Article Written by: Mary Henige 
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“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9:6).

A pilgrimage is a quest for God. It is an experiential and spiritual adventure and an opportunity to encounter God by visiting important locations in our Church’s history. Eighteen Catholic Foundation of Michigan leaders and supporters, including Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, traveled to Greece to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul in October.

Catholic Foundation of Michigan pilgrims pose with Archbishop Allen Vigneron after he celebrated Mass in Corinth.

St. Paul’s witness and determination to spread the gospel, founding groups of Jesus followers wherever he went, despite hardships, is a model of courageous evangelization. Paul traveled to the Gentiles and pagans to proclaim Christ crucified and God’s loving salvation through his Son Jesus.

“It was incredible to be led by our shepherd, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, and walk the same marble roads in Ephesus and other cities that Paul traveled two centuries ago, ” Foundation President and CEO Angela Moloney said. “St. Paul planted seeds of the gospel wherever he went. His many letters came alive during our site visits, Scripture readings, and Masses. Similarly, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan helps ensure that our Catholic parishes, schools, and ministries will thrive perpetually with funds our donors invest today—it’s our way of spreading the Good News,” Angela added.

The Parthenon and the vastness of the buildings were almost unbelievable. The pilgrims recalled that when St. Paul arrived in Athens, “he grew exasperated at the sight of the city full of idols” (Acts 17:15). He climbed the Areopagus and said, “For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’” Like St. Paul, may we be unafraid to speak the truth.

The 10-day pilgrimage included visits to Thessaloniki, Philippi, and Athens and a four-day cruise to islands where St. Paul preached, including Crete and Patmos. A visit to Ephesus in Turkey was a highlight, with the day beginning at the House of Mary, where the Blessed Mother lived her last earthly days with St. John the Evangelist.

“Our pilgrimage was an extraordinary opportunity to grow in faith and learn about the challenges faced by the early disciples of Christ, similar to today. This experience brings to mind the roles we all play in evangelizing our faith in today’s world,” said Board Chair Pat Fehring. “One of the most important roles the Catholic Foundation serves is to inspire generous giving for the good works and evangelization that Catholic organizations perform within our community. These good works include social services, education, health care, and parish life.”

Incoming Board Chair Chris Allen and his wife participated. “Carol and I were pleased to journey with a wonderful group of people. We will always remember walking in the same footsteps as St. Paul. Carol and I have committed to reviewing the Acts of the Apostles and reliving the life of Apostle Paul as he traveled in Greece and Turkey.”

Foundation Board member and Corporate Travel Service President John Hale organized the pilgrimage for the Foundation. John said the change of routines on a pilgrimage lead to open hearts where the Holy Spirit can speak. He also said pilgrims build community. 

“Based on the grace our pilgrims received in Greece, we look forward to offering future pilgrimage opportunities to our supporters,” Moloney said. “There are countless ways to unleash the Gospel. For the Foundation, inspiring, generous giving and deepening our understanding of the Church and her ministries is our way. St. Paul inspired us to pray and work harder to make Jesus known in our world today as individuals and as the Foundation.”

For me, the sacramental nature of a pilgrimage—Archbishop Vigneron’s prayers at each site we visited, listening to Paul’s words at each location—and daily Masses—from beautiful cathedrals to celebrating amidst the ruins in Corinth and near the river where St. Paul baptized St. Lydia, brought me to tears. As a lector, St. Paul’s words in his epistles and the Acts of the Apostles are burned in my heart. My proclamation is forever changed.

Following in the footsteps of St. Paul reminded us that being a Christian is a communal activity. In ancient Corinth the Archbishop spoke of our apostleship as a team effort, not something simply one person does but rather a community undertakes to build up the entire community. It was a privilege to be on pilgrimage with the Archbishop. What an affirmation of his support of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan and our work,” shared Angela Moloney.  

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This article and its accompanying photos were originally published for Unleash The Gospel Magazine. Find more stories like this at utgdetroit.org.

Oronde Manson was three years old when he started dragging his mom to church.

“He started coming to me on Sundays and said, ‘Can we go to church?’ And I said, ‘Well, we don’t have a church.’ And he said, ‘Yes we do. Gesu is our church,” remembers Oronde’s mom Chantel. Enrolled in Gesu Catholic School in Detroit, Oronde had been attending Mass every week with his pre-school classmates, but his mom who was a fallen away Baptist kept “questioning some things with God.”

Oronde was undeterred.

“He came to me and said, ‘God told me that we need to go to church.’ And I was like, okay, hold on … he’s serious.” Chantel recalls. Thus began their joint conversion story. After a year of catechesis lessons, both Chantel and Oronde were officially welcomed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 2016.

