An orphanage that provided a home for thousands of Oklahoma children heralded the beginning of Catholic Charities in Oklahoma City.
So said Tim O'Connor, the agency's longtime executive director, as Catholic Charities prepares to mark its centennial with a Mass and a visit from a cardinal.
O'Connor said Catholic Charities, an affiliate of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, will conclude its yearlong centennial commemoration with Mass on Sunday at Our Lady's Cathedral in Oklahoma City, and a visit from Cardinal Roger Mahoney on Wednesday. O'Connor said Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is set to speak to students at Bishop McGuinness High School on Wednesday before presiding at a Hispanic Mass at St. Eugene Catholic Church later in the day.
He said Catholic Charities in Oklahoma City has its roots in the St. Joseph Children's Home which opened in 1912, providing thousands of Oklahoma children a home with the opportunity for education and support.
“We realize there's a legacy of service and sacrifice by the Catholic Church that has been established here in Oklahoma City,” O'Connor said.
“We certainly don't dominate in terms of numbers in the community, but it (Catholic Charities) well represents the Catholic Church to God's people in the community.”
O'Connor said he and other Catholic Charities leaders, staff and volunteers are pleased that the organization has grown to become a major private provider of social services to children, families and individuals in Oklahoma. He said the agency works alongside public and private organizations to help meet the basic needs of those who have the least. O'Connor said Catholic Charities also advocates at the local and state levels for public policy that promotes the common good on behalf of those whose voices are not heard.