|September 25, 1910 (as National Conference of Catholic Charities)
|Ursulines in New Orleans
President and CEO
chair of the board
Catholic Charities USA is the national voluntary membership organization for Catholic Charities agencies throughout the United States and its territories.Catholic Charities USA is a member of Caritas Internationalis, an international federation of Catholic social service organizations. Catholic Charities USA is the national office of 167 local Catholic Charities agencies nationwide.
Founded in 1910 as the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC), the organization changed its name in 1986 to Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA).CCUSA's president and CEO, Donna Markham, is the first female president to lead CCUSA. She has held this position since 2015. On July 25, 2023, Catholic Charities USA announced that Kerry Alys Robinson, an expert in Catholic leadership and philanthropy, will serve as the next president and CEO of CCUSA beginning on August 23, 2023.
The organization's archives are housed at the Catholic University of America.
The CCUSA Volunteer of the Year Award, given annually since 1998, is granted to an individual who embodies the mission of CCUSA. Catholic Charities agencies across the U.S. nominate candidates for the award from nearly 300,000 volunteers. Past winners include Daisy "Estelle" Anderson, who created layettes for more than 10,000 families over the past thirty years. This includes creating crib linens, clothing, toys and diapers for newborns in need.
In 1990, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned CCUSA to respond to disasters in the United States. Relief and recovery services are provided at the local level by Catholic Charities agencies across the country. These agencies provide critical services including emergency food, shelter, direct financial assistance, counseling, and support. CCUSA's Disaster Operations coordinates the Catholic Church's response to disasters in the United States and grants relief funds to local Catholic Charities agencies to support their relief efforts. Catholic Charities has responded to disasters across the country, including the attacks on September 11,Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Gulf Coast oil spill, and the impact of Superstorm Sandy.
Catholic Charities USA is governed by a Board of Trustees, many of whom lead local Catholic Charities agencies across the country.There are 167 member organizations nationwide, nearly one per diocese.
Catholic Charities uses about 89% of its revenue for program costs.Catholic Charities is listed as an Accredited Charity by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.
In 2010, Catholic Charities had revenues of $4.7 billion, $2.9 billion of which came from the US government. About $140 million came from donations from diocesan churches, the remainder coming from in-kind contributions, investments, program fees, and community donations. The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington holds a fundraising gala every year and raised $2.4 million in 2017.
In 1727, French Ursuline Sisters founded an orphanage in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first Catholic charitable institution in the area that later became the United States. [ citation needed ]During the nineteenth century, provision of Catholic charity was for the most part a local matter. However, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which was organized in the United States in 1845 in St. Louis, Missouri, soon spread to other cities and dioceses. The SVDP Society held national meetings, which served as a point of contact for members working at the local level, and played a significant role in the formation of the National Conference of Catholic Charities.
By 1900, there were more than 800 Catholic institutions dedicated to the care of children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled. According to Jack Hansan of the Social Welfare History Project, by 1910 about half of the approximately 15 million Catholics in the United States lived in poverty. Only three diocesan charity agencies were organized prior to 1910. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and ensuing fire prompted the Archdiocese of San Francisco to form Catholic Charities CYO the following year to assist destitute families and care for children who were orphaned by the disaster.
On September 25, 1910, representatives of many service agencies met at The Catholic University of America at the invitation of its rector, Bishop Thomas J. Shahan, and formed the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC) to support and coordinate their efforts.They held their final meeting at the White House at the invitation of President Taft.
The new organization drew its inspiration from the social teachings of Pope Leo XIII, whose Rerum novarum (1891), in one scholar's words, sought to "free [the Church] from paralyzing resistance to bourgeois civilization by shifting attention from the intractable problems of church and state to the social question, where a more flexible pastoral and evangelical approach might be possible."The organization's founding also paralleled the development of social work as a profession and the increasing cooperation among sectarian charitable organizations. Msgr. William J. Kerby, the first executive director of NCCC, described the problems a few years later: "The intense individualism of institutional and geographical units of the Church's life has ... led to a variety and resourcefulness that have been admirable. But it has resulted in a mutual independence and lack of coordination that have undoubtedly interfered with progress in certain ways...." Several Catholic educational institutions established social work programs in the decade after the founding of the NCCC, beginning with Loyola of Chicago (1914) and Fordham (1916).
In 1917, the NCCC established the Catholic Charities Review to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and theories, and a resource for those who could not attend meetings. Catholic Charities Review was the successor publication to the Vincentians’ Quarterly.
