Holy Childhood Association
French Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson founded the Holy
Childhood Association in 1843. Deeply affected by
the distress of Chinese children abandoned in the
streets, he was moved to found a society similar to
the Propagation of the Faith -- but for children.
He was convinced that though weak and needing care,
children rich in faith and love are capable of playing
their own part in the Church's mission - and even
of stirring adults to show the same generous spirit.
The response to Bishop Forbin-Janson's
appeal was extraordinary. In a few years, the unique
concept of "children helping children" spread
not only throughout his native France, but all over
Europe, then to North America, Latin America and Asia,
and in the last 40 years, to Africa.
HCA was established in 1846
in the United States, first in New Orleans, Louisiana,
and later in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, its National
Office is located in New York City with diocesan HCA
HCA was raised to the status
of “Pontifical" in 1922 by Pope Pius XI.
Bishop Forbin-Janson's mission of "children helping
children" continues to guide HCA today.