The events of 2020 have brought enormous challenges for many Catholic ministries and families and have also inspired creative giving to meet the needs and challenges of this year.

For some families financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, one challenge has been the uncertainty of continuing their children’s education in a Catholic school. In response to this reality, the Archdiocese of Detroit and private donors approached the Catholic Foundation to open two new funds: the St. Anne Scholars and the St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds.

“We knew we needed to help and make it easy for students to get the support they needed. Our mission is to bring generous people together to make a positive impact in our community,” shared Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation.

Through these new funds, the Foundation awarded 63 scholarships in September, totaling $150,500 to benefit 23 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Hundreds of lives have been touched through the generosity of our community. The impact of these scholarships forever impacts the students and their families, and the impact extends to the school communities, contributing donors, and the entire community in southeast Michigan.

“Your help gives working class families a real chance at ensuring our kid’s faith grows strong so that there will continue to be a strong community of believers to face the challenges of our times. I cannot thank you enough!” – Bob, parent.

“Your help gives working class families a real chance at ensuring our kid’s faith grows strong so that there will continue to be a strong community of believers present and active in the future to face the challenges of our times. For that I cannot thank you enough!” shares Bob, a parent of a scholarship recipient.

The students, too, offered resounding enthusiasm for growing in their faith and the opportunity to attend or continue attending a Catholic school.

“I would like to stay at my school is so I can continue to learn more about my faith. I like the freedom to talk about my religion and that my teachers are able to make connections between our religion, our classes, and how life is today. This is very important to me,  because I feel I may be called to the vocation of religious life.” Andrew, a 7th grader, shared in his application.

In creating such a unique scholarship fund, donors lives are also transformed. Both scholarships were the result of donor initiative and donors had the ability to shape the criteria for beneficiaries.

“Participating in the scholarship program for Catholic schools was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I was so moved by families who are committed to providing a Catholic education for their children.” shared Helen Vlasic, whose family contributed to the St. Martin de Porres Scholarship fund.

Supporting Catholic education has never been easier. Like Helen, supporters can 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 even the arts. Scholarship funds can be opened with a gift of $25,000 or more.

“We had a family create something special with the St. Martin de Porres scholarship, which was unique to the family’s desires and intentions,” Moloney said. “That’s a unique gift that the Foundation offers to the community.” Learn more about how easy it is to create your unique scholarship fund.

The Catholic Foundation is proud to celebrate those who were impacted this year through this unique opportunity, both the students whose lives are transformed through access to Catholic education and the donors who were empowered to give generously to sustain Catholic Education in southeast Michigan. This year, we received over $400,000 in scholarship fund requests, well over twice the amount we were able to grant over the past year.

Now that these scholarship funds are created, individuals can make a gift in any amount and make a difference. You can give a gift online by clicking below or you can contact the Foundation staff at 248-548-3020. Next year, the Foundation hopes to open the scholarship programs to a wider pool of applicants with more time to apply. Your gift will help us grant more to students in the spring of 2021.

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. 

Sharing the joy of generosity through impactful investment is at the heart of the Catholic Foundation, and that joy is clear in the five board members who joined the Foundation in 2020. Each new member brings a unique set of experiences and skills, and all bring their passion for living out their Catholic faith and building up the Church.

 

Beverly Beltramo, Director of Spiritual Care at Ascension, has rich history of serving Christ in those most in need. With years of experience as a chaplain, Beltramo oversees spiritual care for over 14 Catholic hospitals throughout Michigan. She was called to join the board because she believes in the beauty of a foundation that can work effectively with donors’ investments for the most impact. For her, the Foundation is an avenue through which to make the Gospel and Church teachings a living part of our communities. “The social teachings of the Church are a rich, deep, tradition that invite us to live out the Gospel. They can make us uncomfortable because they challenge us to go below the surface. The Catholic Foundation gives that faith tradition ‘feet’,” Beltramo reflects.

