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Centennial Logo (100 years) 100 years Reflecting on a Century of Changing Lives

There’s something greater in us all. At Catholic Charities, we are taking time to reflect on the past 100 years of doing more, together and honoring the community members that contributed toward making meaningful change.

This 100th anniversary also presents an opportunity to ask ourselves—how can we do more? We look ahead to the next 100 years of continuing our work to help the community live up to its full potential.

Reflecting Back on a Century

100 year timeline presenting major moments in Catholic Charities’ history

portrait of John Carroll

Early Beginnings

In 1792, Bishop John Carroll directed parish revenue to be divided into 3 equal parts—1/3 for care of pastors, 1/3 for upkeep of the church and 1/3 for the relief of the poor. This was the symbolic beginning of Catholic Charities.

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The Bureau of Catholic Charities was created, founded by Archbishop Michael Joseph Curley. The agency was incorporated by organizing the 12 previously separate Catholic services throughout the Archdiocese under a common mission.


Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore was officially incorporated under the laws of the State of Maryland, with the objective of promoting the organized effort for the prevention of poverty and the spread of disease in the State of Maryland.


Catholic Charities began considering land outside of Baltimore City for programming. One year later, Villa St. Maria—now known as St. Vincent’s Villa and Villa Maria School—opened in Timonium.


On January 3, the following institutions were merged into Catholic Charities, Inc., which has become the successor corporation of these institutions: The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Inc., St. Anthony’s Orphan Asylum of Baltimore, St. Mary’s Female Orphan Asylum of Baltimore, St. Vincent’s Infant Home of the City of Baltimore, St. James Home for Boys of the City of Baltimore, St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys of the City of Baltimore.


The Hispanic Apostolate, with programming that later grew to become the Esperanza Center, opened to serve the needs of Spanish-speaking neighbors in Baltimore.


The Gallagher Center opened in Timonium to provide support for individuals with developmental/ intellectual disability.


Our Daily Bread officially opened and began serving meals each day and programming serving neighbors who need housing or food is established. These programs would grow to become My Sister’s Place Women’s Center in Baltimore, Sarah’s House in Anne Arundel County, Anna’s House in Harford County and others.


St. Elizabeth’s Home for Nursing Care opens on the Jenkins Campus in Baltimore. Eventually, St. Elizabeth’s became a 162-bed nursing facility that provides high-quality long- and short-term nursing and rehabilitative care to its residents. Many other Catholic Charities senior care and senior communities open in the 90s.


The Cybercenter, now closed, became the first official Catholic Charities program to offer employment services. This grew to become a network of job training and placement services now operating across the organization.


In the devastating aftermath of the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray at the hands of police, Catholic Charities began considering a community-based approach to violence interruption that led to the opening of two Safe Streets sites. That same year, rooted in trauma-informed care, Catholic Charities began its behavioral health services in schools and clinics.


As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the communities Catholic Charities served, programs pivoted to enable safe accompaniment with minimal service interruption and gave rise to new programming aimed at filling a significant need in the workforce while creating a career path for neighbors interested in nursing by training them as certified or geriatric nursing assistants.

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During our centennial year, we celebrated 100 years of hope and promise. As we move forward in the next 100 years of continued work, we ask ourselves how we can do more to help the community live to its full potential.


Join us in changing lives for another 100 years.