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Catholic Health Care and Social Services


*These facts are for year 2013 unless otherwise noted.

Catholic Health Care and Social Services

  • 642 Catholic hospitals in the United States[1] assist 88,867,803 patients annually.[2]
  • One in six patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital.[3]
  • There are nearly 20 million emergency room visits and nearly 103 million outpatient visits in Catholic hospitals during a one-year period.[4]
  • Nearly 5.4 million patients are admitted to Catholic hospitals annually.[5]
  • Catholic hospitals employ 535,354 full-time employees and 235,046 part-time workers.[6]
  • Catholic health care systems and facilities are present in all 50 states providing acute care, skilled nursing, and other services including hospice, home health, assisted living and senior housing.[7]

In addition to hospitals, the Catholic health care network also includes:

  • 423 health care centers assisting 5,615,216 patients annually.[8]
  • 1,426 specialized homes assisting 545,876 individuals.[9]
  • 103 Catholic residential homes for children, or orphanages, assisting annually 20,187 young people.[10]
  • 893 Day Care and Extended Day Care Centers assisting 105,742 children.[11]
  • 3,250 special centers for social services assisting 32,517,698 people.[12]

Catholic health and social service organizations have a long tradition of service in the United States, dating back to New Orleans in 1727, when 12 French Ursuline sisters arrived in the city and became nurses, teachers, and servants of the poor and orphans. Today, the Catholic nonprofit health-care system serves diverse populations in every state[13] in the United States.

More information is available at Catholic Health Association at

Catholic Charities[14]

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is a leader in the national movement to end poverty in America.  In communities across the country Catholic Charities member agencies and affiliates are helping individuals and families in poverty achieve their full potential providing services in the areas of hunger, health, housing, education and training, family economic security.  CCUSA was founded in 1910 on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. as the National Conference of Catholic Charities.  For more than 100 years, CCUSA has guided and supported the vast network of Catholic Charities agencies nationwide in our common mission to serve, advocate and convene. 

Social Services

According to the Catholic Charities USA 2013 Annual Survey, Catholic Charities agencies and affiliates provided 17,283,889 services to 9,035,223 unduplicated clients across 31 service categories, including:

Adoption and pregnancy services

  • 2,364 adoptions were completed in 2013, including 1,500 children from foster care and 900 hard to place children.
  • Abstinence education and promotion programs reached 29,000 youth.
  • Pregnancy services supported more than 124,000 new and expecting mothers.

Disaster relief services

  • Disaster services helped 78,000 individuals put their lives back together after natural and manmade disasters.

Education and training

  • Helped 8,028 clients pursue secondary degree or certificate programming.
  • Sponsored 8,439 youth in high school dropout prevention programs.
  • Impacted the lives of more than 57,000 young children through Early Head Start, Head Start and other pre-K programs.

Family and Economic Security

  • Helped 14,580 clients achieve full time employment, 8,610 of whom are now receiving pay above minimum wage.
  • Programming in asset development has increased 51% serving 129,990 clients.
  • 79 agencies offered Financial Literacy programs 93,108 clients.
  • 40 agencies helped 55,749 clients file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).


  • Provided 920,581 individual health related services to clients

  • 117 agencies provided counseling and mental health to more than 415,000 clients.

  • 127 agencies served 38,189 clients through prescription assistance.


  • Provided 472,758 housing related services to clients
  • More than 66,250 clients were place in permanent housing.
  • Catholic Charities provided 33,629 units of affordable housing.
  • Managed 227 shelters with a total of 9,323 available beds on a given night.


  • Offered food distribution services at 1,677 sites.
  • Prepared home delivered meals for 742,546 clients.
  • Operated 1,471 food banks, pantries, or cupboards, serving 6,265,895 clients.
  • Sponsored summer lunch programs at 377 sites across the country.

Immigration and refugee services

  • 118 Catholic Charities provided immigration services to 302,252 clients.
  • 64 agencies supported 21,446 refugees achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Agencies assisted 8,515 clients achieve U.S. citizenship.

More information is available at

Humanitarian Aid

Catholic Relief Services [15]

Founded in 1943 by the U.S. Bishops, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community. Focusing on innovative programs in agriculture, health and emergency response, CRS partners with communities and other Church institutions to address urgent needs, while developing solutions to help them survive and thrive long term.

  • CRS reached nearly 100 million beneficiaries in 93 countries in FY 2013.
  • CRS had $632 million total operating expenses in FY 2013.
  • About 92% of the budget went to program services, and nearly 8% to support services.
  • In 2013, CRS managed 396 emergency projects in 64 countries.
  • CRS helped bring quality health care to communities with little or no access to health services through 176 projects in 49 countries.

