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Diocese awards grants to churches, schools

Courtesy photo Legacy of Faith grants empower parishes, Catholic schools, and Catholic Social Services to respond to the changing needs of the people they serve.

MARQUETTE — Legacy of Faith has been awarding grants to Catholic parishes, schools and social services since 2002. The latest round of grants approved for 2020-2021 mark the endowment fund’s 20th year of grant making.

Terri Gadzinski has been director since the fund’s inception.

“We never envisioned grant making during a global pandemic, when our diocese has just begun the second phase of reopening by resuming the public celebration of Mass. But, these times do make us ever more grateful for the stability the endowment brings to Catholic education and ongoing faith formation offerings, and for the people who have supported Legacy of Faith with donations,” she said.

Over $3.7 million in Legacy of Faith grants has been distributed over the last 20 years to foster the Catholic faith in the Upper Peninsula.

The 2020-2021 grant approvals were made with an awareness that people will still need to observe social distance precautions for some time.

“It is expected that all parishes, Catholic Schools, and organizations receiving Legacy of Faith grant funds for 2020-2021 will adhere to all applicable directives at the time the grant-funded program occurs,” wrote Most Reverend John F. Doerfler, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, in a letter that accompanied all recent grant approvals.

The Legacy of Faith Fund, held by the UP Catholic Foundation, was founded in 2001 by Bishop James Garland. In addition to Garland, two succeeding bishops have also led the Fund – Archbishop Alexander K. Sample (now archbishop of Portland, Oregon) and presently Bishop John F. Doerfler. The fund’s Advisory Committee and Faith Formation Grant Review Committee submit recommendations to Doerfler.

Recently 62 grants were approved totaling more than $275,000 to Upper Peninsula initiatives that will benefit Catholic schools, social services, and parish faith formation in 2020-2021. Catholic parishes, missions, Catholic schools, and Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula are the recipient organizations.

In accordance with Legacy of Faith endowment guidelines, half of the available grant funds support Catholic schools, 30% parish faith formation, 10% Catholic Social Services of the U.P., and 10% Catholic Action Fund, which supports new and emerging programs and ministries.

Highlights from the recent grant approved include initiatives in:

Evangelization. The fiscal year 2020-2021 is year four of four for the implementation of evangelization plans that parishes submitted to the diocese in 2017. In this final year of plan implementation, special consideration was given to grant requests to achieve parish-specific evangelization goals. In addition, this past year Bishop John Doerfler asked all parishes to consider incorporating into their evangelization plans ways to reach the religiously unaffiliated.

Catholic Social Services. Catholic Social Services provides help for people across the Upper Peninsula from three locations in Marquette, Iron Mountain, and Escanaba. Legacy of Faith provides a $30,216 distribution for services this year.

Youth Education. All Catholic schools in the diocese receive a grant each year from the Legacy of Faith Fund. Over $151,000 will be awarded to eight schools throughout the U.P. In addition, Legacy of Faith supports a variety of youth programming including Totus Tuus for Grades K-12 and Steubenville Youth Conference. New this year, Legacy of Faith is supporting Youth Encounter 906, a diocese-wide movement that reaches primarily young people between the ages of 16-20, and St. Augustine Catholic Homeschool Co-op in Chassell.

Adult Continuing Ed. Adult faith formation is key to evangelization efforts. Grants are supporting continuing Catholic education for young adults participating in campus ministry, as well as adult programming in parishes such as scripture study and a variety of new books and media. A popular parish program is FORMED, a powerful video-based education tool that can be utilized by parishioners for at-home learning as well as for small group learning in the parishes and parishioner’s homes.

Technology. This year’s grants include support for a variety of technology upgrades to improve access to, and participation in, quality faith offerings. Grants will support enhancements to parish web sites, live-streaming capabilities, and more. St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Houghton is planning to purchase a short-throw projector that will deliver a large, vivid image on a wall or screen, which they will use for multi-week courses, single evening events and educational seminars available on the internet.

Legacy of Faith grants have empowered Catholic schools, parishes, and social services to respond to the changing needs of the people they serve. As the diocese celebrates 20 years of grantmaking, it wishes to thank the many supporters of Legacy of Faith.

For a complete list of grants, visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofmarquette.org/images/files/2020_Recent_LOF_Grants.pdf.

For more information on Legacy of Faith and to make a legacy gift contact Terri Gadzinski at tgadzinski@dioceseofmarquette or (906) 227-9108. To donate online, visit www.LegacyofFaith.net. Donations may also be mailed to: Legacy of Faith, 1004 Harbor Hills Dr, Marquette, MI 49855.

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