 

Rosanne (Bommarito) Brugnoni has led a career dedicated to leadership in health care. While she has lived out this role in many arenas (hospital, nursing home, academic, and insurance), her greatest passion is home health care. She began her service on the board early in 2020. She joined its Grants and Impact Committee just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to develop. In a time of uncertainty and fear, she is proud of the ways the Foundation was able to relieve financial stress for those most impacted by the pandemic. Brugnoni speaks highly of the strong investment strategies employed by Foundation and of the assurance it provides to donors. “When giving through the Catholic Foundation, you are joining a community of Catholic philanthropists to impact lives within the community,” she emphasizes.

 

Michael Brillati is the CEO of Salus Group, an employee benefits and administration company he founded 16 years ago which now reaches across 17 states. In his personal experience, the Catholic Foundation is essential in providing the Catholic community with an avenue for supporting Catholic groups’ long-term futures, and he encourages others to take advantage of the Foundation to contributing to their charities of choice. One of Brillati’s personal passions is that quality Catholic education be made available for all who desire it, regardless of ability to afford it.

 

Doug Noble is a partner at Foster Financial, a commercial real estate company in Grosse Pointe. He looks forward to serving a foundation that is well-equipped to financially benefit the Catholic community. “The Foundation is a great vehicle to continue to empower Catholic groups to do what they do best—help the individuals in the community.” He takes pride in being one of the younger board members and feels a strong connection with a younger generation of Catholics. With that in mind, he is focused on how his actions will affect future generations. “To have some control as to where money is being spent and to leave behind a legacy is really important to me,Noble shares.

 

Frank Roney, now retired, was a senior executive for IBM Corporation for 20 years. Prior to his time at IBM, Roney was a partner with Price Waterhouse in Detroit for 16 years. Roney’s Catholic identity was formed at an early age. He was raised in a Catholic family of seven brothers and attended Catholic school through high school. Today, that formation has instilled a firm resolution to give back to the Catholic community. He states, “I believe that for whom much is given, much is expected.” For Roney, the Foundation provides the avenue needed to build up the Catholic faith and give back to Catholic causes.

 

“When giving through the CFM you are joining a community of Catholic philanthropists to impact the lives within the community.” – Rosanne (Bommarito) Brugnoni, Catholic Foundation of Michigan Board Member

The spirit of generosity that called these individuals to deeper service to their Catholic communities was also driven by confidence in the impact and fruitfulness of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. President and CEO Angela Moloney is excited about the growth of the Foundation’s participation, asset size, and community awareness. “As the Catholic Foundation continues to grow, I am pleased to welcome the highly talented leadership of our new board members. I am grateful for the dynamic and unique perspectives that each of them will bring to our community,” she says.

You, too, can approach your own call to generosity with confidence when you create a fund for the charitable organization you long to support!

Join Our Founders’ Circle 

Interested in finding out more about
our Board of Directors?

“We try to be a blessing to every neighbor in need. There is transparency, heart, devotion, drive and passion in all of our staff and in all that we do, to do good for others,” shares Isabella Agby, Director of Marketing and Communications at Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan “This isn’t just a job, it’s a mission and a way of life for all of us here.”

“This isn’t just a job, it’s a mission and a way of life for all of us here.” –  Isabella Agby, Director of Marketing of CCSEM

Motivated by the corporal works of mercy, CCSEM serves around 20,000 people annually, providing food, healthcare, clothing, counseling and other services and resources. In 2018, CCSEM opened an endowment fund with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation, is proud to partner with CCSEM. “As Catholics, it is our call to serve those in greatest need,” said Moloney. “It is a joy for the Foundation to serve Catholic Charities, now and forever.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when much of the state was closing its doors, CCSEM knew that it was being called to live out the works of mercy even more urgently and earnestly. Answering this call, it added special programs to combat the challenges of the pandemic, including Adult Health Services, Behavioral Health, and Emergency Food Pantries. “We have always had senior outreach programs, but we needed to respond to the unique needs of seniors especially during this time,” shares Agby.

Volunteers help prepare food deliveries.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2700 outreach calls and food deliveries have been made for seniors in the Adult Health Services program. At a time when behavioral health services have been more critical than ever, CCSEM has offered more than 5600 behavioral telehealth sessions for mental health and substance abuse treatment. The Emergency Food Pantries program has provided more than 100,000 pounds of food and supplies (7,000 bags) to those in need.

