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Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens celebrates 25 years of service

Oct. 26, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens celebrated its 25th anniversary with a luncheon at Terrace on the Park Tuesday, Oct. 24. During the luncheon, Monsignor John Bracken, Board Member Mary Jane McCartney and the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens’ late chairman, Joseph Geoghan, were each recognized for their work and contributions to the organization.

(From l. to r.) Bishop Robert Brennan, Msgr. John Bracken and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello pose for a a photo as Bracken is honored at the Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens luncheon on Oct. 24. Photo by Paul Frangipane

(From l. to r.) Bishop Robert Brennan, Mary Jane McCartney and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello. Photo by Paul Frangipane

(From l. to r.) Bishop Robert Brennan, Joe Geoghan and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello. Geoghan’s father, Joseph E. Geoghan, was honored posthumously at the luncheon. Photo by Paul Frangipane

In addition to honoring Bracken, McCartney and Geoghan, members of the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens spoke about the work they have done and the differences they have made over the years.

Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello speaks at the luncheon. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“Today we’re here to celebrate the fruits of our labor, your labor, your sacrifices that you have made,” Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello said. “Over the past 25 years, we have given out over $100 million in grants to parishes to do the work of our diocese and to spread the gospel.”

Bishop Robert Brennan speaks at the luncheon. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“[The foundation] has provided a vehicle for us to fund so many important things,” Bishop Robert Brennan said. “It brings together the voices and the vision of the late people of our diocese. The foundation continues to make it possible for us just to do ordinary things that we need to be able to do as a church so that also we can look ahead to the future.”

(From l. to r.) Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Bishop Robert Brennan and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards was also on hand for the luncheon. He ended up presenting a citation to the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards speaks at the luncheon. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“So many things were exacerbated through the pandemic and I often think about how individuals think all the solutions lie in politicians. We’re part of the solutions but we can not do the work we do without organizations like this. It really takes a partnership,” Richards said. “When we talk about criminalization in our city, you can’t criminalize your way out of poverty, it takes the donations and work of us collectively to make sure that we give a path forward to the least among us.”

Photo by Paul Frangipane

During the luncheon, Catholic Foundation Executive Director John Notaro also drew attention to two important initiatives. The first initiative was the launch of a new fundraising program specifically for youth ministry.

The second initiative, Planned Giving, is meant to provide people with a way to fulfill charitable and philanthropic intentions with gifts made to The Catholic Foundation from their estates after they die, in accordance with specific plans they made during the course of their lifetime. Planned Giving creates a long term charitable commitment from one’s estate through wills, trusts, life insurance policies and other estate plans.

Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens Executive Director John Notaro speaks at the 25th anniversary luncheon. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“The impact of these programs are real and our young people are here, we have a chance to empower them,” Notaro said.

Additional reporting by Paul Frangipane.

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