Our History

Catholic Charities of East Tennessee (CCETN) is a member agency of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), which was founded in 1910 on the campus of Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C., as the National Conference of Catholic Charities.

The National Conference was formed to promote the creation of diocesan Catholic Charities bureaus, to encourage professional social work practice, “to bring a sense of solidarity” among those in charitable ministries, and to be the “attorney for the poor.”

CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope for more than 10 million people of all faiths each year.

Catholic Charities of East Tennessee began as a loosely associated group of social service programs across the region operating under the auspices of the Diocese of Nashville. Following the establishment of the Diocese of Knoxville, those services were  incorporated into one non-profit agency in 1989, separate from but associated with the Diocese.

Fr. Ragan Schriver, LAPSW, became the agency’s executive director in 2000, and since that time the agency has grown from a $1 million budget to more than $4 million, bringing 18 services to nearly 30,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable seniors, children and families across East Tennessee.


In 2010, Fr. Ragan and other CCETN staff joined in a Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C. This historic photo was taken in front of Catholic University’s McMahon Hall, the site of the founding of Catholic Charities USA.