In addition to adapting their services, CCSEM also needed to adjust its fundraising events this year. CCSEM’s only annual fundraising event, went virtual, and focused on its Child Welfare Program.

Although the recent gala was a success, the needs remain great for vulnerable people in southeast Michigan. To ensure that CCSEM is able to provide vital services far into the future, we invite you to contribute to the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan Endowment Fund.

“Contributing to the CCSEM endowment fund with Catholic Foundation of Michigan helps CCSEM build resources for the future, and also allows donors connected with the Foundation but who may not otherwise be familiar with Catholic Charities to consider supporting our mission,” said Patricia Brosnahan, Chief Development Officer at CCSEM.

Leaving a legacy gift for CCSEM Endowment Fund allows you to participate in Christ’s call to live out the corporal works of mercy. It will ensure that CCSEM is able to continue to place children into safe homes, serve meals to the hungry, reach out to isolated senior citizens, and inspire even more people to serve those in need.

Are you called to make a legacy gift to CCSEM? The Foundation is here to support you in creating a way forward.

Leave a Legacy for Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan

The Felician Sisters of Livonia have been an integral part of providing healthcare, education and faith in the local community for 85 years. Their convent, which housed 56 sisters prior to the pandemic, has been devastated by COVID-19.

Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation and an alumna of Madonna University, was deeply moved by a sense of profound loss for the Felician community and the impact of losing so many sisters so quickly. She felt called to respond and invite others to join her in creating a fund to support the sisters.

So far, roughly $20,000 has been distributed to the sisters through the kind generosity of nearly 800 donations from supporters in 35 states and four countries. 

What an outstanding outpouring of love! We have been overjoyed, but not surprised, by the outstanding response of support from the greater community for the Felician sisters in Livonia, around the country and across the globe!

These contributions honor, aid and support the Felician sisters of Livonia. The immediate needs that have been identified for the Livonia community are burial expenses and care for the sisters.

On August 5, Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, had the special privilege to deliver the first generous installment of gifts, prayers, notes, treats and checks to show support. We invite you to view a short video of the afternoon:

Sr. Mary Christopher Moore, provincial minister of the Felician Sisters of North America, is grateful for the fund but most of all for the tributes to the sisters. “This outpouring of love and support in our hour of need is God’s Providence in action,” she said. “We are humbled by the generous spirit of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan that has embraced our sisters during these unprecedented times.”

You can still give to the fund. Supporters are encouraged to share a story of a sister who has had an impact on them. These stories are being collected and shared with the Livonia community.

We are especially grateful to our Fund Champions, who have made a gift of $1,000 or more: 

Alliance Catholic FoundationBank of AmericaBrighton Vision Center
Busch’s Fresh Food MarketCommunity Financial Credit UnionFidelity Charitable
Marywood Nursing CenterMr. John BassickMayor Maureen Miller Brosnan
Mr. James and Mrs. Susan BudaCelani Family Foundation Inc.Mr. Joe Eisenhauer
Ms. Catherine HartleyMr. Stephen Clay HunterMr. Gordon Kenel
Mr. Terry LemerondMs. Mary LennoxMr. David McCalpin
The Moloney FamilyMr. James and Mrs. Linda WarzyniecMs. Jacqueline Ann Primeau
Mr. James TetreaultThe T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable GivingMs. M.E. Woodbeck

 

GIVE NOW TO THE Felician Sisters of North America-Livonia Support Fund

Honoring the Felician Sisters of Livonia

“I wish to sow courage, hope, and enthusiasm abundantly in the hearts of all.” –St. John Paul II

St. John Paul II’s prayer for religious educators is our prayer too, and the Catholic Foundation is committed to ensuring that Catholic education is supported for generations to come. We are proud to steward nearly 40 funds that provide direct support for Catholic education.

And this year, when funding for Catholic schools is more critical than ever, we have responded to the need by launching two new scholarship funds. The St. Anne Scholars and the St. Martin de Porres scholarships will provide access to 50+ Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Detroit for the 2020-2021 school year.

Our Catholic schools provide hope for the future. Over the past month, we have featured donors and leaders in faith formation that are helping to provide a future bright with hope.

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace.

