To benefit the mission and /or tuition assistance for students experiencing financial hardship at Shrine of the Little Flower schools
Over $20K given to the Felician Sisters Support Fund
The Felician Sisters of Livonia have been an integral part of providing healthcare, education and faith in the local community for 85 years. Their convent, which housed 56 sisters prior to the pandemic, has been devastated by COVID-19.
Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation and an alumna of Madonna University, was deeply moved by a sense of profound loss for the Felician community and the impact of losing so many sisters so quickly. She felt called to respond and invite others to join her in creating a fund to support the sisters.
So far, over $20,000 has been distributed to the sisters through the kind generosity of over 800 donations from supporters in 35 states and four countries.
What an outstanding outpouring of love! We have been overjoyed, but not surprised, by the outstanding response of support from the greater community for the Felician sisters in Livonia, around the country and across the globe!
These contributions honor, aid and support the Felician sisters of Livonia. The immediate needs that have been identified for the Livonia community are burial expenses and care for the sisters.
On August 5, Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, had the special privilege to deliver the first generous installment of gifts, prayers, notes, treats and checks to show support. We invite you to view a short video of the afternoon:
Sr. Mary Christopher Moore, provincial minister of the Felician Sisters of North America, is grateful for the fund but most of all for the tributes to the sisters. “This outpouring of love and support in our hour of need is God’s Providence in action,” she said. “We are humbled by the generous spirit of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan that has embraced our sisters during these unprecedented times.”
You can still give to the fund. Supporters are encouraged to share a story of a sister who has had an impact on them. These stories are being collected and shared with the Livonia community.
We are especially grateful to our Fund Champions, who have made a gift of $1,000 or more:
|Alliance Catholic Foundation
|Bank of America
|Brighton Vision Center
|Busch’s Fresh Food Market
|Celani Family Foundation Inc.
|Community Financial Credit Union
|Marywood Nursing Center
|Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan
|Michigan Nurses Foundation
|Mr. John Bassick
|Mr. James and Mrs. Susan Buda
|Mr. Joe Eisenhauer
|Ms. Catherine Hartley
|Mr. Stephen Clay Hunter
|Mr. Gordon Kenel
|Mr. Terry Lemerond
|Ms. Mary Lennox
|Mr. David McCalpin
|The Moloney Family
|Mr. James and Mrs. Linda Warzyniec
|Ms. Jacqueline Ann Primeau
|Mr. James Tetreault
|The T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable Giving
|Ms. M.E. Woodbeck
Catholic Schools: Hope for the Future
“I wish to sow courage, hope, and enthusiasm abundantly in the hearts of all.” –St. John Paul II
St. John Paul II’s prayer for religious educators is our prayer too, and the Catholic Foundation is committed to ensuring that Catholic education is supported for generations to come. We are proud to steward nearly 40 funds that provide direct support for Catholic education.
And this year, when funding for Catholic schools is more critical than ever, we have responded to the need by launching two new scholarship funds. The St. Anne Scholars and the St. Martin de Porres scholarships will provide access to 50+ Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Detroit for the 2020-2021 school year.
Our Catholic schools provide hope for the future. Over the past month, we have featured donors and leaders in faith formation that are helping to provide a future bright with hope.
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace.
St. Sabina Parish Tithe Creates Funds for Catholic Schools
When Our Lady of Grace parish merged with St. Sabina parish in 2017, Fr. Jim Lopez, pastor of St. Sabina, and the parish transition team recognized an opportunity to be generous. Together they decided to make a tithe of 10% from the proceeds of the sale of the Our Lady of Grace parish building and prioritize supporting Catholic education.“In the one sense what our parish did is unique, but it also should be very simple. When you are the recipient of a gift, and you realize that your own community is going to have its needs met, you take care of your neighbors in need,” Fr. Jim shares.
Founded in 1957, St. Sabina Parish serves as a spiritual home to about 550 families in Dearborn Heights. St. Sabina Parish’s school closed 11 years ago, but the parish has desired to continue supporting Catholic education at the elementary and secondary levels. With the funds from their parish tithe, they decided to support the school of St. Linus parish, which is their cluster partner, and Divine Child, which offers the only Catholic high school in their vicariate and the largest co-ed Catholic school in the state.
