Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Bishop Robert Brennan of the Brooklyn Diocese teamed up on Monday to distribute Thanksgiving turkeys to more than 1,000 people in Flatbush.
A bulk of the turkeys were donated by Al and Maria Cantanese, who have been donating Thanksgiving meals in honor of their parents for the last seven years. Additional birds — including some chickens — were donated by sponsors Ace Endico, EJ Electric, Empire BlueCross/BlueShield, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, the Steamfitters Union, and Univision Nueva York Contigo, reps for which also pitched in to help at the giveaway.
Before dishing out the turkeys, Bishop Brennan drove home the importance of serving one another this holiday season — and in the days before and after — in a heartfelt invocation.
“This Thanksgiving, we think of the many ways you bless and inspire us to serve one another,” he told the crowd. “We ask that you (O’ Lord) bless the food that’s to be given out, to bless all the people who are here in the various different ways so that we can always give glory to You in the way that we live our lives.”
This is the Brennan’s first Thanksgiving as Bishop of Brooklyn. He was installed shortly after the holiday last year.
The Flatbush distribution was one of three turkey giveaways hosted by Catholic Charities this year. A total of 3,200 families were served during the events — two of which took place in Queens. To sweeten the deal, recipients in both boroughs also received a $50 food voucher to supplement their Thanksgiving meals.
In a statement to Brooklyn Paper, Deputy Press Secretary for the Brooklyn Diocese John Quaglione said charitable events like these sponsored by Catholic Charities “renew hope and strengthen the faith of many people in need.”
“In the spirit of giving, this event has made it possible for families to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal with dignity,” he said. “This humanitarian work continues each and everyday throughout Brooklyn and Queens, as the donors, staff and volunteers seek to ease the burden of food insecurity.”