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.


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!

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

Give to Support the Keeping the Catholic Faith Scholarship

Click to Review Eligibility & Apply

Create a Fund for a Cause You Are Passionate About

The following article features the Catholic Foundation’s 2023 Spirit of Innovation Recipient, UTG At Work. To learn more about the Catholic Foundation’s granting funds and impact, please click here.

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Author: Gabriella Patti
Republished with permission from Detroit Catholic

Dr. Kevin Grady tells local professionals Catholic upbringing directly impacts his vision, values as a health care leader

DETROIT — Dr. Kevin Grady’s Catholic faith informs every decision he makes as both a medical professional and as regional president and CEO of Ascension Michigan.

The hospital executive and doctor spoke Jan. 24 to a handful of local professionals during the second healthcare leadership roundtable hosted by a new apostolate, UTG at Work, whose mission is to help Catholic working professionals bring their faith into the workplace.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

Launched in 2023, UTG at Work (“UTG” is short for “Unleash the Gospel”) was created to help “women and men understand their identity as missionary disciples, equip them to discover their unique mission from God and support them as they joyfully deliver faith and witness to Christ and the Gospel in the workplace,” according to its mission statement. The apostolate is led by Deacon Michael Houghton, former director of missionary strategic planning for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Mary Martin, a former coach and team leader in the department.

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin said the first few events are focused on leaders in the healthcare industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.
The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

A Catholic outlook makes a real difference in the world of health care, Dr. Grady told those in attendance. The difference can be seen not just among the staff, but also with patients.

“(At Ascension), we offer faith-based health care rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus,” Dr. Grady said. “We commit ourselves to helping all people, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. We are advocates for a compassionate and just society. The common thread of why associates stay at Ascension St. Johns is not the salary. It’s not the food. It is the commitment to faith-based Catholic health care delivered to everyone, especially those in need.”

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured above) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the health care industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.
At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured above) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the health care industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

There are major disparities in health care, Dr. Grady said, and to make sure care is delivered justly, health professionals need to consider how to make health care equitable, rather than equal. For example, he said, medical conditions may impact different communities in different ways, which should inform a healthcare professional’s approach to treatment.

UTG at Work is led by Deacon Michael Houghton (pictured), former director of missionary strategic planning for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Mary Martin, a former coach and team leader in the department.

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured left) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the healthcare industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

Amidst a healthcare crisis in which physicians are currently in short supply, Dr. Grady said a personal goal is to help guide new doctors and nurses as they transition into the field. He has served on the Wayne State University Medical School Admissions board for 10 years, a position he first occupied after realizing that the current class had only two individuals of color.

“That is not (representative of) the community that they serve,” Dr. Grady said. “I wanted to be on the medical school admissions committee. Over those 10 years, we changed the medical school class at Wayne so it looks like the community it serves. What we’ll now have are physicians who are trained here who stay here.”

“(One) question (I ask) is, ‘If the golden rule is treating people the way you would like to be treated, what is the platinum rule?’” Dr. Grady said. “For the first time in nine years, someone answered that correctly in about six seconds. He said, ‘Oh, it’s simple: Treat people the way they would want to be treated.’”

“My job is to be part of changing how we deliver health care: we deliver it to everyone,” Dr. Grady said. “We do it for the right patient, at the right time, at the right place, at the right price, with a smile. So is that directly from my Catholic upbringing? Darn right, it is. Because if I do it that way, I can maintain my mission, my vision, and my values.”

Learn more about the  Catholic Foundation’s granting funds and a full list of the 2023 grantees by clicking here

GIVE NOW TO THE SPIRIT OF INNOVATION FUND

Create your own Granting Fund:
Contact the Catholic Foundation to learn more: Info@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org

Monsignor James A. Moloney, a beloved figure in the Detroit Catholic community and a tireless servant of the Church, passed away on January 3, 2024. Msgr. Moloney has been a strong supporter of the Catholic Foundation’s mission since its inception, opening its first three endowment funds.

Born on June 18, 1930 in Detroit, he dedicated his life to faith and service. Ordained on June 2, 1956, his journey led him to St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores, and later, to a lifelong mission with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Monsignor Moloney’s passion for mission work was extraordinary. Over six decades, he visited 58 countries, delving into the conditions of those served by the Pope’s Missions. His commitment elevated Detroit as a leading diocese in global mission support, contributing over $200 million to missionary activities worldwide.

His impact extended beyond his credentials, though. Msgr. Moloney tirelessly wrote to supporters, visited parishes, and built relationships, sharing his love for the Church in far-away places. Msgr. Moloney’s life was filled with passion for the missions and love for the people he served. He leaves a legacy that will continue to inspire many.

In this time of mourning, we join together in prayer for the eternal repose of Msgr. Moloney’s soul and express our profound gratitude for his decades of service. His life was a testament to the power of faith and the impact one individual can have on the lives of many around the world. Let us honor his memory by continuing to support the missions and embody the spirit of selfless service that he exemplified.