When you are the recipient of a gift, and you realize that your own community is going to have its needs met, you take care of your neighbors in need. – Fr. Jim Lopez, Pastor of St. Sabina Parish
Rather than give the money to these schools as a lump sum, Fr. Jim decided to open endowment funds with the Catholic Foundation: the St. Linus Catholic School Assistance Fund and the Divine Child HS Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund.
“Creating these funds reaffirms to the parishioners of St. Sabina that the money was tithed in an intentional way,
specifically marked for education, and that it will have an impact in the future,” shares Fr. Jim.
Fr. Jim also appreciated that in working with the Catholic Foundation, he was able to clearly understand how the funds would be handled. “I felt we could entrust the Foundation to take care of these funds and put them to use in the communities we designated. It made it very easy to work with the Foundation,” he shared.
In addition to creating two funds for local Catholic schools, St. Sabina parish also used their tithe to make contributions to two existing funds at the Foundation, for St. Frances Cabrini Clinic and for the Ste. Anne de Detroit Restoration and Maintenance Fund.
St. Sabina parish has had a relationship with Cabrini Clinic through the parish’s Giving Tree during the Christmas season, in which parishioners can give winter clothing and other needed items to the clinic’s guests. The parish’s connection with Ste. Anne parish is tangible too; the statue of St. Anne from Our Lady of Grace parish was given to Ste. Anne’s and is prominently displayed outside of the church.
“We wanted to make sure we wouldn’t just be giving money to a parish or organization and then forgetting about them. We have relationships with them which are ongoing,” Fr. Jim explains.
Through the parish’s tithe, they chose to give to the causes that they felt represented what they value as a community – faith formation (through preserving the Archdiocese’s founding parish), outreach to marginalized people, and Catholic education.
St. Sabina’s parish has been known for its hospitality, from its annual Lenten Fish Fry to opening up the parish’s facilities for the local Catholic schools. St. Linus school utilizes St. Sabina’s gym for sports games, and Divine Child uses one of St. Sabina’s classrooms for their robotics team. The hospitality is recognized in tangible ways too; the St. Linus Knights of Columbus supports activities at St. Sabina’s parish and the Divine Child robotics team has been sanitizing the St. Sabina’s worship area during the COVID pandemic.
“Our school facility is no longer empty. It is being used for spiritual, academic and athletic needs. Though our parishioners are older and we do not have many children in the parish, we can still use our hospitality to make them feel welcome,” Fr. Jim shares. This kind of generosity has reminded parishioners of their ability to make an impact in the community at any age.
How might your parish make a collective, collaborative impact? The Foundation is here to support you in creating a way forward.
St. Martin de Porres Scholarship Fund
To provide tuition assistance and scholarship grants to benefit students attending a Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
St. Anne Scholars Scholarship Fund
Frassati Camp Scholarship Will Provide Transformative Opportunities
When Michelle Kuhar’s nephew was two, a new tradition started in their family. They would take an annual camping trip which always included a stop at Camp Sancta Maria to visit Michelle’s brother, John David, at his summer job.
Setting up their tent, swimming in the lake, making s’mores and foil meals over the campfire, kayaking, and memory-making have been part of their lives for years now. For Michelle’s nephew, the highlight of the trip was always their side-trip to the open house at Camp Sancta Maria. There, her nephew could tramp in his uncle’s footsteps and pretend for a few hours that he was one of the campers. For years, he talked of nothing else but the day when he would be old enough to attend camp.
Camp Sancta Maria is a Catholic camp for youth, ages 8-16, located in Gaylord, Mich., on nearly 100 wooded acres with a lake. Founded in 1933, countless generations of boys and girls have discovered God in nature and within themselves, and have made enduring friendships.
Swimming, horseback riding, a ropes course, sports, arts and crafts, adventure games, and a trip to Mackinac Island are some of the activities available to campers, in the midst of an atmosphere of faith. Campers live their Catholic faith through daily Mass, Reconciliation, the Angelus, grace before and after meals, and night prayer in the Chapel.
