Last Updated:

 03/22/13 10:06:02 AM


St. Catherine's Center for Children traces its origin to the Daughters of Charity who, in 1846, came to Albany to care for children who had been orphaned as a result of the cholera epidemic. These Sisters assumed responsibility for the care of children at Saint Vincent's Orphan Asylum, 106 Elm Street, Albany. The Daughters of Charity had been established in the 17th century in France by Vincent de Paul for the service of the poor.
In 1886 there was an outbreak of "sore eyes" among the younger children at Saint Vincent's Orphan Asylum, and physicians recommended that the sick children be separated from the well children. The managers of the Asylum obtained a nearby building known as the Schuyler Mansion, and the young sick children and some of the sisters moved into the Mansion.
By 1913, New York State had taken over the historic Schuyler Mansion, and the program for the young children moved to 30 North Main Avenue. Thirty North Main was the new facility, built through the generosity of Anthony N. Brady. The agency became known as The Maternity Hospital and Infant Home of Albany. The services included a maternity hospital (Brady Maternity), and an infant home.
In 1951 the infant home's name was changed to St. Catherine's Infant Home in honor of Saint Catherine LaBoure, a French Daughter of Charity. The focus of service at the time was residential care of children from birth to age six, day nursery services, and a child care technician training program.
Between 1966 and 1971, St. Catherine's underwent a period of study and reorganization. In 1971, the agency's name was changed to St. Catherine's Center for Children, and it became a multi-service agency for children and their families.
In more recent years, St. Catherine's has made several program and organizational changes in response to societal problems such as child abuse and neglect, family instability, homelessness, etc. At the present time, St. Catherine's offers a continuum of services which include the following:

Community Based Services

R & E May School/Day Treatment

Residential Programs

Foster Family Programs

Respite Program

Byron Center for Loss and Healing

Marillac Homeless Family Program

Although the agency, which we now know as St. Catherine's Center for Children, has undergone several changes in location, name, and program design since those children with "sore eyes" moved into the Schuyler Mansion in 1886, what has remained constant has been a commitment to serve needy children and families in the Albany area. This commitment is shared by the Board of Directors, the staff, and all those who have supported the work of the agency over the years.