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St. Joseph Orphanage and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati separate

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As of yesterday, July 1, 2020, St. Joseph Orphanage is an independent behavioral health, child welfare and educational treatment agency separate from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

St. Joseph Orphanage was founded by Bishop Edward D. Fenwick in 1829 in collaboration with four Sisters of Charity who came to Cincinnati from Emmitsburg, Maryland at the request of Bishop Fenwick specifically to run this ministry. The orphanage relocated several times and grew throughout the 19th century. By 1902 around 500 girls and boys lived at the orphanage and were cared for by the Sisters. In the latter half of the 20th century, the foster care system began to take the place of orphanages. In response to this development, the mission and purpose of St. Joseph Orphanage evolved in the 1970s and 80s into child welfare and, subsequently, behavioral health. This agency now provides various mental health services, substance abuse counseling, education programs, foster care placement and medication management. Throughout these many changes, the mission of St. Joseph Orphanage has remained to serve both children and families.

“This new leadership structure will allow St. Joseph Orphanage to expand and grow serving more children and families through southwest Ohio and the tri-state. St. Joseph Orphanage is grateful for our 190-year history with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and thankful to be able to continue our mission to serve children and families throughout our region,” said Eric Cummins, CEO of St. Joseph Orphanage.

The Catholic history and roots of St. Joseph Orphanage have guided the care and compassion of the organization, by looking to Jesus as its example of loving and serving others. Even as an independent organization going forward, St. Joseph Orphanage plans to retain its heritage as a faith-based agency.

“Our love and service to others is a fruit of our love for the Lord. And what a radiant love has shined through the work of St Joseph Orphanage for the last 190 years! I thank all who have faithfully served so many young people and families with great care and compassion. I continue to pray for this agency’s work which I am confident will bear great fruit in the lives of those they serve,” said the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with more than 40,000 students. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

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