Dear neighbors,

I am deeply saddened to share news of the passing of a longtime community leader, a former staffer at The Office of The Bronx Borough President, and a dear friend, Venancio (Benny) Catala.

Benny was a man of commitment, courage, faith and hard work with a huge heart and love for the Bronx. He dedicated his life to public service and served in multiple roles as an advisor, consultant, and manager to many candidates running for office. He was loved by many as someone you could always count on to help and a genuine source of encouragement, guidance and wisdom.

It has been a blessing to work alongside Benny during my entire political career. I met him as an intern in the New York State Assembly when we were both working for our mentor, the late great Honorable Aurelia Greene. We learned together, grew together and did amazing work on behalf of the Bronx. I am so thankful for his lessons, his teachings and his support over the years.

On behalf of the Bronx, I send our condolences and prayers of comfort, healing and strength to his family, his children, grandchildren, his friends and everyone whose lives have been touched by Benny’s work. May God rest his soul on a job well done.

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson