Catholic Charities Gala to be Held Sunday April 3

Catholic Charities will hold its Fourteenth Annual Gala Sunday April 3 at DeSales University.

Catholic Charities is one of the largest human services organizations in the region. It provides vital services for more than 12,000 individuals and families each year throughout Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.

Catholic Charities provides help for individuals and families who are hungry, for those battling mental health issues, for veterans at risk of homelessness, for families seeking refuge from the devastation of floods and other disasters, and for all adults and children in need of assistance, safety, and compassion.

Catholic Charities also operates soup kitchens in Allentown and Pottsville, a community center in Allentown, and multiple food pantries. Seventy-five percent of the agency’s clients are non-Catholic.

A primary source of funds for these programs and services is the agency’s annual gala, which this year will honor Frank J. Ford and Monsignor Robert J. Wargo, both long-time champions for the poor.

Monsignor Wargo is the Pastor Emeritus of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Orefield.

Frank Ford, President of St. Luke’s University Health Network Sacred Heart Campus, is a long-time supporter of Catholic education and families, including philanthropic and volunteer support of Mercy School for Special Learning, Catholic Charities, Bethlehem Catholic High School, and the Diocese as a whole.

This year’s gala will begin 5 p.m. in the De Sales University Center, Center Valley. Bishop Alfred Schlert will attend. There will be a live auction, a wine pull, and presentations to the honorees.

A newly created award, the “Jeffrey P. Young Youth Service Award,” will be presented to three local college students who have demonstrated outstanding service to others within the Diocese.

Jane and Von George will serve as Gala Chairpersons for the second year. Other committee members are Evelyn and Anthony Carfagno (past co-chairs), Debra Walter, Andrea Kochan Neagle, Zac Konopka, Lisa Geosits, and Murtaza Jaffer.

Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Allentown was founded in 1941 under the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and incorporated in 1961 as Catholic Social Agency, when the Diocese of Allentown was founded. The agency’s name was officially changed to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown, in 2005 to more clearly reflect the work that is done on behalf of those who are poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged.

Anyone can support Catholic Charities by attending the gala, by becoming a sponsor, by purchasing an advertisement in the gala program, or by making a direct gift. Visit the Catholic Charities website at, or contact Julie Scheck, at 610-871-5200 ext. 2216 or, for more information.


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