Mercy Runs Deep at Catholic Charities

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When Pope Francis declared the Jubilee Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016, he invited us all to experience the joy of mercy: love, kindness, generosity, forgiveness; relieving a heart in misery.  At Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, mercy runs deep—it’s what we do, day-in and day-out, and no one does it better than our nearly 700 employees. Well-trained, highly experienced and laser-focused on the individual needs of our more than 200,000 clients annually, our employees demonstrate the kind of mercy Pope Francis asks each of us to seek.

A Thirst for Knowledge & Jobs

Meet Alice Nelson. She works at our Yawkey Center location on Columbia Road in Dorchester, Mass. Her job title is Program Instructor, but you might as well call her an architect of building stronger families and employers as she designed a curriculum and facilitates employer partnerships around English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for Human Services. Launched in July 2013 and funded by the Smith Family Foundation, this program gives newcomers with some English proficiency an opportunity to strengthen it by immersing themselves in industry-specific job training in Human Services. Thanks to Alice and our six employer partners, more than 80 percent of our graduates are currently employed, while others further their professional certification or pursue higher education.

Alice says ESOL Human Services has more than 65 alumni and is successful for many reasons. She stated, “Our program is often the first safe, structured place for our adult students to self-reflect, validate their skills and get a sense of their own self-value. Many have experienced so many crises that the opportunity to improve their English and gain a career path is life-changing for them and their families.”

She continued, “Some join us with bachelor degrees from their home countries, but with no English can’t access the job market. Thanks to our participating employers and the curriculum, ESOL Human Services offers a professional career trajectory in human services, not just a dead-end job.”

Preventing Homelessness, One Person at a Time

Stacy Wyrosdic is a program coordinator who has dedicated much of his career to Catholic Charities. An employee since 2001, he currently supports our Basic Needs Program in Brockton preventing people from homelessness.

Stacy shared, “When people come to me for help, it is my job to advocate for them. Once I learn of an individual’s circumstances, I offer up support. Sometimes, the assistance is practical, such as helping better budget to identify existing funds to make ends meet. Other times, I am in a position to offer funding to fill in a gap and work directly with my client’s landlord.  

“Helping someone keep their head above water in a time of crisis is what I do. When a landlord hears that I’m calling from Catholic Charities, the feeling of trust on the other end of the line is palpable—that’s invaluable as an advocate. Because of Catholic Charities’ Basic Needs, people in need of a helping hand remain home with families intact,” Wyrosdic declared.