Rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person, the mission of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas. Although our mission is rooted in the Catholic faith, our operations serve people based solely on need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.


Within the United States, CRS engages Catholics to live their faith in solidarity with the world’s poor and vulnerable. CRS Education equips adults to help youth encounter their world by providing a personal glimpse into the lives of our global brother and sisters along with opportunities for reflection and analysis. Grounded in Catholic social teaching, our learning activities, prayers, programs and other resources engage young people and their families on global issues, social justice and solidarity.

Saint John Paul II, in his passionate outreach to youth, embodied a vision of hope that always included the vitality and gifts of the young Church. He called young people the “watchers of the dawn,”1 encouraging them to be free and courageous in living as disciples of Jesus Christ. More recently, Pope Francis in his 2013 World Youth Day homily reminded young people, “The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you.” With guidance and affirmation, the young Church offers much toward transforming our world into a kingdom of justice and peace.


  • Inspire young people to go global with their faith and service to the human family through prayer, learning, action, and giving.
  • Enhance Catholic identity through the promotion of Catholic social teaching.
  • Empower young people to act on behalf of their global family and, in particular, our sisters and brothers overseas.
  • Form young people to be leaders whose capacity for solidarity and relationship building is both intergenerational and global, whose integrity is rooted in the ability to integrate faith and action, and who foster a personal spirituality that is incarnated in concern for their global community.
  • Inspire young people to mature in their understanding of Catholic social teaching and global realities so that they may become, in the words of Thomas Merton, contemplatives in action.


1 Saint Pope John Paul II, “Behold Your Mother.” Message of the Holy Father for the 18th World Youth Day. The Vatican, 13 April 13 2003.