In 2019, in 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.
Pierre-Louis Scholarship: A Gift that is Everlasting
When Jacques Duverna Pierre-Louis moved from Haiti to the USA as a young man with his wife and daughter, he didn’t know much about what his new life would look like. He did know one thing for sure – he wanted his children to receive a rich, well-rounded education.
As Jacques and his wife adjusted to life in their new country, they chose Catholic schools to educate their children, Chantale and Leslie. He instilled the love of learning in his children and ensured that they were provided with a solid education to better their lives and to be contributors to the betterment of society overall.
Jacques’ passion for education and his dedication to his work led him to develop, design, and invent several cutting-edge engineering systems which were groundbreaking in promoting efficiency in performance in the automotive and defense industries. As a research and Development Engineer for TACOM, Jacques received numerous accolades for his designs of several armored fighting vehicles used for front-line combat and which enabled troops to remain safe while conducting operations.
Inspired by the life of her father, Chantale Stevenson reached out to the Catholic Foundation to establish the Jacques Pierre-Louis STEM Scholarship for Students of Color Endowment, to honor his memory and help inspire others.
“A Catholic education provided me with a love for the arts, science, and mathematics as well as instilling the desire to share and give back to others. Education is a gift that is everlasting,” shared Chantale.
“The education that I received developed me to be a productive adult. My brother and I are products of a good education centered around the Catholic faith, that developed us emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially.” When Chantale’s daughter was born, there was no question where she would receive her education – she was enrolled at a Catholic school in order to benefit from the same great education her grandfather had believed in.
Everyone who wants a Catholic education should be able to receive one, but students from low-income communities face unique challenges that often prevent them from benefitting from a Catholic education. The Jacques Pierre-Louis Fund seeks to provide support for students to receive the same rich foundation as their peers.
“Education is the entire foundation upon which our communities are built and the foundation upon which our country produces those that will keep the economy prosperous,” says Chantale. “Everything we do – all of our potential success – is dependent upon the quality of the education a child receives.”
The Jacques Pierre-Louis fund will specifically support scholarships for students of color who show an interest in mathematics, science, and technology with a desire for service to others. When students are given the opportunity to receive high-quality education along with the strengthening of their faith, the church and community are both strengthened.
To work with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan in setting up a fund in honor of a loved one, click here to learn more or call Angela Moloney at (248) 204-0332, ext. 2.
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT STEM SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENTS OF COLOR
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God’s Grace Through a Hitchhiker: The St. Andrew’s Scholars Scholarship Fund
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
In 1987, an area Catholic family had an encounter that would change the trajectory of their life. Reeling from unexpected diagnoses following the birth of their son, they happened upon a hitchhiker who was presumably en route to Saulte Ste. Marie, but was 350 miles away and headed in the wrong direction Their brief conversation was full of moments that were too unusual to be called coincidences. The young man had recovered from the same heart condition as their son was awaiting surgery. The hope received in that conversation was life-giving. They were reminded in this that their family was seen by God and their son, who had been diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, was very precious to the Lord.
Their son, now a 35-year-old man, is thriving and brings great joy to all who know him. He is the inspiration for St. Andrew Scholar’s Fund held at the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. St. Andrew Scholars Fund provides assistance for children with disabilities to attend Catholic school.
“Our great Catholic schools have the desire to be inclusive to students with disabilities, but often lack the funding or training to execute their desire with success,” shared the family. “By providing support for special needs students and inclusive Catholic schools, we’re making a difference in the lives of one student at a time.”
“We have been blessed to have a special needs child. We wanted him to have a Catholic education. Unfortunately, we were encouraged to enroll our son in a local public school. Too often, this is the experience of other Catholic families that God has blessed with special children. We aim to change this through the St. Andrew Scholars scholarship fund by both helping families with special children and rewarding those schools that are equipped to welcome them.”
According to the National Catholic Education Association and the Journal of Catholic Education, approximately .5% of Catholic school students have a recognized disability, while [children with disabilities] represent 13% of the overall population.”
When asked why they chose to work with the Catholic Foundation, they said, “The leadership of the Catholic Foundation is inspired and gifted. We were delighted by the people at the Foundation of and inspired by the Foundation’s mission.”
Often, when we are presented with a challenge, the Lord inspires us to create change to make progress toward a solution. The family looks to the Gospel’s example of Jesus reaching out to the edges of society as an example to follow.
“This is our calling; this is what we can do to help people, This is very meaningful to help people achieve a better life.”
Scholarships will be made available for the 2023-24 school year 2023-4 at select area Catholic schools, with plans to expand to include additional schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit as the fund grows. If you are interested in more information on the St. Andrew Scholars Fund, or to make a donation, please click here.
