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Bringing a mission to life: CRS supporters share stories of hope, compassion & solidarity

CRS staff, alongside our partners and the people we serve, work daily to bring our mission, Catholic identity and guiding principles to life.

We share our stories of hope, compassion and solidarity to inspire others to join us in creating a more just and prosperous world for all.

CRS is thrilled to share these donor and partner organization endorsements:


Papal support

In September 2014, Pope Francis tweeted a powerful photo of CRS in Iraq as his first image post. The image shows two children from Yazidi families who have taken cover under a highway overpass outside Erbil to escape violence by Islamic State militants.

“The Holy Father is especially mindful and appreciative of the praiseworthy mission of Catholic Relief Services and, as a sign of his esteem and spiritual closeness on the occasion of CRS’ 70th Anniversary, cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.” Read the full letter

-Archbishop Carolo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio, on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis


“Catholic Relief Services is known for the effective and innovative programs of assistance, which it sponsors throughout the world. Ever ready at a moment's notice to help the victims of natural disasters and peoples burdened by poverty, famine, epidemics and war, you are inspired by a firm commitment to the rich tradition of Catholic social doctrine - the aim of which is the defense of the human person and the safeguarding of human dignity."

-Saint John Paul II


Religious leader support

“The U.S. Catholic bishops stand firmly behind CRS in its commitment to promote and defend human dignity and the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and at every moment in between.” Read the full statement.

- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee


“CRS works in Burkina respecting the principles and values of the Church, in perfect harmony with the Church family of God and in conformity with Catholic Social Teaching.” Read the full letter.

-Archbishop Paul Ouedraogo, president of the Burkina Faso/Niger Episcopal Conference and OCADES Caritas Burkina


“…in my experience with CRS, in the 90ies for Somalia and in these years of the new millennium also here in Djibouti, I have been always touched by the professionalism of CRS employees, and also by their respect, openness and fidelity towards the Catholic Social Teaching, the local Churches and the local Caritases.” Read the full letter.

-Bishop Bertin of Djibouti


More letters and words of support


Program beneficiary support

"I thank God for [the] help CRS gave to me because thanks to these doors and windows, I can close my house and keep my family safe inside….It's been helpful to have the toolkit CRS distributed. Without these tools, I don't know how I could have rebuilt walls.

"I thank God for the peace that is coming back, little by little. But there are still people who haven't been able to rebuild their homes. People should think about how they can help those who are building. I'd like to thank the American people who helped CRS support this community with doors."

-Loditto Basile, CRS program beneficiary from Bossangoa, CAR


WALA [CRS’ Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement program] is strongly focused on capacity building so we are able to teach from within. WALA teaches community members to help others. Even if WALA leaves, the work can continue.”

-Davis Rice, Soleyani Village Head


“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to CRS for enabling me to be what I am today. Without food aid, I could never have survived at school. Instead, my father would have eventually taken me out of school to follow his footsteps. Keep up the good work CRS because you saved me and will continue to save other children like me. You raised me from grass to grace and for that I will always remain grateful to you.”

-Alphonsus B. Dakora, CRS program beneficiary


“At the time, we were totally marginalized. Nobody was helping us.

Now we are from here to the sky, we are only speakers to God. If we didn’t have this [transitional] shelter, we wouldn’t even have a shadow to sleep under. Whatever thanking words we had to say, it was too humble.  This shelter is amazing happiness for us. It is safety. Happiness is when there is no fear, when you sleep without fear, and when your children are close and safe.  Home is life.”

-Abu Hussein with his wife, Hend, after receiving a transitional home in Gaza. Their home was destroyed in the 2014 conflict.


“People have improved their hygiene, we no longer see malnourished children, and there is a change in discrimination and stigma for people living with HIV…We are not as poor. I thank you so much.”

-Frendson Peterson, village head for the Meja community in Malawi


Overseas partners' endorsements

“I have worked with many international organizations who are saying that they work in partnership, but CRS is the only one that is serious about the partnership and invests a lot in how it does partnership and capacity strengthening.”

-Senior Financial Management Trainer, Mango, Debbie Pitt


CRS has been instrumental in establishing our Mentor Unit within Saint Joseph University. CRS staff is always helpful and present. They provided the needed guidance in selecting the right professional profiles to staff our Unit. The training we received from CRS helped us [a highly reputable national university established in the 1850s] to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and its application in the world of civil society.”

- Dr. Hilda Bayramian, Faculty Member and Project Manager of University of Saint Joseph, Mentor Unit, Beirut, Lebanon


“I was very happy with this training. It isn’t common for international NGOs to share these – I won’t say ‘secrets,’ but this kind of training – the kind of information that really helps organizations to help themselves.”

-Yassir Ibrahim Awad, Director, CAFA Sudanese Community Development Association


It’s not about technical work relationships. I know [CRS Partners like Paul, Pascasie, and Joseph] not only as technical partners but also as human beings, friends.…They know my family. I know their family.”

