By David Sedeño
The Texas Catholic
Several Catholic schools and parishes, along with some non-profit groups, were among the recipients of more than $550,000 in grants from The Catholic Foundation during the Catholic philanthropic organization’s spring ceremony held April 30 at San Juan Diego Catholic Church.
The 16 grant recipients will use the varying amount of funds for tuition assistance, renovations, security systems, teacher development and a sculpture garden.
“It’s an honor to support these deserving recipients who keep our community thriving,” said J. Matthew Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “We are thankful for our generous donors who continue to support The Catholic Foundation. That allows us to meet the ever changing philanthropic needs in our diocese.”
As representatives went up on stage at the parish’s cafeteria to receive the grant, they thanked the organization and described what the financial support would mean to their entity.
Jackie Fleming, director of development for John Paul II High School, talked about how each year the school’s Board of Trustees sets aside more than $400,000 of its budget for tuition assistance to help offset families’ tuition costs. “This will help immensely,” Fleming said.
Ann Letteer, executive director of the Pines Catholic Camp, said that the funds from the Catholic Foundation would help in the construction of a new road leading to the camp and for parking lot improvements. She said she hoped that the better roads would help allay fears and frustrations of chartered bus operators driving into the camp.
The grants allow the Foundation to address the urgent needs of organizations serving a growing Catholic population. Twice yearly, The Catholic Foundation awards grants to organizations that demonstrate the ability to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Catholic community throughout the Diocese of Dallas.
Grants are made from the unrestricted Philanthropy Fund and Restricted funds of The Catholic Foundation. Restricted funds are established at the Foundation by individuals or families, named or otherwise, to benefit their communities today and for future generations.
Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff received a grant to help with its aging HVAC system.
“We are very grateful for this generous grant,” said Lari Newman-Williams, the parish administrator. “We know that only in Texas is it freezing one month and sweltering the next. This funding allows us to replace the obsolete HVAC units of our Education Building and provide a safe environment for our more than 200 students that is more conducive to learning.”
“This is a great opportunity to take the gifts that God has given us and put right back into the community,” Kramer said. “We serve people who serve others and all of those funds are going to meet the greatest needs of the Diocese of Dallas community.”
The Catholic Foundation, chartered in 1995, was founded by a group of dedicated Catholic laymen with a vision that extended beyond the charitable needs at the time. The independent, nonprofit corporation has dedicated its resources to compassionate charitable giving through grants provided by benefactors through its numerous planned giving programs. Over the years, the Foundation has provided more than $82 million to meet the needs of the local Catholic community through grants to various religious, educational and charitable organizations.
For additional information about The Catholic Foundation, call 972-661-9792 or visit www.catholicfoundation.com.