The Catholic Church is one of the largest global players in international development and relief work. Catholic charitable organizations raise billions of dollars each year for development and relief work. Caritas International alone raises about 5 billion dollars a year for development work. Thousands of Catholic organizations are spread through Africa, Asia, and Latin America engaged in sustainable development projects, health-care provision, conflict resolution, education, counseling, and disaster relief. The Catholic community supports thousands of hospitals world-wide, as well as tens of thousands of clinics and hospices dedicated to the delivery of health-care services. It is the largest single non-governmental provider of health-care services in the world. It is also a major player in education across the world (primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels). Resources specific to health care and education are covered separately–see the final items in this list of resources (below).
Table of Contents
A. Social Action
A fairly comprehensive overview of Catholic social justice, development and relief organizations around the world can be found at: Database of Catholic Social Thought Organizations. A few examples of major Catholic charitable/relief organizations include:
- Caritas International Caritas has member organizations in over 150 countries.
- Pax Christi Member organizations in over 50 countries
- L’Arche There are L’Arche communities in 34 countries
- Jesuit Social Justice Organizations (International List)
- CIDSE: International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies
- Pontifical Council on the Laity: List of International Associations of the Laity
- Caritas in Asia (List of countries/organizations). Example: Caritas India (New Delhi, India)
- India Social Institute (New Delhi, India) Jesuit social justice organization.
- Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (Servant of the People’s Church, Philippines) Jesuit social justice organization
- Jesuit Social Center (Tokyo, Japan)
- Caritas Korea (Seoul, Korea)
- Jesuit Refugee Service (Australia)
- AED Aide à l’Eglise en Détresse (France)
- ACSUR Las Segovias (Spain) Human rights and development primarily in Spain and Latin America
- Alboan: (Spain) Jesuit NGO focused on international development issues
- Amici Dei Popoli (Italy) Humanitarian Aid
- Amici dei Bambini (Italy) “Friends of Children” – humanitarian outreach for children.
- Community of Sant’ Egidio: Italian associations focussed on conflict resolution
- CAFOD: Catholic Relief and Development Organization (England and Wales)
- MISEREOR: German Catholic organization for development and relief work
4. Latin America
5. North America
6. Health Care
Health care has been a major focus of Catholic social action. Give the scope of Catholic health-care, it is impossible to provide an adequate list. One estimate concludes that approximately 25% of all health care facilities world-wide are connected to the Catholic tradition. There are over 110,000 Catholic health-care institutions across the world, including approximately 6000 hospitals.
- Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers
- Catholic Medical Mission Board
- Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
- Catholic Health Association of the United States
- Catholic Health Association of India
- Catholic Health Care Association of South Africa
- World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations
Given the remarkable scope of institutional development in the Catholic educational sector — operating over 200,000 primary and secondary schools and over 1300 universities across the world — it is not feasible to provide an adequate listing. Below are a few resources:
- Congregation for Catholic Education
- Catholic International Education Office
- List of Catholic Universities