We are thrilled to witness the impact of the 2023 grant awarded to Remembering Cherubs. Through their tireless efforts, they have established the Remembering Cherubs Ongoing Support Program, a vital initiative providing immediate assistance to parents affected by pregnancy or infant loss.  As we approach Mother’s Day, we celebrate their ongoing commitment to supporting parents impacted by pregnancy or infant loss, embodying the spirit of compassion and service that defines our shared mission.

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DETROIT, MI – Remembering Cherubs, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization, has proudly announced new partnerships with the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Michigan Medicine, and various organizations to establish the Remembering Cherubs Ongoing Support Program. This initiative offers immediate support to parents impacted by pregnancy or infant loss.

Effective immediately, Remembering Cherubs will work alongside hospitals, funeral homes, and local organizations to ensure that any parent enduring such a loss is referred to their program. Each referred individual will receive an Ongoing Support Toolkit at absolutely no charge to provide assistance when parents need it most.

The Ongoing Support Program is made possible thanks to the kindness of individual donors and the generosity of grantors, including SEMPQIC, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Oakland County Health Department, and the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. Such contributions are necessary for Remembering Cherubs to provide these essential services at no cost to the affected parents.

In a heartfelt statement, Remembering Cherubs founder and Executive Director Monica Sholar Anderson expressed the profound personal connection behind the organization’s mission: “I started this organization out of my home office from the room that would have been my baby’s room, had I not had a loss. It’s incredible to partner with the top health organizations and other organizations in Michigan to support other parents after their loss.”

Statistics underscore the pressing need for such a program in Michigan, where over 23,000 pregnancies end in loss annually, and six out of every thousand babies born die before their first birthday. “I was a part of those statistics, and so are many others. Now, when an unfortunate loss happens, parents don’t have to leave the hospital with empty arms. Instead, they will leave with ongoing support in the days ahead. I wish I had that type of support after my multiple losses. I’m grateful that I get to provide this type of support to others,” Anderson added.

The official launch of the Remembering Cherubs Ongoing Support Program was celebrated with a “Packing Party” event on April 6th held at the Canton Public Library.  “Remembering Cherubs’ Pregnancy Loss Toolkit “packing party” was the culmination of 5 years of vision and hard work.  What better way to celebrate the fifth anniversary of our organization than with an expansion of our ability to support more parents who have experienced loss,” shared the Board secretary, Beth Pawuk.

“With the help of the Catholic Foundation Sanctity of Life grant, we are able to distribute 250 “toolkits” at a local hospital emergency room for parents experiencing pregnancy loss.”

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with remarkable ministries like Remembering Cherubs, who are making a tangible difference in communities by addressing critical needs. Your support of the Foundation’s Granting Endowments makes it possible to offer competitive impact grants annually to schools, parishes and ministries like this in our community. Help us to impact even more lives in 2024 by joining us today.

Support the 2024 Foundation Granting Funds

Learn more about Remembering Cherubs

Author: Daniel Meloy
Photos and Article republished with permission from Detroit Catholic

Consortium of Catholic Foundations 2024 CEO Symposium held at St. John’s Resort to share ideas on lay-led Catholic stewardship

PLYMOUTH — Catholic donors and philanthropists across the country rely on Catholic foundations to use their gifts and contributions with wisdom and prudence, supporting and maintaining the ministries they hold dear.There are 187 Catholic foundations, lay-led organizations that manage planned giving, trust funds and donations to the Catholic mission, ever since the first was established in the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth in 1955.

These organizations, separate from the Catholic dioceses themselves, have become a hallmark of Catholic philanthropy in many parts of the country, including the Archdiocese of Detroit with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, founded in 2017.

Leaders of Catholic foundations from across the country gathered at St. John’s Resort in Plymouth from May 7-9 for the 12th Consortium of Catholic Foundations CEO Symposium, hosted by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

“We do this gathering once a year to share information and best practices,” Edward Larranaga, president of the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Sante Fe, New Mexico, and on the committee that organizes the symposium, told Detroit Catholic. “It offers information that is topical to everyone in Catholic foundations … just sharing best practices and what everyone is doing.”

