Catholic charities

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The Catholic Church operates numerous charitable organizations.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Charitable organization non-profit organization with a charitable purpose

A charitable organization or charity is a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being.


Catholic spiritual teaching includes spreading the Gospel while Catholic social teaching emphasises support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental provider of education and medical services in the world. [1]

Gospel description of the life of Jesus, canonical or apocryphal

Gospel originally meant the Christian message itself, but in the 2nd century it came to be used for the books in which the message was set out. The four canonical gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—were probably written between AD 66 and 110, building on older sources and traditions, and each gospel has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role. All four are anonymous, and it is almost certain that none were written by an eyewitness. They are the main source of information on the life of Jesus as searched for in the quest for the historical Jesus. Modern scholars are cautious of relying on them unquestioningly, but critical study attempts to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors. Many non-canonical gospels were also written, all later than the four, and all, like them, advocating the particular theological views of their authors.

Catholic social teaching is the Catholic doctrines on matters of human dignity and common good in society. The ideas address oppression, the role of the state, subsidiarity, social organization, concern for social justice, and issues of wealth distribution. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter Rerum novarum, which advocated economic distributism. Its roots can be traced to the writings of Catholic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, and is also derived from concepts present in the Bible and the cultures of the ancient Near East.

Works of mercy various merciful acts promoted by Christian tradition, sometimes in a series of seven named acts

Works of mercy are practices considered meritorious in Christian ethics.

Some of these charitable organizations are listed below.


The Catholic church has had a long tradition of co-ordinating charity to the poor, something that was closely linked to the early Christian eucharist, with the office of deacon being started for this purpose. [2]

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.

Over time this became a part of the bishop's responsibilities and then from the fourth century onwards was decentralised to parishes and monastic orders. After the reformation the church lost a large amount of property in both Catholic and Protestant countries, and after a period of sharply increased poverty poor relief had to become more tax based.

Poor relief Village sign language of Marthas Vineyard Island, Massachusetts

In English and British history, poor relief refers to government and ecclesiastical action to relieve poverty. Over the centuries various authorities have needed to decide whose poverty deserves relief and also who should bear the cost of helping the poor. Alongside ever-changing attitudes towards poverty, many methods have been attempted to answer these questions. Since the early 16th century legislation on poverty enacted by the English Parliament, poor relief has developed from being little more than a systematic means of punishment into a complex system of government-funded support and protection, especially following the creation in the 1940s of the welfare state.

List of Catholic charities

Aid to the Church in Need international pastoral aid organization of the Catholic Church

Aid to the Church in Need is an international Catholic pastoral aid organization, which yearly offers financial support to more than 5,000 projects worldwide. It aims to help Christians in need wherever they are repressed or persecuted and therefore prevented from living according to their faith.

Ascension is the largest Catholic health system in the world and the largest non-profit health system in the United States with facilities in 23 states and the District of Columbia. It is a faith-based collaboration of hospitals, medical practices, and innovators that shares best practices and the objective of developing healthier communities throughout the United States by community outreach and researching means of reducing the cost of healthcare. The organization is headquartered within Greater St. Louis in the northwestern suburb of Edmundson, Missouri.

The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), previously known as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, is the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales. It is an international aid agency working to alleviate poverty and suffering in developing countries. It is funded by the Catholic community in England and Wales, the British Government and the general public by donations.

See also

Catholic Church and health care

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals, with 65 percent of them located in developing countries. In 2010, the Church's Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of the world's health care facilities. The Church's involvement in health care has ancient origins.

A Catholic school is a parochial school or education ministry of the Catholic Church. As of 2011, the Catholic Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject within their curriculum.

Catholic higher education type of university affiliated with the Catholic Church

Catholic higher education includes universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher education privately run by the Catholic Church, typically by religious institutes. Those tied to the Holy See are specifically called pontifical universities.

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Marija Petković Founder of the Catholic Congregation of the Daughters of Mercy

Marija Petković, also known as "The Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Petković";, was the founder of the Catholic Congregation of the Daughters of Mercy. She was recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a Venerable Servant of God on 8 May 1998, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 6 June 2003.

