United States Conference of Catholic Bishop
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place. This purpose is drawn from the universal law of the Church and applies to the episcopal conferences which are established all over the world for the same purpose.
The Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Since then, we have expanded in size to reach more than 130 million people in more than 100 countries on five continents.
For over 75 years, our mission has been to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. Although our mission is rooted in the Catholic faith, our operations serve people based solely on need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity. Within the United States, CRS engages Catholics to live their faith in solidarity with the poor and suffering people of the world.
CRS is motivated by the example of Jesus Christ to ease suffering, provide development assistance, and foster charity and justice. We are committed to a set of Guiding Principles and hold ourselves accountable to each other for them.
As the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, CRS is governed by a board of directors comprising clergy, most of them bishops elected by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as religious and Catholic lay men and women.
Catholic Charities sees the face of God in those in need. By providing food, clothing, shelter and counseling, we bring hope to the hopeless in the city of Chicago and its suburbs.
With 153 programs at 154 locations throughout Cook and Lake Counties, we serve virtually every neighborhood and parish in the Chicagoland area. Through our broad spectrum of services, we annually assist more than 1 million persons in Cook and Lake Counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background.
For more than 98 years, Catholic Charities has empowered families and individuals of all races and religious backgrounds to realize their full potential. Our services help people from the point of conception through the last stages of their lives. We keep mothers and their babies well-fed, prepare children in low-income families for school, keep youth in school and out of gangs, counsel and give job training to adults with economic troubles, provide affordable housing for seniors, and organize in-home care services for seniors who need help caring for themselves.
Only 8 cents of every dollar donated goes toward our administrative expenses; the rest goes directly to help clients. While Catholic Charities raises funds separately from the Archdiocese of Chicago, we serve as the social service arm of the church.
Big Shoulders Fund
Inspired by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Big Shoulders Fund was founded by a group of business and civic leaders in 1986 to provide support to Catholic schools in the neediest areas of inner-city Chicago.
For more than twenty-eight years, Big Shoulders Fund has helped Chicago’s children in need achieve their dreams through access to a quality, values-based education. We accomplish this by investing more than $20 million annually in scholarship support and academic enrichment for students, operational improvements for schools, leadership development programs for the next generation of school leaders, and academic programs and professional development for teachers.
Big Shoulders is unique in that administrative expenses are supported by an endowment and other income, which ensures 100 percent of funds currently raised go toward programs that benefit Big Shoulders Fund schools and the students they serve.
For thirteen years in a row, we have earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for operating efficiently and transparently, a status held by just one percent of charities. It is important to Big Shoulders Fund that all donors are informed and educated on the organization’s health and success.
Word On Fire
Word on Fire Catholic Ministries is a nonprofit global media apostolate that supports the work of Bishop Robert Barron and reaches millions of people to draw them into— or back to— the Catholic faith.
Word on Fire is evangelical; it proclaims Jesus Christ as the source of conversion and new life. Word on Fire is Catholic; it utilizes the tremendous resources of the Roman Catholic tradition—art, architecture, poetry, philosophy, theology, and the lives of the saints— in order to explain and interpret the event of Jesus Christ.
Word on Fire Catholic Ministries exists to draw people into the body of Christ, which is the Church, and thereby give them access to all the gifts that Jesus wants his people to enjoy. To be most effective in this mission, Word on Fire places an emphasis and urgency on the use of contemporary forms of media and innovative communication technologies.
The Women's Centers for Greater Chicago
With prayer as a foundation, "Des Plaines Pro Life" was founded in 1983 to distribute educational materials about the injustice of abortion and help groups that provided alternatives to abortion. In response to the vast need for pro-life pregnancy assistance, the first Women's Center counseling office opened up on the north side of Chicago in 1984. Since that time, the organization has grown from one center to three counseling offices and two material goods resource centers in the greater Chicago metro area. A state-of-the-art Mobile Ultrasound unit has recently been acquired to serve women in disadvantaged areas where access to pregnancy centers is unavailable.
Through the generosity of hundreds of donors who believe in our frontline pro-life work, The Women's Centers of Greater Chicagoland has saved the lives of more than 39,500 babies over the past 33 years, and has provided assistance to thousands of others.