The gathering allowed CEOs of Catholic foundations to come together in prayer and discernment, sharing successes and challenges they face in managing financial assets bequeathed to them by donors who wish to support ministries close to their hearts.

“The Consortium of Catholic Foundations is a national, CEO-only member community of the leaders of Catholic foundations all across the nation,” said Colleen Mitchell, member services steward for the Consortium of Catholic Foundations.

This year’s symposium, themed “Season of Abundance: A Grateful Way,” featured 45 members learning from one another, exploring topics such as good board governance, maintaining healthy and independent relationships with dioceses and the impact of artificial intelligence on Catholic-inspired investment portfolios.

The idea is for each Catholic foundation leader to return to their home diocese or province better equipped with the know-how it takes to manage philanthropic funds in the 21st century, Mitchell explained.

Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, hosted a roundtable with Detroit-area donors and recipients of funds on managing donor-advised funds, funds donors set up through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support a specific ministry, such as scholarships for a school or to promote music ministries in parishes.

Moloney asked both donors and a person whose school receives money from donor-advised funds about their experience working with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, specifically how important it is for donors and recipients to tell their stories and explain how a donor’s contributions are specifically helping a particular ministry.

The panel of donors and donor recipients took questions from Catholic foundations from across the country about their experience working with donor-advised funds and the impact they have had.

Anita Sevier of Gesu School in Detroit spoke about how starting a donor-advised fund for the school has boosted the school’s finances as it works to serve a population in inner-city Detroit that is not always Catholic and often lacks financial resources.

“I know sometimes it might only be $100 or $200, but whenever we get that check, that is one less major purchase of school supplies we need to make, and we write a thank you note for every check we receive; that’s something we learned from Angela (Moloney) and her team,” Sevier said.

Beyond learning best practices and sharing success stories, the symposium was a time of faith and fellowship.

“I enjoy getting together with peers who feel the same way I do,” Larranaga said. “You don’t feel like you are an island when you go to an event like this. Oftentimes at a Catholic foundation, you are an island, you feel like there is nobody else to whom you can relate.”

Catholic foundations throughout the country all have the same goal — to be a vehicle for Catholic philanthropy in supporting the missions of the Church — and each one has its own unique challenges, said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Dallas.

“You can say ‘Catholic foundation,’ but when you’ve seen one, then all you’ve seen is one, since they are all different and organized differently,” Kramer said. “That’s why this is a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience to avoid mistakes.”

Kramer said Catholic foundations have been game-changers since the first one was established in his diocese in the 1950s, the first time an American bishop trusted financial governance to a lay-led organization.

“It was a historical event in the Catholic Church because that had never happened before,” Kramer said. “We are a lay-led organization that is not part of the diocese. My bosses change every two years.”

“There is a certain trust we have built with donors because we are independent, and it is our job to maintain that trust,” Kramer added. “Our first obligation is to the donors. If you don’t have donor intention in mind, then you would be out of business. Our job as Catholic foundation presidents and CEOs is making sure gifts and donations are being used for what they are intended, verifying the ministries we support are carrying out the wishes of our clients.”

Each day of the conference ended with Mass in the Saints Mary and Joseph Chapel, where the CEOs could reflect on just whose mission and whose kingdom they were supporting through their work of managing financial assets and gifts to the Church.

Masses were celebrated by Msgr. Chuck Kosanke of the Basilica of Ste. Anne in Detroit, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop and bishop-elect of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., Gerard Battersby and Fr. John McKenzie of Christ the King Parish in Detroit.

During his homily, Bishop Battersby asked those gathered to never take for granted the importance of their work.

“The mission of the Church is to inculcate and announce the truth about God and the human person,” Bishop Battersby said. “That God is love, and the object of His love is humanity, you and me. It’s God’s plan to re-establish all of creation in His son, Jesus — to re-establish you and me, in Jesus. So the very trajectory of our lives is aimed to replicate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Your involvement is a very important task for the Church,” Bishop Battersby continued. “We can spiritualize everything, but the truth of the matter is the kids still need shoes, the roof still has to get repaired and the mission of Christ needs to go forward. So don’t doubt what you do, offered to Christ, in union with His mission, is a path to sanctification.”

