A teacher for more than 50 years at Michigan Catholic high schools, Sr. Rose Mary Sam has inspired students, parents, parishioners and friends to join her at Lourdes and serve as volunteers at the “City of the Poor” — so much so that the Catholic Foundation of Michigan created the Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage charitable fund to continue Sister Sam’s 45-year mission.

Current Catholic Foundation board member, Rosanne (Bommarito) Brugnoni, a former student at Bishop Gallagher in the late 1970s, opened the fund in 2021 to honor her former teacher.

The fund created in Sr. Sam’s name will help provide two University of Detroit Mercy students with the chance to join medical professionals in caring for the sick and dying who have made the spiritual trek to Lourdes.

Sr. Rose Mary Sam with Emma Pehote and Allison Molloy, the 2022 UDM scholarship recipients.

“The vision was to create a scholarship fund – while Sr. Rose Mary Sam was still alive – to honor Sister’s 45 year legacy and create an opportunity for medical professionals to accompany the sick and dying on a journey of hope and healing,” shares Brugnoni, creator of the fund.

“The Catholic Foundation of Michigan provided the perfect landscape to work and collaborate with other organizations that shared a similar vision in creating the scholarship fund.”

The collaboration that was created with University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) College and Order of Malta for health care scholarship recipients was beyond the expectations of the fund’s initial vision.  After two years of planning and fundraising, the two UDM healthcare students received scholarships and will be traveling on May 2nd for a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. Sr. Sam will be joined by a total of five travelers for the pilgrimage, including two UDM representatives who were so inspired by the pilgrimage that they self-funded their own trip to join the journey. These representatives had played an instrumental role in recruiting and interviewing the scholarship recipients.

“The spiritual impact of this transformational experience will enrich and empower their vocational calling and personal life. Please keep the students and all those traveling in your prayers,” shares Rosanne.

Past students, friends, and colleagues have been inspired to support this meaningful cause. You too can become a part of this living legacy.

Your support will honor the compassionate legacy of Sister Rose Mary Sam and help extend the spiritually transformative experience of volunteerism at Lourdes to future generations of healthcare professionals. Become part of the Living Legacy to honor Sister Rose May Sam’s 45-year legacy of helping others achieve a transformative, spiritual journey of hope, healing, and reconciliation.


More Information About the Our Lady of Lourdes Scholarship


April 27, 2023

CONTACT: Don Tanner (248) 762-1533






BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Catholic Foundation of Michigan has named Chris Allen as the organization’s new Chair of the Board of Directors. The announcement was made by Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Allen has served on the executive committee of the Board since 2019 including playing a key role in the areas of Board Governance and Nomination, and Grant and Impact. Allen replaces Pat Fehring who served as the organization’s inaugural Board Chair. With Fehring and Archbishop Vigneron, Allen also acted as a leader on the Founders Circle Pilgrimage to Greece, following in the footstep of St. Paul.

“I am honored to serve as the second Chair of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan,” said Allen. “Pat did a wonderful job in leading the board through five years of continuous growth. His vision and leadership cultivated $16.2 million dollars in grants and our position today as a $38 million dollar organization with true community impact.”

Allen’s service to community has also included acting as Chair of the Bon Secours Mercy Health System Board of Trustees, a $9 billion dollar healthcare multistate and international organization, and as Chair of Finance Committee for the Catholic Medical Mission Board. His extensive corporate background includes serving as President and CEO, Authority Health;  Executive Vice-President/COO, Hutzel Hospital; Corporate Vice President/Management Services, The Detroit Medical Center; Administrator, Detroit Osteopathic Hospital; and as Assistant Director, Hurley Medical Center.

“My goal is the bring the knowledge acquired through my life and experiences to further enhance the wonderful work of the Foundation, improve our name recognition with the support of the Board, and continue to unleash the gospel to people served in our region,” added Allen. “We are also blessed to have Ms. Angela Moloney and her staff leading the Foundation.”

