The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Catholic Charities Winter 2023

The mission of Catholic Charities of Arkansas of the Diocese of Little Rock is rooted in the challenge of the Gospel: To serve persons who are poor or marginalized; to advocate on behalf of the most vulnerable; and to actively promote charity, justice and the sanctity of life in the Church and the community. In the Winter 2023 CCA section, we report on CCA's ongoing efforts to help the most vulnerable in the community, new team members and fundraising efforts. 


St. Nicholas campaign art winners selected

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: December 7, 2023   

The St. Nicholas Partners Fund Drive is underway. ­The campaign allows supporters of Catholic Charities of Arkansas an opportunity to designate their gift for special programs in the organization. A Christmas greeting card and donation envelope were distributed to past donors and in this issue of Arkansas Catholic. ­The card design is chosen through an art contest conducted through Catholic schools in the state. Cash prizes are awarded for the three best designs and are given More... 

CCA refugee resettlement office earns affiliate status

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: December 6, 2023   

Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Office has been granted affiliate status through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. After successfully resettling Afghans within the Little Rock area in 2021-2022, the USCCB reached out to immigration services director Jennifer Verkamp-Ruthven and asked her office to apply to become an “affiliate” of its Migration and Refugee Services agency. “We were excited to learn this past summer that our application was approved, and we have been given the opportunity to More... 

Tornado relief continues in three counties

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: December 5, 2023   

It’s been more than seven months since a widespread tornado hit Arkansas with damage to Pulaski, Lonoke and Cross counties. Catholic Charities of Arkansas immediately began contacting Catholic parishes in communities with tornado damage to identify and contact households that were impacted. Sarah Alvarez, tornado recovery caseworker for Catholic Charities, led the efforts until a long-term recovery group could be formed. A new group of disaster case managers will be trained and supervised by Cathy Garcia, More... 

Golfers tee off for Catholic Charities

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: December 4, 2023   

Twenty-eight golf teams came together Oct. 2 to raise more than $52,000 for Catholic Charities. Players included seven priests and three deacons for the 28th annual Catholic Charities of Arkansas Golf Tournament at the Granada Golf Course in Hot Springs Village.  More than 45 organizations and individuals sponsored the fundraising event. The winning teams for the first flight were Father Bill Elser, Bob Baker, Jay Lester and Mark Hittner, first place, 52; Ryan Beck, Luke Beck, Father Joe More... 

New immigration specialist hired for CCA

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: November 30, 2023   

Matthew Phillips recently was hired as an immigration specialist for Catholic Charities.  “My duties include assisting clients to renew their permanent residence cards, DACAs and temporary protected status,” he said “I also help Afghan refugees with their immigration paperwork.” Phillips said he was first exposed to immigration and refugee resettlement work while attending Catholic Charities Summer Institute.  “While there, an immigration specialist gave a presentation on her work, and I distinctly remember thinking, ‘Huh, that seems like a More... 

New case manager hired at CCA

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: November 29, 2023   

Seminarian Ethan Harris has been hired as a case manager for the Refugee Resettlement Office while he completes his propaedeutic year at the House of Formation in Little Rock. Harris, a member of St. Michael Church in Van Buren, said the work for Catholic Charities has helped him see Christ in the poor. “To look into their eyes of gratitude and love for the blessings that the Father has bestowed on them whether they know it or More... 

Clinton School capstone project works with CCA

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: November 28, 2023   

Claire Hollenbeck is completing her capstone project with the refugee resettlement office for her master’s degree in public service from the Clinton School of Public Service.  The Fort Smith resident spent her summer abroad and then began working this fall semester to help the refugee resettlement program increase capacity to accept and resettle more refugee arrivals.  “In this capacity, I am developing and updating guides, programs and resources,” Hollenbeck said. “My interest in public service is deeply More...