Cardinal Dolan’s Special Visit


March 2019

His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, along with Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, visited Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center – the nation’s largest long-term care center for children with medical complexity – to call attention to the aging out crisis impacting residents who turn 21 and can no longer receive pediatric care.

During his visit, the Cardinal gathered with a group of the children’s center’s teenagers, families and staff to hear directly about how aging out of the facility will drastically upend the care they depend on by forcing these young adults with complex medical needs to leave what many have called their homes for their entire lives. The staff also shared with the Cardinal their vision to solve the crisis: a first-of-its-kind facility to provide specialized care to young adults with medical complexity, just steps from the children’s center.

“We are grateful to His Eminence for lending his support to the children and young adults at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center by visiting us during his Lenten Journey,” said CEO Pat Tursi. “We strive to give our children opportunities to experience the fullness of life, but once they age out of our care, their options are severely limited and the consequences are dire. Modern advances in medicine and technology have been blessings for our medically complex children, but these same advances now present us with a problem that must be solved within five years before dozens of our children reach age 21. That is why Cardinal Dolan’s leadership, support and prayers are so valuable to us at this urgent moment, and we are thankful to him for all of his efforts to raise awareness about this issue.”

“What happens when they’re 21?” asked Cardinal Dolan. “They need full time care; we owe that to them because of how much we love them,” he said. “These are still young people and the older they get here the more they’re beloved and the more they’re an example to the other kids that come in, so if we can keep them in this embrace it will be so much better for them, so we have to work on that.”

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