Mission & History
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is the social service arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Its establishment in 1917 sparked a vision and a commitment to active witness on behalf of the Scriptural values of mercy and justice. Catholic Charities, recognizing human need at all stages of life, responds to all persons regardless of race, creed or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and the vulnerable. Catholic Charities serves and empowers persons in need, advocates for a just society, calls forth and collaborates with men and women of good will in fulfillment of its mission. Catholic Charities exists to offer help and hope to people in need in our communities.
During its early beginnings through the 1950’s, Catholic Charities primarily served in the urban areas of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York. At that time, clergy, religious women, and volunteers worked with orphaned children, foster and adoptive families, the sick and dying in hospitals. The Cadre Report of the National Conference of Catholic Charities in 1972 was a primary catalyst that influenced Catholic Charities’ mission and expanded its role to reach out to the needy in other areas of society. Catholic Charities broadened its focus to include the pursuit of social justice and social awareness of the root causes of poverty. We developed additional objectives and activities including advocacy, social planning, and public policy development while influencing social welfare legislation on behalf of the poor and vulnerable.
During the mid-to-late 1970s, Catholic Charities launched a large scale initiative to expand its social services beyond the Capital Region urban areas and to serve all 14 counties in the Diocese of Albany. Today, approximately 1,000 Catholic Charities’ employees and 1,300 volunteers serve over 86,000 people annually. The services provided by Catholic Charities are as varied as new needs arise and represent a seamless continuum of care to address the needs of children, women and men at all stages of life.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is affiliated with Catholic Charities USA, one of the nation's largest social service networks. Catholic Charities participates and collaborates in national networking, advocacy, program development and receives training and technical assistance for staff, volunteers and community’s faithful residents in support of its mission.
With a constant eye on how the most vulnerable members of our society are faring, Catholic Charities is committed to developing diverse responses to local community needs. We continue to hone and develop diverse and responsive programs to meet local community needs while remaining committed to our mission of serving with Christian compassion. Today, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany provides a wide array of services in areas such as: developmental disabilities, help for those with chronic diseases and conditions, community outreach, adolescent pregnancy and parenting, adoption, housing, domestic violence, immigration, summer camp, child and adult day care, youth mentoring, mental health counseling, service coordination, basic needs, dispute resolution, food pantries and soup kitchens, disaster relief services, and emergency assistance.
2017 marked Catholic Charities' 100th year of serving the Albany Diocese.