Social Action, Education, Health

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Dorothy Day: Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement

Dorothy Day: Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement

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

      3. AFRICA
      4. ASIA
      5. EUROPE
      8. HEALTH CARE 
      9. EDUCATION

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:

1.  International:

2. Africa

3. Asia

3. Europe 

4. Latin America

5. North America 


United States


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.

7. Education

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:


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