“I am both grateful and excited to have Chris Allen accept the role as Board Chair of the Foundation,” said Patrick Fehring. “He has been a passionate supporter of the Foundation and active Board Member since our founding. I am confident he will lead the organization in its mission to support Catholic Ministries.”

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan serves as the center of Catholic philanthropy, building stronger communities and supporting Catholic ministries in their work.  Established and managed by lay Catholics in 2016 as a Michigan 501c3 nonprofit, the Foundation is endorsed by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

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In 2022, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan celebrated a significant milestone, marking five years since a passionate group of visionary leaders established this lay-led Catholic community foundation with the goal to transform lives and proclaim the Gospel through philanthropy.

Through volunteer leadership and extraordinary generosity, our early founders inspired others who have contributed more than $52 million in gifts since the Foundation’s launch in 2017.

The first five years of the Catholic Foundation have had an impact on a scale our founders could never have imagined.

  • 5 years and a combined impact of $16 million granted to our community, changing and saving countless lives
  •  5 years and 330+ faithful students supported through generosity to receive a dynamic Catholic education
  •  5 years and the phenomenal growth of 220 charitable funds that support the short and long-term sustainability of 450+ beloved ministries

As we celebrate, we invite you to read our collective accomplishments and be inspired by the stories of individuals and families who, with Christ as the center, are making a lasting impact in our community through their giving.

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John S. Habib, Ph.D. (1930 – 2020) has a great story to share, one that is international but also uniquely American. 

The late John S. Habib

The youngest of 11 children, John was born in Detroit, Michigan, on July 7, 1930, the last of five boys and six girls, to Sasin Habib El Khoury Hannah and Mary Backus Saad lshaq.  Sasin and Mary immigrated to the United States from remote Lebanese mountain villages in 1900 and 1896, respectively.  They were married in St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral in Detroit, in January of 1904, and both became naturalized US citizens later that year.

 “By the time I came along, America was in a full depression and my parents, like many Americans, lost everything they had worked for except their faith in God and in America. Like most Americans they picked themselves up and started over,” John shared. “They taught their children love of country and for each other, and respect for others, and by their example the blessings and rewards of the work ethic. I can still hear my mother’s exhortation, ‘thank God you were born in this country,’ when as kids we got to complaining.”

Sasin & Mary Habib Family, 1942

John benefited from the cumulative sacrifices and love of his parents and ten older siblings. He enjoyed a distinguished career as a US diplomat, national security officer, and professor. Mr. Habib’s deep commitment to education and his desire to honor his family led him to establish a special room marked with a plaque in memory of his parents at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. He also recognized his siblings with scholarship endowments at the University of Michigan, and with James Madison College at Michigan State University.

In 2022, Mr. Habib’s Trust opened an endowment fund with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Rosa Parks Children and Youth Programming events.

I learned of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Rosa Parks Youth Program through the Anthony Malcoun Family, of Detroit.  Anthony was one of many of John’s nephews and nieces for whom John had deep admiration.  Education was of primary importance in the life of John.  The Youth Program’s focus on helping kids in need, in John’s home town of Detroit, is something he would want to support,” shared Mark Habib.

Through this endowment, John’s memory will honor his sisters, who from oldest to youngest he described asEva, humorous and compassionate; Agnes, devoted daughter and mother; Bergita, classy and astute; Jemelia, devout and fun-loving; Margaret, innovative and caring;  and Lillian, intuitive and responsible.”

The Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program is a ministry of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through educational opportunities. The program provides art therapy and tutoring in a safe environment that encourages creativity.

“The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is grateful to the family of John S. Habib for their commitment to combating cyclical poverty through educational opportunities provided at the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program. This vital work promises to plant seeds of hope for the most vulnerable children of poverty-stricken Detroit,” shared Brother Nicholas Blattner, Director of the Solanus Mission Association.

Learn how you can establish a forever legacy today. 

Give to the John S. Habib Educational Fund


 We Adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

Lent reminds us that Christ crucified is our hope. But why can it be so difficult to explain to others? Art can be a way to speak to others about Christ when words fail.

