Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lowcountry and Carter May Home Employee Introductions

Our final offices are located in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and in Charleston.

The Lowcountry regional office operates Our Lady’s Pantry, a food pantry that provides assistance to individuals primarily in Beaufort and surrounding counties. Our Lady’s Pantry is managed by Pam Rice. To learn more about this ministry, please check out our website.

Pam has been working for Catholic Charities for over a year. When she first began working for Catholic Charities, Pam split her time between ministries in the Lowcountry and other ministries of the Diocese. She began working full time with Our Lady’s Pantry this summer. In her free time, Pam likes to garden, dance, travel, and cook. For Pam, one of the best things about working for Catholic Charities is that it allows her to do the work she loves while also involving her faith. She welcomes any opportunities to pray with clients, especially when they share their lives and the difficulties they are having.

Janine, a staff member from another department, and Pam at a recent employee event.

In addition to the Coastal Catholic Charities office, Charleston is also home to the Carter May Home-St. Joseph Residence assisted living facility for the elderly. To learn more about this residence, please visit our website.

Administrator Janine Bauder began working with Catholic Charities 18 years ago at the Carter May Home-St. Joseph Residence. She loves her job, especially when she is able to help families and seniors find the resources and care that they need. She also likes her job because she is able to get to know the seniors living in this home and find ways to help them feel significant. It is important for her that the seniors living in this home feel loved and know that they are an important part of the community. When she is not working, Janine enjoys singing in her church choir, reading, baking, and gardening.

We hope you enjoyed this series and got to know our staff a little better! 
Check back soon to learn about some of their favorite stories and experiences from 2012!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Emmanuel, God With Us

"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means “God with us”)."

                  -Matthew 1:18-23

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

                “Glory to God in the highest heaven 
                         and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived."

                      -Luke 2:1-21

Monday, December 24, 2012

Immigration Employee Introductions

One of our fastest growing programs is Immigration legal services. Emily Guerrero oversees a team of attorneys and immigration specialists who have offices throughout South Carolina. Since the passage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act, our Offices of Immigration Services have helped hundreds of people apply for temporary legal status and work authorization. We also opened two new Offices of Immigration Services this year, one in the Piedmont region and one in the Lowcountry. To learn more about the work of these offices and hear from Emily about their experiences, please visit past posts. You can also learn more about the programs, how to donate, and how to get involved on our website.

Emily has worked in the Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services for 8 years. Her job requires her to work with a variety of people facing difficult situations. She is grateful for the opportunity to help these people and their families find the positive in negative situations. When she is not working with clients and overseeing the Immigration offices, Emily likes to run, bike, cook, and spend time with her children.

Blenda Suarez began working with Catholic Charities in 2011. When she first began working here, she was a member of the team in the Piedmont office. Recently Blenda began working in the newly opened Office of Immigration Services in Berea, in the Piedmont area. She enjoys crafting, scrap-booking  singing, and taking trips with her family.

Vanessa, Blenda, Emily, and Mily at a recent employee meeting.

In addition to our regional office and Berea Office of Immigration Services, the Piedmont region is also home to the Greenville Office of Immigration Services. Attorney Vanessa Garcia operates this office and has been with Catholic Charities since last fall.

When the Hilton Head Office of Immigration Services opened, we gained another wonderful staff member. Immigration Specialist Mily Choy, who manages this office, joined our team this spring.

The final member of the Immigration staff is Andrea Penafiel. Andrea is an Immigration Specialist and works in the office in Mt. Pleasant with Emily. Andrea began working with Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services in 2006.

Blenda, Emily, Mily, Andrea, and Vanessa at an employee appreciation lunch.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coastal Employee Introductions

The Coastal office is located in North Charleston and is operated by Helen O’Leary and Lee Picciuto-Fursdon. This office primarily meets the needs of individuals and families in Charleston and the surrounding counties. Programs are offered providing medical, dental, and food assistance as well as care for the elderly.

Helen, who joined Catholic Charities in 2005, enjoys going for brisk walks, reading memoirs of spiritual leaders, cooking, gardening and traveling. Knowing that our programs give people hope and empowerment as well as the aid they need gives Helen a great feeling of accomplishment. She enjoys being able to see the results of the work of Catholic Charities as lives are changed each day and being able to see these changes through an agency that is Christ centered.

Lee joined our team this year. She likes to spend her time reading, writing, baking, doing yoga, and traveling. When she is not at work, Lee also likes to visit coffeehouses in search of the perfect one to relax at! She enjoys the variety of clients she encounters each day and the challenges each case brings.

Helen and Lee at a recent staff event

If you are interested in learning more about Coastal Catholic Charities, donating, or volunteering, please visit our website. This series will continue on Monday when we feature the some of the Immigration staff members. Past posts from this series are available here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pee Dee Employee Introductions

The Pee Dee office provides a variety of services to meet the needs of their local clients. To learn more about the Pee Dee office, please visit our website here.

Two of the three members of the team in the Pee Dee office.

Trisha Walker has worked with Catholic Charities for 5 years. She loves working here and spending time working with clients. Trisha enjoys getting to know the clients that come in, helping them work through set-backs, and sharing in their successes. Trisha also enjoys spending time with her daughter, caring for her elderly father, and organizing.

