Catholic Charities will celebrate its centennial with Mass, visit from cardinal
Catholic Charities in Oklahoma began with a children's orphanage 100 years ago and this year concludes its centennial celebration with a Mass and a visit from Cardinal Roger Mahoney.
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Catholic Charities' first office was at 218 NW 5 in Oklahoma City, east of St. Joseph Cathedral.
Catholic Charities returned to that site almost 70 years later to assist in the aftermath of the 1995 Murrah Building bombing, offering counseling and disaster assistance to those affected.
Since the 1990s, Catholic Charities' disaster relief program has helped families put their lives back together after a disaster.
Catholic Charities was instrumental in the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s.
Catholic Charities' adoption services have joined together thousands of Oklahoma families.
The Rev. Don Wolfe, pastor of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Shawnee, served as president of the Catholic Charities board from 1996 to 2000. He said the planned centennial activities are important for the organization's leaders and the community-at-large.
“It's a great opportunity for us to sit and reflect on the connection we have between what we believe — our faith — and how we serve,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe, who is now a Catholic Charities board member, said working to help the poor and disadvantaged will continue to be a challenge, but one that the agency is committed to meeting head on as it marks its 100th anniversary.
“We can stop and look back at the decisions that were made, giving us a chance to look at what those formed us into and then on to what lies ahead,” he said.