Goal of this Category — In order to have a strong diocese, we must have strong religious education programs for people of all ages. This includes programs for children and youth; strong sacramental preparation programs; Youth Ministry programs that keep young people actively involved in the church; parish R.C.I.A. and R.C.I.C. programs, the diocesan Lay Ministry program and other opportunities to train parish and diocesan leaders; adult education programs that offer opportunities for people to learn more about their faith; support groups and educational programs that prepare individuals for the challenges of adult life such as parenting, strengthening marriages, retirement planning, caring for aging parents, and grief ministry; other programs as needs arise.
Existing Endowments — The following endowments have been created to support Catholic education:
- 13 endowments have been created by individuals or families in support of a facet of Catholic education that is important to them;
- 8 endowments have been created for diocesan-wide support of a facet of Catholic education.
How Disbursements are Used — The endowment in this category include a wide range of programs, including the following: education of special needs children including but not limited to materials and training needed for catechists; religious education for children and youth; tuition supplements for lay ministry candidates; Catholic education for all ages; marriage preparation materials and preparation for catechists; athletic programs for youth of the parish.
TOTAL Catholic Education Endowment Assets (as of 06-30-16): $913,239
“I Promise I Will Create an Endowment in His Name”
In March of 2006, Fr. Jeff Donner, then pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Gladwin, had a series of heart attacks that led to his untimely death. This was a devastating blow to the people of Gladwin as well as the many other parishes in which he served. But it was also a huge blow to another group of people.
Fr. Jeff was an excellent educator – for the diocese’s Lay Ministry program as well as for the Summer Institute held each year at the Center for Ministry. Three weeks before he died, Fr. Jeff was teaching the Ecclesiology class for the second year Lay Ministry class. During that session, he revealed two things about himself – that he loved being a priest and that teaching was one of his passions.
At Fr. Jeff’s funeral, Bishop Carlson talked about the many contributions that Fr. Jeff made to the diocese. And he made a promise to Fr. Jeff’s family and to the many people who attended the funeral. Bishop said, “I promise I will create an endowment in his name.”
Bishop Carlson kept that promise and many people made gifts to the fund. Twice per year, disbursements from the endowment in Fr. Jeff’s name will be used to help with tuition for new Lay Ministers as well as offering assistance to Lay Ministers who go on to earn advanced degrees in Theology, Pastoral Ministry, or Evangelization.