took courage, but the joy was immense
after the father reported about the first phone conversation
with his son. All past hurts and disagreements were forgot-
ten; father and son were simply glad to talk and re-connect.
Our client was overjoyed by this happy outcome.
Alone, but strong
Story by: a VSJ Counseling Therapist
Adaptation by: Jutta M. Hansen, Manager-PR & Editor of CARITAS
A 30 year old woman who was an immigrant came to therapy after fleeing
from her domestic partner who was physically abusive. She suffered in silence
at first. Trying to improve communications brought little understanding. She
pleaded and promised, but the abuse did not stop. Fearing for her bodily
health, she finally realized, there was nothing else she could do to improve a
hopeless situation. She left and came to Georgia from another state. She left
behind a job, a home, belongings, and her friends. In therapy, she learned to
value her own strength and determination. With her therapist’s help, she came
to see that she needed to rebuild her sense of security and purpose for her life.
A year after therapy ended, the client called her therapist to thank her and to
let her know that she had found a wonderful new job at a prestigious college,
and that she had made friends.
Life can be so full of challenges. VSJ Counseling can help.
Village of St. Joseph Counseling Happenings
One of Catholic Charities’ most widely used services, the VSJ counseling program serves well over 3000 clients annually.
Counselors are available to give presentations to parish groups on topics such as: parenting adolescents, inner healing, self–
esteem and depression. Our clients range from the age of 2 to 96 and come from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Therapy sessions are offered at our main office and on site in approximately 21 parishes throughout the Archdiocese.
Help is available, please call us. For information about our counseling services, please call (404) 885-7425.
Pregnancy, Parenting & Adoption (PPA)
A Journey of Two Birth Parents
Story by: Christy Coogle, Caseworker Supervisor
Adaptation by: Jutta M. Hansen, Manager-PR & Editor of CARITAS
The journey started when the Birth Mother contacted Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy, Parenting & Adoption program for adoption coun-
seling. The Birth Parents, I’ll call them Linda & Joe, (*not their real names) both came to the first meeting to learn about open adoption.
We could tell immediately how they felt relief and at peace to learn, they would be able to choose an Adoptive Family. But not only that,
they could meet the family, communicate with them, and finally, entrust their child to the family.
Linda & Joe both chose the Adoptive Family. They connected with the family’s
profile, because they shared common values and had similar family experiences
and surroundings. The two met with the Adoptive Family for the first time
towards the end of the pregnancy. The Birth Parents and the Adoptive Parents
mirrored each other, the only difference being, that one couple was younger
and just beginning, and the other, older, full of excitement and hope about
finally becoming parents. Linda & Joe started communicating weekly with the
Adoptive Parents as the due date of the pregnancy approached.
After the new baby boy entered the world, the Adoptive Parents came to the
hospital to meet their new son. At this point, the purpose of the open adoption
process became evident by watching the two families interact. Everyone in-
volved knew that God had a special plan for this child.
The next day was for the Birth Parents to bond and build attachment with their
new son. They showed him off to friends and family. The night before Linda & A baby boy— a gift from God to make an adoptive family
Joe signed the adoption paperwork, the two stayed up all night playing with complete.
their child. Still, the next morning Linda & Joe knew they were making the right
decision, because of the open adoption process they had chosen, and the bond between them and the Adoptive Parents. After all docu-
ments were signed, they said their emotional good-byes. In that moment, the two parents embraced each other with thanks. “Thank you”
for creating the life from one family; and “thank you” to the other family for raising the life. The Birth Father waived farewell as they
were leaving with the words: “This is not the end, this is just the beginning!..”
Two weeks later an entrustment ceremony was celebrated, where Linda & Joe entrusted their child to be raised by the adoptive parents.
The poem they read spoke clearly about the legacy of open adoption and summed up the journey of two Birth Parents.
Message to an Adopted Child, a poem
Once there were two expectant mothers and two expectant fathers.
The two carried and cared for you beneath their beating hearts
She became your Birthmother and he became your Birthfather.
The others carried the hope of you within them.
She became your Mother and he became your Father.
One day your Birthmother and Birthfather and your Mother and Father found each other.
They looked into each others eyes and saw a friend.
Your Birthmother and Birthfather saw the life your Mother and Father could give you.
Your Mother and Father saw how much your Birthmother and Birthfather loved and cared for you.
They decided that what you needed was both kinds of love in your life.
Two different lives, shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you the aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
So now you have two families; one by birth, the other by adoption.
Two different kinds of families. Two different kinds of love
Both a part of you.
*(the names and some circumstances in this story have been changed to protect our clients)
Scott’s Run: Catholic Charities’ Annual Benefit Run/Walk for the Kids
It has become a tradition now at Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA) to stage its
annual fundraising event known around town as “Scott’s Run” in the early Fall.
5K runners and 1 mile walkers gathered at the Carter Center in Atlanta at 8:00 am
to sprint, run, race, walk, amble, stroll or otherwise propel themselves along the
Freedom Parkway path on the balmy Saturday morning of October 6th.
