The Claretian Initiative (tCI) is a network of community development programs in high-poverty urban neighborhoods in the U.S. Our goal is to end the generational cycle of poverty and violence in these at-risk communities through programs that provide academic support, teach job and life skills, foster local leadership development, and expand young people’s horizons.
Our programs address multiple issues simultaneously because they are designed and run by Claretians and lay staff who live in the communities as neighbors and partners. They are well aware of the complexity and the overlap of the people’s challenges. This unique approach to building stronger communities means that Claretian Initiative programs have the flexibility and agility to meet the complex and changing needs of the people they serve.
The Claretians are a congregation of Catholic priests and brothers committed to social justice who work to improve people’s lives by addressing the very real secular problems of their communities. Originally founded in Vic, Spain, in 1849, the Claretians have served in the U.S. since 1902 and have a long history in ministering to high-poverty urban and high-poverty Latino communities.
The Claretians established the St. Jude League in 1929 to be a nonprofit organization of lay professionals committed to expanding and supporting Claretian programs. The League has a long history of effective, audited financial management of donated funds and manages all donations to ensure each reaches the donor’s designation. The League also ensures that 95% of every Claretian Initiative donation goes directly to the programs in the neighborhoods.