Learn more about the Consortium of Catholic Foundations

 

At the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, we recognize the enduring strength of our shared story—one woven with threads of faith, generosity, and an unwavering commitment to our Catholic values. Our mission, rooted in Christ’s love, aspires to make a lasting impact on our community’s long-term needs.

With over $65 million stewarded and $48.1 million invested in just over five years, we have witnessed the transformative effect of charitable giving in our parishes, schools, ministries, and nonprofit organizations. We extend heartfelt appreciation to you, our supporters, whose generosity fuels our mission. Your belief in our shared story connects us, shapes us, and propels us forward.

May the stories in our 2023 annual report lift your spirit, offering glimpses into the remarkable work unfolding in our area. With your continued generosity, we look forward to collaboratively ensuring future generations carry on our Catholic story.


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Nurturing a Lasting Legacy in the Heart of Mexicantown

Stories connect us to the past and invite sacred encounters.

In the heart of Mexicantown Detroit, the Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish and School community thrives. With deep roots dating back to 1882, Holy Redeemer has been a center of faith that has evolved with the neighborhood.

The Catholic Foundation is blessed to be part of their story of transformation and growth. Thanks to support from the Catholic community, eight charitable funds have been established at the Catholic Foundation for Holy Redeemer’s benefit, ensuring they remain vibrant and faithful to its mission.

“Our partnership has blessed not only our students’ receiving scholarships but also provides donors with an easy avenue to give,” shares Sr. Kateri Burbee, SOLT, principal at Holy Redeemer.

Together, we bring the community together, allowing supporters to encounter the valuable, sacred education the school provides. This collaboration tells a powerful story—one of strength in honoring the past and uniting to ensure Holy Redeemer’s legacy continues for generations.

“Thanks to the Catholic Foundation, support has grown and this allows families to call Holy Redeemer ‘home.’”

GIVE NOW TO SUPPORT THE HOLY REDEEMER COMMUNITY

A Family’ Shared Story: Fehring Family Scholarship

Stories ignite empathy, faith in action, and create lasting change.

One family’s story illustrates the profound impact that comes from directly engaging with scholarship recipients and witnessing the transformative power of education and faith. 

In 2023, Patrick and JoAnn Fehring established the Fehring Family Scholarship to benefit Catholic schools in Detroit. Their decision was driven by a desire to share the value of a Catholic education they had benefited from and engage their twin daughters, Erika and Jenny, in philanthropy.

“This was life-changing for our family,” shared Patrick and JoAnn. The Fehrings were surprised at how passionately the girls took charge and how impacted they were. “It brought Erika to tears…she called me late one night with an urgent plea, ‘Dad, we need to do more…The need is great–much bigger than we expected. We need to help more families,” shared Patrick.

The Catholic Foundation worked directly with Erika and Jenny to create a scholarship application and a process to evaluate recipients. After the evaluation process and direct meetings with the Fehrings, the Foundation coordinated a visit with the twins and several schools, so that they were able to see and hear stories of the need for scholarships for Catholic education. 

“What an incredible gift and opportunity we have to continue our family legacy,” Erika reflects. “The desire by so many families to learn more about God is why we are here. The enthusiasm in the students’ faces is something we will cherish forever. We are privileged and honored to be able to provide the same support for Catholic education that was offered to us by our parents..”

Their partnership with the Catholic Foundation has both provided ease in establishing the scholarship and also instilled confidence in the impact of their giving. “The process of engagement with the staff has been seamless,” Patrick explains, “ensuring that our donor intent is respected while directing support to areas of greatest need.” 

For the Fehrings, philanthropy has become much more than a financial contribution. “This experience has deepened our connection with the community and within our own family,” shared Patrick and JoAnn.

GIVE NOW TO SUPPORT SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

Create your own unique scholarship endowment with the Catholic Foundation. 


CELEBRATE ST. MARGARET’S FEAST DAY BY SUPPORTING INCLUSION GRANTS

Join us on April 13th in celebrating the feast day of St. Margaret of Castello,  the patron saint of the St. Margaret of Castello granting fund held at the Catholic Foundation.

