Intersections of Charity, Spirituality and Crisis

Father John Merz, Ascension Church, Brooklyn

In a New York Times audio call, “Big City: Charity, Spirituality and Crisis”, Father John Merz discusses faith and spirituality with Ginia Bellafante, New York Times columnist.

Drawing on his disaster relief experience during Hurricane Sandy and his community mobilization efforts that created the North Brooklyn Angels, Father Merz shares practical lessons for doing charitable work in times of crisis.

Prior to this interview, Ginia Bellafonte profiled Father Merz and the North Brooklyn Angels’ in the NY Times, highlighting their incredible initiative which provided meals to frontline healthcare workers at Woodhull Hospital. Along with much needed sustenance for overburdened workers, the initiative offered an opportunity, that so many desperately wanted, to help others and feel connected in a time of crisis.

In May alone, they delivered over 13,000 meals to Woodhull workers, in addition to 14,000 meals which were distributed to their daily sites, which is a 70 percent increase over their usual volume.

Learn more at and read the New York Times article.