OUR HISTORY

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STORY OF FAITH AND SERVICE

Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. was incorporated in January of 1945. Our roots stem back to the late 1800’s and the St. Mary’s Home – Florida’s first childcare institution.

Although originally founded as a child welfare, foster care, and adoption agency, Catholic Charities has always sought to respond to the needs of our entire community. Over the years, we have worked to assist families needing counseling services, pregnant women, those dealing with alcohol and substance abuse problems, children struggling in the foster care system, and more. We’ve also provided pastoral services to those in prison, religious education services for children at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and drop-in services to maritime seafarers in need while in port.

Today, our agency offers the following services: emergency financial assistance, disaster relief, refugee resettlement programs, legalization and immigration services, reunification services, workforce development and self-sufficiency programs, adoption services, rural mobile outreach, programs to fight student hunger, holiday assistance for families, services for those with HIV/AIDS, camp programming for youth and young adults with physical and developmental differences, and food assistance.

Catholic Charities has four regional offices located in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lake City and St. Augustine. We currently serve over 100,000 individuals per year in the 17 Counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwanee and Union. 

LAKE CITY
REGIONAL OFFICE

GAINESVILLE
REGIONAL OFFICE

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JACKSONVILLE
REGIONAL OFFICE

ST. AUGUSTINE
REGIONAL OFFICE

1943

Archbishop Joseph Hurley organized a meeting with Catholic leaders to discuss the establishment of a Catholic Charity agency. 

1945

The Charter of Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. was filed in the public records of Duval County on January 27, 1945. The agency began as “Diocesan Catholic Charities” with three offices: Miami, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Jacksonville. 

1944

Catholic Charites opened in Jacksonville on January 3, 1944, with the following services: foster care placement, adoptions, pregnancy services, and emergency assistance. 

1947

The agency’s charter was amended to include statewide Catholic Charities.

1958

The Diocese of Miami was established, and Catholic Charities restructured to include regional offices in Jacksonville and Orlando with plans to open other regional offices in Daytona Beach and Brevard County.

1968

The Diocese of Orlando was established, and Catholic Charities restructured to include only the Jacksonville regional office.

1975

In December, the Catholic Charities St. Augustine Regional Office was opened by Fr. O’Flaherty at San Sebastian Catholic Church.

1976

In January, the Catholic Charities Gainesville Regional Office was opened by and located in Holy Faith Church. 

1982

The Jacksonville Regional Office begins providing Refugee Resettlement services. 

1993

The St. Augustine Regional Office opened a second location in Palatka, FL. Services included emergency assistance, adoption, maternity services, community development and farm worker services. 

2004

The Lake City Satellite Office opened the Florida Gateway Food Bank, a distribution partner of the Feeding America, providing food to partner agencies. 

2008

The Adoptions and Pregnancy program consolidates its services with the Gainesville Regional Office becoming the centralized office where all adoptions and pregnancy services are coordinated throughout the seventeen counties. 

2007

Catholic Charities Bureau becomes accredited with the nationally accredited Council on Accreditation. 

The Lake City Satellite Office of Gainesville becomes its own region, providing services in Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, and Hamilton Counties.

2011

The Gainesville Regional Offices adds the “Bridges to Prosperity” self-sufficiency program.

2016

The Adoptions Program added the four counties of Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia to the are they provide services. 

2015

The Jacksonville Regional Office takes over the ministries of Immigration Legal Services and Camp I Am Special from the Diocese of St. Augustine. 

2021

2022

Catholic Charities Bureau served over 100,000 individuals across 17 counties. 

The St. Augustine Regional Office opened a thrift shop for clients and the general public, with proceeds supporting client programs.