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Who We Are

  • CCST Leaders at the meeting table, spring 2014.
    CCST leaders meet at St. Charles Parish, 2014.
  • Alexi Motta, Charles Bergman, Msgr. Kerrigan and Danielle Sulit at Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, 2015
  • The CCST delegation with Guatemala clergy, Jan. 2010.
    Metuchen delegation and Guatemalan clergy, 2010.
  • Leadership meeting of CCST in New Brunswick, summer 2014
  • Msgr. Joe Kerrigan, CCST founding director, 2002-17

CATHOLIC CHARITIES SOLIDARITY TEAM

Deacon Michael Martini, director

Deacon Peter Barcellona, associate director

Marianne Majewski, CCDOM liaison with CCST

Holy Family Parish Center
56 Throop Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Tel: 732-545-1681  FAX: 732-545-5059

“The word ‘solidarity’ is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity. It presumes the creation of a new mindset which thinks in terms of community and the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few.” -- Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #188.

Founded in 2002 as a volunteer program of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Metuchen, the Catholic Charities Solidarity Team (CCST) -- in response to our Gospel call to love God, neighbor and creation -- works to reduce injustice and suffering facing the poor and vulnerable overseas and here at home in the Metuchen Diocese.

We apply prayer and Catholic Social Teaching to selected justice and development activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, especially Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, along with the Justice for Immigrants campaign.

We support the model of integral human development (IHD), a holistic concept which encourages the flourishing of potential, aspiration and dignity for every human person.  For CRS’ User’s Guide to IHD, CLICK HERE.

We have committed - as a group of Central New Jersey volunteers linked to various parishes and other Catholic institutions - to focus on direct, personal, committed and mutually-enriching relationships with those we serve in the Archdiocese of Palo, Philippines, the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, the Diocese of Homa Bay, Kenya and Caritas Lebanon, as well as the hungry and marginalized in central New Jersey.  We strive for steadfastness, kindness, compassion and commitment in all we do. Solidarity - “the firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good” (St. John Paul II) -- informs us constantly.

Solidarity means letting oneself be affected by the suffering of other beings, sharing their pain and tragedy...from the viewpoint of Christian faith, the most important part of solidarity is that it expresses the ideal of bearing one another's burdens, as exemplified in the first Pauline communities."
-- Jesuit theologian Jon Sobrino

Our responses include emergency relief, along with development projects that span health, agriculture, water. economic development, food security, education and community-building.

In 2017, CCST is organized around the following priority areas:

1) Prayer and Spirituality

2) Guatemala Community-Based Solidarity Projects

3) Haiyan Long-Term Response in the Philippines

4) Catholic Relief Services U.S. Operations

5) Diocesan Capacity Building

6) Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)

7) Kenya Prosper Project

9) Caritas and CRS Lebanon, including Cyprus

The Catholic Charities Solidarity Team has several levels of membership.  The CCST Leadership Team -- which meets monthly and functions more or less as a board -- directs the operation of the program.  A group of General Members, who represent various parishes in the diocese, also meets regularly.  Friends of CCST are volunteers who attend our events, donate to our projects or subscribe to our newsletter.

If you believe you have been called to share your gifts of compassion, kindness, service or advocacy more widely, please contact Deacon Michael Martini, director at mmartini@ccsolidarity.org, or Deacon Peter Barcellona, associate director, at pbarcellona@ccsolidarity.org.

Thanks for visiting the website of the Catholic Charities Solidarity Team, and for your interest in the work of CRS and CCHD in Central New Jersey.

 

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