Your steadfast support during another unpredictable year fills us with gratitude. Our Catholic community of compassionate donors and dedicated partners continues to grow, and we are honored to serve as your trusted steward.


In 2021, the Catholic Foundation created meaningful lasting Catholic legacies. Together with our 200+ fund holders, the Foundation granted over $3.4 million to nearly 400 organizations, helping our parishes, schools and ministries thrive today and forever. We were especially honored to support individuals, families, and organizations in establishing 14 memorial and tribute funds to honor faithful individuals whose legacy will live on for eternity.


Our Catholic values and faith set us apart. We exist to develop possibilities for faithful people to address the needs and enhance the lives of people throughout our area. The Foundation provides the opportunity to make a forever-impact, to leave a Catholic legacy.

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In 2005, pro-life student groups from across the state of Michigan gathered together on Michigan State University’s campus to establish a coalition to protect life on college campuses in Michigan. This newly established alliance of pro-life students named their group Protect Life Michigan.

Since then, the organization has grown with a staff of trained professionals to mentor students into exceptional pro-life leaders. Currently the organization serves thirty high school groups, twenty-two college groups, and three regional networks from cities across Michigan.

Their mission to build a new generation of leaders is threefold: to recruit passionate young people and train them for pro-life leadership, to educate youth on life issues and pregnancy resources, and to connect students to strengthen their impact.

Protect Life Michigan is building an army of pro-life defenders in places where the pro-life message is typically silenced. In colleges and high schools around the state, students are being equipped to defend the pro-life position and change the minds of their peers. Their presence on campus shows pro-life students that they are not alone and helps them turn their convictions into effective action to save lives.

Many student activists are transformed by the work and connections made through the training and advocacy provided by Protect Life Michigan. “As long as I have known Protect Life Michigan, I have never felt alone in this movement. Protect Life Michigan has taught me to know, love, and serve the person in front of me,” shared Mary Payne, a student. 

In the 2020-2021 year, Protect Life Michigan reached over 316,543 people with the pro-life message, provided training to 4,135 students, and led 365 hours of outreach.

College students, however, are not the only ones getting involved in Protect Life Michigan’s work. To help sustain Protect Life’s ministry and amplify its growth, an anonymous donor generously created the Protect Life Michigan Endowment Fund.

“The gift of this endowment was made possible through the estates of my father and grandmother. In the midst of a long depressing season, including a miscarriage, other deaths in the family, health concerns, a drastic change in family circumstances, and professional setbacks, I recognized that a portion of the wealth in these estates should be used to help restore a vibrant culture of life.”

The donor wanted to ensure that the pro-life message and the mission of Protect Life Michigan continues for generations to come. “My life began through an unplanned pregnancy in a college town, and the reason I’m alive today is because of pro-life advocates,” the donor shared.

An endowment fund is an investment for the future. The charitable contribution is invested, grows, and each year, Protect Life Michigan can receive a portion of the investment. The remainder is then reinvested to provide ongoing resources for the future.

“Protect Life Michigan is proud to partner with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to manage our endowment fund and allow us to ensure the pro-life message is brought to campus for years to come,” shared Christen Pollo, Executive Director.

“Having an endowment means that Protect Life Michigan has a steady stream of support for years so it can continue to build a pro-life community in the Mitten. Donors give to the fund through the Catholic Foundation and they, in turn, ensure it is only invested in life-affirming means,”  shared Christen Pollo, Executive Director 

Please join the Catholic Foundation in supporting this vital mission by donating to this life-giving fund. By giving to the Protect Life Michigan Endowment Fund, you’re ensuring that voices for the unborn are raised up for generations.

Support the Protect Life Michigan Endowment Fund

Create an Endowment Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

Brian V. Hill Education Foundation for Marriage and Family Granting Fund

“Every Christmas, our family would watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’,” shares Angela Hill. After losing her husband, Brian, over six years ago, she still gets tears in her eyes talking about this tradition. “He loved the movie and would weep while watching it. Brian felt like George Bailey at different points in his life, and would remember the gift of life we received in 2005 when our oldest daughter received a heart transplant just before Christmas.” 