To chat with us about setting up a fund in honor of a loved one in collaboration with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, we invite you to call us at (248) 204-0332, ext. 2.
Give to the St. Andrew Scholars Scholarship Fund
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2022 Endowment Distributions: Securing the Future
The Catholic Foundation is honored to provide sustainable income to Catholic parishes, schools and ministries! In 2022 alone, the Catholic Foundation distributed $798K to 23 ministries through our endowment funds. Since its inception, the Foundation has granted $1.85M in endowment distributions to 63 different parishes, schools, and ministries. Be inspired by the incredible work of these endowed ministries and learn how they are using their endowment distributions by watching the video below!
Be Joyful in Hope: Celebrating 5th Annual Year of Granting
The Catholic Foundation of Michigan distributed over $135,300 on December 15th during the annual community grants celebration.
Over 150 community members came together at the Detroit Athletic Club on December 15th, 2022, to celebrate the Foundation’s five-year anniversary and the incredible work supported through its granting partners. One of this year’s grant recipients, St. Augustine St. Monica parish, opened the celebration with prayerful and inspiring music.
The 32 projects of local parishes, schools and ministries honored in the morning celebration provide signs of hope in a time when hope is desperately needed.
The competitive grant recipients are selected by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Grant and Impact Committee and address grassroots community needs focusing on social outreach, education, and vibrant church life. Grants were awarded to Catholic and non-Catholic projects that will foster collaboration and innovation and expand education, service, or outreach aligned with Catholic values.
This year’s presentation of awards was announced by Beverly Beltramo, a member of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Grant and Impact Committee and board. “Each grant application took my breath away. The amazing work you [the grant recipients] do–usually quietly, under the surface– just good, holy people living the call, to serve Jesus and to serve those around them challenged me–and inspired me,” shared Beverly before thanking the many ministries in the room.
“As a Catholic community foundation, our goal is to listen to the needs of our community and respond accordingly,” shared Foundation President and CEO, Angela Moloney. Angela Moloney also announced the opening of a new granting fund, the Laudato si’ fund, to support creative programs that build reverence and care for creation through environmental projects. Interested organizations can apply for funding in the Spring when the Catholic Foundation’s granting process opens.
The morning celebration ended with a special award presented to Patrick Fehring, the Catholic Foundation’s Board Chair and Founder, for his 5+ years of inspired vision, dedicated leadership and faithful service.
Over the past five years, the Catholic Foundation has provided more than 640+ grants totaling roughly $16 million from both competitive community grants and donor-directed grants. The Catholic community in our area is living the Gospel in creative, impactful ways; We invite you to join us in amplifying these efforts.
With your support, we can award even more in 2023. When you give through the Catholic Foundation, your contributions are compounded and have an even greater impact. Together we will unleash the giving across southeast Michigan.
GIVE NOW TO A GRANTING FUND
Learn more about this year’s grant recipients by watching the video below.
Give now to the following granting funds:
- Amazing Catholic Educators
- Brian V. Hill Education for Marriage and Family
- Catholic Education and Formation
- Church in the City
- NEW: Laudato si’ Fund
- Social Outreach
- Spirit of Innovation
- St. Oscar Romero Grant for Hispanic/Latino Ministries
- Vibrant Parish Life
- Sanctity of Life
- Choose another endowment fund.
Create your own Granting Fund:
Contact the Catholic Foundation to learn more: Info@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org
2022 Spirit of Innovation Grant
The 2022 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.
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 sites to expand this good work,” shared Steve Wasko, the center’s project director.
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.
“Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, calls on all of us to not only participate in The New Pentecost, but to witness and proclaim the signs and wonders great and small around us, signs that convince people that Jesus Christ is truly alive. A true example of engaging new bands of joyful missionary disciples across the boundaries of parishes, schools, neighborhoods and communities, and beyond those boundaries is the start-up mission work being undertaken at the St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center.”
Learn more about this inspired project by watching the video below.
2022 Sanctity of Life Grant Award Recipients
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. “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.”
The Sanctity of Life granting fund made two grant awards in 2022 to the following organizations:
- The Lennon Pregnancy Center
- Project Name: Buckle up for Safety
- Project Purpose: Buckle up for Safety will instruct parents on properly installing a car seat into a private vehicle. After completing the safety class, clients receive a new car seat. According the Center, there are no other state-funded organizations where moms in need from the area can receive a new car seat.
- Award Amount: $5,000
- Selah’s Center of Hope
- Project Name: Sanctitas Vitae
- Project Purpose: Sanctitas Vitae project will help educate clients on Biblical values and fetal development and create discipleship opportunities for Church leadership. Utilizing the One Accord/Making Life Disciples program, the project will mobilize members to establish a team that can walk alongside women and men facing pregnancy decisions.
