Specific “war-time” service is not a requirement to become a member. Any baptized Catholic currently serving in the Armed Forces or discharged under honorable conditions from any component of the U.S. Armed Forces and has served on Active Duty for a period of 90 days or longer (includes training time for Reserves and National Guard) is eligible for membership in the Catholic War Veterans (CWV).

The Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary is open to baptized Catholic men and women, related within 2 degrees, to a veteran or currently serving Armed Forces member of ANY faith. We were the first VSO to open Auxiliary membership to men. 


The CWV is one of only forty-five (45) Veterans Service Organizations ever in our nation’s history to be granted an Official Charter by the U.S. Congress. Click HERE to read our Charter.


The CWV is one of only three (3) Veterans Service Organizations chartered by Congress whose membership is decidedly religious.


The CWV is the ONLY Catholic organization in our nation that has been granted the significant honor of a Congressional Charter


The CWV was started in 1935 by a World War I Army Chaplain named Fr. Edward J. Higgins in Astoria, New York. We have been supporting our nation’s military veterans for over 80 years, and as such, we are one of the oldest Veterans Service Organizations in the nation.


The CWV received the Apostolic Blessing of Pope Pius XI at the Vatican upon the organization’s formation in 1935.


The CWV is a private, not-for-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under 501(c)(4).


The CWV is made up of military veterans and citizens of the United States who adhere to the Catholic faith. Many of our members, our Posts and our Auxiliary Units are heavily involved with and volunteer within their parishes. However, the CWV is not “under, a part of, or controlled by” the local parish or the Catholic Church at large. As such, our Posts and Units are not “parish organizations” in a strict sense. We ensure service to the Church through our Catholic Action Programs. 


The CWV is the ONLY Catholic-based organization whose membership is solely made up of military veterans and our main focus is to help other veterans in need.

The CWV is not “another religious charity”. There are many honorable Catholic (and non-Catholic) religious-based charity organizations in our country. They do a great job and provide a wide range of programs and services that are very much needed in our society. The CWV, while providing charitable programs and services within our communities, is focused on promoting the social welfare of ALL military veterans and their families without discrimination. This sets us apart, and positions us directly in the service-gap between secular-based veterans organizations and general religious charities.

FACT #10

Members of the CWV are true patriots. We are sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and to preserve for our posterity those rights and privileges contained within. We are leaders in the promotion of Democracy and citizen guardians of our Republic. The Preamble to the Catholic War Veterans constitution sums it up best:

“We American Citizens, members of the Catholic Church, under the spiritual authority of our Holy Father, the Pope, Bishop of Rome, and who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, in order that we may be bound by a greater spirit of faith and patriotism, and that we may be of greater service to God, Country, and to one another, and in order to perpetuate our ideals and ideas, establish a permanent organization.”