Monsignor John O'Grady, a native of Ireland, worked alongside Kerby for several years. When Kerby stepped down as Executive Secretary in 1920, O'Grady became his successor. O'Grady became acquainted with Jane Addams, founder of Hull House, while studying in Chicago.Under his leadership, by 1931 there were fifty-eight diocesan organization functioning. Diocesan agencies began to expand their activities from dealing almost exclusively with the care of children to addressing wider issues of family welfare. The greatest challenge of O'Grady's tenure was the Great Depression. He served forty years as executive director and frequently spoke for the organization on matters of public policy. He supported the Social Security Act of 1935 and federal housing legislation. O'Grady fought against passage of the McCarran–Walter Act. The bill restricted immigration into the U.S., making it more difficult for World War II refugees to enter the United States. O'Grady said that the bill, which continued a national quota system that favored immigrants from Western European nations, "perpetuates the doctrine of Nordic superiority."
In March 1949, O'Grady, executive secretary of NCCC, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to legislation proposed by the Truman administration that would have created a program of federal grants to support state relief and welfare programs. He said: "It envisages a complete governmental program that will virtually take over the entire field of child welfare. How can we maintain our spirit of Christian charity, our spirit of brotherhood, without the appeal of the great charitable institutions for the care of children?" He said it would "bring the Federal Government with all its rules and regulations into every community in the United States to set up governmental programs for the care of children" and that the legislation implied "national control over family life". He believed that some states were legally prohibited from purchasing services from religious organizations, and cited Pennsylvania as one where "Catholic and other religious childcare programs would be practically wiped out."In April, NCCC opposed Truman's proposed national health insurance program as well, and both measures were defeated. In September 1952, Truman appointed O'Grady to the President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization.
Pope John Paul II addressed the national conference of Catholic Charities USA in San Antonio, Texas, on September 14, 1987.His call for increased efforts on behalf of the poor and "to reform structures which cause or perpetuate their oppression" prompted coverage of the organization's activism, including, according to the New York Times, "a wide range of projects in antipoverty, legal aid, voter registration, housing and community organization."
During the 2012 debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholic Charities USA was among the Catholic groups that expressed support for the Obama administration's efforts to address religious objections to some features of its implementation, even as the National Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the administration's proposals as part of a larger government attack on religious liberty.Several diocesan branches of Catholic Charities participated in a lawsuit against provisions related to birth control insurance coverage, but not the national organization.
Catholic Charities USA has endorsed the DREAM Actand the Obama administration's deferral of action against some younger immigrants. Catholic Charities sponsors efforts to reduce homelessness in the United States, with cooperation with state and local government. In Saint Paul, Minnesota, Catholic Charities manages the Dorothy Day homeless shelter as well as the Higher Ground Saint Paul Shelter which provides shelter drop-in meals and career services.
Between about 1985 and 1995, Catholic Charities of Boston, which contracted with the state's Department of Social Services and accepted state funds in support of their adoption services program, placed 13 children with gay couples out of 720 adoptions. Catholic Charities President Rev. J. Bryan Hehir explained the practice: "If we could design the system ourselves, we would not participate in adoptions to gay couples, but we can't. We have to balance various goods." The agency had never sought an exemption from the state's anti-discrimination statute,which had taken effect in 1989.
In December 2005, the lay-dominated board of Catholic Charities of Boston voted unanimously to continue gay adoptions. On February 28, 2006, Archbishop Seán P. O'Malley and Hehir met with Governor Mitt Romney to make the case for an exemption from the state's non-discrimination statute, but Romney told them he was unable to help. They considered and rejected the idea of a lawsuit. On March 10, O'Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston announced that the agency would terminate its adoption work effective June 30, rather than continue to place children under the guardianship of gay people. The statement did not distinguish between gay and lesbian individuals and those in same-sex relationships.Hehir said "This is a difficult and sad day for Catholic Charities. We have been doing adoptions for more than 100 years."
In November 2009, Archbishop Donald Wuerl wrote that he recognized that Washington, D.C., officials were intent on legalizing same-sex marriage, but asked for stronger language to protect individuals and institutions with religious objections to the policy. He wrote that "Despite the headlines, there has been no threat or ultimatum to end services" and explained that Catholic Charities had contracts with the District to provide "homeless services, mental health services, foster care and more".The law legalizing same-sex marriage passed in December 2009 with the first marriages set to occur on March 9, 2010. Faced with the law's requirements, Catholic Charities in D.C. decided to stop providing health benefits to employees' spouses rather than provide them to married same-sex couples as well. Spouses already enrolled in the plan were not affected.
In March 2011, after Lutheran Child and Family Services denied a gay couple a foster care license, the Chicago Tribune reported that Illinois officials were investigating whether religious agencies that received public funds were breaking anti-discrimination laws if they turned down applications from gay parents. In Illinois, adults who adopt or become foster care providers must obtain a foster care license from one of 57 private child welfare agencies or directly from the Department of Children and Family Services. According to Kendall Marlowe, spokesperson for DCFS, the matter probably had not emerged before because openly gay candidates chose agencies that did not have restrictive policies.
