2018 Winter Newsletter

Catholic Charities counselor named in “Catholics of the Year 2017”

Fr. John J. Mahoney Jr. recognized for his work in battling opioid epidemic

Rev. John J. Mahoney Jr.

Rev. John J. Mahoney Jr.

Congratulations to the Rev. John J. Mahoney Jr. for being recognized in “Catholics of the Year 2017” by Our Sunday Visitor newsweekly for his work in battling the opioid crisis as director of Catholic Charities New Hampshire’s Counseling Services.

Mahoney and his team of mental health counselors – all of whom are skilled addiction counselors – wanted to better respond to the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire. They decided to focus on helping families whose loved ones struggle with addiction. They took their “Families Coping with the Opioid Crisis” presentation on the road beginning in late 2016, meeting directly with people in church halls and, most recently, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

“We decided to use the Christian model,” Mahoney told Our Sunday Visitor. “Jesus didn’t stay in a clinic or an office. He went into the marketplace and healed the people he met there. So we said, what about the families of people who are addicted? Is anyone reaching out to them?”

Mahoney is a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, N.H., a canon lawyer, licensed mental health counselor, and board member of the non-profit Friends of the New Hampshire Drug Courts.

St. Charles Summer Camp 2018

Register for Rochester day camp by June 1

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

Remember when summer meant long, languid days spent swimming, playing outdoors, and having fun with friends?

We do. St. Charles Summer Camp offers a summer day camp where the pace is unhurried and the number of campers is small enough to allow friendships to flourish.

“It’s old-fashioned, summer fun,” says Jennifer Gilbert, office manager at the St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester.

Now in its second year, the 7-week camp will run weekdays July 3 through Aug. 17. It features a large, in-ground swimming pool, two playgrounds, structured group activities and field trips. Counselors and lifeguards supervise all activities.

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

“For the kids, the highlight of the summer camp is every afternoon when they have pool time. On very hot days, they can get pool time in the mornings. We are a small summer camp, so it is not as rushed or hectic for the kids. Kids get a lot of individual attention. They kind of become their own family,” Gilbert adds.

The camp is open to children who completed kindergarten through fifth grade. Camp is limited to 35 participants. The camp runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. It begins the week of July 2-6 (no camp July 4) and ends the week of Aug. 13-17. The weekly rate is $140. Campers who enroll in all seven weeks receive a discounted rate of $780 that must be paid in full by May 18.

St. Charles also offers pre-care from 7-8 a.m. and after-care from 4-5 p.m. for an additional $20 each per week. Camp registration deadline is June 1. All tuition is also due June 1.

“I’m totally invested in this camp,” says Marni Fennessy, whose four daughters spent their entire summer last year at the camp. The two eldest were counselors; the younger two were campers.

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

Photo courtesy of Joe Platt.

“They took care of my children like I would have taken care of them at home if I had the luxury to stay home with them during the summer,” Fennessy says. Her second oldest was a volunteer counselor who quickly connected with the children there and forged meaningful relationships. All four of her girls plan to return to camp this summer, she adds.

For more information or to register, please contact Jennifer Gilbert at 603-332-4768 or jgilbert@stcharleshome.net.

Visit the Summer Camp’s event page.

Ooh la la!

Glitzy gala puts the fun back into fundraising

Guests pose with ‘Carmen’ at the 2017 Mardi Gras Gala.

It comes just once a year and it’s a can’t-miss event. Please join us for the 13th Annual Mardi Gras Gala for a dazzling evening you won’t forget.

The New Orleans-inspired gala is Catholic Charities New Hampshire’s premier fundraiser. Because of you, this event raises more than $100,000 a year to help poor and vulnerable residents throughout New Hampshire. Check out our January blog to learn more about the Mardi Gras Gala, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, from 6-11 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H.

Remember to get your tickets by Jan. 26. Can’t wait to see you there!

Please visit cc-nh.org/mardigras for tickets or more information.

Catholic Charities on the move

New regional service centers in Berlin, Nashua

Nashua’s new office.

The Nashua district office recently relocated to larger quarters in the former Infant Jesus Convent on the grounds of St. John XXIII Parish at 3 Crown St., Nashua. The site is near downtown and is accessible by public transportation. We plan to host an Open House once we settle in.

From left: Nicole Plourde, Catholic Charities NH’s deputy director of Parish & Community Services and community outreach coordinator at its Berlin district office; Holiday Center Director Tammy St. Amant; Holiday Center board member Yvette Hachez; Catholic Charities NH President and CEO Thomas Blonski; and Jeffrey Lacroix, administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities NH acquired the historic Holiday Center building in downtown Berlin and expects to relocate its northern regional service center to the 27 Green Square site by early spring.

Three Catholic Charities nursing centers rank best in U.S.

