By Mary Ellen Mahoney
“Wow, look at all the people!” one brother exclaimed, holding the hand of his little sister, as they walked into the ballroom of the Holiday Inn, Norwich at this year’s Catholic Foundation Annual Awards Dinner. Nearly 300 people, the largest crowd ever, gathered together for this very special evening on June 21st. In its 18th year of giving, the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich made its largest distribution in its history. A grand total of $331, 937.00 was distributed among grant applicants from the four counties comprising the Diocese – Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham. $127,951.00 in grant money was distributed to beneficiaries of the Foundation’s restricted endowments. Emily Hart and Francesca Lupo received the William F. Jr. and Flora L. O’Neil Scholarship. Rachel Kunka received the Eric B. Evans Scholarship; and Walter Sutman and Matthew McKinzie each received $5,000 as Reverend Richard Roughan Scholarship recipients. Additionally, $57,464.00 in funds were given to a variety of Diocesan ministries that serve those in need regardless of religious affiliation, such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul Middletown and St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich. Also, $126,722 was distributed in the form of tuition assistance to 271 Diocesan elementary students, the greatest number to ever receive aid from the Catholic Foundation, with the average tuition award of $468.00. Another $19,800.00 was distributed among the Diocesan secondary schools.
Bishop Michael R. Cote happily distributed the checks and took pictures with students, principals and ministry representatives. Following the distribution of checks, Bishop Cote returned to the podium for a very special presentation to Angela Arnold, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation who will be leaving her position in August. Bishop Cote said, “Since Angela’s arrival she has worked tirelessly to help our Foundation grow and help people. She has made changes to our Foundation governance and disbursement management which have resulted in a more efficient, organization which has thereby been able to impact more and more lives.” The Foundation added 10 new endowments and assets adding close to $4 million additional dollars.
Following Bishop Cote’s remarks, Dan Adams, Catholic Foundation Vice President, and State Representative Kevin Ryan further recognized and congratulated Angela.
The Catholic Foundation has continued to experience great growth as more people decide to make a lasting commitment to the Diocese and help carry out its mission to help those in need of support, whether it be spiritual, physical, emotional or educational. This past year, 2 new endowments were opened, the Very Reverend William F. Schneider Endowment which supports vocations to the priesthood and religious life as well as the Leo A. and Lorraine E. Barron Endowment, which was recently opened by Leo Barron of Gales Ferry in honor of his late wife, Lorraine for the benefit of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Gales Ferry.
The Catholic Foundation is a nonprofit corporation, established to provide endowments for the Diocese 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. Since its inception, the Catholic Foundation has awarded $4,104,498.12 in grant and scholarship assistance within the Diocese.
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Anyone interested in contributing to an endowment or establishing one may contact Mary Ellen Mahoney, Development Manager at 860-886-1928 ext. 14, or e-mail email@example.com for further information.