The sky was still dark when volunteers and staff busily set up registration tables,
assembled food and water stations, set out signs, and got all things ready to greet
the race participants at 7:00 am. Almost 300 runners and walkers joined Catholic
Charities, with the happy tunes of a Mariachi Band accompanying them to the
starting line. The event concluded with race awards, followed by a live auction of
great and desirable auction items. “A good race event and festivities with an excel-
lent running course, early on a beautiful Saturday morning, is definitely worth get-
ting up for, plus it’s for a good cause and there are always great auction items to bid
on afterwards...” commented race participant Romy Kapoor.
Proceeds from the event benefit Catholic Charities’ Immigrant Children’s Advo-
cacy Project (ICAP), a service that provides legal intervention to save the lives of
foreign-born children from life threatening situations. Most of these children are
victims of trafficking, having been brought unlawfully to the U.S. or endure lives of
abandonment, crime, abuse or prostitution. Through Catholic Charities’ Immigra-
tion Services legal representation, many children have been granted legal status and Photo: Running is fun! John Marshall Law School participants.
often found a new and promising future.
The Children’s Project began more than 10 years ago with Mei Mei, an undocumented Chinese Girl, found with other children in a small
boat off the coast of California, all believed to be victims of trafficking. Catholic Charities gained legal status for Mei Mei, who today lives
in Georgia and attends college.
The agency works closely with officers of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services [USCIS] (formerly called INS), who oversee the
custody of these children. One of the officers, Scott Starratt stood out among his peers, for his kind treatment and care of these displaced
kids. Scott died tragically in a car accident in 2001. As a tribute to his work, Scott’s Run was established in his memory.
A vital role in the success of Scott’s Run and the fund-raising side of the event, is played by our sponsors. Without their support this
annual benefit road race could not happen. More importantly, without our sponsors Catholic Charities could not provide its program
dedicated to the representation of these child-victims. Also, some of our other children’s services can now benefit from the pro ceeds,
because of this outstanding fundraising effort. We are grateful to our sponsors for their generous giving and recognize them as follows:
Platinum Sponsor – Major Sponsor: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Silver Sponsors: St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation; Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP; Kuck Casablanca LLC; Kapoor & Associates; Socheat
Chea P.C.; Leang Hourn & Chanthary Chea.
Bronze Sponsors: Arnall Golden Gregory LLP; Atlanta AILA Chapter; Poorak & Associates, Inc.; Troutman Sanders; Paul Hastings;
Suskind Susser Bland; AGCO Finance LLC, The Antonini Law Firm; North Highland.
Auction Sponsor: King & Spalding LLP
A record total of $54,000 was raised through the participation of the
sponsors, Scott’s Club members, runners & walkers and the live auction.
We thank you one and all!
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (seated) lends his support to Catholic Charities’ Annual Benefit
“Scott’s Run” at the Carter Center on October 6, 2007
With the Archbishop are (standing L. to R.)
Sue Colussy, Program Director of Catholic Charities’ Immigration Services
Sharon Poorak, Race Committee Chairperson & Sponsor, Attorney at Law, Poorak & Associ-
ates, Inc., and
Rocco Testani, Race Committee Co-Chair, Sponsor and Catholic Charities’ Board Member,
Attorney at Law, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
An Accidental Odyssey: The story of Boy
Story by: Jennifer Bensman, Attorney-Immigration Services
Adaptation by: Jutta M. Hansen, Manager-PR & Editor of CARITAS
He was born in Liberia and moved to Ghana with his parents when he was 6 years old. We’ll call him Moses as we tell his
story (not his real name). Both of Moses’ parents died shortly after the family had settled in their new home. His grand-
mother now took on the role to raise Moses. She died when he was about 16. From this time on he raised himself. Without
friends or relatives, this young boy had to find a source
of income in order to survive. Moses would do odd
jobs, like the time he worked as a courier, biking
through the dense traffic of the capital to deliver mail
and running errands. He barely kept himself alive
through the meager wages he received.
In December 2005 he decided to go to Spain where he
had some friends. Having no money, the only possible
option to obtain passage to Spain from the Ivory Coast,
was to stow -away on board a cargo ship. Moses hopped
a freighter on a moonless night, longing to reach the
Spanish coast, to be reunited with his friends and hope
for a better future. Little did he know the ship he had
boarded was headed for Savannah, Ga. After a harrow-
ing experience and many fearful days and nights hidden
in the belly of a cargo ship, with barely enough food and
water to survive, the ship reached the U.S. Georgia coast
on December 27, 2005. U.S. Immigrations & Customs Photo: Jennifer Bensman, Attorney, Catholic Charities’ Immigration Services
Enforcement (ICE) agents found him and took Moses Detention Program with her client Moses
Catholic Charities Immigration Services received information about a new detainee and this is how Jennifer Bensman, Immi-
gration Attorney at Catholic Charities, met Moses in court and interviewed him in jail and found, he did not want to be in the
U.S. He did not have an asylum claim. All Moses wanted is to get to Spain. The Catholic Charities’ attorney was able to con-
vince the judge to allow him to withdraw his application for admission. This would shift the burden to the freight-ship own-
ers to assume responsibility for Moses and have him returned to his point of origin.
