As a Catholic foundation, SOCF is motivated and compelled to action by the Church’s social teachings on the creation of a just society. Our Catholic identity infuses all aspects of our work beginning with our mission, from which all else flows. Foundation goals, investments, partnerships and programmatic activities are intended to uphold the core elements of Catholic social teaching:
Life and dignity of the human person
Call to family, community and participation
Rights and responsibilities
Option for the poor and vulnerable
The dignity of work and the right of workers
Care for God’s creation
These elements of Catholic social teaching are central to the work of the foundation, having guided our mission and focus from our very creation in 1996. Carrying forward the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, the foundation was created as a reaffirmation of the sisters’ preferential option for the poor with a deeply abiding commitment to the life and dignity of all.
The steadfast focus on individuals, families and communities in poverty is a charge given to the foundation by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine that “echoes the understanding throughout Catholic social teaching that, in God’s eyes, the needs and rights of the poor are to be given special attention.”
In all our work, we prioritize the needs of the poor and vulnerable. We attempt to address root causes and improve the systems in which they participate. Our identity as a Catholic foundation also inspires how we strive to carry out our work in the community — through authentic listening, partnership and the promotion of equity and innovation to initiate positive, lasting change.
We seek to empower and support individuals and organizations with a deep respect for their human dignity and the unique experiences and perspectives they bring; we learn from our partners and strive for human connection, knowing that the work is stronger when more hands contribute; and we work to name and remove age-old barriers with innovative approaches designed to help all our neighbors reach the potential God created them for.
This is our Catholic mission in action.