St. Nicholas Serata
The St. Patrick's Community St. Nicholas Charity Serata (December 7, 2019) is the annual fundraising event held as part of the community’s commitment to reach out to the poor and homeless of Rome. While it is often difficult for members of our community to volunteer time to the various charities of Rome due to language differences, the entire community can participate in this event to raise money for these important organizations. Each year, as close as possible to the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th), the Patron Saint of the Poor and Homeless, we hold a gala dinner dance, raffle and silent and live auction. Over the last several years, the great success of this event has come from the commitment, creativity and energy of the members of our community. On a wintry Saturday evening in December, the parish sponsors this annual Roman charity fundraising event at Marymount International School. The Serata follows a tradition begun well over 60 years ago with the Santa Susanna Bazaars, sponsored by the Santa Susanna’s Ladies Guild.
At the St. Nicholas Charity Serata (December 7, 2019) nearly two hundred people will begin the evening with prosecco and hors d’oeuvres while participating in an extraordinary, wonderful silent auction. The Grand Ballroom is exquisitely decorated in an explosion of color, lights and candles, with specially crafted centerpieces at each table. Raffle tickets, which are sold six months prior to the event, offer the possibility of such prizes as trips for two to New York, Kenya and London, as well as special surprises. An elegant dinner includes antipasti, two pastas, a main course, vegetables and salad, along with mineral water and specially chosen wines. Dessert, coffee and after dinner drinks are served at a buffet. Door prizes are announced throughout the evening, followed by an exciting live auction of such items as oil paintings, Fendi purses, dinner for 8 at the Paulist Rectory, weekends for two in Venice, a full wine cellar (75 bottles!), and once, even a motorino. Energetic dancing to the great music of an outstanding local band (e.g. Ross and the Doormats) is sprinkled throughout the evening. In between the raffle winners are ceremoniously announced to great fanfare.
Parishioners work for months gathering donations, selling raffle tickets, planning innovative lighting and decoration, and promoting and publicizing the Serata. We receive auction donations from our current and past parishioners, as well as from visitors, friends and relatives throughout the world. Many of these alumni and friends also buy raffle tickets and occasionally win one of the prizes! We are especially grateful to the administration and staff of Marymount International School and the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary for their generous hospitality. Preliminary preparations are already underway for our future St. Nicholas Charity Serata on December 7, 2019 held at Marymount International School.
St. Patrick's Community Charities Supported by the Saint Nicholas Charity Serata:
Though initially founded to help women and children who were HIV positive, Archè’s focus has shifted to helping victims of domestic violence. They meet these women in the hospitals (e.g. Bambino Gesu) where they seek medical treatment and protection from their violent husbands. Arché helps to move them to Arché’s safe houses with their children. Many are immigrants who have been here for a few years. Some of their husbands are in prison. They and their children are given food, shelter, education and job opportunities – the goal is to help them live autonomously and to raise their children without fear. It is an amazing operation led by Padre Giuseppe Bettoni, the President of the Foundation. The well trained staff and volunteers who work with Arché in both Rome and Milan are very dedicated. Via Oderzo 24, 00182 Roma. Tel. 06.7725.0350.
Congregazione delle Suore Carmelitane in Rocca di Papa
This center is located in beautiful Rocca di Papa under the jurisdiction of the sisters of the Congregazione delle Suore Carmelitane. For many decades they housed troubled children in family homes, but two years ago their focus changed and now they house two to three young families at risk (in emergency situations requiring meals, lodging and medical care) and can temporarily house up to nine elderly men and women. They also offer help to individuals who come to Rocca di Papa for assistance. Food, medicine and clothing are what they primarily offer at this time and could use our help in re-opening a part of the house which could host, permanently, more elderly in need or become again a front line agency of the Food Bank. Via Lucatelli 81, 00040 Rocca di Papa. Tel. 06.94749044
Fondazione Internazionale Don Luigi Di Liegro
One of the Foundation’s main programs involves community outreach to mental health patients who are at different levels of recovery. The state sends these individuals to the Fondazione Di Liegro to help them socialize and creating relationships and a sense of belonging to part of a group. Each day a different therapy is offered: music, theater art, sewing, photography, cooking. They sing, they paint, they play percussion instruments, they make clothes, they put on plays, they create meals and they go around Rome taking photographs. When they first come to these sessions, many of these men and women (aged 25-75) are very shy and distant. By the end of the program they talk with one another and with the volunteers and hug each other goodbye. This program, which our donations support, affects up to 500 individuals with 2000 volunteers. There is also a Coffee Club for people with Alzheimers on Wednesday afternoons. The staff and volunteers give workshops on mental health in schools and they offer a Peer Education program in the middle schools for students to help one another. Via Ostiense 106, 00154 Roma. Tel. 06.6792669, 06.93572111. www.fondazionediliegro.com
The Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC)
This center is just down the street at St. Paul's Within the Walls Episcopal Church on Via Nazionale and in Via Napoli. This is a day center for refugees and asylum seekers living in Rome. Each day they welcome 200-250 people, half of whom are homeless. They provide a refuge where they can recharge and recuperate and they offer many services such as breakfast, hygiene product & clothing distribution, computer skills, language literacy classes, and employment clinic & job skills training. They have recently invited women to participate. As another center no longer has day care nurseries, these women have no place to leave their babies when searching for work. The Center is interested in offering such a service. Our future donation can help make this project a reality. Over the years, the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center has grown and offers many wonderful programs and assistance. Via Napoli 58, 00184 Roma. 06.4883339. www.jnrc.it
Centro Astalli Refugee Center
Located on Via Astalli (near the Piazza Venezia and behind the Gesu) Centro Astalli occupies the lower floors of the Jesuit Residence. This outreach to refugees began in 1981 and has grown to this day. Men, women and children from 30-40 countries come to the Center. Most are refugees seeking asylum from war torn countries. They come from Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the countries from Northern Africa, plus from many other places. The Center serves a pranzo from 3:00 to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday (200-300 persons per day). In 2017, they served 59,908 meals. The staff and volunteers also offer assistance with the exams and interviews these individuals must go through with the Comune in order to remain in Italy or to move north. The staff’s role is to accompany, serve and defend those who come to them for help. There is also medical and legal assistance, as well as classes in computers and language and many, many other services. The Fondazione Astalli also sponsors other Houses of Welcome in different parts of the city, including the Casa di Giorgia in Via Laurentina, plus houses in San Saba and the Salaria area. In 2017, these houses lodged almost 200 people and more than 60 families. The staff of Centro Astalli give great importance to recognizing the humanity of each of the refugees. Via Astalli 14 A, 00186 Roma. Tel. 06.678.1246. www.centroastalli.it.
Casa Famiglia Villa del Pino in Monte Porzio Catone
This center houses and care for men who have AIDS. Thanks to the collaboration between Mosaico Associations and the Casa Famiglia, they offer not only the necessary treatments, but also an occupational laboratory for work training. They also work to improve education regarding AIDS in the community. Via Sant'Antonio 2, Monte Porzio Catone 00040. Tel. 06.9449022. www.associazioneilmosaico.org
Information about our Lenten Rice Bowl Projects and our monthly visits to the Caritas Soup Kitchen are posted in our weekly newsletter. More information will be forthcoming here.