In May 2011 Catholic Charities of Rockford announced that it would halt its foster care and adoption services "to avoid liability if state law requires them to place children with parents in civil unions — either gay or straight".In June 2011 Catholic Charities in the dioceses of Springfield, Peoria and Joliet went to court to seek declaratory relief that would protect religious agencies from legal action if they turn away couples in civil unions seeking to adopt. Catholic Charities asked the court's permission to refer civil union couples to other child welfare agencies while continuing to issue licenses to married couples and singles living alone, while adhering to principles that prohibit placing children with unmarried cohabiting couples.
Following the legalization of same-sex civil unions effective June 1, 2011,Illinois required Catholic Charities, because it accepted public funds, to provide adoption and foster-care services to same-sex couples just as they serviced different-sex couples. When Illinois declined to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities for adoption and foster care services, Catholic Charities closed most of its Illinois affiliates. They had provided such services for 40 years.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents. Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parents to the adoptive parents.
Same-sex adoption is the adoption of children by same-sex couples. It may take the form of a joint adoption by the couple, or of the adoption by one partner of the other's biological child.
Seán Patrick O'Malley is an American cardinal of the Catholic Church serving as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston in Massachusetts since 2003. He is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and was elevated by the Vatican to the rank of cardinal in 2006.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Croatia have expanded in recent years, but LGBT people may still face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. The status of same-sex relationships was first formally recognized in 2003 under a law dealing with unregistered cohabitations. As a result of a 2013 referendum, the Constitution of Croatia defines marriage solely as a union between a woman and man, effectively prohibiting same-sex marriage. Since the introduction of the Life Partnership Act in 2014, same-sex couples have effectively enjoyed rights equal to heterosexual married couples in almost all of its aspects. In 2022, a final court judgement allows same-sex couples to adopt children under the same conditions as everyone else. Same-sex couples in Croatia can also apply for foster care since 2020. Croatia bans all discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
In the United States, adoption is the process of creating a legal parent-child relationship between a child and a parent who was not automatically recognized as the child's parent at birth.
Boys & Girls Aid is a non-profit organization that provides services to children in crisis in the state of Oregon, United States.
Child protective services (CPS) is the name of an agency in many states of the United States responsible for providing child protection, which includes responding to reports of child abuse or neglect. Some states use other names, often attempting to reflect more family-centered practices, such as department of children and family services (DCFS). CPS is also sometimes known by the name of department of social services, though these terms more often have a broader meaning.
LGBT parenting refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people raising one or more children as parents or foster care parents. This includes: children raised by same-sex couples, children raised by single LGBT parents, and children raised by an opposite-sex couple where at least one partner is LGBT.
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that coordinates efforts for child welfare in the United States, and provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families. The organization's vision is "that every child will grow up in a safe, loving, and stable family," and its primary objective is to "Make Children a National Priority". The CWLA is run by professionals in the children's services field. As a national organization it lobbies for both child protection, and delivery of services to children. It is the oldest child welfare organization in the United States.
Adoption in Australia deals with the adoption process in the various parts of Australia, whereby a person assumes or acquires the permanent, legal status of parenthood in relation to a child under the age of 18 in place of the child's birth or biological parents. Australia classifies adoptions as local adoptions, and intercountry adoptions. Known child adoptions are a form of local adoptions.
The U.S. state of Colorado has provided limited recognition of same-sex unions in the form of designated beneficiary agreements since July 1, 2009, and as civil unions since May 1, 2013. Same-sex marriage was legalized on October 7, 2014.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Massachusetts enjoy the same rights as non-LGBT people. The U.S. state of Massachusetts is one of the most LGBT-friendly states in the country. In 2004, it became the first U.S. state to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, and the sixth jurisdiction worldwide, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.
Same-sex couples in the United Kingdom have had the right to adopt since 2002, following the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
Until 2017, laws related to LGBTQ+ couples adopting children varied by state. Some states granted full adoption rights to same-sex couples, while others banned same-sex adoption or only allowed one partner in a same-sex relationship to adopt the biological child of the other. Despite these rulings, same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination when attempting to foster children.
The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) is a civil rights advocacy organization founded in June 2010 by Jacob Meister, with a stated mission "to maintain and increase individual rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) citizens in Illinois through inter-generational volunteerism and community-driven project-based education, statewide coalition and network building, and leadership in supporting underserved communities with the necessary tools that will equip members of those communities with the resources and confidence to establish equality for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
John O'Grady was a sociologist, economist, social reformer. O’Grady served as executive secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Charities from 1920 to 1961.
Catholic Guardian Services (CGS) is a human services non-profit organisation sponsored by the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York with programs to help members of the disadvantaged population in the New York metropolitan area.
Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 593 U.S. ___ (2021), was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with litigation over discrimination of local regulations based on the Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The specific case deals with a religious-backed foster care agency that was denied a new contract by the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, due to the agency's refusal to certify married same-sex couples as foster parents on religious grounds.
Babets v. Johnston was a landmark Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case that affirmed the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children.