In 1905, Father Francis Kelley first envisioned Catholic Extension when he discovered places and communities in the United States that were struggling to keep the Catholic faith alive and growing.
Read his inspiring description of the organization's founding:
"On the 18th of October, 1905, nineteen men gathered in the home of the Archbishop of Chicago.
Two were archbishops, two were bishops, eight were priests, and seven were laymen.
They came from as far South as the Carolinas, as far West as the prairies, from as far Southwest as New Mexico, from as far North as the Great Lakes, and from as far East as the Atlantic.
The laymen were lawyers, manufacturers, editors, captains of industry.
Various were the worldly interests, various the conditions of the men represented.
But they were united in their ardent love for the Church, and to testify to it they were there at great expense in time and money to themselves.
The Catholic Church Extension Society was born of the generosity and zeal of these men."
Over the next 110 years, Catholic Extension contributed more than $500 million ($1.2 billion in today's dollars) to poor mission dioceses across the United States—dioceses where faith is thriving but resources are scarce.
Today we continue Father Kelley's vision in the 94 mission dioceses we support. To celebrate our anniversary, we invite you to help us #Extend110 with a gift of just $10.