- Award Amount:$2,500
Learn more about the Buckle up for Safety project by watching the video below.
“We are estimating that the funds can help us provide car seats for 50 to 60 families that are registered with us,” shared Mariann Bolton, the director of the Lennon Pregnancy Center in Dearborn Heights. “We are so very grateful for this opportunity and would like to heartfully thank the Catholic Foundation for assisting our mission to protect the lives of our clients, their children and their unborn child.”
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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In the Footsteps of St. Paul: A Pilgrim Reflects
“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9:6).
A pilgrimage is a quest for God. It is an experiential and spiritual adventure and an opportunity to encounter God by visiting important locations in our Church’s history. Eighteen Catholic Foundation of Michigan leaders and supporters, including Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, traveled to Greece to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul in October.
St. Paul’s witness and determination to spread the gospel, founding groups of Jesus followers wherever he went, despite hardships, is a model of courageous evangelization. Paul traveled to the Gentiles and pagans to proclaim Christ crucified and God’s loving salvation through his Son Jesus.
“It was incredible to be led by our shepherd, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, and walk the same marble roads in Ephesus and other cities that Paul traveled two centuries ago, ” Foundation President and CEO Angela Moloney said. “St. Paul planted seeds of the gospel wherever he went. His many letters came alive during our site visits, Scripture readings, and Masses. Similarly, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan helps ensure that our Catholic parishes, schools, and ministries will thrive perpetually with funds our donors invest today—it’s our way of spreading the Good News,” Angela added.
The 10-day pilgrimage included visits to Thessaloniki, Philippi, and Athens and a four-day cruise to islands where St. Paul preached, including Crete and Patmos. A visit to Ephesus in Turkey was a highlight, with the day beginning at the House of Mary, where the Blessed Mother lived her last earthly days with St. John the Evangelist.
“Our pilgrimage was an extraordinary opportunity to grow in faith and learn about the challenges faced by the early disciples of Christ, similar to today. This experience brings to mind the roles we all play in evangelizing our faith in today’s world,” said Board Chair Pat Fehring. “One of the most important roles the Catholic Foundation serves is to inspire generous giving for the good works and evangelization that Catholic organizations perform within our community. These good works include social services, education, health care, and parish life.”
Incoming Board Chair Chris Allen and his wife participated. “Carol and I were pleased to journey with a wonderful group of people. We will always remember walking in the same footsteps as St. Paul. Carol and I have committed to reviewing the Acts of the Apostles and reliving the life of Apostle Paul as he traveled in Greece and Turkey.”
Foundation Board member and Corporate Travel Service President John Hale organized the pilgrimage for the Foundation. John said the change of routines on a pilgrimage lead to open hearts where the Holy Spirit can speak. He also said pilgrims build community.
“Based on the grace our pilgrims received in Greece, we look forward to offering future pilgrimage opportunities to our supporters,” Moloney said. “There are countless ways to unleash the Gospel. For the Foundation, inspiring, generous giving and deepening our understanding of the Church and her ministries is our way. St. Paul inspired us to pray and work harder to make Jesus known in our world today as individuals and as the Foundation.”
For me, the sacramental nature of a pilgrimage—Archbishop Vigneron’s prayers at each site we visited, listening to Paul’s words at each location—and daily Masses—from beautiful cathedrals to celebrating amidst the ruins in Corinth and near the river where St. Paul baptized St. Lydia, brought me to tears. As a lector, St. Paul’s words in his epistles and the Acts of the Apostles are burned in my heart. My proclamation is forever changed.
“Following in the footsteps of St. Paul reminded us that being a Christian is a communal activity. In ancient Corinth the Archbishop spoke of our apostleship as a team effort, not something simply one person does but rather a community undertakes to build up the entire community. It was a privilege to be on pilgrimage with the Archbishop. What an affirmation of his support of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan and our work,” shared Angela Moloney.
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Scholarship Recipient Leads Mom Back To Church
This article and its accompanying photos were originally published for Unleash The Gospel Magazine. Find more stories like this at utgdetroit.org.
Oronde Manson was three years old when he started dragging his mom to church.
“He started coming to me on Sundays and said, ‘Can we go to church?’ And I said, ‘Well, we don’t have a church.’ And he said, ‘Yes we do. Gesu is our church,” remembers Oronde’s mom Chantel. Enrolled in Gesu Catholic School in Detroit, Oronde had been attending Mass every week with his pre-school classmates, but his mom who was a fallen away Baptist kept “questioning some things with God.”
Oronde was undeterred.