The Catholic Church has used paintings and grand architecture to convey throughout history the story of Christ.

Close up of Station Five

In December 2019, a small group of lay faithful optioned the right to purchase an 82-acre parcel in Augusta, Michigan. With one year to raise the funds, seventeen families came together in support of  “The Sanctuary” project and raised $1.25 million dollars to acquire the land.

Through the expression of great art, The Sanctuary, a professionally designed sculpture park and nature preserve, will tell the story of Christ’s journey to Calvary through sixty larger-than-life bronze sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross and retelling the fourteen encounters Christ had along the path of sorrows known as Via Dolorosa.

Just twenty minutes from Kalamazoo, the location in Augusta, Michigan lies between Chicago and Detroit and a short drive from Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor.. Accompanied by an audio tour, visitors will walk the half-mile circuitous footpath, nestled amongst the serene beauty of wooded hills and wildlife. The Sanctuary will tell the story of Christ’s passion and self-sacrificing love for each of us, moving one’s mind from a Bible story on a page to walking with Christ in his final hours.

We found The Sanctuary struck our hearts as a beautiful blend of faith, art, nature, and evangelization. We were so impressed with the skill of the sculptors and the thorough design of the visitor’s experience,”  shared Eric and Sue Jeska. 

There has never been a more immediate time to share the story of Christ than now. According to a 2022 Pew Research survey, America’s fastest-growing category of religious identity is ‘none,’ or people with no religious affiliation. This group could grow as large as 52% in the next 40 years. 

This data reflects what hearts lack; a personal relationship with God. The Sanctuary will be a place where beauty provides a refuge for the most vulnerable among us who do not know of Christ’s love while offering a place of meditation for the faithful who desire to grow deeper in their relationship with God.

Upon completion in the fall of 2024, The Sanctuary will offer refuge to those who seek to know the love of Christ by encountering His passion in the journey to Calvary made real in the true beauty of art and the haven of nature.  The Sanctuary is a $14.5 million venture. To date, over $7 million has been donated. 

“We chose to partner with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan because they have the infrastructure and expertise in place to accommodate major gift donations with the ability to meet a donor’s preferred method of giving. The Foundation has been a trusted partner handling sensitive donor financial information ethically and confidentially,” shared Sue Jeska.

The Sanctuary team welcomes the opportunity to further discuss the project and its exciting progress with you. Please contact the Catholic Foundation of Michigan with your questions or requests for additional information about how your contribution can be a part of this legacy project.  

Most importantly,  especially during this Lent, we ask for your prayers that God blesses the design team with His guidance and moves hearts to be a part of this evangelization project.

Give Now to Support the Sanctuary Stations of the Cross

Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

The power of education is undeniable. It has the ability to change lives, create opportunities, and to inspire individuals to be the best versions of themselves. For Karen and Bill Flynn, their Catholic education has been a driving force behind their success and their desire to give back.

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When Jacques Duverna Pierre-Louis moved from Haiti to the USA as a young man with his wife and daughter, he didn’t know much about what his new life would look like. He did know one thing for sure – he wanted his children to receive a rich, well-rounded education. 

As Jacques and his wife adjusted to life in their new country, they chose Catholic schools to educate their children, Chantale and Leslie. He instilled the love of learning in his children and ensured that they were provided with a solid education to better their lives and to be contributors to the betterment of society overall.

Jacques’ passion for education and his dedication to his work led him to develop, design, and invent several cutting-edge engineering systems which were groundbreaking in promoting efficiency in performance in the automotive and defense industries. As a research and Development Engineer for TACOM, Jacques received numerous accolades for his designs of several armored fighting vehicles used for front-line combat and which enabled troops to remain safe while conducting operations.

Inspired by the life of her father, Chantale Stevenson reached out to the Catholic Foundation to establish the Jacques Pierre-Louis STEM Scholarship for Students of Color Endowment, to honor his memory and help inspire others.