Help Us Grant More for Catholic Education

When Our Lady of Grace parish merged with St. Sabina parish in 2017, Fr. Jim Lopez, pastor of St. Sabina, and the parish transition team recognized an opportunity to be generous. Together they decided to make a tithe of 10% from the proceeds of the sale of the Our Lady of Grace parish building and prioritize supporting Catholic education.

“In the one sense what our parish did is unique, but it also should be very simple. When you are the recipient of a gift, and you realize that your own community is going to have its needs met, you take care of your neighbors in need,” Fr. Jim shares. 

Founded in 1957, St. Sabina Parish serves as a spiritual home to about 550 families in Dearborn Heights. St. Sabina Parish’s school closed 11 years ago, but the parish has desired to continue supporting Catholic education at the elementary and secondary levels. With the funds from their parish tithe, they decided to support the school of St. Linus parish, which is their cluster partner, and Divine Child, which offers the only Catholic high school in their vicariate and the largest co-ed Catholic school in the state. 

When you are the recipient of a gift, and you realize that your own community is going to have its needs met, you take care of your neighbors in need. – Fr. Jim Lopez, Pastor of St. Sabina Parish

Rather than give the money to these schools as a lump sum, Fr. Jim decided to open endowment funds with the Catholic Foundation: the St. Linus Catholic School Assistance Fund and the Divine Child HS Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund

“Creating these funds reaffirms to the parishioners of St. Sabina that the money was tithed in an intentional way,

St. Sabina parishioners host a Lenten Fish Fry.

specifically marked for education, and that it will have an impact in the future,” shares Fr. Jim. 

Fr. Jim also appreciated that in working with the Catholic Foundation, he was able to clearly understand how the funds would be handled. “I felt we could entrust the Foundation to take care of these funds and put them to use in the communities we designated. It made it very easy to work with the Foundation,” he shared. 

In addition to creating two funds for local Catholic schools, St. Sabina parish also used their tithe to make contributions to two existing funds at the Foundation, for St. Frances Cabrini Clinic and for the Ste. Anne de Detroit Restoration and Maintenance Fund. 

St. Sabina parish has had a relationship with Cabrini Clinic through the parish’s Giving Tree during the Christmas season, in which parishioners can give winter clothing and other needed items to the clinic’s guests. The parish’s connection with Ste. Anne parish is tangible too; the statue of St. Anne from Our Lady of Grace parish was given to Ste. Anne’s and is prominently displayed outside of the church. 

“We wanted to make sure we wouldn’t just be giving money to a parish or organization and then forgetting about them. We have relationships with them which are ongoing,” Fr. Jim explains. 

Through the parish’s tithe, they chose to give to the causes that they felt represented what they value as a community – faith formation (through preserving the Archdiocese’s founding parish), outreach to marginalized people, and Catholic education. 

Members of Divine Child High School’s robotics team.

St. Sabina’s parish has been known for its hospitality, from its annual Lenten Fish Fry to opening up the parish’s facilities for the local Catholic schools. St. Linus school utilizes St. Sabina’s gym for sports games, and Divine Child uses one of St. Sabina’s classrooms for their robotics team. The hospitality is recognized in tangible ways too; the St. Linus Knights of Columbus supports activities at St. Sabina’s parish and the Divine Child robotics team has been sanitizing the St. Sabina’s worship area during the COVID pandemic. 

“Our school facility is no longer empty. It is being used for spiritual, academic and athletic needs. Though our parishioners are older and we do not have many children in the parish, we can still use our hospitality to make them feel welcome,” Fr. Jim shares. This kind of generosity has reminded parishioners of their ability to make an impact in the community at any age. 

How might your parish make a collective, collaborative impact? The Foundation is here to support you in creating a way forward.

GIVE TO THE Divine Child High School Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund

GIVE TO THE St. Linus Catholic School Assistance Fund

Create a fund to benefit a beloved school or parish.

When Michelle Kuhar’s nephew was two, a new tradition started in their family. They would take an annual camping trip which always included a stop at Camp Sancta Maria to visit Michelle’s brother, John David, at his summer job. 

Michelle Kuhar on a camping trip.

