A Message from Br. Ed Handy, OFM Conv.
“Rejoice with me,”
with great joy and thanksgiving to Almighty God, after 30 years of ministry with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ!
In 1988, I began a ministry as a teacher of special education with the Mt. Carmel Guild School for Students with special needs. Eight years later I was assigned to St. Bridget’s Transitional Housing and Supportive Services Program for Homeless Men Living with HIV/AIDS as a residential counselor. This year, after 22 years at St. Bridget’s, I retired from Catholic Charities and will move from Clifton, NJ. to my birth city of Baltimore in the near future.
St. Bridget’s is one of many community services provided by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. It is not a hospice nor a medical facility, but a transitional housing program, providing a safe and healthy environment necessary to enable each resident to empower himself with skills necessary to obtain a permanent home.
“Ministering to homeless men with HIV/AIDS at St. Bridget’s reminds me of how St. Francis, with love and compassion, approached the leper 800 years ago. Many of our men have shared with me their personal stories of how they have been rejected by society, family and friends because of their HIV/AIDS condition. Much education is still needed in this area. ‘What you did for the least of these…, you did for me’ (Mt 25:40). This is our testimony and our challenge to offer a better life for those who seek our services. My weekly ministry hours and days at St. Bridget’s are from 3:00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m. – Monday through Friday. Compassion and Service has been the hallmark of my … years ministering at St. Bridget’s.“