The Diocese of Bridgeport is pleased to announce that Foundations in Faith is growing both the board of directors and its staff. With the new year, Foundations in Faith has hired Kelly Weldon as the assistant to the chairperson. Foundations in Faith, the successor to Faith in the Future, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support, transform and enhance its varied pastoral ministries. The Foundation awards grants and distributions to support programs in religious education, evangelization, support for priests and deacons, seminarians and special needs ministries.
Kelly will be coordinating the grant process for the John Paul II funds to support faith formation as well as managing the award process for other pastoral initiatives. Kelly graduated from The Catholic University of America and holds a degree in social work. She has over a decade of experience working with foundations and three decades experience working with area non-profits. Kelly and her husband Chris live in Wilton and attend Our Lady of Fatima Church. They have three grown children.
The Foundation is also pleased to welcome three new board members; Lorraine Carrano from Trumbull, Joseph Sindelar from New Canaan and Susan Stone from New Canaan. Together, with Bishop Frank J. Caggiano serving as the chairperson, these directors join Alicia Carpenter-Cummings, Anne McCrory, Anthony Minopoli, Daniel Mudd, Mike Hanlon, Msgr. Thomas Powers, Nicholas Yanicelli and Paul Cronin. “We are truly blessed to have a tremendously talented board, who are both dedicated to the mission of the Foundation and committed to shepherding the funds entrusted to them to serve the pastoral needs of the diocese,” remarked Bishop Caggiano. “These directors have demonstrated a hands-on approach to growing and supporting the pastoral work at our parishes, including support for the formation of priests and our retired clergy. The success of Foundations in Faith is critical to the future of our diocese.”
Last year, funded grants to “Reimagine Faith Formation” were awarded by targeting a population at the parish that was previously underserved, with a focus on the whole family unit. Bishop Caggiano called for grant applications to be so innovative that they seek to change the fabric of faith formation. During the 2018 inaugural year over $150,000 was distributed to 32 grantees. Innovative faith formation initiatives included a multi-site, week-long service-immersion project where the high school participants are trained to become peer leaders. Another program developed a day-long family retreat for single, bi-lingual parents and their children from non-traditional homes. Many of these funded innovative programs were designed to be replicated in neighboring parishes. These grants were in addition to distributions supporting our diocesan high schools and endowed scholarships, the Office of the Superintendent, retired clergy and priestly formation and vocations.
In the next few weeks, pastors, youth ministers, directors and coordinators of religious education will be invited to apply for the Saint John Paul II fund for religious education and youth ministry. Grant awards will range between $2000 and $10,000. Applications will go out in February are due back in April. The funding decisions will be approved by the Foundations in Faith Board of Directors and those who are awarded grants will receive funding in August.