Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Sunday, June 24, 2018

WINSTED – More than 200 donors attended the inaugural Archbishop’s Annual Appeal dinner on Jan. 14 to watch a video about how their donations improved the lives of so many last year and how their generosity will continue helping people across Connecticut in 2011.

The dinner, which was held at Crystal Peak, kicked off the 2011 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, with its theme "The Miracle of Sharing."

Dr. Paul Kelly, a Waterbury cardiologist and the medical director of the Malta House of Care mobile health clinic in Waterbury, took the opportunity to talk about the many ways the clinic treats patients who have no health insurance, and ultimately, saves lives.

A van patient who has diabetes said in the video, "If they didn’t give me the medication I needed, I wouldn’t be here." She said that she had reached a point at which she had to choose between food and her medication, and she chose food.

"They [at the Malta House of Care van] make you feel good about yourself … they don’t make you feel like you’re getting a handout. They care about you," she said.

The mobile clinic in Waterbury is modeled after a Malta House of Care clinic that operates in Hartford. Both clinics are supported in part by the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

Dr. Kelly related a story about a young woman whose face was paralyzed and who went to the mobile clinic for treatment. She was referred to a doctor who treated her with antiviral medication and has fully recovered. A young man went to the van with such a severe allergic reaction that he had third degree burns on his arms, Dr. Kelly said. After being treated with antibiotics, he, too, was cured.

"We serve people who truly have no other options … the working poor," said Dr. Kelly, who volunteers his services at the van along with other doctors, nurses and administrators.

"It’s by giving that we receive," said Dr. Kelly, quoting Saint Francis of Assisi.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, who hosted the dinner, thanked the attendees for their support year after year. In 2010, the appeal raised more than $9.2 million dollars to help fund its various programs, he said.

"This is a phenomenal and inspirational sum of money," said Archbishop Mansell.

"Aside from the state, the Catholic Church in Hartford is the biggest contributor to education, health and social services; and you make this possible," he added.

Archbishop Mansell discussed the many programs that the 2011 appeal will support. Among them are the Emergency Assistance Program, which is managed and distributed by Catholic Charities and provides financial and social services to hundreds of people each year; educational scholarships, which help students afford a quality and spiritual education; the archdiocesan Office of Vocations, which is committed to forging quality priests; and such social programs as Carolyn’s Place in Waterbury that support families with basic childbirth preparation and parenting skills.

"It is evident that the Miracle of Sharing takes place across our Archdiocese every day, thanks to you," the Archbishop said.