- Mission Statement: The St. Francis Xavier Fund provides resources -- both financial and human -- to partner with pastors to build long-term sustainable parishes. This fund strives to alleviate the financial burdens of urban churches that exhibit strong leadership, are pastorally vibrant, and reflect outstanding Missionary outreach. The goal is to empower Pastors to focus on nurturing and growing their ministries and furthering the work of evangelization and renewal, while ensuring that facilities are functioning to meet the future needs of the parish. The fund also builds bridges between pastors, parishes, and parishioners to better appreciate and cherish our Diocese's diversity.
The fund takes a unique and holistic approach to partnering with these parishes. The SFX team builds on the strengths of the parish's operations, financials, infrastructure, partnerships, and collaborations. The pastor and parish team are empowered to address needs with creative solutions funded by SFX. We strive to build a relationship of trust, and through it, we begin to see the impact and meaningful change.
Through this relationship, a parish may qualify for one of several grant opportunities offered through the St. Francis Xavier Fund. While we like to keep our grant opportunities open and flexible for the unique needs of many of our partners, here are some examples of grants we've provided in the past.
- Fiscal stability grants allow missionary parishes to keep their heads above the water financially. This was most apparent during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic when the sudden loss of offertory donations could have caused serious trouble for many parishes in the Diocese. Instead, the St. Francis Xavier Fund was able to provide funding for these parishes to remain open and viable.
- Emergency need grants meet sudden, unforeseen needs at missionary parishes. Many of these parishes might be unable to financially meet emergency needs, such as a broken boiler or a leaking roof above the altar. The St. Francis Xavier Fund can often provide grants to offset some, if not all, of the cost of these unforeseen expenses.
- Technology and communication grants bring missionary parishes into the 21st century by upgrading their technology in parish offices and online. Many missionary parishes have had their websites updated and have taken advantage of online offertory programs. These grants proved crucial in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, when many parishes had to pivot to online services but didn't originally have the technology to do so.
- Capacity-building grants are used to develop competencies, strategies, systems, and structures to strengthen the Parish team and its ministries.
WHY IS SFX UNIQUE?
- We are focused on partnerships, listening and learning.
- We take risks and fail fast ... although we've only had successes thus far.
- We make it easy to apply for funds. We approve funding fast and we walk with the pastor and parish to see the project through.
- We think outside the box.
- We use our Matrix for a holistic approach. We don't believe in Band-Aid solutions
About Our Namesake
St. Francis Xavier was a Catholic missionary who cofounded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) with St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Peter Faber. He was beatified in 1619 and canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.
St. Francis Xavier was the first Christian missionary to venture to Japan, Borneo, and other areas of Asia, and was considered by many to be the greatest missionary since St. Paul. He, along with St. Therese of Lisieux, is the co-patron of all foreign missions.
His feast day is December 3.