Manchester, Berlin and Windham centers earn top rating

We are honored to have three of our skilled nursing centers listed among the Best Nursing Homes in the country for 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report.

Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Manchester, St. Vincent de Paul Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Berlin, and Warde Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Windham earned the top ranking in U.S. News’ latest Nursing Home Finder released Oct. 31. They are among just 11 nursing centers in N.H. to achieve that distinction.

Congratulations to our skilled, compassionate and dedicated care-giving teams. We also thank you for your generous support. Because of you, Catholic Charities’ nursing centers have been consistently recognized not only for excellence, but as health care providers you can trust.

“It is an honor to be the administrator of a wonderful, long-term care community with employees who are dedicated to the privilege of caring for members of the local community who require our services,” said Jeffrey Lacroix, administrator of St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent’s staff is actively involved in resident and patient care, ensuring a person-centered approach, he said.

“Long-term care is a demanding profession. However, few careers provided similar rewards,” Lacroix added.

U.S. News said it evaluated more than 15,000 nursing centers in every state across the country. It designated nearly 2,300 of them as a Best Nursing Home for 2017-18. This year, U.S. News said it created a 5-level rating scale, ranging from “Top Performing” to “Poor.” To qualify as a Best Nursing Home, facilities had to earn an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 during 10 months of federal reports ending in August, 2017 and consistently meet performance standards set by U.S. News, such as earning at least a 4 in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ overall rating for all 10 months. For more information on the updated methodology, please click here.

“I’m pleased to see validated the hard work that our team does every single day. It’s nice to be recognized for their excellence in care and the compassion they show our residents,” said Bret Pomeroy, who is the administrator at Warde.

Besides being named a top-performing nursing center, Mt. Carmel also won the prestigious 2017 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association for excellence in providing long-term care. The award is the second highest of three levels of distinction bestowed on long-term care and assisted living providers through the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living’s National Quality Award Program. Established in 1996, the program spotlights providers across the country that demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for their residents and patients.

Catholic Charities owns and operates seven rehabilitation and nursing centers throughout New Hampshire. The others are: Good Shepherd in Jaffrey, St. Ann in Dover, St. Francis in Laconia and St. Teresa in Manchester.

Manchester Citizenship Center resumes free legal clinics

Monthly sessions held Saturdays at International Institute of NE-Manchester

The Manchester Citizenship Center began its second year of providing free legal clinics to Greater Manchester residents who want to become citizens.

Catholic Charities New Hampshire’s accredited legal advocates and attorneys will staff the monthly sessions where they will offer eligible immigrants advice, screenings and guidance on the naturalization process and preparing applications.

The program is primarily intended for those who can speak, read and write English and are prepared to pass the civics test required by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Those who want to learn more about naturalization are also welcome.

Clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Institute of New England-Manchester’s new location at 470 Pine St., Manchester on the following Saturdays: March 10, April 7, May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug. 18, and Sept. 15. Participants must pre-register by calling 603-624-4717, ext. 0277.

The program is a collaborative effort involving Catholic Charities New Hampshire Immigration Legal Services, Welcoming Manchester and the International Institute of New England – Manchester. It is funded through the Norwin and Elizabeth Bean Foundation.

The Manchester Citizenship Center was formed to support eligible immigrants to become U.S. citizens. Applying for citizenship can be expensive given the fees and cost of legal advice. As a result, many newcomers try to navigate the process on their own and may make mistakes that can delay the process. Others may rely on notarios, who are not legitimate attorneys, but act like them.

‘They kept me from freezing.’

CCNH winter outreach helps seniors, families in need

Winters can be unforgiving in rural New Hampshire where Jayne, 79, struggles to keep up the old house she’s lived in for a half century. Last February, her propane heater spewed smoke and soot instead of heat. Jayne called local repair men for help. It sounded dangerous, they told her. And expensive.

Disabled, alone and widowed for more than 40 years, Jayne lives on a fixed income that shows little mercy when it comes to unplanned expenses.

“There is too much month and not enough money,” she explains. Not one for “taking handouts,” Jayne managed to save some money. It wasn’t nearly enough to cover the repairs – and her house was getting colder.

A local agency referred Jayne to her nearest Catholic Charities district office. Thanks to donors like you, the Parish & Community Services staff assessed the situation and authorized immediate repairs.

“They kept me from freezing. I probably couldn’t have managed to have gotten it repaired in God knows when,” a grateful Jayne says. “They were very helpful, very caring and very warmhearted.”

Because of you, our struggling neighbors have a place to turn for help. Those who access Catholic Charities’ services also benefit from participating in financial fitness training and creating Life Plans to help them set realistic goals that build financial independence, strengthen families and move lives forward. For more information, please visit cc-nh.org/outreach.

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