History

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County began in 1923 under the guidance of Bishop Daniel Curley, who dreamed of developing an organization that would allow people an opportunity to reach beyond their parish communities to assist individuals and families experiencing hardship. Bishop Curley envisioned an organization that would provide basic needs to the economically disadvantaged, serve as a catalyst for keeping families intact, help children to reach their full potential, and speak out for policies that remedied social injustices.

Today Catholic Charities of Onondaga County is an agency that has expanded to meet the needs of a larger population. What started as little more than an extension of neighborhood parishes is today a major provider of services for families and children in Onondaga County. It remains committed to providing for those in need, advocating on behalf of the disadvantaged, and assisting people to reach their fullest potential.

House of Providence and St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum

The House of Providence, founded in 1872 by the Daughters of Charity, was established as an institution for orphaned and homeless boys. Located just southwest of the city of Syracuse, NY, the home served up to 300 boys during its early years. In 1907, the House of Providence was destroyed by fire. The Sisters moved with the boys to temporary quarters while awaiting construction of a new building. In 1908 Bishop Ludden laid the cornerstone of the new House of Providence at 1654 West Onondaga Street in Syracuse, NY, and construction was completed in 1910.

St. Vincent’s Home, later known as St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum, was established in 1857 as a home for orphaned and homeless girls in Central New York. In 1948, St. Vincent’s closed its building (now the site of a downtown tower) and merged with the House of Providence. During the 1950’s, the House of Providence began to receive girls as well as boys.

Adoption Records Request

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County coordinated adoptions from the late 1800s and phased out involvement in adoptions in the last several years. Please be aware that access to these records is limited. For information regarding these records please contact Program Assistant Kitty Montesano at (315)362-7544.

House of Providence Resident Records Request

Archives for the House of Providence and St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum are stored at the House of Providence. Please be aware that the archives are not complete and do not contain files for all of the children who ever resided at either orphanage. Many files were lost when the original House of Providence was destroyed by fire in 1907. Policies also once allowed files to be removed by residents and family members, which is no longer permitted. Records from other Catholic orphanages are not stored at the House of Providence.

You must be a former resident or a direct descendant of a resident to request or view information about that resident. To request info, please call Development Coordinator Mary Kay Musyt at (315) 362-7579 with the name and date of birth of the resident. If a file exists, you will be asked to mail or email a written request with proof of your identity and the relationship in order to view or receive copies of the file.