Over 3.4 Million Dollars given by Catholic Foundation in 16 years to help local students and ministries
By Mary Ellen Mahoney
Just in time to beat the rain, nearly 200 children and adults gathered at the Holiday Inn in Norwich on the evening of June 23rd for The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich’s annual awards dinner. The ballroom was complete with decorations, crayons and coloring books and 2 large tables filled with donated raffle items for the kids. The faces of close to 80 children lit up as they smiled and laughed, enjoying being with their families and principals for this end of the year tradition.
For the past 16 years, since its first awards gathering was held in the auditorium of St. Patrick Cathedral, the Catholic Foundation has been making awards and grants to support the missions of the Diocese. This year, on behalf of the Catholic Foundation, Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D. and Angela Arnold, its Executive Director, distributed a total of $290,788.00 to grant applicants from Diocesan ministries, schools, programs, and parishes throughout the four counties that comprise the Diocese – Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham. $98,017.00 in grant money was given to beneficiaries of the Foundation’s restricted endowments. In addition, another $55,919.00 was distributed among a variety of Diocesan ministries that serve those in need regardless of religious affiliation. Ron Krom, Director of St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown was thankful for the support of the Foundation: “At St. Vincent de Paul Middletown, about 92 cents out of every dollar goes into direct services and programs, i.e., support and care for the poor and most vulnerable of our community. Our expenses are bare bones, but it is always a struggle to find enough revenue to make budget. The Catholic Foundation is our partner to help us to do all that we do: meals, groceries, emergency assistance, supportive housing, and much more. We are able to Meet Needs & Offer Hope because of your support and generosity! Thank you!”
Additionally, $99,750.00 was awarded to 193 Diocesan elementary students with the average tuition assistance award totaling $516.83. This tuition assistance is always greatly appreciated by school principals and families alike. Doris Messina, principal of St. Michael School, Pawcatuck, was very appreciative of the assistance received from the Catholic Foundation each year, “As a small Catholic School with limited resources, the grant money from the Catholic Foundation is very beneficial to us. The tuition grants help us to make a quality Catholic education accessible to families who wish to provide this for their children, and the no tuition grant money will allow us to provide up to date language art books for our middle school students. We are grateful for this assistance from the Catholic Foundation.”
Another $37,102.00 was presented to Diocesan secondary schools. Scholarship funds that were distributed included the Reverend Richard Roughan Scholarship, The Eric B. Evans Scholarship, and the William F. Jr. and Flora L. O’Neil Scholarship. The Eric B. Evans Scholarship, awarded to Sarah Forrester and the William F. Jr. and Flora L. O’Neil Scholarship, awarded to both Sam Davis and James Adams, were established to provide financial assistance to students at St. Bernard School in Uncasville. The Reverend Richard B. Roughan Scholarships are awarded yearly to both a current college student and an incoming college freshman in the amount of $5,000 each. This year’s recipients were Mackenzie Crump, an incoming freshman at Keene State College and Amy Karlberg, a junior at Southern Connecticut State University. In order to qualify for the Roughan Scholarship, students must be active members of St. Paul Parish in Waterford. The Foundation’s oldest endowment is the Bishop Daniel A. Hart Fund for the Homeless. Bishop Hart was well known for his support of the poor and disadvantaged. As a result of the “Response of Faith” Campaign which he initiated, the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich was established.
More than $28,000 of the money distributed was raised through the 2015 Seton Scholarship Awards Dinner. First begun 6 years ago, the Seton Scholarship Dinner, has raised over $205,524 in tuition assistance funds for the Foundation. All of the funds generated by this scholarship event go directly toward tuition assistance for Catholic school students within our Diocese.
This year’s Seton Scholarship Dinner will be held on Sunday evening, October 30th at 4 pm at the Mystic Marriott and will honor the following awardees: Mr. Bill Russell, recently retired Diocesan Finance Officer, Mother Mary David Riquier, principal Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic and Attorney Michael E. Driscoll representing the law firm of Brown Jacobson PC. More information about the Seton Scholarship Dinner is available at the Office of Development’s pages on the Diocese of Norwich website.
Bishop Cote and Angela Arnold also took the opportunity to recognize Dr. Edward Shine, retiring Superintendent of Schools, who joined them on stage with all the students in attendance. Bishop Cote expressed his great appreciation to Dr. Shine for his work with the Diocesan schools since his tenure began 3 and a half years ago. Dr. Shine retired on June 30th and Mr. Henry Fiore, of Westerly, former principal of Saint Pius X High School there, assumed the position of Superintendent of Schools, as of July 1st.
The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich is a nonprofit corporation, organized to provide endowments for the Diocese of Norwich and its parishes, schools, agencies and organizations. The foundation encourages Catholics to be good stewards through gifts of assets, provides for the investment of those assets and distributes the income according to the Gospel and the wishes of the donors. Endowments through the Foundation are a means to greater financial stability and growth for our Diocese and its entities. To date, 21 endowment funds have been established within the Foundation. The Foundation’s most recent endowment, the Margaret L. Keller Catholic Charities Heritage Endowment Fund was established this past March by Jacqueline Keller, former Diocesan Communications Director, in memory of her mother. This endowment benefits Catholic Charities and aims to assist single mothers pursue their education in order to break the cycle of poverty. Since its inception, the Catholic Foundation has awarded over $3.4 million in grant and scholarship assistance within the Diocese.
The Catholic Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which includes Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, D.D., Rev. Msg. Leszek T. Janik, J.C.L., Rev. Msgr. Robert L. Brown, Robert E. Miller, Ph.D., Robert Reed, John Boland, Carol A. Cieslukowski, Jeremiah J. Lowney, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., Michael McCormack, Robert Staley, Mother Mary David Riquier, Tom Kasprzak , Tara Whitehead and Angela V. Arnold. The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote recognized the years of service of two retiring Board members, Carol Cieslukowski and Michael McCormack by presenting them each with an appreciation clock. Both Miss Cieslukowski and Mr. McCormack joined the Board in 2006.The Executive Director of The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich is Angela V. Arnold and it is led by the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Chairman and Dr. Robert Miller, President. Those interested in establishing an endowment or needing more information on the Foundation may contact either Angela V. Arnold or Mary Ellen Mahoney, Development Manager-Major Gifts at 860-886-1928 or by e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Diocese of Norwich Educational Endowment Fund
Board of Directors 2016-2017
Most Reverend Bishop Michael R. Cote
Monsignor Robert L. Brown
Monsignor Leszek Janik
Dr. Robert Miller
Mrs. Angela V. Arnold
Mr. Daniel R. Adams
Ms. Jean Barrasso
Mr. John Boland
Mr. Tom Kasprzak
Dr. Jeremiah Lowney
Mr. Robert Reed
Ms. Anne Ogden
Mother Mary David Riquier
Mr. Robert Staley
Mrs. Tara Whitehead
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(Please note: Tuition grant applications are due by March 6, 2017.
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