By Cathy Harasta
The Texas Catholic
Amid a spirit of generosity and camaraderie, The Catholic Foundation distributed $792,990 to 25 entities in the Diocese of Dallas during the foundation’s Fall Grant Ceremony on Nov. 20 at Holy Trinity Community Life Center.
Recipients included schools, parishes and non-profit organizations that serve the local Catholic Community. Individual grants ranged from $2,500 to $75,000 during the ceremony, which was one of two that the foundation holds annually.
Though many grants will assist facility improvements, some will enhance the services of non-profits including Heroic Media, an international faith-based organization that uses media to connect women with life-affirming choices.
Mike Murray, executive director of Heroic Media’s South Region, said that the grant will go toward 2014 Dallas-Fort Worth area advertising on outlets including MTV; Black Entertainment Network (BET); Google, and Oxygen.
He said that most abortions occur in the 17-24 age group, and that the commercials will educate women in crisis pregnancies about resources and options.
“It’s widely accepted that about 90 percent of women who go to a pregnancy resource center and have an ultrasound choose life,” Murray said. “We believe we provide a service by ministering to people in great need. We’re helping the children and the women and building a culture of life. The Catholic Foundation supports our mission. The Catholic community couldn’t do without The Catholic Foundation.”
The 58-year-old foundation has distributed more than $78 million to entities in the Diocese of Dallas.
J. Matthew Kramer, the foundation’s President and CEO, set the tone for the ceremony’s service orientation by citing the excerpt from the speech by President John F. Kennedy that the foundation selected for its outdoor art wall in tribute to the 5Oth anniversary of JFK’s assassination: “…If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich…”
“Every year, we are encouraged by our donors’ philanthropic commitment to meet the basic needs of our community,” Kramer said. “We are privileged to give back to these worthy grant recipients that do so much for Dallas, that they may fulfill their missions in religious, educational or charitable works.”
Raul Estrada, chairman of the foundation’s Distribution Committee, said that he enjoys the process of traveling to parishes and schools that request grants. Site visits provide committee members with numerous insights about the wide range of ministries in the nine-county Diocese of Dallas, he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” he said. “We like going out on the site visits. Everybody makes the best case for each particular site. It’s a fun process.”
Thomas W. Codd, Jr., who chairs The Catholic Foundation’s Board of Trustees, said that the grant ceremonies rank as his favorite foundation activities.
“There are so many great causes,” Codd said. “We wish we had unlimited resources. We do the best we can.”
The 25 grant recipients and their projects are as follows:
• Bishop Dunne Catholic School – Auditorium renovation and update
• Catholic Charities – Elderly Services Program at Brady Center
• Catholic High School Scholarships – Scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year
• Catholic Pro-Life Committee – Pro-Life Youth Education Project
• Christian Community Action – “Kids Eat Free” Summer 2014 lunch program
• Cristo Rey Network – Cristo Rey Effort Feasibility Study
• Dallas Holocaust Museum – Catholic student scholarships/Catholic teacher workshops
• Epiphany Quasi-Parish – Parking facility renovation and expansion
• Good Shepherd Catholic School – Technology expansion/tuition assistance
• Heroic Media – 2014 winter TV and Google ad campaign
• The Highlands School – Main office relocation
• Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Corsicana) – Church renovation project
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help School – Gym floor/tuition assistance
• St. Ann Catholic Church (Kaufman)–Stained glass window repairs
• Santa Clara Catholic Academy – Electrical infrastructure upgrades
• St. James Catholic Church – School building improvements
• St. Joseph Catholic Church (Waxahachie) – Plaza construction
• St. Jude Chapel – Women’s restroom renovation and pew recovery
• St. Mary’s Catholic School (Sherman) – Security system/new exterior doors
• St. Patrick Catholic Church (Denison) – Church restoration and renovation
• St. Patrick Catholic School (Dallas)– Technology additions and upgrades
• St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store – Cargo truck purchase
• Sisters of Our Lady of Charity – Replacement of windows in St. Joseph Hall
• Work of Heart Program – Awards for exemplary Catholic School employees
• Zero to Five Funders’ Collaborative – “Together We Learn” program with Catholic Charities