Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens celebrate opening of Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer Resource Center in Howard Beach

Medina Catholic Charities
From left to right: Dr. Larry Smith, Father Domenick Cutrone; Carol Pfeiffer; Berta; Marian Pfeiffer; Saia; Reverend Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto; Father Ed Brady; Richard Pfeiffer; Joann Ariola; and Richard Pfeiffer. Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer is seated in the middle.
Photo by Anthony Medina

The Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens celebrated the opening of the new Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, honoring a legacy of unwavering faith and dedicated service.

This new facility pays tribute to the Msgr., a revered 96-year-old figure, whose lifelong commitment to the Catholic Church and the Howard Beach community has left an indelible mark.

Msgr. Pfeiffer is an advocate for the sick, hospitalized, and less fortunate in his community. He became the third Pastor of St. Helen’s Church in Howard Beach where he served for 17 years, expanding the reach of the faith and adding an outdoor grotto Honoring the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Catholic Charities especially focused on bringing resources such as food and toiletries to older adults in need of extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of a new resource center in Howard Beach, located within the Peter J. Striano Senior Apartments at 155-55 Cross Bay Blvd, allows for additional services for people across Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods.

President and CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Msgr. Alfred P. LoPinto, kicked off the opening ceremony with kind words about Msgr. Pfeiffer and excitement for the new resource center.

“​​We are delighted to be able to be here today and to make this dedication in honor of the Msgr. because of the great love for Howard Beach and all the great work that he did here in Howard Beach,” said Msgr. LoPinto. “So it’s only fitting that this be his in that sense of representing the ongoing work of Catholic Charities.”

On Wednesday, March 6th, The Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens joyously inaugurated the Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer Resource Center, honoring the enduring devotion of the 96-year-old to the Catholic faith and Howard Beach community.Photo by Anthony Medina

What was once a neglected gymnasium, leftover from when the state used what is now the Catholic Charities senior center location, turned to a resource center with two walk-in fridges and an abundance of storage space in one year, Msgr. LoPinto added.

At 87 years old, Richard Pfeiffer, the brother of Joesph, spoke on behalf of the Pfeiffer family and praised the Catholic institution for recognizing his brother’s legacy in Howard Beach.

Council Member Joann Ariola speaks to Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer at the opening ceremony of the Catholic Charities Resource Center in Howard Beach.Photo by Anthony Medina

“Msgr. Pfeiffer is a good choice for the name of this building because very few men have done more for Howard Beach and St. Helens than my brother has,” said Richard. “He’s still one of the best priests ever.”

Council Member Joann Ariola attended the resource center opening also to honor the legacy of the Monsignor.

“We all go through trials and tribulations in our life and you were there Monsignor to help all of the people from Howard Beach, through the good times the bad times, their births, their baptisms, their burials, their confirmations,” Ariola said.

Surrounded by friends and family, with members of the Catholic faith who served the community alongside him, Msgr. Pfeiffer says simply, “It’s unbelievable.” Thanks to the anecdotes of Father Dominick Cutrone of Brooklyn, the crowd of guests at the ribbon cutting more about Pfeiffer’s affinity for golf and a family history of helping others.

The Pfeiffer family, fellow men of faith, and members of the Catholic Charities watched as the Monsignor cut the ribbon to the resource center in his name.

Debbie Hampson, senior director of community programming at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Office of Mission, says food donations from across the boroughs can make their way to the new facilities, now equipped with two walk-in freezers.

At the new facility, staff and volunteers will take charge of receiving, sorting, bagging, and distributing donated clothes and toiletries to ensure that they reach those who need them the most, Hampson explained.

To donate to the Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer Resource Center or to find help, please contact Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Community Outreach Services at (718) 722-6001.