The year 2014 was the last Christmas that Brian Hill watched this heart-warming movie with his wife and three children, Andri, Ally and Vincent. On March 28, 2015, Brian was diagnosed with cancer in every major organ in his body. Just six weeks later, on May 14, 2015, God called him home.  

“Although everything was progressing so fast, every moment seemed to happen in slow motion as we tried to process what was happening to our family. We made it with our faith, our extended family, and our parish community,” shares Angela. 

As a way to honor Brian, Angela opened the Brian V. Hill Education Fund for Marriage and Family with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. By opening this granting fund with the Catholic Foundation, Angela hopes to give monetary assistance to Catholic schools, men’s and women’s groups, marriage and marriage prep ministries, and youth ministries who will benefit from the gift of the teachings of John Paul II Theology of the Body. The grants can help fund bible study materials, guest speakers, retreats or any other forums to teach Theology of the Body.

Angela knows Brian would want this fund set up. “Starting this fund in Brian’s name is about celebrating the work that God does and wants to do in broken people. Theology of the Body is about learning how to be human and understanding God’s plan for sexuality and marriage, ” shares Angela.  

“Our children’s children and all children should learn about Theology of the Body. We need to also provide learning opportunities for adults who have never heard about Theology of the Body. To live our greatest life we must know how to be human,” says Angela.

“Despite all the health challenges and trials we faced in our marriage, family life was by far Brian’s greatest gift. He always wanted more for his family, not materially, but foundationally. Don’t we all want that?”

Creating a granting fund with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan gives funders the opportunity to target their contribution to the area most important to them. These funds are broad in scope, yet targeted to meet the persistent needs of the community–in the case of this fund, around education about Theology of the Body. 

After a fund is established, the Foundation’s granting team identifies, evaluates, and awards grants to the most qualified and deserving organizations in the funder’s area of interest. This allows a funder to ensure that the professional management of their fund is aligned with Catholic values, and allows the funder to have peace of mind while the Foundation takes care of fund promotion and visibility, and all administrative aspects of the granting process. 

In the case of the Brian V. Hill Education Fund for marriage and family, the granting fund is also a unique opportunity to remember and honor Brian Hill’s life while making an impact in the community.

Angela’s prayer is that this granting fund will not only honor Brian as one of the original founders of the “Regular Joes Mens’ Prayer Breakfast” at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Plymouth, but will also keep his memory alive as he loved to learn and serve. A gift to The Brian V. Hill Education Fund for Marriage and Family will impact young couples preparing for marriage and provide opportunities to bring hope and healing to families that want to understand God’s greatest gift.

“Starting this fund in Brian’s name is about celebrating the work that God does and wants to do in broken people. Theology of the Body is about learning how to be human and understanding God’s plan for sexuality and marriage,” shares Angela Hill.

Support the Brian V. Hill Education Foundation for Marriage and Family

Create a Fund In Honor and Memory of Your Loved One

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.

Annually community organizations will be invited to apply and grants will be awarded to innovative and collaborative projects whose activities demonstrate the most impact in supporting the human person from the moment of conception through the moment of natural death.

“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.”

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

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Create a Fund In Honor and Memory of Your Loved One

The Catholic Foundation distributed over $138,500 on December 7th during the annual community grants celebration.

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In 2019, as a direct 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 2021 Spirit of Innovation Grant was awarded to St. Aloysius/Our Lady of the Rosary community in Detroit for their Outreach and Mission Hub project. The focus of the project is to create a space for young adults to grow and flourish through the partnership of Detroit Catholic Campus Ministry and Young Adult events through St. Aloysius Parish.

The grant project hopes to develop an underutilized courtyard space between the church and rectory into a gathering space with seating, bonfire pit, yard games, overhead lighting, and dining tables to create a Mission Hub Outdoor Gathering Space. The goal is for the space to be an attractive, eye-catching place of radical hospitality, a place for friendships to be formed and fostered, and a place of invitation to a relationship with Jesus. Part of this re-envisioned mission is to connect “un-churched” or lapsed Catholic millennials in the area to a life of faith, worship, and community.

