Diocesan News

CCBQ Honors Seniors With Special Day

The cardio fitness exercise class is one of the most popular programs at the St. Charles Jubilee Senior Center, with many seniors saying it’s their favorite part of the day. (Photo: Paula Katinas)

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Each weekday, Anna De Jesus leaves her home in Sunset Park and takes the R train to Brooklyn Heights to go to one of her favorite places, the St. Charles Jubilee Senior Center on Pierrepont Street. It’s quite a trek, but De Jesus, 75, doesn’t mind at all.

“This place is like a second home to me. This is like a family to me,” explained De Jesus, a retired special education counselor. 

The St. Charles Jubilee Senior Center has a lot of fans like De Jesus. The center, funded by the New York City Department for the Aging and managed by Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens, serves approximately 90 older adults a day — providing meals, exercise classes, art lessons, computer workshops and other programs.

Wednesday, Sept. 28, marked Senior Center Recognition Day in New York and Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens celebrated the day at St. Charles by offering free massages, blood pressure screenings, cardio fitness classes, and presentations on home health care services, the city’s Meals on Wheels program and estate planning.

De Jesus, who took part in the cardio fitness class, said the exercise classes are one of her favorite things about the St. Charles Jubilee Center. “I like to stay active. I don’t believe in sitting home,’ said De Jesus, a parishioner of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens operates 18 senior centers in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Each center has its own programs that cater to the needs of its particular community. “And every senior center program is going to be slightly different based on the demographics of the area,” explained Sheila Garson, program manager at St. Charles. “Since we’re in Brooklyn Heights, our interests are very arts driven.”

The center has offered activities like painting lessons and art appreciation classes and brought in a musician who taught seniors how to play the ukulele.

Toni Delia, a 68-year-old retired legal secretary from Clinton Hill, loved being in the drama club. “We put on a few shows for the seniors. We did a Christmas show that was great. They discontinued it, but they may start it up again. They need more people to join it,” she said.

Delia, who attends Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Brooklyn Heights, said she loves the center for many reasons. 

“They have everything you can think of. The staff is really nice,” she said. “You meet a lot of friends as well. I made a lot of friends here.”