"'Share the Poverty' Urged as Slogan of Catholic Charities," Oct. 12, 1935


"Share the Poverty" Urges as Slogan of Catholic Charities

The annual meeting of the Diocesan Directors of Catholic Charities in September 1935 also served a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the National Conference of Catholic Charities. Like the 100th anniversary being celebrated now in 2010, the 25th anniversary was a chance for the NCCC to reflect on their past successes, to contemplate the how much work remained undone, and to call for a renewed dedication to the service of the poor. Because of the NCCC's influence and its recent involvement in lobbying on behalf of the Social Security Act, the New York Times reported on the meeting. This article covers the speech given by Msgr. Marcellus Wagner, the president of the NCCC; an address delivered by Katherine Lenroot, chief of Children's Bureau at the Department of Labor; and a letter from President Roosevelt himself, sent to thank the NCCC for its service to the nation.



As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:

  • What was Wagner's challenge to the assembled Catholic Charities delegates? How do you think this challenge compares to the activities of the CCUSA today? In other words, do you think that American Catholics took up Wagner's challenge?
  • What was Lenroot's opinion of the Social Security Act? How does her opinion compare with the one expressed by Governor Smith?
  • What is Roosevelt's view of the role that Catholic Charities needed to play during the Great Depression? What is the ideal that the NCCC upheld?