You have been told, what is good,
and what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
- Micah 6:8


In order to remain faithful to our mission, Catholic Charities is guided by a set of core values:
  • Truth: Catholic Charities affirms that transparency and accountability will always be pursued in our communication and work. We affirm the truth of the intrinsic dignity and worth of the human person as a social being and will witness to this truth in fulfilling our mission and work.
  • Freedom: Catholic Charities affirms that we will always assist our clients, staff, and volunteers to live socially responsible freedom, to exercise their authentic autonomy in light of objective truth, and to actualize their inherent potential as being created in the image of likeness of God.
  • Justice: Catholic Charities affirms that it is a matter of justice that all those we serve - our clients - have the right to self-actualization and to reach their potential as beings created in the image and likeness of God. We affirm that we will work to achieve greater justice in our communities through social policy advocacy efforts. We will base all contracts and agreements and all relationships with stakeholders on norms of justice. We will work to expand and maintain diversity and excellence in our board, leadership positions, and professional staffing. We will work to help eradicate racism and prejudice within our own organization and in society at large.
  • Love: Catholic Charities affirms that love - caritas - will be the chief identify characteristic and element of our work and life.

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark serves to guide all those associated with Catholic Charities in the concrete implementation of the values and moral philosophy of the organization. The ethical standards of the Code inform the diverse functions of Catholic Charities and the constituencies with whom we serve and partner: responsibility to clients; board affairs and governance; administration and management responsibilities; staff and volunteers ; external relations and partnerships; social responsibility and advocacy. Click here to access a PDF version of the Code of Ethics.


Our mission and values are based on the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching, a collection of teachings developed in the writings of the popes and Church councils over the course of the Church's history. The tenants of Catholic Social Teaching and fidelity to Christ call us to serve everyone regardless of their belief or background, and employ anyone who commits to our mission. Christ reached out to all people, and Catholic Charities does the same, with the goal of bringing the Good News of the Gospel to bear upon society and transforming lives for the better. The following themes of Catholic Social Teaching serve as guiding principles for the present and future programing of Catholic Charities:
  • Sacredness of Life and Dignity of the Human Person
    Each person is made in the image and likeness of God and as such is endowed with inherent dignity. The God-given gift of life must be respected from conception to natural death. Each person is endowed with rights and duties and must be held in great esteem and treated with profound respect.
    "A widespread mentality of the useful, the "throwaway culture" that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a very high cost: It asks for the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a decisive and unreserved "yes" to life. ... Things have a price and can be sold, but people have dignity; they are worth more than things and are above price. In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord ... Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ... And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded ... they cannot be thrown away!" - Pope Francis
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
    Each person is not only sacred but social. How we organize our society - in economics and politics, in law and policy - directly effects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow and persons and participate in community. Marriage and family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. People have both a right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
    "It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth" - Pope Pius XI
  • The Protection of Rights and Fulfillment of Responsibilities
    The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our family, and to the larger society.
    "We must speak of man's rights. Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood ... In human society one man's natural right gives rise to a corresponding duty in other men; the duty, that is, of recognizing and respecting that right." - St. Pope John XXIII
  • Fundamental Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
    A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the Gospel account of the Last Judgement (Matthew: 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
    "The primary purpose of this special commitment to the poor is to enable them to become active participants in the life of society. It is to enable all persons to share in and contribute to the common good. The "option for the poor," therefore, is not an adversarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Rather it states that the deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community. The extent of their suffering is a measure of how far we are from being a true community of persons. These wounds will be healed only by greater solidarity with the poor and among the poor themselves." - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • The Dignity and Rights of Workers
    The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God's work of creation and lends to the dignity of the human person. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected - the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions or other forms or worker representation, to private property, and to economic initiatives.
    "The economic sphere is neither ethically neutral, or inherently inhuman or opposed to society. It is part and parcel of human activity and precisely because it is human, it must be structured and governed in an ethical manner...In many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited -through unemployment or underemployment- or because a low value is put on work and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family." - Pope Benedict XVI
  • Solidarity with the Poor and Marginalized
    The most poor and vulnerable persons and families have a special claim to our services and programs. Persons should engage those served in a manner by which those served have a voice in decisions impacting policies and programs. We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, religious, and ideological differences. We are our brother and sisters keepers. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the principle of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world wounded by violence and conflict.
    "Solidarity then is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all." - St. Pope John Paul II
  • Stewardship of Creation and Resources
    We show our respect for God the Creator by our stewardship of the work of His hand. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God's creation.
    "The human family has received from the Creator a common gift: nature. The Christian view of creation includes a positive judgment about the legitimacy of interventions on nature if these are meant to be beneficial and are performed responsibly, that is to say, by acknowledging the "grammar" inscribed in nature and by wisely using resources for the benefit of all, with respect for the beauty, finality and usefulness of every living being and its place in the ecosystem. Nature, in a word, is at our disposition and we are called to exercise a responsible stewardship over it." - Pope Francis

John Westervelt
Chief Executive Officer

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Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark


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