Saint Margaret of Castello, born in 1287 near Florence, Italy, faced severe physical ailments from birth, including being a dwarf, having a curved spine, lameness, and blindness. Despite her family’s embarrassment and abandonment, she found solace in God’s teachings and joined the Dominican Third Order of Castello. Throughout her 33-year life, she remained serene, praying fervently and performing acts of penance and charity. Her suffering made her empathetic to others’ trials, and she became known for comforting the sick and dying.

Even after her death, she is believed to intercede for those who pray to her, with many cures attributed to her. Canonized by Pope Francis in 2021, she continues to inspire and is a patron saint for those facing physical afflictions and abandonment.

Saint Margaret of Castello is the Patron Saint of Children with Disabilities. A granting fund was created in her name at the Catholic Foundation to help fund schools, parishes, and teachers who wish to educate all of His children.  In her lifetime she was cast out because of her own disabilities and told that she could not participate in society because of her special needs.  Yet, with God’s grace, she grew up to be a Third-Order Dominican and spent the rest of her life teaching children, especially those with disabilities.

This Feast Day, we invite you to join hands in prayer and action. Ask for prayers for those in need and consider supporting the St. Margaret of Castello Granting Fund. Your donation will not only make a direct impact but will be doubled, thanks to our generous $250K matching grant. With your support, we can fuel inclusive grant programs for Catholic schools, ensuring that no child who is different, like St. Margaret herself, is ever turned away.

Let’s carry forward St. Margaret’s legacy of compassion and inclusion. Together, we can create a more inclusive and loving community for all.


Celebrate the Feast of St. Margaret of Castello with us by generously contributing to the St. Margaret of Castello Granting Fund.

ST. MARGARET, PRAY FOR US!
To RSVP, please contact Steve Wasko at waskosteve@aol.com or 313-595-6082.

Parish and Family of Parishes evangelization and evangelical charity leaders are encouraged to attend a one-day workshop on Synergistic Catholic Community Resource Centers hosted by the St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center made possible through grants from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

The 2022 Catholic Foundation of Michigan 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. St. Suzanne Cody Rouge also received a Church in the City grant in 2023 to extend the work.

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.

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 parishes and schools to learn how to assess community needs and respond to them,” shared Steve Wasko, the center’s project director.

In addition to representatives from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan and the Archdiocese of Detroit Department of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship, presenters will include the Michigan Nonprofit Association, Co.act Detroit, Michigan Community Resources, MOSES Michigan, Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, Youth Development Resource Center, and IFF. Topics will cover an overview of the tangible tools available toward launching and sustaining tangible community spirit, including grants, organizational development and planning, non-profit status, facilities assessment, youth programming, and Care for Creation and energy reduction.

The workshop is free and will include refreshments and lunch and will take place at St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center, 19321 W. Chicago in Detroit. For more information or to RSVP contact Steve Wasko at waskosteve@aol.com or 313-595-6082.

SUPPORT PROJECTS LIKE THIS BY GIVING TO OUR GRANTING FUNDS

 

Learn more about this inspired project by watching the 2023 grant video below.

Author: Daniel Meloy
Republished with permission from Detroit Catholic

Catholic Foundation of Michigan fund has recognized 45 teachers since 2019-20; Sr. Rose Mary Sam, IHM, given lifetime honor

DETROIT — Catholic school teachers and principals from across the Archdiocese of Detroit were rewarded by benefactors of Catholic education through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan for the fifth consecutive year.

Ten educators received $1,000 in prizes and recognition from the Catholic Foundation’s Amazing Catholic Educators award program on March 6.

In addition to the award and cash prize, the teachers and principals each receive a night’s stay at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, courtesy of the Pulte Family Foundation.

Click the video above to watch a recap of the award winners being announced live on the Zoom!

“Today, our goal is to give thanks to our educators, who are providing an overwhelming sense of joy and hope through their work,” Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, said during a livestreamed awards presentation.

Since the 2019 academic year, donors to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan have awarded $45,000 to 45 principals and teachers across the Archdiocese of Detroit in recognition of their years of dedication to providing Christ-centered education to the next generation of leaders in the Church.

In addition to announcing the 10 award winners — each of whom was featured in a Zoom call in which they were shown accepting their award among their students and colleagues — the Catholic Foundation of Michigan announced that through an anonymous donor, every dollar given to the Amazing Catholic Educators fund will be matched up to $10,000.