“My nephew is now old enough to attend camp, but he doesn’t need my assistance to do so. His excitement over camp and his bi-racial heritage inspired me to create this scholarship which will provide financial assistance to Black/African American youth to attend a week-long boys camp each summer,” Michelle shares. “My hope is that other young men can enjoy the rock wall, archery courses, swimming and kayaking, campfire stories, and daily mass in the rustic chapel as they conquer new heights and learn to incorporate Christ into their daily lives.”
This scholarship will provide financial assistance to Black/African American youth to attend a week-long boys camp each summer.
Michelle created a donor-directed fund with the Catholic Foundation. A designated fund is an advised fund whose beneficiary organization is specified by the donor(s) at the time of the gift. Income from the fund is distributed in accordance with the instructions provided at the time of the gift, in this case, as a scholarship for Black/African American youth with financial need to attend Camp Sancta Maria.
The scholarship is named in honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a mountain-climbing, fun-loving outdoorsman. “Bl. Frassati’s influence on my life and his tremendous example as a lay saint with a love of nature, the Eucharist, and practical jokes, makes him the perfect patron for young campers,” Michelle reflects.
Michelle has provided the initial funds for the Frassati Camp Scholarship but hopes that others will join her in growing the fund to $10,000, at which point it would be endowed, to provide support for more would-be campers. She invites you to join her in giving a gift of any size to allow more youth to experience the transformational impact of a week at Camp Sancta Maria.
Sharing the Gospel Digitally During the Pandemic
Ben Steary grew up without faith.
As a young adult, he became more aware of the “God-shaped hole in his heart.”
During a philosophy of religion class at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, he was introduced to Catholicism and St. Albert the Great University Parish and joined the Church in 2019.
The Catholic Foundation is honored to support St. Albert the Great Parish through the Evangelization Endowment held at the Foundation for the ministry’s benefit.
This summer Ben shared the Gospel with young people as a missionary with the Totus Tuus program through the Diocese of Marquette. The Totus Tuus program is staffed with young adults including seminarians and college students. The three Upper Peninsula (UP) Campus Ministries at Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State University, and Northern Michigan provide many of the missionaries as well.
“Being able to serve in ministry as a full-time summer job has been extremely rewarding,” Ben says.
The Totus Tuus program started in the Diocese of Wichita in the 1980s and normally involves four-person teams of young adults traveling from parish to parish throughout the UP for the summer. These teams share the Gospel and promote the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Eucharistic worship, and Christian witness to youth.
The COVID-19 pandemic led Fr. Ben Hasse, Vocations Director for the diocese, to look to God for a new plan.
“The Totus Tuus program has been tremendously fruitful for us as a diocese since 2013. The prospect of having to cancel the program this summer was really discouraging. After a lot of prayer and discussion, we decided to take it online. It’s been an adventure, but completely worth the effort,” shared Fr. Ben.
Totus Tuus Digital 2020 was created. With saint skits, videos reenacting the mysteries of the rosary, lessons about the Ten Commandments, and silly songs, the missionaries have created a virtual learning opportunity for youth in the Upper Peninsula and across the country. To date, the program has subscribers in 12 states.
Totus Tuus, a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours,” was the motto of Saint Pope John Paul the Great. The phrase was taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary,” and it signifies the missionaries’ desire to give themselves entirely to Jesus through Mary. Totus Tuus calls upon college students and seminarians from the Diocese of Marquette to carry the mission to children and families.
Cassie Zimmer, a Michigan Tech and St. Al’s student, has served for three years as a Totus Tuus missionary. “I have learned how to become a better leader,” she says. “I know that I will be using these leadership skills every single day.”
The missionaries have developed original video content that is sent out each week to subscribers. These video lessons are geared toward Kindergarten through 12th grade, and are used by catechists and parents with their students.
All materials will continue to be available online for anyone to use throughout the year at Totus Tuus. Subscribe to the Totus Tuus, Diocese of Marquette YouTube Channel to watch all of the videos.
Support existing and expanded ministry to students at St. Albert the Great University Parish of Houghton, in perpetuity by supporting their evangelization endowment held at the Catholic Foundation.