About Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services traces its roots to colonial Philadelphia. The ten agencies of CSS administer programs dedicated to serving men, women, and children in need. They are an expression of the charitable works of the local church. Services include residential treatment programs for at-risk children, family preservation services, foster care, adoption, immigration services, couseling, senior citizen centers, programming for the elderly, transitional housing, homeless services, and care for medically fragile men and women. We provide residential and community-based education programs to court-adjudicated youth, and sponsor residential and community-based care for persons who are developmentally delayed.

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Our Vision

Catholic Social Services exists to transform lives and bring about a just and compassionate society where every individual is valued, families are healthy and strong, and communities are united in their commitment to the good of all. We envision a world touched by God´s mercy: where poverty and need are alleviated, and all people share justly in the blessings of creation.

Our Core Values

  • Compassion - genuine care and heartfelt concern for those we serve
  • Dignity - respect for each person created in God's image, regardless of color, capacity, or age
  • Charity - generosity toward all people in response to God's goodness to us
  • Justice - defense of and advocacy for the rights of the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged
  • Excellence - professional competence and responsible stewardship of time and resources
  • (Approved by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, September 30, 2005)

Overview of Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services (CSS) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been meeting basic human needs within the Philadelphia area since 1797, when Catholic laity provided residential care for children left orphaned by the Yellow Fever Epidemic. First incorporated in 1919 as the Catholic Children's Bureau, it became known as Catholic Social Services in 1964 to more fully describe the diversity of services offered. Today, CSS is one of the largest private non-profit providers of social services in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

CSS benefits more than 165,000 individuals annually. Motivated by its mission to serve the most vulnerable and at-risk members of our society, CSS offers a variety of community-based and residential programs and services to assist and support men, women and children living in Philadelphia and its four surrounding counties. Services daily touch the lives of immigrants, the homeless, women in crisis, dependent or delinquent youth, senior citizens, and the developmentally disabled. Catholic Social Services provides hope and creates hope for people from every walk of life.

Scope of Programs and Archdiocesan Support

Statement of Beliefs

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia embraces the call to be servant leaders within our community, following the example of Jesus Christ who washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper. Catholic Social Services is rich in cultural and religious diversity yet united in our common call as children of one God and Father to serve our brothers and sisters in need and build a just and compassionate society.

  • We are dedicated to serve others with a spirit of humility and genuine concern for the well-being of our neighbors.
  • We affirm the God-given dignity and worth of every person, and strive to assist persons at every stage of life to find wholeness and achieve their full human potential.
  • We advocate for the rights of the poor and vulnerable so that individuals are valued, children protected, families strengthened, and every community unified in its commitment to the good of all its members.
  • We commit our personal energies and professional skills to care for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable among us.
  • We serve people of all faiths, races, ages, ethnicities, and life circumstances across the whole spectrum of human need, as an expression of the unconditional love of God for all His children.
  • We defend the rights of all people to the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, and shelter.
  • We lend our voice in support of policies and programs that empower individuals, strengthen families, and build up communities.
  • We believe that everyone has an eternal destiny and that one's relationship with God is an important part of life's journey.
  • We support religious freedom for all individuals and respect their ability to make decisions of conscience.
  • We welcome people to explore faith and invite them to prayer in a way that respects each person's background and interest.
  • We strive for professional excellence in providing the highest quality of service.
  • We are our brother's and sister's keeper, and our commitment to quality care and prudent stewardship is grounded in our belief that our love for God is made concrete through the responsible manner in which we care for those in need.

Catholic Identity

As an integral part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic Social Services is unwavering in its commitment to manifest our enduring Catholic identity and essential linkage to the mission of the Church throughout all of our programs and services. As one of the largest social services providers in the Philadelphia area, we are committed to assisting all those entrusted to our care with the highest level of professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. At the same time, the long tradition of the Catholic Church's charitable activity in this region also calls us to maintain and enrich the distinctive character of our service to others as disciples and followers responding to the Gospel. As a ministry of the Church, we serve in communion with Jesus of Nazareth who came to "bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, restore sight to the blind, and free the oppressed." (cf. Luke 4:18-19).

In all our efforts on behalf of the poor, hungry, homeless, abused, disadvantaged and troubled members of our society, we endeavor to incorporate our work into the healing and saving mission of Jesus the Christ. Just as the earthly ministry of Jesus expressed a concern for the bodily and spiritual welfare of each person he encountered, so too what makes Catholic Social Services distinctive is our concern for the whole person, including support for his or her spiritual and ethical wellbeing. Following the example of Christ, we serve people of all faiths, races, ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles across the whole continuum of human need, and strive to express the unconditional love of God the Father for all his children. Indeed, it is increasingly the case that the majority of our clients and many of our staff are not Catholic, and we rejoice in this rich diversity as a visible sign reminding us that in God's economy "everyone has a place at the table." (cf .The Pastoral Reflection of the U.S. Catholic Bishops by this same title, released in 2002).

Catholic faith is fundamentally incarnational, meaning that our love for God is made real and concrete through the manner in which we care for our brothers and sisters in need. This tradition of faith-based human services has been passed on from the religious congregations of men and women who founded many of our institutions, to the many men and women of diverse faith backgrounds who today continue the good work of these wonderful institutions. CSS will strive to continually articulate and reflect upon the implications of our Catholic identity and mission, and thereby "continue to be beacons of hope and centers of help for poor families and communities," (A Place at the Table).

Board of Directors


  • Most Reverend John J. McIntrye (President), Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • J. William Knott (Vice President), Commercial Banking Group
  • Joseph J. Sweeney, Jr. (Executive Vice President), Secretary for Catholic Human Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • Tara G. La Fiura, Esq. (Secretary), Associate, Blank Rome, LLP
  • Ms. Maura B. Kelly (Treasurer), CFO, Pinnacle Realty Services


  • Sr. M. Noel Albers, SSND Benefits Coordinator School Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Peter T. Ancona, Manager, Gas System Control and Plant Operations, PECO Energy Company
  • Elizabeth Harper Briglia, Vice President for Donor Services and Grantmaking, Chester County Community Foundation
  • Marion C. Corbin, Retired, Office of Black Catholics, Archdiocese of Phialdelphia
  • Michael Crofton, President and CEO, Philadelphia Trust Company
  • John P. Delaney, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney
  • Rev. Msgr. Edward M. Deliman, Pastor, Our Lady of Fatima / Bensalem, PA Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • Christopher J. Gigliotti, Jr., Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley
  • Denise D. Hodgson, Community Representative
  • Vince Liuzzi, Senior Vice President, Wachovia Bank, N.A.
  • Mr. Manus J. McHugh, Exelon Corporation
  • Mr. Julian Staniec

Supplier Diversity Program

Catholic Social Services (CSS) is committed to fostering an open and competitive environment in its procurement of goods and services through its Supplier Diversity Program. This program is intended to be beneficial to both CSS as the prospective buyer and the range of available and qualified vendors in the region. CSS strives to make a good-faith effort in all its procurement activities to utilize minority-owned, women-owned, and disabled-owned businesses (MWDB) to meet its procurement needs. All efforts to contract and engage MWDB suppliers will be fair and impartial. No preference will be given to any business group or classification. The Supplier Diversity Program is specifically designed to increase MWDB participation in the provision of goods and services to the programs of Catholic Social Services. The purchasing staff of each CSS program are provided on-going education and solicitation list resources to assist them in actively seeking out diverse suppliers through organizations that support the aforementioned business categories. For more information on how to pursue business arrangements with CSS or one of its programs, contact Suann Shuster, CSS Central Purchasing Agent, at sshuster@chs-adphila.org