The 1950s

Carrie Estelle Doheny’s Catholic faith was influenced by St. Vincent de Paul through the ministries of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, whose values included radical ministry, belief in the dignity of every individual, attention to the holistic development of the student, and special attention to the poor and marginalized.

Carrie Estelle Doheny was deeply religious, and she and Mr. Doheny gave generously to build St. Vincent de Paul Church in the 1920s. During the early days of the Foundation, Mrs. Doheny and the Foundation Board funded many religious organizations, especially those that were founded and run by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian priests), to Advance Religion. Mrs. Doheny set up a separate trust to take care of St. Vincent Church, which the Foundation still supports today.

St. Vincent's Church
Arial view of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
Photo courtesy of Security Pacific National Bank Collection / Los Angeles Public Library

The Daughters of Charity and their ministries were close partners of the Foundation from its beginning. Mrs. Doheny showed a special interest in Maryvale, originally an orphanage operated by the Daughters of Charity. Although it no longer serves as an orphanage, it now offers early education, after-school programs, mental health, and wrap-around services, community education, short-term transitional housing for various people in need, and outpatient substance abuse treatment for children and teens. The Foundation continues to provide funding to this day.

Daughter of Charity Sister with children of Maryvale
Daughter of Charity Sister with young residents of Maryvale.

Mrs. Doheny played a crucial role in founding the Los Angeles Chapter of The Ladies of Charity, a group of female Catholic volunteers who help those struggling with poverty and hunger. The volunteers have distributed countless food gift cards and provided scholarships to numerous students attending Daughters of Charity schools.

Carrie Estelle Doheny surrounded by the Ladies of Charity volunteers.

The Foundation’s partnership with the Daughters of Charity has continued through Vincentian Marian Youth, a leadership and faith formation program for youth attending Daughter of Charity schools. Students meet after school throughout the year to prepare for serving individuals and families experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. 

Vincentian Marian Youth attending the 2019 VMY Leadership Program at Camp Mariastella.

Casa Milagrosa, operated by Depaul USA, is a joint project of the Vincentians and the Daughters of Charity.  The program offers a day resource center where people experiencing homelessness can rest, recover, and access essential services. Guests may receive a hot breakfast, use a computer room, and access hygiene services, housing support, food distribution events, and case management. The goal is to improve quality of life by addressing the immediate homelessness crisis, providing supportive services, and adopting strategies to prevent a return to homelessness.

Casa Milagrosa volunteers setting up food distributions
Casa Milagrosa participants with USC Campus Ministry volunteer
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