Written by Elizabeth Gardiner

 

Have you been inside an elementary school when the recess bell rings? The hallways erupt with noise as children quickly put on their coats and head for the playground doors. Those doors fly open with children anxiously running to their favorite play structure. Children are scaling the rock wall, hanging from monkey bars, racing down the slides, swinging with friends, and much more. Kids are being kids (outside!) – they are running, shouting, playing, high-fiving, laughing, socializing, making friends, and most importantly, having fun. It is a schoolyard filled with pure joy!

Now imagine the looks on all of these children’s faces when they get to the play structure and see that sections of their ONLY play structure are blocked off with bright yellow caution tape. Imagine how these children feel when that bright yellow caution tape could remain untouched for months or even an entire school year. The kindergarteners who were so excited to finally be able to play on the “big kid” playground, are wishing they could have their preschool playground back.

As a former 1st grade teacher of sixteen years, I see a great need for a new playground at the parish, St. Joseph the Worker in Lake Orion, one of the fastest growing parishes in the diocese. Kids need to be kids at recess time!  The joy would be unstoppable! A new playground would lead to better physical and mental health, along with cognitive, social, and emotional gains for the students of the school and our church.

An inviting playground will invite families to stay after mass and allow their children to play. An inviting playground can act as an incentive for your grandson to behave at mass. An inviting playground may act as a center point for catholic evangelization as young families gather to watch their kids play. An inviting playground can be more if we choose to look at it differently. We live in a society that has brought us inside in front of our electronics when we are called to be out and spreading God’s word. We believe a playground serves more than the school-age children that attend the school, it serves the community at large.

Pictured: St. Joe’s current structure is in disrepair and does not accommodate all grades or those with special needs.

My husband says all the time that God works in mysterious ways and the creation of the St. Joseph Playground fund is a testament to that. One Friday evening in May, my husband came home from a sporting clay fundraiser. He mentioned that he and a few parishioners of St. Joe’s parish started talking about how a sporting clay event would be a great fundraiser. When I heard the idea, I was on board and told him, “Let’s do it, let’s build a playground!” He was thrilled and one thing led to another.

In a few short months and countless hours of preparation, St. Joseph’s School in Lake Orion will be hosting “The St. Joseph Sporting Clay Classic” at Bald Mountain on Thursday, October 6, 2022.  The St. Joseph Sporting Clay Classic, in a special way, is dedicated “ to the joy of our children”.  All funds will be used to grow a restricted fund within the Catholic Foundation of Michigan for the purpose of St. Joseph’s Catholic School Playground.

Various donors have already heard the call and have generously donated to a designated fund at the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. The Foundation has been fundamental throughout the process by establishing a registration page for the event and an account that safeguards donations for its intended purpose.

“It is our hope and prayer that the children of God come together to see this project completed for the joy of His children. To this end, this is the core reason why we felt partnering with the Catholic Foundation was essential, as this fund will outlive each one of us. ” -Elizabeth and David Gardiner

Give to the St. Joseph School Playground Fund

Support the St. Joseph Clay Classic

Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

The Cathedral is alive with the sound of children, thanks to the continuance of an incredible initiative, the Cathedral Choir Academy (CCA) of Detroit. Now in its fourth year of residence at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, this comprehensive after-school choral music program serves both urban and suburban youth of all faiths, grades 3-12.

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The origin of St. Kieran Church in Shelby Township dates back to June 8, 1962, when Cardinal Dearden outlined the boundaries for the parish. Three weeks later Reverend Edward Obuchowski was installed as Pastor on June 24, 1962 and groundbreaking for the temporary church building took place on July 1, 1962.

Over the years many priests, sisters, and deacons have ministered at the parish. Their ministry touched numerous people in many ways, including marriage and Baptism preparation, leading Bible Study classes, ministering to the sick and dying and conducting wake service. The parish has grown to 3,275 families and continues to faithfully serve the people of Shelby Township.

This year, on June 24, 2022, the parish honored its faithful legacy and celebrated 60 years of faithful commitment. Hundreds of parishioners gathered to celebrate the anniversary mass.

To commemorate St. Kieran Parish’s 60th Anniversary, the parish also launched a mini-campaign to ensure the parish’s legacy continues in the community for the next 60 years. The $60 for 60th Anniversary Campaign, invited families to prayerfully give to the St. Kieran Parish Endowment Fund, held at the Catholic Foundation. The fund was created by the parish with the Catholic Foundation in 2018 to support the ministries and mission of St. Kieran, for both today and tomorrow.

June 24, 2022 Hundreds of parishioners celebrate 60th anniversary mass.

“The Catholic Foundation is proud to support St. Kieran Parish in honor of its 60th anniversary. This is precisely the heart of our mission – to inspire the hearts of the faithful and ensure our beloved parishes are here for generations to come,” shared Angela Moloney, President & CEO of the Catholic Foundation.

Over 100 parishioners responded to the campaign in bountiful generosity raising thousands of dollars for the endowment fund, with amounts ranging from $60 to $600.