Setting up their tent, swimming in the lake, making s’mores and foil meals over the campfire, kayaking, and memory-making have been part of their lives for years now. For Michelle’s nephew, the highlight of the trip was always their side-trip to the open house at Camp Sancta Maria. There, her nephew could tramp in his uncle’s footsteps and pretend for a few hours that he was one of the campers. For years, he talked of nothing else but the day when he would be old enough to attend camp. 

Camp Sancta Maria is a Catholic camp for youth, ages 8-16, located in Gaylord, Mich., on nearly 100 wooded acres with a lake. Founded in 1933, countless generations of boys and girls have discovered God in nature and within themselves, and have made enduring friendships.

Campers enjoying Camp Sancta Maria.

Swimming, horseback riding, a ropes course, sports, arts and crafts, adventure games, and a trip to Mackinac Island are some of the activities available to campers, in the midst of an atmosphere of faith. Campers live their Catholic faith through daily Mass, Reconciliation, the Angelus, grace before and after meals, and night prayer in the Chapel.

“My nephew is now old enough to attend camp, but he doesn’t need my assistance to do so. His excitement over camp and his bi-racial heritage inspired me to create this scholarship which will provide financial assistance to Black/African American youth to attend a week-long boys camp each summer,” Michelle shares. “My hope is that other young men can enjoy the rock wall, archery courses, swimming and kayaking, campfire stories, and daily mass in the rustic chapel as they conquer new heights and learn to incorporate Christ into their daily lives.”

This scholarship will provide financial assistance to Black/African American youth to attend a week-long boys camp each summer.

Michelle created a donor-directed fund with the Catholic Foundation. A designated fund is an advised fund whose beneficiary organization is specified by the donor(s) at the time of the gift. Income from the fund is distributed in accordance with the instructions provided at the time of the gift, in this case, as a scholarship for Black/African American youth with financial need to attend Camp Sancta Maria.

Bl. Frassati mountain climbing.

The scholarship is named in honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a mountain-climbing, fun-loving outdoorsman. “Bl. Frassati’s influence on my life and his tremendous example as a lay saint with a love of nature, the Eucharist, and practical jokes, makes him the perfect patron for young campers,” Michelle reflects. 

Michelle has provided the initial funds for the Frassati Camp Scholarship but hopes that others will join her in growing the fund to $10,000, at which point it would be endowed, to provide support for more would-be campers. She invites you to join her in giving a gift of any size to allow more youth to experience the transformational impact of a week at Camp Sancta Maria.

SUPPORT THE FRASSATI CAMP SCHOLARSHIP DESIGNATED FUND

 

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

Ben Steary grew up without faith.

As a young adult, he became more aware of the “God-shaped hole in his heart.”

During a philosophy of religion class at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, he was introduced to Catholicism and St. Albert the Great University Parish and joined the Church in 2019.

The Catholic Foundation is honored to support St. Albert the Great Parish through the Evangelization Endowment held at the Foundation for the ministry’s benefit.

This summer Ben shared the Gospel with young people as a missionary with the Totus Tuus program through the Diocese of Marquette. The Totus Tuus program is staffed with young adults including seminarians and college students. The three Upper Peninsula (UP) Campus Ministries at Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State University, and Northern Michigan provide many of the missionaries as well. 

“Being able to serve in ministry as a full-time summer job has been extremely rewarding,” Ben says.

The Totus Tuus program started in the Diocese of Wichita in the 1980s and normally involves four-person teams of young adults traveling from parish to parish throughout the UP for the summer. These teams share the Gospel and promote the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Eucharistic worship, and Christian witness to youth.

The COVID-19 pandemic led Fr. Ben Hasse, Vocations Director for the diocese, to look to God for a new plan.

“The Totus Tuus program has been tremendously fruitful for us as a diocese since 2013. The prospect of having to cancel the program this summer was really discouraging. After a lot of prayer and discussion, we decided to take it online. It’s been an adventure, but completely worth the effort,” shared Fr. Ben.

Totus Tuus Digital 2020 was created. With saint skits, videos reenacting the mysteries of the rosary, lessons about the Ten Commandments, and silly songs, the missionaries have created a virtual learning opportunity for youth in the Upper Peninsula and across the country. To date, the program has subscribers in 12 states.

