By Matt Kramer
Special to The Texas Catholic
Thanks to a spirit of compassion, community and connectedness, The Catholic Foundation made a significant impact on our Catholic community in 2020 despite the pandemic.
With gratitude to donors and our Board of Trustees, we remained focused on our mission to provide funds to meet the needs of our Catholic community.
In 2020, the Foundation welcomed many new donors who established Donor Advised Funds through our streamlined process. And because many donors established legacy gifts and endowments, or made unrestricted donations, resources have been established to further provide for the future.
Building upon our 65-year history as a community foundation, help was provided to area churches, Catholic schools and hundreds of nonprofits in 2020.
Last year, the annual Catholic Foundation Award was presented to Joe Dingman in recognition of his significant impact in the greater Dallas area on the affordable housing landscape over the past several decades.
We also continued our history of supporting Catholic education by presenting the Hal Tehan Scholar Award to Yadira Compean at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, and provided tuition assistance and scholarships to local Catholic schools to help families and students.
Support of Catholic school employees continued in 2020 as more than 40 full-time employees at local schools were recognized with Work of Heart Awards for their outstanding service, modeling a Christian example, and going above and beyond for an individual student, family or community.
In the area of grants, the Foundation distributed more than $21.5 million in 2020 through more than 2,200 grants to over 800 charitable organizations and non-profits, of which 77 percent were Catholic, and 68 percent served organizations within the North Texas Catholic community.
Thanks to the generosity of donors past and present, the Foundation became the financial broadcast sponsor of the Diocese of Dallas Sunday televised Masses when shelter-in-place guidelines closed area churches and Bishop Burns recognized an opportunity to televise the weekly Mass in Spanish and English. And we’re pleased to continue as the presenting sponsor of the televised Masses throughout all of 2021.
To share much needed good news, a series of uplifting videos filled with messages of faith, hope and love from local clergy and the founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students was created and distributed. You can find those on our website at https://www.catholicfoundation.com/About-Us/Photo-Video-Library.
As society went virtual in 2020, so did The Catholic Foundation by hosting a series of live events, meetings and webinars online. An online, fall webinar with five speakers discussing End-of-Life issues from a Catholic perspective attracted more than 300 registrants who attended sessions over four nights.
On Feb. 1, 4, 8 and 11, the Foundation will host another free, online webinar series that showcases End-of-Life issues including pastoral care of the sick and dying, legal considerations, Catholic bioethics, planning funeral services and charitable legacy planning. Please plan to attend.
With faith as our cornerstone, we are optimistic that brighter days are ahead, and our community will rise to new levels of success.
Matt Kramer is the president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. To learn more about The Catholic Foundation and get involved, call 972-661-9792 or visit www.catholicfoundation.com.