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

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