The Way We Were & Who We Are Today

When the Diocese of Detroit and community leaders established Catholic Social Services in May 1959, the mission was to extend a helping hand to struggling families regardless of their faith, race or economic background. We salute the legacy and foresight of these remarkable individuals who understood the value of their undertaking. Embracing the tenets of Catholic social teaching, the new agency dedicated itself to changing the lives of our neighbors in the most vulnerable circumstances. That is as true today as it was in 1959.

Today’s vision—to help people live safe, meaningful and independent lives, in a more just community—is much broader, reflecting the increasing diversity of our contemporary culture. In addition to offering more than two dozen programs designed for myriad life challenges, we also collaborate on initiatives with our colleagues in the non-profit and government sectors.

Without a doubt, CSSW has come a long way. Though subtle, our role as an agency has evolved from helping clients achieve social parity to promoting personal empowerment. Let us honor our founders from the Diocese, local parishes, and the community at large. They put into action the teachings of the Catholic Church to support those most in need. As for today, there is much work yet to be done, needs new and timeless, that are still unmet. It is a tall order, but one we enthusiastically embrace. Because changing lives—then, now and forever—is what we do.