But in 2020, the impact of COVID-19 made attending Catholic school a financial impossibility for Oronde and other families throughout the Archdiocese. This motivated a small group of donors, Archbishop Vigneron, and the Archdiocese of Detroit to open the St. Anne Scholars and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds to provide the opportunity for all students to receive an excellent education grounded in Catholic belief and practice.

Being awarded the scholarship meant Oronde could complete his time at Gesu, and most importantly to Oronde become the man of faith he wanted to be, “This school raised me to become a young man, and as a black man in this world I need all the help I can get from my teachers and friends.”

In 2022, the St. Anne Scholars and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds have granted over $332k in scholarship awards to 131 students across the Archdiocese of Detroit. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to nearly 300 students from 43 schools totaling roughly $750,000. But what’s incalculable is the impact these scholarships have had on the spiritual fabric of metro-Detroit, on the conversion of hearts and minds like Oronde’s and Chantel’s.

“If I wasn’t in the Catholic school community I may not have been able to understand God’s love as I have,” explains Oronde, “The scholarship means the chance for me to be around students that have the love and passion of God.”

Anyone can make a gift to these existing scholarship funds in any amount and make a difference. Give online below or contact the Foundation staff at 248-548-3020. You can learn more about the St. Anne and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds, by clicking here. 

Supporters can also create a scholarship fund that is both unique and personal, based on specific goals. Examples could be tuition assistance for students at a particular school, students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) or the arts. Scholarship funds can be opened with a gift of $25,000 or more.

Your direct support is a helping hand, and more importantly, provides a renewal of hope, faith, and the infinite love and protection of God.

Give now to the St. Anne Scholars Scholarship Fund

Give Now to the St. Martin de Porres Scholarship Fund

Create your own unique scholarship endowment with the Catholic Foundation. 

 

 

Benefitting Scholarship Schools Since 2020:
All SaintsMCES (St. Mary), MonroeSt. Anne Catholic SchoolSt. Joan of Arc Catholic SchoolSt. Pius X Catholic School
Cabrini ElementaryMost Holy TrinitySt. Anselm Catholic SchoolSt. Joseph, ErieSt. Valentine Catholic School
Christ the KingOur Lady of Good CounselSt. Augustine Catholic SchoolSt. Joseph, Lake OrionSt. William Catholic School
Divine Child Elementary SchoolOur Lady of RefugeSt. Charles BorromeoSt. Joseph, Trenton
Gesu Catholic SchoolOur Lady of SorrowsSt. Clare of MontefalcoSt. Lawrence
Guardian AngelsOur Lady of the LakesSt. Edith Catholic SchoolSt. Linus Catholic School
Holy NameOur Lady Queen of MartyrsSt. Edward on the LakeSt. Mary, Royal Oak
Holy RedeemerOur Lady Star of the SeaSt. Germaine Catholic SchoolSt. Mary, Mt. Clemens
Immaculate ConceptionSacred Heart Catholic SchoolSt. Hugo of the HillsSt. Patrick, Carleton
John Paul IIShrine Catholic Elementary SchoolSt. Isaac JoguesSt. Regis Catholic School

Young Detroiters are passionate about creating change in their community. They are visionary, resilient, and driven. However, they often lack access to the resources and guidance necessary to turn their charitable objectives into reality.

That is why the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, The Children’s Foundation, and The Pulte Family Foundation, have partnered to create the Detroit Philanthropic Youth Council (DPYC).

The DPYC is a comprehensive program that aims to empower Detroit high school students as young philanthropists. The inaugural class of the DPYC consists of a bright and passionate group of high school juniors from Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Loyola High School, and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. The program will span the 2022-2023 academic year; the first session took place on Wednesday, September 21.

Throughout nine months of programming, students learn about philanthropy and the role of youth in philanthropy, fundraising, grantmaking, metrics, and data, assessing community needs, inviting grantees, reviewing grant applications, and making decisions and reporting. Various notable community leaders in philanthropy will serve as guest speakers for monthly DPYC sessions.

The cohort will have the opportunity to identify a community need, review grant applications from community initiatives that work to meet that need, and eventually decide which organization(s) will be awarded a total of $50,000 in grant funding from the DPYC. Grant funds are provided by The Children’s Foundation and the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. 

“This is an opportunity to give voice and perspective to issues that concern young people,” said the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s President and CEO, Angela Moloney. “We are empowering youth to improve and help solve the issues children and families face in their own communities.”

The program will conclude with a celebration with DPYC families and grantees at The Inn at St. Johns.

Through the Detroit Philanthropic Youth Council, The Children’s Foundation, The Catholic Foundation of Michigan, and The Pulte Family Foundation hope to amplify the voices of Detroit youth and inspire futures of philanthropy.

Learn more by contacting us!

Give to Support Youth Philanthropy

 

The St. Andrew Scholars Scholarships are awarded to disadvantaged students with disabilities who have the desire and aptitude to attend Catholic School.

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