-Emmanuel Havugimana, Coordinator, Department of Strategic Planning, Episcopal Conference of Rwanda (through a translator)


College presidents' endorsements

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have seen the work of CRS in the field ‘up close and personal.’ I saw the principles of Catholic social teaching in action and made holy by respect, dignity, and right relationship. All that I observed permeates my thoughts and fills my heart with hope and a spirit of possibility. Serving on this delegation has helped me to realize the importance of the work of CRS and its capacity to be the empowering presence of a caring Church in a hurting and troubled world.”

-Sister Anne Munley IHM, Marywood University President, who traveled with CRS to Rwanda and Burundi


“Manhattan College’s partnership with CRS is an important means through which we as an institution put our values into action. Thanks to CRS’ support, our students, faculty and staff are exploring how their knowledge and skills may be put to use in addressing some of our most pressing global challenges.”  

- Manhattan College President Brennan O’Donnell


Parish & school endorsements

"CRS Rice Bowl has become a multi-cultural, multi-generational event in our parish. We have utilized all the resources provided by Catholic Relief Services to promote the program parish-wide. Participants really come away with a fuller understanding of the plight of the hungry around the world. It has been a truly rewarding experience."

-Nancy Finn, St. Bartholomew Parish, East Brunswick, New Jersey


“CRS is Jesus in action.”

-Naida Castro, CRS Fair Trade Ambassador


“My college years have truly been shaped by my involvement with CRS and for that I am grateful…CRS has become a huge part of my life and something that I will carry with me forever. My involvement with the Ambassadors on campus and my internship at the CRS NE/MA Regional Office will be defining aspects of my college career that have changed the path that I see my life taking. CRS is an incredible organization and I am certain that I would not be as devoted to our call as humans to respond to the injustices of the world if I had not had the opportunity to work with CRS.”

- Carolyn Rau, Villanova University 2014 graduate, CRS Student Ambassador and Northeast/Mid-Atlantic intern.


"I have never heard about CRS Rice Bowl until I entered this school and it has opened my eyes immensely. I am so happy that an opportunity like this enables young and adult individuals to take part in helping impoverished beings all over the world. CRS Rice Bowl made me realize that the ‘Save The Children’ commercials weren't at all fake, but real. I thank God that we have this type of involvement in aiding the unfortunate."

-Mone't Kendall , Sophomore, Mary Help of Christians Academy


Faculty Learning Commons puts our students in contact with people who are working on these issues: people who are experiencing revolutions, who are experiencing poverty, who are working on solutions. That’s what we’re really interested in. Obviously we need to understand the problems, but what are the cutting-edge solutions to these problems that people in their own countries are developing. That’s the insight [Faculty Learning Commons] brings to students.”

-Jerry Zurek. Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Communication, Cabrini College


“Helping Hands engages the community in a way that genuinely excites people to help their brothers and sisters. My community has shared with me that this is the best thing we do as a parish!”

-Deacon Fred Kunder, CRS Global Fellow Espiritu Santo Parish, Florida


“CRS Fair Trade unites me to our global family and helps me to live out the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

-Anne Williams, CRS Fair Trade Ambassador


"There's very little I can believe in these days. I find it unacceptable that there is so much human misery, and I've dedicated my professional life to addressing it and eliminating it. CRS gives me the opportunity to be part of a larger effort. I want to share that with my students, my university.

“To me, this is the Church. This is the very best of the Church. This is the Church witnessing to the Gospel. It's witnessing to the truth that all human beings have the right to live and to live in dignity."

 -Sue Toton, theology professor at Villanova University and liaison to the CRS University partnership


"As a school we have participated in [CRS Rice Bowl] for 3 years now. It is more then just collecting money; it is all about becoming active Christians, being compassionate for the poor and passionate about changing the situations and structures that oppress. The activities, information and lesson plans make it simple to use. The impact can change the lives not only of the less fortunate, but the students here in the USA."

-Sr. Michelle Geiger, Teacher, Mary Help of Christians Academy


“It was amazing how much we accomplished in a short period of time. Our community was so uplifted by this event. We had children from the age of 8 to adults at the age of 90 all working together. It was amazing, and we can’t wait for our next event.”

-Lisa Reeves, St. Peter in Illinois, about a Helping Hands event


“Participating in the Faculty Learning Commons has greatly enriched my students’ learning. The opportunity to learn from experts in the field, hear the first-hand stories of persons living in unjust poverty and collaboratively discuss with students at other universities is truly unique. As a faculty member, FLC is a catalyst for me to think more creatively about pedagogy, student research, and teaching solidarity.”

-Dr. Meghan Clark, St. John’s University


Media commentary

"Catholic Relief Services, one of the most vigorous aid organizations in the third world, is an example of humanitarianism at its noblest."

-Nicholas D. Kristof of the NY Times