Totus Tuus, a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours,” was the motto of Saint Pope John Paul the Great. The phrase was taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary,” and it signifies the missionaries’ desire to give themselves entirely to Jesus through Mary. Totus Tuus calls upon college students and seminarians from the Diocese of Marquette to carry the mission to children and families. 

Cassie Zimmer, a Michigan Tech and St. Al’s student, has served for three years as a Totus Tuus missionary. “I have learned how to become a better leader,” she says. “I know that I will be using these leadership skills every single day.”

The missionaries have developed original video content that is sent out each week to subscribers. These video lessons are geared toward Kindergarten through 12th grade, and are used by catechists and parents with their students.

All materials will continue to be available online for anyone to use throughout the year at mtucatholic.org/totustuus. Subscribe to the Totus Tuus, Diocese of Marquette YouTube Channel to watch all of the videos.

Support existing and expanded ministry to students at St. Albert the Great University Parish of Houghton, in perpetuity by supporting their evangelization endowment held at the Catholic Foundation. 

SUPPORT THE ST. ALBERT THE GREAT EVANGELIZATION FUND

 

“Throughout her courageous four-year battle with cancer, Mary Sue never lost focus on her passion for the unborn and her genuine concern for others. She had an uncanny ability to step into the shoes of others in need. She was the most devoted faith-filled person that I’ve ever met, and stunningly beautiful on the inside and out. Everyone says that,” shares Bill Terrasi, her husband of over 30 years. 

Mary Sue Terrasi passed away in May 2019, at age 62. Mary Sue had an unwavering faith in God and her mission in life was to care for others, especially the unborn, the elderly and the sick. After her career as a geriatric nurse, she volunteered supporting adult day care. She brought Holy Communion to many in-home individuals and nursing home residents as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at St. Michael Church. She also volunteered for Heartbeat of Monroe and was an ardent right-to-life activist.

“When we were children, Mom met a young, pregnant woman. Uncertain about raising a baby, this woman did not have the means or support with which to envision a future with a child. From then on and over the years, Mom supported her with rides, visits, meals, diapers, and unwavering encouragement. These collective acts of giving, more than anything else, are how she honored new life,” shares Becky Gartman, Mary Sue and Bill’s oldest daughter. 

Over the past year of his grief journey, Bill began thinking and praying about how to continue Mary’s legacy of pro-life advocacy. Out of the blue, he received a call from Brad Smith at Right to Life of Michigan. One of the fruits of their conversations was that Brad suggested contacting the Catholic Foundation about creating a fund in Mary’s name. 

“There are so many pro-life organizations out there. I knew we did not need to start another one. I looked into establishing our own family foundation, but there is a lot involved and it didn’t seem like the best way to start,” Bill shares.

Bill decided to create a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with the gifts offered in memory of Mary Sue. A DAF is a flexible giving tool that is established by a simple agreement, and with it, the Catholic Foundation provides the distribution, reporting, and grant-making services. 

DAFs work a lot like mini family foundations and benefit the greater community,” says Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Others can contribute to the fund at any time, and then Bill and his daughters, whom he selected as fund advisors, can grant to the causes most in need that uphold Mary Sue’s passion – the sanctity of life.” 

Bill named the fund Ius Vitae – Mary Sue Terrasi Memorial Fund. Ius vitae means right to life in Latin. One unique aspect of the fund is that annually, a distribution will be made for a memorial scholarship at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central High School (SMCC). His daughters, who are alumnae, will be judges of an annual scholarship essay contest in which students will address the topic “Why I am pro-life.”

“Being a judge of an essay contest for my alma mater will be really special, but honoring my mother and her mission in this way means the world to me. Attending SMCC was an amazing experience, and my time there helped shape the woman I am today—as well as being raised by such Christ-centered parents. I’m honored to provide a scholarship to these young adults and view their reflections on the importance of being pro-life,” shares Amy Diehl, one of Mary Sue and Bill’s three daughters.

“Remembering and honoring Mary in this way is painful in that it forces me to relive a lot of memories, but it is also inspiring and hopeful. By opening a fund with the Foundation, we have a much greater opportunity to establish a lasting legacy for my bride, as opposed to doing it on my own,” Bill reflects. 

