CATHOLIC YOUTH ORGANIZATIONMilstein’s Speech Worthy
Of Lord’s Infinite Mercy
Story by Nina Boxer
Photos by Tim Boxer
HE last time New York real estate developer Howard Milstein gave a speech in the presence of Edward Cardinal Egan, he asked how did it go. "Howard," the New York archbishop said, your speech made me think of the mercy and justice of God."
Milstein was pleasantly surprised, not realizing he’d struck such a profound religious chord.
"Howard," Cardinal Egan explained, "your speech was like the mercy of God because there was no end to it. And like the justice of God, because it was beyond all understanding."
Undaunted, Milstein rose to the occasion again, this time at the 69th CYO Club of Champions Tribute at Cipriani 42nd St. He had no choice – the Catholic Youth Organization was honoring him for his philanthropy, along with baseball great Daniel "Rusty" Staub and the Grace family, a major force in New York real estate.
It was appropriate that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York was paying tribute to Milstein and the Grace family. As co-chairman, president and CEO of Emigrant Savings Bank, Milstein made it the largest privately owned bank in the country.
There’s an historical connection between Milstein and Grace. The bank was founded by Irish immigrants in the 1870s, and a member of the Grace family has served on the board ever since.
Joseph P. Grace was the founding president of the Catholic Youth Organization. J. Peter Grace Jr. served as CYO president for 48 years.
Milstein is also a staunch supporter of various Jewish causes, especially UJA and the American Jewish Committee.
That didn’t deter the cardinal from cautioning: "Howard, if you receive one more honor from the Catholic Church you will automatically become an honorary member. And you will be subject to annual tithing, which in your case will be retroactive to your 21st birthday."