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Providing Help and Creating Hope for More Than a Century

Community service remains the cornerstone of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. We have a long history of reaching outside our walls to identify the needs of our community and develop services to meet those needs.

Catholic Charities traces its roots in the Archdiocese to July, 1903, when a group of lay Roman Catholics founded the Catholic Children's Aid Society of New Jersey, the predecessor of our current Family and Adoption Program. The organization was the first society for the prevention of cruelty to children established by a Catholic diocese in the United States, and it was the second to begin placing Catholic orphan children in private Catholic homes for the purpose of adoption. In 1927, 15 orphanages collaborated with the Children's Aid Society to form Associated Catholic Charities, which provided organized family services that included child welfare.

On September 25, 1929, Bishop Thomas J. Walsh announced his intention to establish the Newark Mount Carmel Guild, which he had organized in 1911. The purpose of the Guild was to aid public assistance recipients through spiritual, mental, and physical relief efforts by the association's corps of Catholic women volunteers in the spirit of Christian charity.

At the height of the Great Depression, the Mount Carmel Guild Soup Kitchen was established in the basement of St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral in Newark to serve meals to people in need. Staffed by more than 168 volunteers and one paid worker, the soup kitchen closed in late 1941 after having prepared more than 1,632,000 meals.

Under the direction of Reverend Monsignor Joseph A. Dooling and Reverend Monsignor Francis LoBianco, St. Francis School - the second private school in the United States dedicated to special education - was established in Ridgefield Park in September 1965. Four years later, on November 19, 1969, Monsignor Dooling dedicated the Mount Carmel Guild Multi-Service Center at 17 Mulberry Street, a modern complex bordering the Ironbound section of Newark.

The Mount Carmel Guild Special Hospital, a 20-bed psychiatric unit for adults, opened in the Multi-Service Center in 1973. In an effort to identify the various social-service elements with the mission of the Archdiocese of Newark, Archbishop Peter Gerety merged Associated Catholic Charities and the Mount Carmel Guild to form Catholic Community Services as a separate corporation in 1976. That same year, the Office of Migration was established to provide immigration assistance and refugee resettlement services to new arrivals in our country. In 2004, Catholic Community Services changed its name to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark to reflect its commitment to the charitable mission of the Archdiocese.

Today, Catholic Charities touches the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and families each year through many programs from multiple sites. As evidence of the agency's ongoing commitment to quality, Catholic Charities has in recent years received accreditations or re-accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Although times have changed, many needs still remain. As we move further into the 21st century, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark will remain firmly committed to providing help and creating hope for people in need.

Our Leadership

John Westervelt
Chief Executive Officer

Henry J. Amoroso
Chairman, Board of Trustees

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Providing Help, Creating Hope since 1903.

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