In lieu of gifts, donations may be made in Msgr James Moloney’s honor to St. Anselm Parish and/or the Msgr. Moloney Endowment Fund for the Benefit of St. Anselm School.

Msgr. James Moloney Obituary

Learn more about Monsignor and his impact:

Detroit Catholic |  After 62 years, Msgr. Moloney passes the torch
Detroit Catholic | Decades after they could have retired two priests never thought of stopping
Catholic Foundation | Educating God’s Children: St. Anselm Catholic School Endowment Fund

St. Margaret of Castello grant will help Divine Child High School serve students with developmental disabilities

By Jamesena Ingram, Director of Instructional Support Services, Divine Child High School

“Inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists, it is making a new space, a better space for everyone.”

We heard this quote while speaking about inclusive education with another Catholic high school, and it sparked an idea. What if Divine Child High School created a new space, a better space for those who have historically not had access to a strong Catholic education?

More than 10 years ago, we developed and launched our Instructional Support Program to offer students with diagnosed learning differences (ADHD, dyslexia, etc.) the opportunity to receive a strong Catholic education, regardless of their learning differences. Today, we have more than 100 students in our program, which has become a destination for these students and their families.

However, the program still had its limitations. While we were equipped to serve most students with learning differences, we were still unable to properly serve those with more significant differences, including students with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome and certain levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

With the help of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s St. Margaret of Castello grant, however, this will no longer be the case. Thanks to this grant, DCHS will open its doors to students with more significant learning differences. Our spark is now on its way to becoming a reality.


Partnering for Potential

The building blocks are already being put in place for our new program. In August, we developed the “Partnering for Potential” program, which equips current DCHS students to partner with students with more significant learning disabilities in order to welcome and immerse them into our student body.

Student leaders enroll in Partnering for Potential to support these students throughout the school day, shadowing partners in an academic class period, modeling age-appropriate academic and social behavior, guiding academic intervention, and promoting improved outcomes in the areas of independence and socialization. This partner support is an evidence-based practice proven effective in increasing opportunities for students with significant learning differences to access general education settings and curricula.

While Partnering for Potential primarily takes place in the classroom, partnership activities may extend to nonacademic settings and after-school activities. Divine Child Principal, Anthony Trudel, said the role of student partners increases engagement in the school community and builds friendships that extend beyond the brick and mortar of the school building. “This groundbreaking program will not only enrich the lives of students with significant learning differences and their families, but it will develop all participating students for lives of responsibility, leadership, and faith in action,” he said.

An Important Mission

Father Bob McCabe with Jim Keyes at the Grant Awards Breakfast 2023.

As we lay the groundwork for this new program, we look forward to what lies ahead. Our new students will ultimately have their own dedicated space and work with a dedicated teacher who is trained and experienced in working with students with significant learning differences. In addition to immersion into the classroom, these students will also learn life skills, receive job coaching, and receive specialized instruction.

Divine Child Pastor Fr. Bob McCabe said he is excited that DCHS will continue to be a guiding light when it comes to inclusive Catholic education, and he is grateful for CFM’s support through the Spirit of Innovation grant.

“We are so thankful for the generosity of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, the St. Margaret of Castello Fund, and all those who are collaborating with us on this journey,” Fr. McCabe said. “As Pope Francis said, ‘the mission of schools is to develop a sense of truth, of what is good and beautiful.’ This grant, and this program, helps us achieve this important mission.”

Give Today to Support Inclusion Grants 

Learn more about the St. Margaret of Castello Fund 

 

In 1983, Pope John Paul II called for an evangelization that was “new in its ardor, its methods and its expression.” He called for a new evangelization as a way of bringing the Good News to people who had lost their zeal for the faith because the old ways of doing things were not as effective as they once were. And for the past 40 years, the Church around the world has experimented with different ways of making this happen.From this effort came the great pastoral letter Unleash the Gospel (UTG). UTG has guided the missionary efforts here in the Archdiocese of Detroit for seven years now, and it has been read and adopted by several other dioceses around the world as well. It’s a masterpiece of what it means to be a Church on mission.

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.

Photo courtesy of Valaurian Waller | Detroit Catholic

The 2023 Spirit of Innovation Grant was awarded to UTG At Work, an apostolate that was started in July of 2023 as an outgrowth of the pastoral letter. Its mission is to help women and men live their faith and witness to Christ and the Gospel in the places where they work.

Deacon Mike Houghton

The workplace is one of the most important areas where the new evangelization can and should take place. UTG at Work aims to help that happen by offering podcasts, articles, videos, workshops, and leadership roundtables to give people the tools and encouragement they need to joyfully and confidently live their faith at work.