“A Catholic education provided me with a love for the arts, science, and mathematics as well as instilling the desire to share and give back to others. Education is a gift that is everlasting,” shared Chantale. 

“The education that I received developed me to be a productive adult. My brother and I are products of a good education centered around the Catholic faith, that developed us emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially.” When Chantale’s daughter was born, there was no question where she would receive her education – she was enrolled at a Catholic school in order to benefit from the same great education her grandfather had believed in.

Everyone who wants a Catholic education should be able to receive one, but students from low-income communities face unique challenges that often prevent them from benefitting from a Catholic education. The Jacques Pierre-Louis Fund seeks to provide support for students to receive the same rich foundation as their peers.

 “Education is the entire foundation upon which our communities are built and the foundation upon which our country produces those that will keep the economy prosperous,” says Chantale. “Everything we do – all of our potential success – is dependent upon the quality of the education a child receives.”

The Jacques Pierre-Louis fund will specifically support scholarships for students of color who show an interest in mathematics, science, and technology with a desire for service to others. When students are given the opportunity to receive high-quality education along with the strengthening of their faith, the church and community are both strengthened.

To work with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan in setting up a fund in honor of a loved one, click here to learn more or call Angela Moloney at (248) 204-0332, ext. 2.


Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)

In 1987, an area Catholic family had an encounter that would change the trajectory of their life. Reeling from unexpected diagnoses following the birth of their son, they happened upon a hitchhiker who was presumably en route to Saulte Ste. Marie, but was  350 miles away and headed in the wrong direction Their brief conversation was full of moments that were too unusual to be called coincidences. The young man had recovered from the same heart condition as their son was awaiting surgery. The hope received in that conversation was life-giving. They were reminded in this that their family was seen by God and their son, who had been diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, was very precious to the Lord.

Their son, now a 35-year-old man, is thriving and brings great joy to all who know him. He is the inspiration for St. Andrew Scholars Fund held at the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. St. Andrew Scholars Fund provides assistance for children with disabilities to attend Catholic school.

“Our great Catholic schools have the desire to be inclusive to students with disabilities, but often lack the funding or training to execute their desire with success,” shared the family. “By providing support for special needs students and inclusive Catholic schools, we’re making a difference in the lives of one student at a time.”

“We have been blessed to have a special needs child.  We wanted him to have a Catholic education.  Unfortunately, we were encouraged to enroll our son in a local public school. Too often, this is the experience of other Catholic families that God has blessed with special children. We aim to change this through the St. Andrew Scholars scholarship fund by both helping families with special children and rewarding those schools that are equipped to welcome them.”

According to the National Catholic Education Association and the Journal of Catholic Education, approximately .5% of Catholic school students have a recognized disability, while [children with disabilities] represent 13% of the overall population.”

When asked why they chose to work with the Catholic Foundation, they said, “The leadership of the Catholic Foundation is inspired and gifted. We were delighted by the people at the Foundation of and inspired by the Foundation’s mission.”

Often, when we are presented with a challenge, the Lord inspires us to create change to make progress toward a solution. The family looks to the Gospel’s example of Jesus reaching out to the edges of society as an example to follow.

“This is our calling; this is what we can do to help people, This is very meaningful to help people achieve a better life.”

Scholarships will be made available for the 2023-24  school year 2023-4 at select area Catholic schools, with plans to expand to include additional schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit as the fund grows. If you are interested in more information on the St. Andrew Scholars Fund,  or to make a donation, please click here.

To chat with us about setting up a fund in honor of a loved one in collaboration with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, we invite you to call us at (248) 204-0332, ext. 2.

Give to the St. Andrew Scholars Scholarship Fund

Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

The Catholic Foundation is honored to provide sustainable income to Catholic parishes, schools and ministries! In 2022 alone, the Catholic Foundation distributed $798K to 23 ministries through our endowment funds. Since its inception, the Foundation has granted $1.85M  in endowment distributions to 63 different parishes, schools, and ministries. Be inspired by the incredible work of these endowed ministries and learn how they are using their endowment distributions by watching the video below!



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