Catholic Charities celebrates 90th anniversary

Posted on June 9, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Catholic Charities, a non-profit agency committed to providing help and creating hope to people in need, is celebrating 90 years of service to thousands of people in the Diocese of Springfield this year. The agency will commemorate its 90th anniversary with a series of celebratory events over the course of 2015.

“We are in pretty high spirits at Catholic Charities lately, rejoicing in our 90 years of helping and serving the poor right here in the heart of central Illinois,” development coordinator Meredith Curtin said. “Not only are we celebrating this huge milestone, but we are also taking a moment to look back and recognize how truly grateful we are for the support from the people of this community over all these years. We are overwhelmed with happiness and feelings of great appreciation.”

Catholic Charities started in 1925 with a vision by Bishop James A. Griffin to relieve the suffering of poor in the Springfield community and has expanded vastly over the last nine decades to reach thousands of families in 251 communities and 28 counties. Last year alone, nearly 100,000 people were helped through the agency’s 19 programs and services.

Sabrina Brown came to Catholic Charities last year for help with rent and groceries. Brown, a new resident to Springfield, had only a small loveseat and queen-sized bed to her name.  “Catholic Charities was like an extended family to me. They blessed me tremendously, over and over,” she said. “They never questioned ‘are you Catholic.’ They didn’t make me feel bad or belittle me at all for needing help and I really, really appreciated that,” Brown added.

“Whether we are providing food and clothing to the poor, caring for abused children, meeting the needs of the elderly, strengthening families through professional services, or tending to the sick, Catholic Charities staff, volunteers and advisory board members demonstrate a compassion and commitment to our clients,” said Steven Roach, executive director of Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a special mass given by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Atrium with a light reception to follow. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

“We are in the midst of planning many activities to commemorate our big year, but the biggest is a special mass dedicated to Catholic Charities that Bishop Paprocki is so graciously presiding over,” Curtin said. “The entire community is invited to celebrate with us. There will be light food and drinks, plus an opportunity for our supporters to view some fun materials from our humble beginnings to how and what we’re doing today across the Diocese.”

Catholic Charities has area offices in the communities of Alton, Carlinville, Decatur, Effingham, Granite City, Mattoon, Quincy and Springfield. In addition, the agency manages the Catholic Children’s Home in Alton and The St. Anne Residence in Beardstown.

The agency is nationally accredited through the Council on Accreditation and is a member of Catholic Charities USA, the largest independent network of social service providers in the United States. For more information about the agency or its programs call 800-745-5194 or visit www.cc.dio.org.