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Foundation gives record-breaking amount to Catholic groups

The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado awarded $10.3 million in grants during 2013, the largest amount ever awarded by the foundation in its 16-year history.

“It’s really exciting,” Dave Fantz, administrative officer, told the Denver Catholic Register. “And it’s encouraging in terms of the future; there is a lot of potential.”

Last year’s total well exceeded the annual average of $4 to $6 million in grants the foundation has distributed in recent years, according to Fantz. In all, more than 300 grants were awarded in 2013—also a new high for the foundation.

“The Catholic Foundation plays an important role in the life of the Church by making it possible for the more than 40 apostolates in the archdiocese to bring Christ to the materially and spiritually needy,” said Archbishop Samuel Aquila. “I am very appreciative of the constant effort The Catholic Foundation puts forward to help donors make prudent giving decisions for the benefit of the whole Church.”

More than half of the $10.3 million total was distributed to Archdiocese of Denver ministries, with about a quarter of it, or nearly $4 million, going to support the two seminaries: St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary.

This generosity provides a huge opportunity for the future,” said Deacon Steve Stemper, CEO and president, “and shows how absolutely motivated the faithful are in giving to their Church.”

Approximately $1.7 million was distributed to education-related entities including inner-city Catholic schools, Catholic high schools, Catholic colleges, parishes serving public university students such as the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University, as well as the Augustine Institute graduate school that also provides parish programming and leadership formation.

Archdiocesan programs including sacramental programs, priestly continuing education, retired priests’ ministry, TV Mass and emergency parish needs received $1.3 million; and parishes received close to $800,000 for non-emergency needs.

Of that $800,000 the foundation matched local fundraising efforts of up to $10,000 at 30 parishes, for a total of $300,000. The purpose of that effort, which was continued this year, was to encourage parishes to establish their own fund at the foundation to promote planned giving for long-term financial support.

The balance of the grants, about $2.5 million, supported 65-plus ministries such as Catholic Charities that was granted $250,000 to assist victims of last September’s Front Range flooding; Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women (Endow); Escuela de Guadalupe, a private bilingual Catholic elementary school, and the Dominican Sisters Home Health Agency of Denver.

“The foundation’s commitment to Catholic nonprofits in our community is paramount,” said Krisandra Panting, executive director of the Denver agency that provides free in-home nursing care, services and medical equipment loans to the uninsured, elderly and sick poor of the metro area. “We receive approximately $25,000 in grant money per year from the TCF and this money goes directly to provide charity nursing care and health-related services to the poor sick elderly.”

While their nurses make a difference in the lives of their patients, she continued, the Catholic Foundation makes a huge difference in the amount of nursing care that the agency can provide.

That level of generosity from donors was a highlight for Deacon Stemper during his first year heading up the foundation, he said.

“I am continually amazed at how generous our donors are in this regard,” he said. “As Catholic faithful, we believe our earthly treasure is a gift from God, and as we follow the teachings of Scripture regarding stewardship of our treasure, we give it a way to serve a heavenly purpose.

We thank all donors who partnered with us in giving for the kingdom of God,” he added.

The area of Colorado served by The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado encompasses 25 counties, or about two-thirds of the state’s residents. Unlike foundations that primarily give in response to general grant requests, the foundation collaborates with the Catholic community to benefit Church organizations in need. To find out more about the foundation, visit www.thecatholicfoundation.com.

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