Toasting a Century of Hope – Celebrating Catholic Charities at 100

Spread the love
Enjoying the dinner

On Monday, June 12th more than 750 guests toasted Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest nonprofits in the Midwest, held its 100th Anniversary Century of Hope Civic Dinner at the Chicago Hilton.  Monsignor Michael Boland, President and CEO of Catholic Charities, hosted the dinner at the Chicago Hilton Mr. & Mrs. Richard Burke Sr. & Mr. Mrs. Al Moschner were the co-chairs of the event.  Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception, receiving line with Monsignor Michael Boland, dinner, a salute by U.S. Marines, and music by Roderick Dixon. In addition, guests were the first Chicagoans to witness the unveiling of the 100th anniversary video.

The benefit raised more than $800,000. Proceeds from the dinner benefit homelessness, emergency food and support services, children and family services, maternity and adoption, veterans, seniors and domestic shelter programs.


“1 million people count on the support of Catholic Charities each year,” said Monsignor Boland. “We give those that come to us much more than a bag of food, a hot meal, or a bed for the night—although those things are vitally important. We give them hope. We show them that they are cared for and that their lives matter. We restore their dignity and help them find a new path.”

Since 1917, Catholic Charities has supported all who turn to the nonprofit for assistance through services touching a broad array of human needs, bringing help and healing to those who need it most. Today, every 30 seconds someone turns to Catholic Charities for help. Nearly 1 million people count on the support and services Catholic Charities provides at their 150 locations in the most vulnerable and underserved communities in Cook and Lake counties.  Catholic Charities of Chicago is one of the largest private, nonprofit social service agencies in the Midwest.

Singer Roderick Dixon

From April 2017 – April 2018 Catholic Charities will celebrate the 100th anniversary milestone with a variety of special events. Other events will be held throughout the year, including a fall symposium, “Building Peaceful Communities,” and a spring volunteer week. For details on 100th Anniversary celebrations, visit


Catholic Charities was founded just days after the country entered World War I, at a time when women were left caring for their families alone and children were left orphaned following the flu epidemic. Cardinal Mundelein called together a group of prominent businessmen to be the fundraising arm of the Church. This initiative quickly evolved to provide direct social services to those most in need.

Catholic Charities Chairman of the Board, Len Wiatr

The agency that began at the once gritty intersection of Des Plaines and Randolph has grown to have more than 150 locations across the Archdiocese, in the most vulnerable and under-served communities.

Catholic Charities services span a wide range, including housing, food, emergency assistance, counseling, veterans’ needs, senior services and support, child development, immigration and refugee support, youth mentoring, and more.


The agency was a pioneer in social services, leading the way in providing a holistic approach to both individuals and families in need. It led the way in many innovative social service programs and partnerships. It was the first to partner with Cook County to treat a DUI offense as a medical condition; with the VA and HUD to open the first permanent supportive housing for veterans, the St. Leo Campus; and with the federal government to develop the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) food centers in food desert communities, the first of its kind in the nation.

The lemon dessert

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Helping anyone in need for 100 years, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is one of the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest and the largest Catholic Charities in the country. Every 30 seconds someone counts on Catholic Charities for help.  Catholic Charities fulfills the Church’s role in the mission of charity by providing compassionate, competent, professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities. Each year we assist more than 1 million people in Cook and Lake Counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background as they journey on their paths to self-sufficiency.  For more information, please visit the catholiccharities website



Photos:   John Reilly Photography

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.