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Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises $240,000

September 25, 2019

Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises $240,000

Fifth Annual Vita et Caritas Award given to Deacon Frank Ottaviano, 
Assistant Chaplain at Catholic Medical Center

(MANCHESTER, NH) – The 2019 Bishop’s Summer Reception to benefit the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (BCAF) was held on September 5 on the grounds of St. Pius X Parish in Manchester. Attended by more than 380 guests, the Reception capped a successful campaign that raised more than $240,000. Now in its 34th year, the BCAF has raised and distributed more than $6,773,404 to assist organizations that improve the quality of life and provide the basic essentials for individuals and families in New Hampshire, especially the poor and disadvantaged. 

Alex and Lisa Walker co-chaired the 2019 campaign. In his remarks at the event Alex noted, “Our goal was $225,000, but tonight I am happy to announce that we have raised well over that amount, all due to the dedication and hard work of many of you here tonight. Thank you for your donations, they help so many people in need throughout the state. We deeply appreciate your dedication to the Fund, to the Bishop, and the Church.”

In his remarks, Bishop Peter Libasci thanked all those who donated to the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, saying, “You have taken to heart the message of the Gospel and have shown compassion for the ‘least’ of our brother and sisters. My heart is deeply touched by the spirit of your generosity that is shown greatly in your generous donations tonight.” He also expressed his appreciation to the volunteer members of the campaign committee and the BCAF Board of Directors.

A highlight of the Summer Reception was the presentation of the annual Vita et Caritas Award to Deacon Frank Ottaviano. The award, given in memory of the late Ruthie Ford, recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates exceptional service to a non-profit organization assisting women, children and/or families.

Ottaviano has served as a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church for forty-one years, thirty-seven of which were in the Archdiocese of New York. For 28 years, he was a Pastoral Care Counselor at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center's Turning Point Substance Abuse Unit, where he provided spiritual and emotional support to its patients, their families and employees. When he retired to New Hampshire in 2015, he began offering 12 Step Recovery programs for women inmates at both the Hillsborough County House of Correction and the New Hampshire Women's Prison. As Assistant Chaplain at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, he assists the CMC chaplains in providing for spiritual and pastoral care of CMC’s patients, with a focus on those presently struggling with addiction as well as those in recovery.

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About the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund: The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is a not-for-profit organization within the Catholic Church in New Hampshire. The Fund enables the Bishop of Manchester, through a volunteer board of directors, to make grants to not-for-profit organizations, without regard to religious affiliation, for projects that help people in New Hampshire meet their basic needs. The Bishop’s Summer Reception, begun in 1985, accepts donations that serve as the sole source of support for the Fund. For more information about the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, visit www.catholicnh.org/bcaf.

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PHOTO CUTLINE: (L-R) Deacon Frank Ottaviano, Margaret Ottaviano, Bishop Peter Libasci, Lisa Walker, Alex Walker (Photo by Charlene Graham)