By opening a fund with the Foundation, we have a much greater opportunity to establish a lasting legacy for my bride, as opposed to doing it on my own. – Bill Terrasi

He continues, “The Catholic Foundation’s fees are extremely reasonable. Starting a new 501(c)3 organization or family foundation would’ve been much more costly, which would’ve taken away from the impact of the fund. What is more, the Foundation is already well-known, established, and very professional. It gives credibility to the cause we are promoting.”

Elizabeth Giarmo, one of Mary Sue and Bill’s daughters, shares about her mother’s legacy, “My mother was a beacon of light, a servant follower of Christ, and a fierce fighter for the unborn. Though she is tremendously missed, I am honored to carry on her dedicated mission. Her legacy will live on through these efforts.”

“Mary Sue always said that a person’s stance on abortion is a window into their soul. I wish more people had conviction about something as much as she did,” Bill shares. And for those inspired by her conviction, he invites a gift to the fund to continue her work and passion. 

The Catholic Foundation is privileged to offer opportunities for people to honor their loved ones and continue their legacy through making an enduring philanthropic impact. Can we help continue to continue the passion of someone you love? Explore the possibility of creating a fund today.

GIVE TO IUS VITAE – MARY SUE TERRASI MEMORIAL FUND

Read More: Why Consider a Catholic Fund Over a Family Foundation?

In late 2018, the Catholic Foundation shared the story of one family’s generous decision to open a fund with the Foundation for St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic School, in honor of the family’s mother, Mary Frances Donahoe and aunt, Elizabeth Hodgin.

The Mary Frances Donahoe and Elizabeth Hodgin Tuition Assistance Fund provides multiple students tuition support for their nine years of study. Two cycles of students have now received funding.

This year, Ann Crowley, Principal at St. Clare of Montefalco School, provided a heartwarming, meaningful update about how this fund is changing lives at their school. 

Our entire community is blessed in so many ways by the gift in the memory of these wonderful women. – Ann Crowley, Principal

Mary Frances Donahoe and Elizabeth Hodgin

“Our entire community is blessed in so many ways by the gift in the memory of these wonderful women,” Ms. Crowley said. “We want to let you know how the spirits of Mary Frances Donahoe and Elizabeth Hodgin touched the children’s lives this school year. They brought great comfort to these little ones and are helping them have their dreams come true.”

It was a year of pain and loss for the school; the community of students’ parents and grandparents lost at least 13 adults to COVID-19 during the Easter season. Many others had relatives who were survivors. And it was also a year of many bright spots – a drone field trip in the gym, an all-school field trip to Blake’s Cider Mill, iPad centers in all classrooms, and the Big Buddies pairing program between younger and older students, to name a few. And during the period of distance learning, there was a feeling of security in receiving daily lessons and being with the teachers virtually throughout each day.  

Thanks to the generosity of one family, eight students so far, in kindergarten and first grade, have received full scholarships/tuition assistance for their entire time at St. Clare. Many of them have relatives in the school and relatives who are alumni. Some descriptions from Ms. Crowley about these eight students include: 

“His spiritual connectedness to his teacher and love of coming to school helped him embrace learning.”

“He answered many of Fr. Andrew’s questions during weekly mass.”

“His favorite activity is sounding out any word he sees and he was able to advance two reading levels in his small class this year. He has a great sense of humor.”

“She has a unique personality and is outgoing in so many ways. Her classmates enjoy her, and she is a hit whenever she is on stage.”

“She is a leader in the classroom and helps her classmates when they need assistance.”

“The small class sizes brought a true family feel to all those in each classroom,” Ms. Crowley shares. We are grateful to the Donahoe family for their generosity which is helping provide hope for the future at St. Clare of Montefalco school!

The Catholic Foundation is building tuition assistance and scholarship funds for families and schools who wish to honor or memorialize loved ones like this. How can we help you?

Create your own Tuition Assistance Fund or Scholarship for a school you love.
Learn more and contact the Catholic Foundation today.

Give now to the Mary Frances Donahoe & Elizabeth Hodgin Tuition Assistance Fund

Translate »