History

History

A Remarkable Response to New Yorkers in Need

To trace the history of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is to trace the growth of the United States as a nation and New York as a portal to the world. It offers a window into America’s achievements and challenges, its wars and their aftermath, and the spirit that reaches out to help the poor and vulnerable among us.

Long before establishing formal organizations, lay men and women, clergy and religious devoted themselves to serving the downtrodden. From orphans to immigrants, from the disabled to the homeless, and to families in crises, faith-filled responses to those in need grew into the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York: a federation of more than 90 agencies providing help and creating hope for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers - non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

This selective schema touches three centuries, providing a flavor of the early days and the development of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. It is not exhaustive, and not always strictly chronological, nor does it detail the tremendous growth of individual agencies; it does, however, illustrate a long and uplifting history of remarkable depth, variety and dedication that continues to respond day in and day out to New Yorkers in need.