‘No Matter What Our Attainments in Other Fields May Be’: 100 Incredible Years
“There is a duty resting jointly on you and me, which is as unmistakable as it is grave, namely, the duty of providing properly for the care and support of the helpless poor of the flock committed to us by Almighty God. No matter what our attainments in other fields may be, if we neglect to provide for the orphan, the wayward, the aged, the afflicted and the poor sick, we are unworthy of the name which we bear.”
Cardinal Samuel Stritch, 2nd Bishop of Toledo, 1921-1930
Just three years after the Diocese of Toledo was established in 1911, Bishop Joseph Schrembs set a plan in motion that would address the “conscious concern” the Church has for individuals at the most vulnerable times in life.
The mission of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo began in 1914 as an extension of the Catholic Church’s teachings to engage in social welfare for those in need. Early charitable works in the Diocese started with the efforts of religious sisters in establishing hospitals and orphanages. Catholic Charities was initially created to help fund these early initiatives and carry out additional social services. Today, services include a family emergency shelter, food assistance, care for the elderly, adoption services, jail and prison ministry, local disaster relief and more.
From the beginning, members of the Diocese of Toledo were invited to take part in the work of Catholic Charities through their support of the Diocese. The impact of the church and community members can be seen throughout our history. In the 1920’s, Catholic Charities established Family Relief Work, which encouraged individual parishes to visit the homes of the poor to better assist with the needs of individuals and families. During the 1918 flu pandemic, Catholic Charities helped Catholic hospitals recuperate from financial losses due to the high volume of patients seeking medical attention.
Today, donors and volunteers in our Diocese continue to be a significant reason behind our success as an organization and our relationship with clients.If it were not for the financial support of our donors and the service of volunteers at our soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other programs, the mission of Catholic Charities would be left unfulfilled.
As Cardinal Stritch advised long ago, we have strived to be worthy of the name we bear: Catholic Charities. Because of people like you, we have helped hundreds of thousands of people in need for the past 100 years. For this, we say a very sincere thank you.