“We are thankful for all those who made sacrifices so that we can worship, learn and enjoy fellowship in such a holy and beautiful environment. Our complex, with its striking pyramid structure, is a pillar of the community and a beacon of light and joy to all who enter.”

Join other faith leaders who have chosen an endowment as a simple and effective tool that ensures that our Catholic organizations are supported not just for today, but forever. Learn more by calling the Catholic Foundation of Michigan at (248) 204-0332. 

SUPPORT THE ST. KIERAN PARISH ENDOWMENT FUND

Create an Endowment Fund for Your Beloved Parish

 

 

UDM Dental Students and pre-dental students

The Malta Dental and Medical Clinic (Malta Clinic), with the help of hundreds of volunteers and supporters, has had more than 16,000 visits by uninsured homeless, elderly, and veteran patients in its 18-year history. Now, a family’s generous creation of a new endowment fund will help secure the Malta Clinic’s ministry for the future.

The family of the late John Tierney was inspired to make the gift because of the long friendship between John and Lou Mahoney, founder of the Malta Clinic. The two friends met in college at the University of Detroit through their future wives, who were high school friends and sorority sisters. Over the years, they bonded through their love of family, faith, travel, and cards. Be it bridge or euchre, they loved being partners. And the two men admired each other’s work ethic and commitment to the community. 

“Malta Clinic was a true passion of Lou’s and the Tierney family is making this gift in recognition of his commitment. Our family will match every $1 raised up to $30,000 for the Malta Clinic endowment fund,” explains Christine  Tierney, daughter of the late John Tierney.

John Tierney and Lou Mahoney passed to everlasting life, but their memory and legacy live on with the gift of this endowment fund. A permanent endowment is a fund designated to provide stable, ongoing financial support to a parish, school or organization – forever. The principal is legally protected and grows through prudent investing.

In 2021, the Malta Clinic provided more than 1,900 visits for uninsured patients. These visits include teeth examinations, x-rays, hygiene, fillings, tooth extractions, medical care for chronic diseases, diabetes, blood pressure, asthma and, in recent months, eye examinations. All care is provided by volunteers: physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, nurses, physician assistants, and students from Wayne State’s Medical and Pharmacy Schools and the University of Detroit Mercy Dental and Dental Hygiene School

In 2019, in recognition of the Malta Clinic’s work in the community, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan awarded the clinic an impact grant through CFM’s annual granting process. In 2021, working with the Catholic Foundation, the Malta Clinic opened a donor-designated fund to support its present and future work, and provide much-needed care and community to Detroit.

The Tierney and Mahoney families, Malta Clinic, and the Catholic Foundation are proud to partner and encourage others in the community to join. “This endowment fund is a celebration of Christian community and charity,” shares Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation.

Malta Clinic Dental Director Nancy Harmon observes that the Malta Clinic reaches those who perhaps most need reassurance of God’s love and mercy because of the barriers they have faced. “We don’t only provide health care, as important as that is. Our goal is to treat each patient as Christ, to accord all patients their dignity as children of God.”

Please join the Catholic Foundation in supporting this vital mission by giving to the endowment fund. Through your generous gift, you are helping to create a legacy of healing – physical, emotional, and spiritual – for those in need.

 

Endowment: Support Malta Clinic’s Needs for Forever

Designated: Support Malta Clinic’s Needs for Today

Create a Fund for Your Loved One

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Written by Mary Wilkerson
Inspired by Joey Wilkerson

 

Growing up as a cradle Catholic of Polish and Irish descent, I am not sure I ever thought twice about the Sacred images surrounding me in Church. The vast majority of images reflected back at me saints and holy men and women who looked like me. 

As one of the great miracles of my life, after much prayer, the Lord led me to my husband Aaron. Aaron is an African American convert to our faith. We fell in love, got married, and had our first child within two years of meeting. In the Lord’s complete undeserved generosity, Aaron and I were blessed with 5 children in the first 6.5 years of marriage. These beautiful children, three sons and two daughters- perfect images of God’s goodness. Looking at my children is always amazing because they are all different shades. Not even one of our skin tones matches and through this, I get a front-row view of the beauty of diversity within the Body of Christ.

The Wilkerson Family Photo By Kindred Spirits Photography

As many people know, children can teach us in profound ways. When my children were toddlers and into the first years of school, I could see how important it was for them to have images of holiness that matched them. Representation of all shades took on a whole new meaning when I, as one of the two primary catechists of our children, saw how important it was for our kids to see images of holiness. I would notice my sons’ ears perk up when saint stories featured men and women of color. It was then I began to see how very important representation of people of color is within our Sacred spaces. 

One of my children, Joseph (Joey) often talks about feeling called to be a priest. I am not sure where God will end up leading him, but his insights into the faith stun me. When we found out about the Sacred Cultural Art Fund through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, our Joey knew it was something he wanted to be involved with. Joey shared on social media about the importance of him seeing men/women who lived lives of holiness, and also looked like him. He shared how as a young boy of faith, seeing people of color within the church allows him to more easily picture himself as belonging to the family of God. Joseph, in his wisdom talked about vocations, and how as an African American young boy, he wants other African American men and women to know they belong in the fold of the Catholic Church. 