“We are very grateful for the Spirit of Innovation Grant that we have received. We will use this grant toward Leadership Roundtable discussions where industry leaders share how they live their faith in their workplaces,” shared Deacon Mike Houghton.

The apostolate’s next Leadership Roundtable will be on January 24, 2024, with Dr. Kevin Grady, President and CEO of Ascension Michigan.

“Sometimes it is hard to be authentically oneself at work, especially when one’s co-workers don’t share one’s faith,” said Houghton, who spent 35 years working a secular career in engineering at General Motors.

“You don’t have to check your faith at the door when you leave church on Sunday and pick it up again next Sunday when you come back. This is important to me because, in some ways, I did leave my faith at church during my time at GM. I didn’t have an option,” Houghton said. “As I got further along and became a deacon, I realized it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s not what God told us to do. When he said, ‘Go and make disciples,’ he didn’t have any clauses in there about ‘not at work.’”

To learn more, visit www.utgatwork.org.

Donors support 34 ministries with $183K in grants through Catholic Foundation

Author: Dan Meloy Article republished with Permission by Detroit Catholic.

 


DETROIT — Catholic philanthropists provided $183,900 in grants to 34 ministries and nonprofits this year through gifts and contributions handled by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

The grants were awarded at the Catholic Foundation’s sixth annual grant awards celebration Dec. 13 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Since 2017, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan has been the conduit of $22.1 million in grants and donations from generous individuals who have empowered 502 ministries throughout the state.

Representatives from this year’s grant recipients were on hand for the breakfast celebration, where Catholic Foundation of Michigan board chairman Chris Allen thanked both the ministries for their important work of “unleashing the Gospel,” and the benefactors whose contributions make these ministries possible.

Chris Allen, board chairman for the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, greets a grant recipient. A total of $183,900 in grants were awarded Dec. 13, a 35 percent increase from 2022.

“Looking around today, you do see the power of our shared story. The story of faith and generosity is more than a collection of experiences; they are a dynamic force that connects and empowers us as a community,” Allen said. “This morning’s program is a chance to step back and listen to the many shared stories that bind us together: stories of faith, hope and charity, dedicated to making a positive impact in our community.”

The various groups submitted grant applications to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan for consideration in seven categories, each highlighting a particular area of interest in serving the Gospel message.

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said each of the groups awarded with a grant were “living out the works of Acts 29,” a reference to a continuation of the 28-chapter Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament.

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron thanks the donors who gave through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, assuring them their contributions are a continuation of the Acts of the Apostles.

“When we discuss the stories of these various groups, we are talking about a continuation, an organic ongoing presence in the history of the very story of Christ himself, and I think that is very important for all of us to appreciate,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “We especially think about imitating today Blessed Solanus Casey, who always said, ‘Thank God ahead of time.’ We can thank God ahead of time for what will be accomplished in this shared story.”

Anthony Schena, chairman of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Grant and Impact Committee, thanked all of the applicants, adding the grant celebration is his favorite time of the year.

“This morning we have the privilege to hear your stories of goodness and love; these are stories of people who have seen the goodness in this world and are responding with Christ’s compassion,” Schena said. “These are stories that are powerful and show us we all want Christ. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus teaches, ‘You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.’ The work of our grant recipients truly shines a light on our world, providing hope and healing countless lives.”

Paul Mersino, a committee member for the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s St. Margaret of Castello Grant, speaks with Fr. Jim Lowe, CC, and Msgr. Chuck Kosanke.

This year’s celebration saw the creation of two new grants: The Laudato Si’ Grants, which were awarded to Immaculate Conception School in Ira Township and Madonna University, to encourage Catholic organizations to promote sustainability and care for the environment; and the St. Margaret of Castello Grant, which went to Divine Child High School in Dearborn for expanding its inclusive learning program.

Paul Mersino, a member of the committee that awards the St. Margaret of Castello Grant, spoke about his own experience with his son, Jacob, who has Down syndrome. The grant aims to help Catholic schools in Michigan be more inclusive for students with special needs.

Mersino said the purpose of the fund is to help schools acquire the funding and educational resources they need to help serve students with different abilities.

“Our schools are trying to keep their lights on and are doing amazing work with little money,” Mersino said. “We are telling schools, if you are willing to say yes to the least of God’s children, we will grant you this money to help you get started.”

Mersino made a personal appeal to donors in the room and supporters of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support the program, emphasizing what it would mean if all Catholic schools could be harbors for students with special needs.

“Whenever everyone in the community says, ‘We want this,’ that is when we will see the change, and that is when it will become our shared story,” Mersino said. “We need all the parents and everyone in the community to push for this. We applaud Divine Child in doing this, and once we make it our shared story, we can make it our shared success, and I’m confident we can do so.”

Learn more about our granting funds by watching the video below. For a full list of the 2023 grantees, please click here

GIVE NOW TO A GRANTING FUND

Create your own Granting Fund:
Contact the Catholic Foundation to learn more: Info@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org

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