Catholic Social Services of West Alabama

St. John's Catholic Church.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church and School, Tuscaloosa

Saint Francis University Parish

Mission Statement

Our mission originates in the foundation of our Christian beliefs and values, believing that God lives among us and calls us to recognize the sacredness and dignity of every human life.

Through this call we share in the mission of Jesus as we work with individuals, families, and the community.

We strive to meet the needs of those living in poverty, suffering from despair and advocate for those suffering from oppression.

To this end, we choose to collaborate and partner with all of God's people, regardless of race, creed, religion or economic background, in order to build a just and compassionate society.



Catholic Social Services of West Alabama's roots began over 200 years ago with the first establishment in Baltimore, MD under the governance of the first Catholic church of the New World. Alabama’s first CSS was founded in Mobile in 1825 and governed by the Archdiocese of Mobile.  In 1928, Archbishop Toolin from the Archdiocese of Mobile saw the need for more social services in Birmingham with emphasis on the European immigrants who were working in the coal and steel plants. So, he instructed nuns to go out and provide relief services to this segment of the population. As time progressed and the need for more social services prevailed, Archdiocese of Mobile was divided, and the Diocese of Birmingham was established in 1969 under the patronage of St. Paul. It's ministries and outreach programs include families, parishes, schools, associations, and programs including CSS operations that spread over 39 counties in Central and Northern Alabama.  CSS of West Alabama was founded in 1989 through the generosity of diocese and church members at St. Francis of Assisi and Holy Spirit Catholic Churches.  The social service office began in Holy Spirit School, eventually it moved to the offices of Holy Spirit Church, and now resides in a house across the street from the parish.  CSS is affiliated with Catholic Charities USA, a national network of Catholic charity organizations. [1]  

[1] Catholic Charities USA.  “What We Do.”  Retrieved February 27, 2010 from