In addition, the project hopes to support the senior citizen population served through St. Aloysius Neighborhood Services by offering them a chance to cultivate their passion for gardening and foster intergenerational collaboration through hosting a dinner for seniors, served by young adults, and gardening opportunities for seniors and young adults to work together.

“We are so grateful to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan for awarding us the Spirit of Innovation Grant for our Outdoor Mission Hub at Our Lady of the Rosary church. We will be creating an outdoor space in the courtyard for community gatherings, Bible studies, and a place for our seniors to garden,” shared Fr. Mario Amore, pastor of both St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

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

There are people in our lives that help us to be better versions of ourselves.

People who, because of their words, actions, and convictions we can imagine will actually become a saint. Marisa Petrella was one of those people.

On November 29, 2021, the community lost a dedicated servant leader and woman of great faith. Marisa was a Catholic Foundation Founders’ Circle member, board member, and a dear friend and advocate.

Marisa possessed a strong sense of service, a generous spirit, and completed a considerable amount of pro bono work throughout her career. In 2020, Marisa was honored by the Italian government as the recipient of an award recognizing her exceptional legal work for the Italian Consulate in Detroit. She was given the highest honor possible for a non-Italian citizen: Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Italian Star).

Marisa Petrella actively volunteered and was a member of various other community boards of directors, including St. Regis Catholic Church, Mercy High School, Mother and Unborn Baby Care, and Orchestra Sono. Marisa loved God, her daughter and family, her church, her profession, Italian culture, music, and life.

All of us at the Catholic Foundation of Michigan ask you to remember Marisa and her family during this difficult time, as she is welcomed home into joyful, loving arms. Learn more about Marisa and her impact here: Marisa Petrella

In honor of the life-giving spirit of Marisa’s memory, the Sanctity of Life Endowed Grant was established through the generosity of the Catholic Foundation staff and Board of Directors, to provide grant funding to support creative programs that build a holistic reverence for life. 

Support the Sanctity of Life Granting Fund

Create a Fund In Honor and Memory of Your Loved One

A historic moment for the Chesterton Schools Network as its first school in the Middle East is established.

Archbishop Bashar M. Warda, CSsR is the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq.

As a leading international voice for the persecuted Christians of Iraq, Archbishop Bashar Warda shepherds displaced Iraqi Christians in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, as well as the families of his existing Archdiocese. His work encompasses housing, education, and pastoral care for more than twenty thousand threatened Christian families.

In partnership with Archbishop Bashar Warda,  the Hear My Cry O God Fund was created to support the development of young people in the war-devastated diocese of Erbil in Iraq. Specifically, the fund will help establish the Chesterton Academy of St. Thomas the Apostle high school in Erbil, Iraq and provide fifty young people the opportunity to attend the  Catholic University of Erbil.

The Chesterton Academy of Saint Thomas the Apostle, whose namesake first evangelized the area, is a key component of Archbishop Warda’s strategy to stabilize local refugee education systems, which are still recovering from ISIS’ 2014 attack on Christian villages and Christian refugees’ subsequent displacement to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Republic of Iraq. Since he first learned of the Chesterton Academy, Archbishop Warda’s vision has been to provide a classical model of education for the Erbil community.

Several members of the community gathered together for fellowship and prayer as they celebrated Mass with Archbishop Warda in May of 2020. View a recap of the beautiful event below. 

“The Archbishop’s call to plant the seeds of a new kind of school in Iraq is a call to build up and encourage the body of Christ and to serve God’s people. We are all on the Emmaus Road together,” shared Clark Durant, who helped open the Hear My Cry O God fund. 

Please join the Catholic Foundation in supporting this vital mission by giving to the designated fund. Through your generous gift, you help provide the joy of a smile and make a direct impact on someone in need.

Support the Hear My Cry O God Fund

Create a Donor Designated Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

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