“He came to me and said, ‘God told me that we need to go to church.’ And I was like, okay, hold on … he’s serious.” Chantel recalls. Thus began their joint conversion story. After a year of catechesis lessons, both Chantel and Oronde were officially welcomed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 2016.
But in 2020, the impact of COVID-19 made attending Catholic school a financial impossibility for Oronde and other families throughout the Archdiocese. This motivated a small group of donors, Archbishop Vigneron, and the Archdiocese of Detroit to open the St. Anne Scholars and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds to provide the opportunity for all students to receive an excellent education grounded in Catholic belief and practice.
Being awarded the scholarship meant Oronde could complete his time at Gesu, and most importantly to Oronde become the man of faith he wanted to be, “This school raised me to become a young man, and as a black man in this world I need all the help I can get from my teachers and friends.”
In 2022, the St. Anne Scholars and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds have granted over $332k in scholarship awards to 131 students across the Archdiocese of Detroit. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to nearly 300 students from 43 schools totaling roughly $750,000. But what’s incalculable is the impact these scholarships have had on the spiritual fabric of metro-Detroit, on the conversion of hearts and minds like Oronde’s and Chantel’s.
“If I wasn’t in the Catholic school community I may not have been able to understand God’s love as I have,” explains Oronde, “The scholarship means the chance for me to be around students that have the love and passion of God.”
Anyone can make a gift to these existing scholarship funds in any amount and make a difference. Give online below or contact the Foundation staff at 248-548-3020. You can learn more about the St. Anne and St. Martin de Porres scholarship funds, by clicking here.
Supporters can also 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 the arts. Scholarship funds can be opened with a gift of $25,000 or more.
Your direct support is a helping hand, and more importantly, provides a renewal of hope, faith, and the infinite love and protection of God.
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.
Benefitting Scholarship Schools Since 2020:
|All Saints||MCES (St. Mary), Monroe||St. Anne Catholic School||St. Joan of Arc Catholic School||St. Pius X Catholic School|
|Cabrini Elementary||Most Holy Trinity||St. Anselm Catholic School||St. Joseph, Erie||St. Valentine Catholic School|
|Christ the King||Our Lady of Good Counsel||St. Augustine Catholic School||St. Joseph, Lake Orion||St. William Catholic School|
|Divine Child Elementary School||Our Lady of Refuge||St. Charles Borromeo||St. Joseph, Trenton|
|Gesu Catholic School||Our Lady of Sorrows||St. Clare of Montefalco||St. Lawrence|
|Guardian Angels||Our Lady of the Lakes||St. Edith Catholic School||St. Linus Catholic School|
|Holy Name||Our Lady Queen of Martyrs||St. Edward on the Lake||St. Mary, Royal Oak|
|Holy Redeemer||Our Lady Star of the Sea||St. Germaine Catholic School||St. Mary, Mt. Clemens|
|Immaculate Conception||Sacred Heart Catholic School||St. Hugo of the Hills||St. Patrick, Carleton|
|John Paul II||Shrine Catholic Elementary School||St. Isaac Jogues||St. Regis Catholic School|
Empowering Young Philanthropists
Young Detroiters are passionate about creating change in their community. They are visionary, resilient, and driven. However, they often lack access to the resources and guidance necessary to turn their charitable objectives into reality.
That is why the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, The Children’s Foundation, and The Pulte Family Foundation, have partnered to create the Detroit Philanthropic Youth Council (DPYC).
The DPYC is a comprehensive program that aims to empower Detroit high school students as young philanthropists. The inaugural class of the DPYC consists of a bright and passionate group of high school juniors from Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Loyola High School, and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. The program will span the 2022-2023 academic year; the first session took place on Wednesday, September 21.
Throughout nine months of programming, students learn about philanthropy and the role of youth in philanthropy, fundraising, grantmaking, metrics, and data, assessing community needs, inviting grantees, reviewing grant applications, and making decisions and reporting. Various notable community leaders in philanthropy will serve as guest speakers for monthly DPYC sessions.
The cohort will have the opportunity to identify a community need, review grant applications from community initiatives that work to meet that need, and eventually decide which organization(s) will be awarded a total of $50,000 in grant funding from the DPYC. Grant funds are provided by The Children’s Foundation and the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.
“This is an opportunity to give voice and perspective to issues that concern young people,” said the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s President and CEO, Angela Moloney. “We are empowering youth to improve and help solve the issues children and families face in their own communities.”
The program will conclude with a celebration with DPYC families and grantees at The Inn at St. Johns.
Through the Detroit Philanthropic Youth Council, The Children’s Foundation, The Catholic Foundation of Michigan, and The Pulte Family Foundation hope to amplify the voices of Detroit youth and inspire futures of philanthropy.
Learn more by contacting us!
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