The Catholic Foundation of Michigan distributed over $135,300 on December 15th during the annual community grants celebration.

St. Augustine St. Monica Parish Choir, opened and ended the celebration with prayerful songs.

Over 150 community members came together at the Detroit Athletic Club on December 15th, 2022, to celebrate the Foundation’s five-year anniversary and the incredible work supported through its granting partners. One of this year’s grant recipients, St. Augustine St. Monica parish,  opened the celebration with prayerful and inspiring music.

The 32 projects of local parishes, schools and ministries honored in the morning celebration provide signs of hope in a time when hope is desperately needed.

Chris Allen, Angela Moloney and Archbishop Allen Vigneron presenting an award to Foundation Board chair, Pat Fehring for his years of service.

The competitive grant recipients are selected by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Grant and Impact Committee and address grassroots community needs focusing on social outreach, education, and vibrant church life. Grants were awarded to Catholic and non-Catholic projects that will foster collaboration and innovation and expand education, service, or outreach aligned with Catholic values.

This year’s presentation of awards was announced by Beverly Beltramo, a member of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Grant and Impact Committee and board. “Each grant application took my breath away. The amazing work you [the grant recipients] do–usually quietly, under the surface– just good, holy people living the call, to serve Jesus and to serve those around them challenged me–and inspired me,” shared Beverly before thanking the many ministries in the room.

“As a Catholic community foundation, our goal is to listen to the needs of our community and respond accordingly,” shared Foundation President and CEO, Angela Moloney. Angela Moloney also announced the opening of a new granting fund, the Laudato si’ fund, to support creative programs that build reverence and care for creation through environmental projects. Interested organizations can apply for funding in the Spring when the Catholic Foundation’s granting process opens. 

The morning celebration ended with a special award presented to Patrick Fehring, the Catholic Foundation’s Board Chair and Founder, for his 5+ years of inspired vision, dedicated leadership and faithful service.

Over the past five years, the Catholic Foundation has provided more than 640+ grants totaling roughly $16 million from both competitive community grants and donor-directed grants. The Catholic community in our area is living the Gospel in creative, impactful ways; We invite you to join us in amplifying these efforts.

With your support, we can award even more in 2023. When you give through the Catholic Foundation, your contributions are compounded and have an even greater impact. Together we will unleash the giving across southeast Michigan.



Learn more about this year’s grant recipients by watching the video below. 

In 2019, in response to the Archbishop of Detroit’s message in Unleash the Gospel, the Catholic Foundation was called upon to create the Spirit of Innovation granting fund. The Spirit of Innovation Grant called for Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations in the archdiocese to develop, launch and grow new initiatives, ministries and approaches that share the Good News with all, forming joyful missionary disciples.

The 2022 Spirit of Innovation Grant was awarded to St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center in Detroit for their Synergistic Community Resource Centers project. Based on a scalable model in west Detroit, the project will create and support a network of Catholic Community Resource Centers by empowering parishes and vulnerable communities to cooperatively assess needs, utilize excess facility capacity innovatively and establish a sustainable fiscal structure.

The existing parish-based model in the heart of the Cody Rouge neighborhood uses the building of the previously closed St. Suzanne’s Elementary School to rent classrooms and large spaces, host large community events and provide critical services to children, youth, and families alike.

Several representatives of diverse parishes have reached out to St. Suzanne to model this program and some of its innovations and has begun to structure informal networks of like groups. “Thanks to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Spirit of Innovation grant, we will use these funds to further this mission and this model to create a network to share opportunities with other sites to expand this good work,” shared Steve Wasko, the center’s project director.

The Center is an innovative, creative energizer and convener of programs of services that truly connects a vibrant and spiritual parish with the surrounding neighborhood and beyond, serving as the epicenter of programs for children, families and youth across all aspects of the community. And it does so with guiding principles unique in inner-city ministry: sustainability, partnerships, synergy, green infrastructure and care for creation, holism, and empowerment.

“Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, calls on all of us to not only participate in The New Pentecost, but to witness and proclaim the signs and wonders great and small around us, signs that convince people that Jesus Christ is truly alive. A true example of engaging new bands of joyful missionary disciples across the boundaries of parishes, schools, neighborhoods and communities, and beyond those boundaries is the start-up mission work being undertaken at the St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center.”

Learn more about this inspired project by watching the video below.

Sanctity of Life Granting Fund – In Memory of Marisa Petrella

In honor of the life-giving spirit of Marisa Petrella, a devoted Catholic Foundation of Michigan board member, the Sanctity of Life Endowed Granting Fund was established through the generosity of the Catholic Foundation staff and Board of Directors. The fund is dedicated to supporting creative programs that nurture a holistic reverence for life. This emphasis stems from the belief that every person is created in the image and likeness of God. 

Named in memory of Marisa, the Sanctity of Life Fund is a communal fund, open to gifts from anyone; it allows for gifts of any size to be compiled and increase the impact of these annual pro-life grants, for years to come. “It was my complete joy to know Marisa as a woman of faith, a leader and friend,” said Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation. “It is my prayer that through this gift of generosity that supports the seamless garment of life, the community will, ‘rejoice always… and give thanks’ for her life and ministry.”

The Sanctity of Life granting fund made two grant awards in 2022 to the following organizations:

  1.  The Lennon Pregnancy Center
    • Project Name: Buckle up for Safety
    • Project Purpose: Buckle up for Safety will instruct parents on properly installing a car seat into a private vehicle. After completing the safety class, clients receive a new car seat. According the Center, there are no other state-funded organizations where moms in need from the area can receive a new car seat.
    • Award Amount: $5,000
  2.  Selah’s Center of Hope
    • Project Name: Sanctitas Vitae
    • Project Purpose: Sanctitas Vitae project will help educate clients on Biblical values and fetal development and create discipleship opportunities for Church leadership. Utilizing the One Accord/Making Life Disciples program, the project will mobilize members to establish a team that can walk alongside women and men facing pregnancy decisions.
    • Award Amount:$2,500

Learn more about  the Buckle up for Safety project by watching the video below.


“We are estimating that the funds can help us provide car seats for 50 to 60 families that are registered with us,” shared Mariann Bolton, the director of the Lennon Pregnancy Center in Dearborn Heights. “We are so very grateful for this opportunity and would like to heartfully thank the Catholic Foundation for assisting our mission to protect the lives of our clients, their children and their unborn child.”

Our community is one that seeks to uphold all life, and you can join in these shared efforts by making a gift to The Sanctity of Life fund, in honor of Marisa, who championed life. You can also create a new fund in honor or memory of a loved one.

“It’s clear the Spirit is at work in what we’re doing, and you can’t hold the Spirit back! The Catholic Foundation of Michigan will exceed our expectations because God is working through us.”

Marisa Petrella, 2018 Article


Support the Sanctity of Life Granting Fund

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