About Us

Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties serves, empowers, and advocates to all persons in our community regardless of race, creed, lifestyle choice, or religious affiliation with special emphasis on the poor and vulnerable. Catholic Charities provided assistance to close to 5,000 people in Columbia and Greene Counties in 2023. We are one of many agencies of the Diocese of Albany which encompasses 14 counties. The creation of local agencies allows service and programs to be tailored to the needs of the communities within the framework of vast resources of knowledge and support to draw upon. Information and links to all programs in the Diocese of Albany can be located at www.rcda.org and for Catholic Charities at www.ccrcda.org.

Mission Statement: Catholic Charities...Caring Beyond Belief

Catholic Charities, a ministry of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, is committed to active witness on behalf of the Scriptural values of mercy and justice.
Catholic Charities, recognizing human need at all stages of life, responds to all persons regardless of race, creed or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and vulnerable.
Catholic Charities serves and empowers persons in need, advocates for a just society, and calls forth and collaborates with women and men of good will in fulfillment of its mission.


History of Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties:

In 1977 Sr. Serena Bransen, then, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany along with Sara Walsh conducted a needs assessment in Columbia and Greene Counties. The outcome identified high rates of teen pregnancy, suicide and child abuse. Sr. Serena was then committed to establishing offices in Columbia and Greene Counties to address these needs and provide family counseling and support.James Cashen and Thomas Quinn spearheaded the formation of the Agency. Assisted by Katie Brennan, Burns Barford, Gerard Riley Harriet Lieberman and many others, the taskforce transformed into a Board of Directors and programming began on September 1, 1977. Catholic Family and Community Services opened its doors with 3 employees and one major program. First Columbia County offices were located on Church Street in Valatie and in Greene County it was in a storefront on Main Street in Cairo.
Catholic Family and Community Services’ initial programs were emergency assistance and family counseling and support which included a 24 hour crisis hotline. Over time, programs expanded to further carry out the mission of Catholic Charities. The family counseling program was unique in that it included an outreach component where home visits were made to those families unable to come to the office for services. Visitation to isolated elderly and working with families in their homes were ways that the Organization was able to meet the needs of the community. Along with the expansion of services, the physical needs of the Agency began to increase as well. From 1978 to 2003 the Columbia County office moved 3 times and the Greene County office had moved once. Columbia County office locations included, the Brennan gatehouse in Kinderhook, River Street in Valatie, Route 9 in Valatie with programs operating out of an office on Warren Street in Hudson, and finally the building we presently occupy at 431 East Allen Street, Hudson.
John A. Wood, a well known architect at the time designed the house that now houses the Columbia County office. The house was originally built as a private residence and stood where the Parish of Holy Trinity (formerly St. Mary’s Church) is currently located. In 1929 the building was moved to its current location at 431 East Allen Street and St. Mary’s Church was erected. In 1971 the house was turned into a convent housing 22 nuns who taught at St. Mary’s Academy. Sr. Catherine Aurelia was known for her baking and even today, some claim to smell her baked goods on the second floor.Catholic Family and Community Services in Greene County moved from Cairo to Jefferson Heights in Catskill in the late 1990s. This afforded the Agency to be more accessible to clients. In 2003 we moved to our present location at 82 Woodland Avenue, Catskill which also served as a residence for nun who taught at St. Patrick’s School.
The Agency continued to grow, as did the needs of the families throughout both Counties. The family counseling program remained to be a strong component of the Agency and in 1979 the Women, Infants and Children’s Program, otherwise known as WIC, joined the Catholic Family and Community Services’ team. Over the years, programs the organization has offered were; Family Counseling, Emergency Assistance, WIC, Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse Prevention Education, the School and Community Services Project, Parish Outreach, Employee Assistance Programs, Elder Outreach, Project Connect, Parenting Education, and the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program. In 1996, under the guidance of then CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany Sister Maureen Joyce, the Columbia and Greene offices united to form Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties. The organization has weathered many changes but always remained focused on fulfilling the mission of Catholic Charities.
Today under the guidance of Catholic Charities Diocese of Albany CEO Vince Colonno, the direction of Executive Director Theresa Lux, with the commitment of the Board of Directors, the passions and skills of staff and volunteers and the support of community partners, Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties is a major provider of services in the two county area and an advocate for the poor and vulnerable. It is with dedication and honor that we serve, empower and advocate for persons in need regardless of race, creed, and lifestyle.

Board of Directors Membership:

    Wayne Jones, President
    Anne Donovan, Treasurer
    Denise Barry
    Sylvia Macheski, Secretary
    Michael Pirrone, Vice President