In March of 2007 (15 months later) Ms. Bensman was asked about Moses coincidently, by another client, who had been in-
carcerated in the same facility as Moses. The attorney was shocked and astounded to hear that Moses was still in detention.
She immediately contacted his deportation officer and was told a lot of conflicting information and excuses why he was still
incarcerated. Ms. Bensman was finally able to have Moses released under an Order of Supervision because ICE was not able
to remove him. Through Catholic Charities’ application process, Moses was able to get a work permit and he has since se-
cured temporary housing. Moses would like to pursue a career in the trucking industry and is now enrolling in training
courses to become a truck-driver. Driving a truck, is perhaps, reminiscent for Moses to the days when he peddled his bike as
a courier through the streets of Accra. Thus ends an accidental odyssey, finally, with a good outcome for the client.
Refugee Resettlement Services (RRS)
The family of Me-Ling* lived in the Refugee Camp in Thailand for 11 years. Me-Ling, her parents, and her
five sisters fled Burma because they were Christians. Me-Ling was only 8 years old at the time. Threatened
by persecution, thousands of families in Burma suffered a fate similar to that of Me-Ling and her family.
Me-Ling grew up in the Refugee Camp, went to school and lived most of her childhood with thousands
of other families who had also fled the junta in Burma. Eventually Me-Ling met her husband Lua* in the
camp while attending school. Lua was only 8 months old when his family fled Burma; they had been in
this camp since 1983. The two married and in 2006 were blessed with a little girl. Having been on the
waiting list for many years, Me-Ling and her little daughter were approved for resettlement to follow Me-
Ling’s parents and her sisters to Atlanta, GA.
But Lua had to stay behind because he was registered in a different camp. At the tender age of 18, Me-
Ling and her infant daughter have to start a new life in a very foreign place without a husband and father.
She is thankful to have her immediate family, but she misses her husband every day. Catholic Charities is Photo: A young mom and her baby are
finally safely resettled in the USA.
helping Me-Ling file a petition with the Department of State in order for Lua to join his family. It will
most likely take 18 months or more before her husband receives approval for resettlement to the U.S.
Until then, Catholic Charities has helped Me-Ling to move in with her parents and younger sister, begin taking English classes n ear her home,
learn to use MARTA, and start looking for a job.
Me-Ling came to the U.S. with one suitcase and one pair of shoes. Catholic Charities has also found donations to provide Me-Ling and her
daughter with beds, bedding items, clothing, shoes, baby items, and some financial assistance until she begins to work. Me-Ling reports that
she is happy to be here and cannot wait until she can truly say that she has a self-sufficient life here in the U.S. — with her husband and
There are many refugees just like Me-Ling and her family who are served by Catholic Charities. If you would like to know more about refugees
or to make a donation to the Refugee Resettlement Program, please contact Frances McBrayer at (404)885-7257.
Catholic Charities serving the Archdiocese of Atlanta Let the children come to me and do not stop
and North Georgia them, because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to
The programs & services of Catholic Charities are funded in part by the Archbishop’s such as these.
Annual Appeal Gifts! Thank you for your generosity. Matthew 19:14
Immigration & - provides legal assistance to low income aliens
Resettlement - helps immigrants who qualify to gain legal status
Services - protects foreign victims of violence in the home
- helps persons seeking asylum
- provides re-settlement to newly arrived refugees
- cooperative support with parishes
Pregnancy, Parenting - counseling & decision making in crisis pregnancy
& Adoption - adoption & relinquishment counseling
- full adoption, post- adoption & parenting services
- adoptive family training & support groups
Family Enrichment - English & civics classes, computer classes
Program - after school tutoring for refugee & immigrant children
- employment services for refugees
- housing counseling & foreclosure prevention
- refugee parent services & parenting English classes
- refugee healthy marriages program
Parish & Social - Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)
Justice Ministries - Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
- Catholic Social Teaching awareness presentations
We are most thankful for your donation to one
Village of St. Joseph - affordable & professional counseling services for all of our programs, please send your gift to:
Counseling Services - counseling services in English & Spanish
- educational & support groups
- Prison Ministry: “Thresholds” decision making training Catholic Charities
Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc.
Emergency Assistance- housing counseling Providing Help. Creating Hope.
Program - assistance for Hurricane evacuees 680 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA. 30308
- information & referral Phone: (404) 881-6571. Fax: (404) 888-7816
- disaster response services
- Information & Referral for Seniors
or donate on-line at our website
For inquiries please contact: Jutta M. Hansen, Manager- PR & Editor of the Caritas Newsletter, Catholic Charities Atlanta
Please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesatlanta.org