Foundations in Faith First Half of 2024

By Carol Incarnacao-Schirm

June is a busy month for Foundations in Faith. In fact, February through July the staff at Foundations in Faith is focused on receiving and evaluating applications, and distributing awards across its nine different funds.

First up, the St. Charles Borromeo Fund for Vocations and Seminarians, the St. John Vianney Fund for Retired Priests, and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Fund for Catholic Schools received applications in February from the Diocese of Bridgeport Office of Vocation, the Office of Seminarians, the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence, and the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. In total, the Foundation’s board awarded General Operating Support grants to these organizations totaling $384,922 in its March meeting.

Meanwhile, the period of application for Program Support Grants also opened in February and ran through Friday after Easter. With $582,525 in total grant requests from many Diocesan ministries and twenty-nine parishes, these applications will be approved and awarded by the board in its June 25th meeting. Non-competitive applications were received through the St. Catherine Center for Special Needs Fund, St. John Bosco Fund for Special Needs in Catholic Schools, and the Lourdes Fund for Pastoral Care in Nursing Homes. Competitive grant applications through the St. Therese Fund for Evangelization and St. John Paul II Fund for Faith Formation were evaluated by a team of volunteer grant reviewers representing nine parishes across the Diocese. Their effort and input over the course of two weeks is crucial to finalizing recommendations for funding of a variety of programs and initiatives essential to building up the mystical body of Christ in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Rounding out distributions in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, Mini Grants—a special rapid-response program dedicated to promoting innovative approaches and addressing exceptional needs in our Diocese year-round—were awarded to several parishes and Diocesan ministries totaling $19,700 from 11 applicants. Mini Grant recipients furthered ministries focused on discipleship and faith formation through celebratory events, technology and accessibility improvements, and focused retreats. The Young Adult Eucharistic Guardian program that took place during the Eucharistic Procession in May, which brought young people to adoration over the course of three nights as the national procession made its way through our Diocese, was one of the programs realized as a result of a Mini Grant by Foundations in Faith.