By Mary Ellen Mahoney
The diocese will celebrate its 10th Annual Seton Scholarship Dinner on November 3rd at St. Clements Castle and Marina in Portland and honor three people, who have devoted their careers to Catholic education, with the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D. D. Award for Contributions to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Norwich. This year’s honorees are Sister Mary Patrick Mulready, principal of St. Joseph School, Baltic; Mrs. Barbara Hamanaka, advanced math and computer teacher, Sacred Heart School, Groton; and Ms. Ann Derbacher, theology chair, Mercy High School, Middletown. Gina Foster, the new stewardship coordinator for the diocese, is leading the planning for the evening, along with contributions from members of the Seton Dinner Planning Committee. Gina is selling tickets and soliciting sponsors for the event as well as advertisers who would like to be included in the keepsake multicolored program book, produced each year.
All proceeds from the dinner support our elementary school students in the form of tuition assistance. This year, thanks in part to the money raised by last year’s Seton Dinner, the Catholic Foundation was able to provide tuition assistance to 281 Catholic school elementary students, the most in Foundation history. Many parents expressed their appreciation when being granted tuition assistance for their children at this year’s Catholic Foundation Annual Awards Dinner. One dad said, “We apply for tuition assistance every year and pray. This year, thank God, we received help again. We really need this money to send our children to Catholic school.” A grandmother of two elementary school students added, “We are supporting our daughter and her children and can’t thank you enough for the tuition money. They are so happy at their school and we are so glad we can keep them enrolled.”
While some may take for granted our Catholic schools and assume that they will persevere no matter what, we really need to confront the harsh reality that budgets are extremely tight, and some parents face increasingly difficult challenges when confronted with paying for tuition. The Catholic Foundation provides a large amount of support to families for tuition assistance and the funds generated from the Seton Dinner play an extremely important role in helping these families keep their children in our Catholic schools.
As one mom said, “I hope that people understand how important this tuition assistance is. It really means everything to us. There is nothing more important to me than my child’s education and health.”
Please support this very worthwhile cause by purchasing a ticket, making a donation, placing an advertisement or becoming a sponsor of the Seton Scholarship Dinner. Any donation is appreciated. For more information, please contact Gina Foster directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, (860) 886-1928, ext. 115