The Charity Organization Societies were founded in England in 1869 following the 'Goschen Minute' that sought to severely restrict outdoor relief distributed by the Poor Law Guardians. In the early 1870s a handful of local societies were formed with the intention of restricting the distribution of outdoor relief to the elderly.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency organization

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is a humanitarian agency operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the purpose of providing individual and community development and disaster relief. It was founded in 1956, and it is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America.

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha organization

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), is a Hindu religious and social organization within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. BAPS was established on 5 June 1907 by Shastriji Maharaj after leaving the Vadtal Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It was formed on the founder's interpretation that Swaminarayan was to remain present on earth through a lineage of gurus dating all the way back to Gunatitanand Swami – one of Swaminarayan's prominent devotees. For BAPS followers, Lord Swaminarayan was succeeded by Gunatitanand Swami, who was succeeded by Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj. Due to the organizational emphasis on the Akshar Purushottam doctrine, it essentially forms the organization's middle name. The fundamental beliefs of BAPS include the spiritual guidance through the guru who is believed to be Aksharbram to have attained oneness with Swaminarayan. Mahant Swami Maharaj is the current guru and the president of the organization.

Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul society of apostolic life

The Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, called in English the Daughters of Charity or Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul, is a Society of Apostolic Life for women within the Catholic Church. Its members make annual vows throughout their life, which leaves them always free to leave, without need of ecclesiastical permission. They were founded in 1633 and state that they are devoted to serving the poor through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Catholic Relief Services organization

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Founded in 1943 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the agency provides assistance to 130 million people in more than 90 countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Louise de Marillac dedico mucho de su vida a los pobres

Louise de Marillac, also Louise Le Gras was the co-founder, with Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic Church in Tajikistan

The Catholic Church in Tajikistan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. In 2009, the size of the community was estimated at 300 people.

Catholic Charities USA organization

Catholic Charities is a network of charities with headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2005 Forbes magazine ranked it as the fifth largest charity in the United States in terms of total revenue. The organization serves millions of people a year, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds

Charities of Stonyhurst College

Stonyhurst College and Stonyhurst Saint Mary's Hall are both Catholic boarding schools in the Jesuit tradition, which aim at the creation of Men and Women for Others. Under this principle, a number of charities operate within the two schools. The schools are themselves registered charities, and as such are obliged to benefit the wider community under the terms of the Charities Act 2006.

Associated Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization located in Baltimore, United States. Affiliated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, it operates under the trade name, Catholic Charities of Baltimore, providing care for more than 160,000 people each year. It serves over a quarter million meals every year to the poor, and operates 80 charitable service programs in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Washington, and Garrett Counties of Maryland. The organization cares for children and families, people who are poor and disadvantaged, seniors, and those who have developmental disabilities.

Sisters of Providence of Holyoke religious congregation of Catholic sisters in Massachusetts, United States

The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, are a congregation of Roman Catholic religious sisters founded in 1892.

The Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Saints Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa (SCCG) also known as the Sisters of Maria Bambina had its origins in a house which the people called "Conventino" in Lovere, Italy. It was founded by a young woman of 26 named Bartolomea Capitanio in 1832. Bartolomea was helped in her project by Catherine Gerosa, a simple and wealthy lady of Lovere who later took the name of Sister Vincenza, in honor of St. Vincent de Paul.

Robert J. Vitillo

Msgr. Robert Joseph Vitillo is the Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC). Prior to that, Msgr. Vitillo has served in various high level functions in Catholic charitable agencies, including Caritas Internationalis and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. A trained social worker, he is known for his broad expertise on human migration and refugee services, child protection, social services, human rights, HIV/AIDS and global health.

The history of medicine in France focuses on how the medical profession and medical institutions in France have changed over time. Early medicine in France was defined by, and administered by, the Catholic church. Medicine and care were one of the many charitable ventures of the church. During the era of the French Revolution, new ideas took hold within the world of medicine and medicine was made more scientific and the hospitals were made more medical. Paris Medicine is a term defining the series of changes to the hospital and care received with a hospital that occurred during the period of the French Revolution. Ideas from the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution were introduced into the medical field.


  1. Agnew, John (12 February 2010). "Deus Vult: The Geopolitics of Catholic Church". Geopolitics. 15 (1): 39–61. doi:10.1080/14650040903420388.
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Care of the Poor by the Church"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.