Our History and Structure
Caritas Slovakia's history
Caritas Slovakia was started in 1927 on the initiative of Slovak Christians with the goal of ensuring the organizational side of the Church's charitable aid for the poor. At the beginning of the year 1927, Caritas Slovakia took on the task of providing material, healthcare, and cultural-educational support to the poorest of the poor. Local branches were eventually founded all across Slovakia.
In the 1950s, the state halted the work of Caritas Slovakia and only allowed it to run charitable hospices, where elderly and ill priests and nuns were concentrated and monitored after the convents and religious houses were closed down.
Caritas Slovakia today
After the fall of communism in 1989, Caritas Slovakia was free to return to its original mission, and so at the beginning of the year 1991 the structure that it has today was formed.
Today, Caritas Slovakia is made up of 9 diocesan charities and the Caritas Slovakia Secretariat.
Caritas Slovakia has 1,000 employees and 2,000 volunteers, who together care for and help 13,000 people in need.
Caritas Slovakia's legal representative is the general secretary. The general secretary manages and is responsible for the activities of the Caritas Slovakia Secretariat and the charitable hospices.
Caritas Slovakia's legal form
Caritas Slovakia's legal form is that of an Účelové zariadenie cirkvi a náboženskej spoločnosti (Religious charitable organization) under the auspices of the Slovak Bishops' Conference, and is an independent legal entity.
Under the Catholic Code of Canon Law, Caritas Slovakia is a public association of the faithful. It is made up of the individual diocesan charities, together with the Bratislava Catholic Charity and the Caritas Slovakia Secretariat, which act as independent legal entities.
Caritas Slovakia is made up of the following organizations:
- Caritas Slovakia Secretariat
- Bratislava Catholic Charity
- Trnava Archdiocesan Charity
- Nitra Diocesan Charity
- Žilina Diocesan Charity
- Banská Bystrica Diocesan Charity
- Spiš Catholic Charity
- Rožňava Diocesan Charity
- Košice Archdiocesan Charity
- Prešov Greek Catholic Diocesan Charity
- Košice Greek Catholic Exarchial Charity
Our international structure
Caritas Slovakia is part of an international network of charities, which are all connected through the confederation of Caritas Internationalis, based in Rome. Although their particular structures may differ, they all share a common mission: to spread social justice and solidarity.
Caritas strives to improve the quality of interpersonal relationships and people's lives through the practical example of the Gospel. It has representatives in many international organizations, including the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the United Nations offices in Geneva, Vienna and New York, and also in UNESCO in Paris.
Caritas Slovakia is part of Caritas Europa, one of Caritas Internationalis' seven regions.