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Video captures 90 years for Catholic Charities

Posted by | Catholic Charities Communications

Catholic Charities of Oregon has issued a new video about its 90-year history.

The six-minute retrospective premiered at the May 18 Celebration of Hope gala as the latest way the nonprofit is marking the anniversary between Sept. 2023 and Sept. 2024.

The 12 months of celebration began with a fall lecture on the history of Catholic social action in Oregon and a history exhibit at the offices of the nonprofit. Staff also produced a printed history and timeline. The observance continued with a 1920s/30s style gala May 18.

Next up is a June 12 lecture on the theology of migration by Holy Cross Father Dan Groody. The anniversary year wraps up next September by really going to the roots as Rabbi Michael Cahana of Portland gives a lecture on the Jewish tradition of care for the poor, a foundation for social ministry in the entire Judeo-Christian culture.

The new five-minute Ken Burns-style video includes images from the early nuns who served in Oregon and Catholic Charities work over the years plus comments from Susanne Corrado, whose father Edwin Mayer was a founding board member for Catholic Charities of Oregon.

“Catholic Charities was right up his alley to do it locally instead of writing checks to all over the country,” Corrado says in the video. “It just was in his system to get things started. He wasn’t one that was just going to sit and watch.”

Sue Corrado

Corrado and her husband Al were born in 1933, the same year Catholic Charities began. They picked up the charitable tradition in a major way.

“I think my dad would be very proud of what has happened,” Corrado said.

Also in the video is Leanna Boyd, whose mother was a Cuban refugee welcomed by Catholic Charities. Later, Boyd’s parents would adopt a refugee girl from Vietnam through Catholic Charities.

Leanna Boyd

“Without Catholic Charities, my family as it is wouldn’t exist,” said Boyd, who as a teen was a Catholic Charities employee helping a new wave of Cuban immigrants.

Boyd pays tribute to Fr. Morton Park, Catholic Charities leader from the 1950s to the 1980s.


The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur began an orphanage in Oregon in 1844.

Edwin Mayer was a Catholic Charities founder and father of Sue Corrado.

Cecilia Baricevic and Fr. Morton Park look over a document at Catholic Charities, 1959.