The article focuses on the role of the Catholic Church in organizing education and care for the young generation in the conditions of laissez-faire policy of the partitioner. The clergy's activity in the field of education, care and upbringing implemented the assumptions of the social teaching of the Church. Its foundations were formulated in the encyclicals of Leo XIII. In the Kingdom of Poland, they did not initiate a deepened theological and axiological debate, but for some of the clergy became a determinant of practical activities. Assistance and upbringing activities in the Kingdom of Poland and the Borderlands of the Russian Partition for children and youth included for example: ochronkas, orphanages, occupational classrooms, artisanal enterprises and educational facilities, as well as resocialisation institutions. This activity was particularly noticeable in secret habitless congregations, founded by Capuchin Father Honorat Koźmiński. Diocesan clergy played an important role in the development of Polish education, including work of the Polish Educational Society (Polska Macierz Szkolna) and other educational initiatives.