Catholic Cemeteries and Youth Fundraise to Help Many in Need

March 14, 2022 – The generosity of New Jersey residents continues to help families in need, despite the rise of food and gas prices. On Monday, March 7, Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark donated $1,000 each to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Mercy House, and the Missionary Sisters of Charity.

The donations were made possible by visiting Catholic families with heritage at several cemeteries, including Holy Cross in North Arlington, St. Gertrude in Colonia, Gate of Heaven in East Hanover, Maryrest in Mahwah, Holy Name in Jersey City, and Christ the King in Franklin Lakes. Family members dropped off donations at the cemeteries while visiting loved ones or made the donations online at

“Our gratitude extends to the families who took time out of their busy schedules to help the most vulnerable among us in remembrance of their loved ones,” says Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of the Archdiocese of Newark. “We are always humbled by their level of generosity, especially during these difficult times.”

The funds will help Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCAN), which runs two of the largest homeless shelter systems in New Jersey, providing food, shelter, and other services for men, women, and children.

While the COVID-19 pandemic made a significant impact globally and locally, the challenges created were more detrimental in low-income communities and created unforeseen challenges. Although the pandemic is transitioning into an endemic status in most areas, the new challenge is the inflationary economy, negatively affecting donations.

“People are incurring more expenses, so they can’t give as many donations to Catholic Charities,” explains John Westervelt, the Chief Executive Officer of CCAN. “On any given day, we probably help close to 60 families. “We also have men-and women-only shelters that have approximately 300 beds. And we just started running the shelter for the City of Newark, which has 145 beds. About 1,000 people are on the streets of Newark.”

Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, hands a donation check for $1,000 from the Catholic Cemeteries Donation Drive to John Westervelt, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, to help provide shelter for the underprivileged.

By Maxim Almenas

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