“Our mission is to support charitable giving, to ensure people who are philanthropic can do so in a way that is inspiring and simple,” Moloney said. “Our mission is to support Catholic parishes, schools and ministries by sitting at the center of Catholic philanthropy and bringing together the resources of individuals and families while providing an everlasting impact on our community.”

In addition to the 10 award winners, seven honorable mentions received a free meal at the Inn at St. John’s, courtesy of the Pulte Family Foundation.

The Catholic Foundation also recognized Sr. Rose Mary Sam, IHM, a longtime educator who taught at St. Mary Academy in Monroe, Notre Dame Prep in Harper Woods, Regina High School in Warren and Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods with the inaugural Amazing Catholic Educator Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sr. Sam was invited to share a few words about the importance of Catholic education and the impact of Catholic school teachers on the future of the Church.

“Education of our youth is so important; having the religious aspect added into our education every day is making our students into outstanding adults with nurtured faith in God,” Sr. Sam said. “Take a minute to think about a teacher who left an impact on your life. As an educator with faith and love, you will continue to impact a great many lives in a positive way.

“It is always a pleasure to have a student come back and acknowledge the work you have done and how you have impact you have had in your life. The days are long, but the years are short,” Sr. Sam said. “The rewards of this job are knowing you tried to set the next generation on the right path. Your presence matters, and is needed.”

To read short bios on each of the 2024 educators, please visit this link.

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College is about more than just classes—it’s a time to discover joy and purpose. That’s the essence behind the Keeping the Catholic Faith Scholarship, a heartfelt initiative by a Michigan family in partnership with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.This newly established fund aims to empower graduating seniors committed to discovering authentic joy and purpose through their Catholic faith.

The Keeping the Catholic Faith Scholarship offers financial assistance to college-aged students from Kalamazoo county, aspiring to live, grow, and share their Catholic faith post-high school. Recipients can apply for up to 3 additional years, totaling 4 scholarships or $4,000.

“The Catholic faith has been an amazing gift in helping us discover our purpose, which of course is loving God and other people,” shared the anonymous family behind the fund. “Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 teens going to college stop going to church regularly. But God is always calling us – He is this amazing light and love and is constantly reaching out to you and me, embracing you and me.” 

The idea for the scholarship came during a quiet holy hour of prayer. “God nudged us to help graduating seniors face the societal pressures of college life and share the good news of the Gospel through their actions,” the family recounts. “Like most college students, I missed out on a lot of true joy and growth in my college years while seeking pleasure and escape through partying and, well, being a normal college student.” 

Faith and generosity are at the heart of this family’s journey. “Our Catholic faith guides us to love God and others. It’s a daily struggle, but with faith, we grow to desire the good of others,” they share. Opening the scholarship wasn’t their idea. “It was God’s nudge, and we encourage others feeling the pull to donate to Catholic causes and follow His will. He always provides.”

Discovering the Catholic Foundation of Michigan was a turning point. “Our local foundation lacked the flexibility and passion we needed. The Catholic Foundation said, ‘This is a great idea, let’s do it!’ They’ve been amazing stewards.”

Our hope is that as students consider this scholarship opportunity before starting college they will be prepared to say yes to God’s will for them and no to the temptations that exist on campus.”

This scholarship asks applicants to reflect proactively on the many decisions they have to make on their own during college, especially how they decide to live and practice their faith.  “We want students to think about their choices, including alcohol, sexuality and the people they surround themselves with on a regular basis. We want them to have fun without regrets,” they explain, highlighting the connection between faith and responsible decisions. 

More than financial aid, the Keeping the Catholic Faith Scholarship serves as a beacon of joy, inspiring students to navigate college with purpose, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to their faith.

If you resonate with the mission of the Keeping the Catholic Faith Scholarship, consider supporting it. Your contribution can help graduating seniors discover real joy and purpose through their Catholic faith as they embark on their college years. Together, we can empower the next generation to live, grow, and share their faith.

To learn more about the scholarship requirements or the application process, please contact Christina Shabo by calling 248-204-0332 ext. 4. or by emailing Christina@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org

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