April 24, 2017 is Catholic Family Center’s 100th Birthday / Centennial

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rochester, NY … Catholic Charities of New York started when the New York State Legislature incorporated the collection of charitable agencies from the eight archdioceses of New York. April 24 will mark 100 years since this legislation was passed. Governor Cuomo has announced that April 24 will be Catholic Charities Day in New York "as a remembrance and a recollection of the great work and the birthplace of an agency that has helped literally millions and millions of New Yorkers." Mayor Lovely Warren has issued a similar proclamation, marking April 24 as Catholic Family Center Day in Rochester, NY.

About our Centennial

On April 24, 1917, a Special Act of the New York State Legislature incorporated Catholic Charities all across our state. In Rochester, Catholic Family Center (CFC) was founded “to assist immigrants, find employment for men released from prison, serve unmarried mothers and their infants, and provide material goods for the poor.” Over the past 100 years we have continued this work, and have added and evolved our programs to meet the changing needs of hundreds of thousands in our community, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Over the last 100 years, our programs have evolved to provide more emphasis on addressing the barriers that prevent people from moving to self-sufficiency in today's environment. In 2016, CFC was selected to lead an adult mentoring program in several city neighborhoods in partnership with other public and non-profit agencies. The ultimate goal of adult mentoring is to help people living in poverty overcome the barriers that have been preventing them from securing and retaining living-wage employment. We were awarded $1.3 million from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that will enable CFC to co-locate primary care providers with mental health and substance abuse treatment clinicians to more effectively address the physical health needs of behavioral health clients. The purpose is to create a stable, co-located network of services that will improve health outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness who may also have co-occurring substance abuse disorders. The ultimate goal is to reduce the need for acute and emergency care for manageable chronic conditions in a seamless, supportive environment.

These are just two examples of how our programs have become more collaborative and focused on systemic change. Looking forward, CFC is positioned to take a lead role in responding to some of our most critical community issues and to role model the power of collective impact as we partner with like-minded agencies

We believe that, together, we can break the cycle of generational poverty in our community, enabling people to not just stabilize, but begin to thrive.

What is happening on Today, April 24, 2017

Today, each of the 17 CFC sites in Monroe and Wayne County will have an employee celebration to honor our 100 Years of Service, and to look ahead to the challenges and opportunities we and our clients face in the coming years. We will be celebrating the Family way: with cake and food and balloons, and a few games. We are sharing cake with area Radio, Digital and TV stations, too!

Other things happening on Today:

  • Our CEO, Marlene Bessette, will be chatting LIVE with employees during the noon lunch hour over the streaming video application of Workplace by Facebook.
  • Our program departments are participating in a video contest on Facebook for our friends and the Rochester community to vote on their favorites. The winning team will win the admiration of their peers and $100


About Catholic Family Center: Catholic Family Center (CFC) is Greater Rochester’s largest provider of comprehensive family services. Each year we assist tens of thousands of our neighbors, relatives and friends as they work to remain or become healthy, productive, participating members of our community. We serve all people—regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, ability or gender. Our programs work together to address the many issues of human need across all stages of life.

Our Press Contact

Kathy Cronin Grant
Director of Marketing & Communications

87 N Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14604

P: (585) 546-7220 x7003