In the early 1950s, a Jesuit priest, Luis Ruiz, launched ‘Casa Ricci Social Services’. In 1971 this was incorporated into the Catholic Diocese of Macau as its social service arm, and became the Macau chapter of the Caritas International network.
Casa Ricci Social Services began by assisting refugees from mainland China with food and lodging, helping them to obtain identity documents, jobs and schooling, and to adjust to their new living environment. It opened the Ricci School and the St. Teresa School for the children of refugees and immigrants. In the 1960s Father Luis turned his attention to destitute, older people. Casa Ricci opened the Betania Home for the Aged (catering for men) and the Santa Maria Home for the Aged (catering for women). Service provision in Macau later grew to include outreach services and day care centers for older people, kindergarten and shelters for the homeless. In 1977, Caritas de Macau set up the territory’s first Social Work Institute.
Caritas de Macau’s work in mainland China has included organising and delivering trainings for parents of deaf children and children with learning difficulties.