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The New York Foundling: 150 Years of Service

Cardinal Dolan with Sisters of Charity at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Cardinal Dolan with Sisters of Charity at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Photo Credit: @thenyfoundling

by Jim Sliney Jr 

4 Min Read. June of 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of The New York Foundling, an affiliate of Catholic Charities New York. In the tradition of openness and compassion of its founders, The Sisters of Charity, The New York Foundling helps children, youth, adults, and families in need by strengthenIng families and communities and supporting each individual in reaching his or her potential. They operate in all five boroughs of New York City, Rockland, and Puerto Rico.

“The Sisters of Charity opened its doors in 1869, marking the birth of The Foundling as a home for abandoned children, with a brownstone in Greenwich Village and endowment of five dollars,” said Bill Baccaglini, President and CEO of The New York Foundling. “Since then, The Foundling has served hundreds of thousands of children and families and evolved alongside New York City to always meet the needs of children, adults, and families.  Our programs and services have grown and changed with the times, but our core mission remains as true today as it did 150 years ago: strengthening children, youth, adults, and families and helping each individual to reach their full potential. This year’s celebration is a meaningful opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the incredible people, journeys, and stories that are at the heart of The Foundling’s legacy.”


The New York Foundling provides a wide array of services for those in need. The Sisters’ ministry continues to evolve from a respite home for abandoned children to a comprehensive spectrum of community support services designed to empower vulnerable children and families in New York. Here is just a small sample of the many services they provide.

  • For children and youth they offer daycare, after-school programs, week-long overnight camping excursions, and a dedicated charter school for foster children.

  • For families they offer support for young mothers, mental health clinics and foster care services.

  • For individuals with developmental disabilities they offer residential services, day and community habilitation as well as employment transition.

But their programs and services range so much wider. Click here to familiarize yourself with what they offer. You never know when someone you love will need those services.

Sisters of Charity Celebrate The Foundling's 150 Anniversary at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Sisters of Charitiy Celebrate at St. patrick's Cathedral: Photo Credit @thenyfoundling

It’s easy to see why the formation of and the expansion of The New York Foundling deserves to be celebrated. In fact, it was at The Foundling’s June 6th celebratory Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral that Cardinal Timothy Dolan remarked that one of the Church’s sacred missions is to provide “a home for worship, a home for life, a home for love, and what we’re celebrating is that The Foundling has done that in a radiant way.”

In attendance was Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of New York along with many Foundling alums, orphan train descendants, Trustees, and Foundling staff members who performed various roles in the service.

The New York Foundling is an affiliate of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Through this partnership, Catholic Charities and The Foundling are able to provide services that include child daycare, residential services for individuals with developmental disabilities, foster care, group residences for teens, maternity, family reunification, adoption and prevention services. At the Foundling location in Puerto Rico, the partnership has worked to rebuild the HeadStart programs throughout the island and provide hundreds of meals in the wake of Hurrican Maria.