More information is available at

Migration and Refugee Services (MRS)[16]

MRS is the largest resettlement agency in the United States.

In 2013 Migration and Refugee Services:

  • Resettled 18,747 individuals into 92 dioceses in the U.S.
  • Largest refugee populations resettled by MRS in 2013: Iraqi, Burmese, and Bhutanese.
  • Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR) program. Volunteers from parishes assist refugees in adjusting to life in the U.S. including, learning English, receiving pro bono legal counsel and medical services, finding work, and achieved social integration.

Assisting Migrant Children

  • Assisted 1,627 unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children through its family reunification and foster care programs. These unaccompanied immigrant children were fleeing recruitment by gangs, violence, poverty, abuse.
  • The primary countries of origin of children served were: Honduras (36%), Guatemala (31%) and El Salvador (27%)
  • MRS' transitional and long-term foster care programs assisted 414 unaccompanied immigrant children who pursued permanency through immigration relief and/or family reunification.

Human Trafficking

  • Amistad Movement: Trained over 125 volunteers in culturally diverse communities to recognize and provide support for victims of human trafficking.
  • Conducted workshops to instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and some Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents (ICE) on methods for interviewing child migrants, victims of trafficking and other victims of significant trauma.
  • Migration Policy and Public Affairs
  • Continued to advocate in favor of comprehensive immigration reform efforts and reaffirmed long standing concerns of the Church in regard to this issue.

More information is available at and

Pastoral Care of Migrants Refugees and Travelers

The archdioceses/dioceses have developed structures which encourage and support the local Church's response to the pastoral needs of migrants and newcomers thereby manifesting the universality of the Catholic Church in rich and positive ways.  Many parishes have committed themselves to welcome the stranger by encouraging evangelization, catechesis and liturgies in the native languages of the newcomers, and organizing diverse inter-cultural activities. 

Pastoral Care of Migrant Refugees and Travelers reaches out to communities of recent immigrants through local parish ministries. These Cultural/Ethnic Communities[17] include:

  • 19 African communities: Burundian, Cameroonian, Congolese, Cape Verdean, Equatorial, Eritrean and Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Guinean, Ivoirian, Kenyan, Liberian, Nigerian, Rwandan, Sierra Leonese, Sudanese, Tanzanian, Ugandan, Zairean, Zambian.
  • 9 Caribbean communities: Belizean, Dominican, Grenadian, Guyanan, Haitian, Jamaican, Santa Lucian, Trinidadian, and Tobagonian.
  • 12 European communities: Croatian, Czech, French, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian.
  • Mayan
  • Brazilian

The Church has developed its outreach to those whose work and lifestyle necessitate frequent travel which prevents regular participation in a local parish community. Diocesan priests, men and women religious, and lay leaders are involved in national, diocesan and parish efforts to provide pastoral outreach to such diverse groups as airport workers and travelers, seaport workers and cruise ship employees and travelers, race car circuit workers, migrant farm workers, circus and carnival workers, and gypsies.[18]

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC)

In 1988, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) established CLINIC as a legally distinct 501(c)(3) organization to support a rapidly growing network of community-based immigration programs. CLINIC's network originally comprised 17 programs. CLINIC and its affiliate agencies represent low-income immigrants without reference to their race, religion, gender, ethnic group, or other distinguishing characteristics.[19]

  • The network includes 260 diocesan and other affiliated immigration programs with more than 300 field offices in 47 states.
  • The network employs roughly 1,200 Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representatives and attorneys who, in turn, serve hundreds of thousands of low-income immigrants each year.
  • CLINIC represents more than 170 dioceses and religious communities that bring foreign-born priests, sisters, seminarians and religious laypersons to the United States each year.
  • CLINIC's programs have helped more than 100,000 people apply for citizenship; helped approximately 12,000 refugees and asylees apply for green cards; and have provided immigrants with over 15,000 hours of English language instruction.

More information is available at

[1] Catholic Health Association of the United States, Catholic Health Care in the United States. January 2014.

[2] The Official Catholic Directory 2014, General Summary.

[3]Catholic Health Association of the United States, Catholic Health Care in the United States. January 2014.

[4] Ibid.




[8] The Official Catholic Directory 2014, General Summary.



[11] Ibid.


[13] Catholic Health Association of The United States, Who we are.

[14]Catholic Charities USA.

[15]Catholic Relief Services, fact sheet 2014.

[16]USCCB, Migration and Refugee Services. Year in Review 2013.

[17] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers, (accessed on 11/1/14),

[18]United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethnic Ministries, (accessed on 11/1/14),

[19]Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.

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