Carol Buschholz started working at Catholic Charities in 2005. She enjoys working with clients that come into the office and helping people get their GED’s. When she is not working, Carol enjoys reading, crocheting, and doing crewel embroidery.

Check back in on Saturday to meet our staff members in the Coastal office. If you've missed the beginning of this series, you can catch up here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Piedmont Employee Introductions

The Upstate of South Carolina is served by our Piedmont office. Deacon Gabriel Cuervo, Karl Rogozenski, and Mayra Trujillo work in this office. They primarily work with the elderly and low-income individuals in need of financial, dental, and medical assistance. Learn more about this office, how to donate, and how to get involved in their ministries here.

Deacon Gabriel is the Piedmont Regional Coordinator and recently celebrated 5 years with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston. His hobbies include reading and serving his ministries through the Catholic Church. One of his favorite things about this job is seeing the happiness on others when they receive help. He also appreciates the daily reminder that Jesus is always knocking at the door.

Deacon Gabriel at an employee appreciation event, being recognized his 5 years of service.

Mayra has worked in the Piedmont office for 4 years. She enjoys singing, reading and surfing the web when not at work. Mayra oversees the administrative day to day operations and also occasionally serves as a support staff member with some programs. She shared, “It’s very hard, but at the same time a very rewarding experience, to see everything coming together. It’s wonderful to be part of a team that works hard to accomplish a mission, to fulfill a vision, and go the extra mile to make the people that knock at our doors feel loved and cared for.”

The final member of the Piedmont staff is Karl. He works primarily with seniors in the Upstate and has been with Catholic Charities for 5 months. When he is not working, Karl enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, volunteering, traveling, golfing, and taking day trips to the mountains. For Karl, one of the best things about his job is that he gets to work with clients that he loves. He believes that the senior community is a forgotten commodity that needs care and support and is glad to be able to help these individuals. Karl enjoys getting to know the seniors and volunteers and hearing their stories.

Piedmont office staff members and others at a recent employee event

We’ll see you tomorrow as we introduce our employees in the Pee Dee office!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Midlands Employee Introductions

The Midlands office primarily serves 17 counties in South Carolina and is located in our capital city. Employees Mary Trivisonno and Cathy Hood-Pittenger mostly work with homeless individuals in the Midlands. You can learn more about their ministries, read client stories and get to know their volunteers here.

Mary has been with Catholic Charities for more than 8 years. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, biking, and going to the lake as much as possible. She enjoys her job because it gives her the opportunity to work with others in Columbia who also care about the needs of the less fortunate and also allows her to engage parishes in the work being done at Catholic Charities. It is also very rewarding for her to see the community at large recognize the important role the Catholic Church has in helping those in need.

Cathy recently celebrated 7 years with Catholic Charities. She enjoys her job because it allows her to minister to fellow brothers and sisters in need while working with wonderful people. Outside of working at Catholic Charities, Cathy enjoys participating in church activities, reading, exercising, and spending time with her family.

Cathy and Mary as a recent staff meeting

If you are interested in donating to, volunteering at, or learning more about our Midlands office, please visit our website here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Employee Series Kick-off!

December is a wonderful time of the year, however we confess that sometimes we get caught up in the busyness of the season- parties to attend, gifts to buy, family and friends to visit, yummy foods to make, and more! It’s easy to get distracted and forget to reflect on what a great year it has been.

2012 has been a wonderful year here at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston, Inc. We have added members to our team, opened new offices, launched programs, and helped people all over the state. We’re very proud of our wonderful staff members, who so diligently work to help the people coming into their offices each day. We also can’t rave enough about our stellar volunteers that faithfully serve at their local offices. Finally, we’re grateful to every person who has donated to Catholic Charities this year, allowing us to continue in our mission of providing care and services to improve the lives of South Carolinians in need. We could not survive and flourish as we have if any of these important groups were removed from the picture.

Staff members at a recent event.

In recent months you have heard from our volunteers and clients. Our volunteers shared about themselves and why they have chosen to serve at Catholic Charities, while clients shared about the difference Catholic Charities has made in their lives. We would now like to introduce you to the people that are on the ground each day, working to change lives by loving, serving, and teaching. Over the next few weeks we are bringing you posts that introduce you to our wonderful staff members.

Staff members at a recent event.

Check back in Monday for the first post, spotlighting our Midlands office!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Penance Schedule in Charleston

If you are in the Charleston area and looking for a parish that will be holding a Penance Service this month, you've come to the right place!

All services will be held at 7:00.

December 10- Immaculate Conception in Goose Creek

December 12- St. Theresa the Little Flower in Summerville

December 13- Christ Our King in Mt. Pleasant
                     St. John the Beloved in Summerville
                     St. Joseph in Charleston

December 14- St. Thomas the Apostle in North Charleston

December 17- Divine Redeemer in Hanahan

December 19- St. Benedict in Mt. Pleasant

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Blessed Sacrament Church will not be having one this Advent. Parish information may be found here.