By Cathy Harasta
The Texas Catholic
The Catholic Foundation’s Fall Grant Ceremony at the Museum of Biblical Art on Nov. 13 inspired recipients, donors and foundation trustees as Catholic schools, parishes and ministries in the Diocese of Dallas accepted grants for technology upgrades, structural improvements and tuition assistance.
The foundation presented $769,221 in grants to 15 organizations during the ceremony at the Museum of Biblical Art, which received a grant for its Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden from The Catholic Foundation last spring.
Matt Kramer, the President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation, said that the foundation’s concept has remained steadfast though the Catholic community’s needs have evolved since the foundation was established almost 60 years ago.
“Its main focus was to establish an endowment that would address the emerging and growing needs of the Catholic community of the Dallas-Fort Worth Diocese,” he said of the foundation, which has distributed tens of millions of dollars to meet area Catholic entities’ needs.
“The Catholic Foundation yesterday and today is a giving vehicle that donors give through to their chosen charities.”
The foundation, established in 1955, awards grants twice a year to organizations in the Diocese of Dallas.
The Southern Methodist University Catholic Campus Ministry received a grant to upgrade technology, which Father Arthur Unachukwu, the ministry’s chaplain, said will streamline the organization’s operation.
“We’re very excited,” Father Unachukwu said. “With the software, we can upgrade our fund-raising.”
Father Stephen Mocio, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Denison, said that he was grateful for the foundation grant to repair and restore the parish’s 97-year-old Pilcher organ.
“It lends such a warmth and beauty to our liturgies and celebrations,” he said.
Tammy O’Connor, a school board member at Bishop Lynch High School, said that the foundation’s grant will help produce a first-class field for the Friars’ softball program. She said that the school and the City of Dallas will partner to upgrade the Ferguson Park Softball Field, which is near the Bishop Lynch campus.
“We thought this was a win-win situation,” she said.
Jesuit College Preparatory School will replace a 1998 bus, thanks to a foundation grant that Jesuit President Michael Earsing said will allow the school to share its current buses with Bishop Dunne Catholic School and the new Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep that will open in August.
Tom Codd, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic Foundation, told the assembly that one of his favorite passages put the ceremony, the foundation and the Catholic community in perspective. He set a tone of faithful, mutual appreciation in the room when he cited part of Luke 17: 20-21:
“…Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming,
He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or, “There it is!” For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.’ ” (Luke 17: 20-21)