Joey asked our little community, our sphere of influence, to consider donating to this fund, and wouldn’t you know, our community responded. Our little community was able to raise thousands of dollars in just under a week to be donated to the Sacred Cultural Art Fund.

As a white mother of five beautiful African American children, so much of the racial dialogue of our time has been difficult to witness. Our family maneuvers our way through divisive sound bites on every side of the political spectrum. And yet, we know… Myself, my husband Aaron, and our children, Aaron, Joseph, John Paul, Malia and Julia- we know the true possibility of racial healing in this country. A healing that will only come from a deeper understanding of our loving God, the God who desires unity and peace, without sacrificing the beautiful diversity within His Body. A friend pointed out that whenever our Lady visits different countries through her apparitions, she always chooses to appear in the image of the culture she is appearing to. Our Lady, I like to think, values the importance of Sacred Cultural Images.

I will be forever grateful to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan for promoting and sponsoring the Sacred Cultural Art Fund. I deeply pray and hope men and women continue to donate to this fund, so that as my children grow, as children of the Archdiocese of Detroit, they will continue to see images that reflect back the beauty of diversity found in our church. Through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, our children will be able to experience and see holy men and women of color, living their faith in vibrant ways. This is a blessing and a grace I will remember in years to come.

Support the Sacred Cultural Artwork Fund

Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

 

 

Twelve depictions were revealed at St. Suzanne/Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish on Nov. 21 as part of a traveling exhibit meant to promote Black Catholic representation in sacred art. (Photos by Dan Meloy | Detroit Catholic)
To learn more about the collaborative efforts of the Catholic Foundation, the College of Creative Studies and the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Cultural Ministries and Evangelical Charity, click here.

Sharing the joy of generosity through impactful investment is at the heart of the Catholic Foundation, and that joy is clear in the addition of the four new appointments to the Foundation’s Board of Directions for 2022. 

Learn more about each board member’s unique set of experiences and skills, and passion for building up the Church below.


Aaron Wilkerson is the Manager of Data at Learning Care Group, a child care provider based out of Novi. Aaron has over 15 years of experience in data & analytics and has specialized in building and driving data strategies that help companies leverage their data assets.

Aaron first learned about the Foundation five years ago, when it was in its early infancy. Intrigued by the Foundation’s mission, Aaron served as a committee member on the Marketing and Fund Development Committee. After doing committee work for the past few years, Aaron grew interested in serving the Foundation in a different capacity by joining the board.

“I’m inspired by the forward thinking and strategic vision of the Foundation. The Church has called younger Catholics like me to step up and be at the forefront of helping to shape what the future of the Church will look like. Philanthropy is a core pillar of our Catholic community that we need to continue to grow.”

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Maria Scott studied at the University of Michigan, Flint, where she earned her BBA in Marketing. For graduate education, she attended Lawrence Technological University, earned her MBA in Information Systems, and also worked at Electronic Data Systems as a systems engineer. Maria currently sits on the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s cabinet committee in Detroit.

Maria first learned about the Catholic Foundation through a friend who invited her to attend the Foundation’s annual grant celebration and was later invited to sit on the Foundation’s Grant and Impact Committee.

“What inspires me most about the Catholic Foundation is that it brings together gifts of generous people and turns those gifts into opportunities in the community, from supporting a child’s education to supporting Catholic organizations who in turn are able to reach further into their communities. My hope in the leadership role is to be able to help the Foundation grow in its efforts to be able to aid and give hope to the community it serves,” she shares.

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Nicole Franzen Kuklewski has spent the last 15 years transforming corporate real estate and workplace environments through strategy and design. Prior to joining Haworth, a Michigan headquartered commercial furniture manufacturer, she worked in Sydney, Honolulu and Detroit in commercial development, construction and architecture.

Prior to joining the Foundation board, Nicole reflected deeply on what giving back to the Catholic community could like. In 2021, she picked up the phone and connected with Angela at the Foundation to see how she could lend her talent to serve. She is incredibly eager to give back as she feels immensely blessed by the gifts she received in her Catholic education and faith formation in her hometown church St. Joseph’s (Maybee) while attending St. Patrick’s Grade School (Carleton) and St. Mary’s Catholic Central Highschool (Monroe) and now as a parishioner at St. Patrick’s in Brighton.

As a mother of two, she wants to ensure her children not only hear but see how we take care of our community through the talents and gifts that God has bestowed upon us to share.

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Scott Bennett
is a Senior Vice President at Peninsula Private Wealth of Raymond James in Birmingham. His key areas of focus include estate planning, retirement planning and business succession planning.

Scott first learned about The Catholic Foundation when it was introduced to his parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, and instantly felt a connection to the mission of the foundation and a nudge from the Holy Spirit to get involved.

 “Philanthropy is in the DNA of the planning we do with clients and what our team does personally. The foundation is an exciting way for Catholics to create a legacy to support important Catholic activities and organizations both now and for the future,”  he shared.

 


 

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

Learn more about our Board of Directors

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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