As one of the largest comprehensive health and human services organizations in the region, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland carries out Christ’s healing mission here in Northeast Ohio. Catholic Charities delivers more than 150 services at 60 locations to over 400,000 individuals each year – providing help and creating hope for people of every race and religion throughout the eight counties in the Diocese of Cleveland (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne).
Charity has always been at the heart of the Catholic Church. It was no different in 1847 when the Diocese of Cleveland was established in the northern Ohio territory with The Most Reverend Bishop Louis A. Rappe serving as Bishop of Cleveland (1847 – 1870). Bishop Rappe went on to found an orphanage for girls (1851) and an orphanage for boys (1848). He also introduced several orders of priests and nuns and was instrumental in establishing St. Vincent Charity Hospital in 1865.
Several more Catholic-run orphanages formed throughout the mid-to-late 1800′s – while needs continued to increase. In October 1909, Bishop John P. Farrelly (Bishop of Cleveland from 1909 – 1921) appointed a panel to study welfare needs of diocese and funding sources.
In October 1911 that board recommended a home for orphans be established in cooperation with Cleveland Humane Society and Juvenile Court.
Bishop Farrelly addressed a letter to all parishes to adopt the board’s recommendation – this was the first Annual Appeal. In 1911/1912 – The Catholic Charities Bureau of the St. Vincent DePaul Society formed for the purpose of providing coordinated formal social services. Bishop Farrelly appointed 28-year-old Fr. Charles H. LeBlond as Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities Bureau.
Finally, in March 1912 – Fr. LeBlond opened the first Catholic Charities office at East 9th and Prospect.
One has to wonder if Bishop Farrelly, Fr. LeBlond, or any of the board members could have imagined what their dream would grow into today. In 2012, nearly half a million people were served by Catholic Charities in some way. The services covered nearly ever demographic throughout the eight-county Dioceses (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne).
2013 Net Assets