Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U. S. Catholic community. It was founded more than 60 years ago by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Its fundamental motivating force is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the principles of Catholic social teaching.
Collaborating with the local Catholic Church, partner agencies and communities, CRS works to alleviate human suffering, promote sustainable development, further justice and support peace-building initiatives in nearly 100 countries. It assists people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.
Even while responding to emergencies, CRS supports more than 2,000 projects, building local capacity to find long term solutions to development and peace.
Catholic Relief Services gives active witness to the mandate of Jesus Christ to respond to human needs by:
- responding to victims of natural and man-made disasters
- providing assistance to the poor to alleviate their immediate needs
- supporting self-help programs which involve people and communities in their own development
- helping those it serves to restore and preserve their dignity and to realize their potential
- collaborating with religious and non-sectarian persons and groups of goodwill in programs and projects which contribute to a more equitable society
- helping to educate the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities in alleviating human suffering, removing its causes and promoting social justice
In May of 2005, CRS and Villanova University signed a Memorandum of Understanding, a formal agreement to work collaboratively to advance global solidarity through education, research, advocacy and service.
The goal of the CRS/Villanova partnership is to form a mutually consultative collaboration that will be integrated into the structures of each institution in conformity with each institution's culture. The partnership will lead to clear outcomes that include more knowledgeable and empowered constituencies who:
- are formed by Catholic social thought and tradition
- live their faith in solidarity with one human family
- are more aware of the poor overseas and in the United States
- take advantage of greater opportunities to engage on issues of social justice
- understand and appreciate diversity of other cultures
- have an international perspective