KELLY WELDON
Director, Foundations in Faith

BIO

For the past 25 years, Kelly and her husband Chris have made their home in Wilton. They have three adult children who are now living and working in New York City.

Throughout her life, Kelly has focused on helping people in need and serving those who are marginalized. She is now the Director of Foundations in Faith, a 501c-3 recognized charity that is committed to supporting and transforming pastoral ministries in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Last year, Foundations in Faith began two new crucial missions: It has been an invaluable resource during the pandemic, particularly for its’ ability to assist pastorally vibrant parishes faced with financial challenges. In addition, Kelly became a member of the newly formed Diocesan Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, which Bishop Frank Caggiano asked to develop strategic goals to combat racism.

Bishop Caggiano observed, “Under the capable and creative leadership of Kelly Weldon, [Foundations in Faith] has proven to be a great resource to our parishes and our people.”

For Kelly, the path to Foundations in Faith began growing up in a big, loving family – she was one of six children with an interesting birth order: Boy-girl, boy-girl, boy-girl. It was much like The Brady Bunch with Kelly being the “Marcia” of her family.

Kelly attended Catholic University of America, where she met her husband Chris, a student of law. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work, Kelly began her career in roles that combined social work and law. She worked at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in the Witness Aid Program, and later moved on to work with children in foster care, representing their interests at Family Court hearings.

A fun fact -she even appeared before Judge Judy back in the day.

Over the years, Kelly has worked and volunteered at a handful of non-profits, including Head Start, Family & Children’s Agency, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

In 2008, Kelly put her skills and experience to use at a small family foundation, the Perrin Family Foundation, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. It is here that she began her journey in understanding oppression and racism. It is also where where she learned the value of youth engagement.

In addition, Kelly’s foundation experience includes serving on the Connecticut Order of Malta Grant Committee.

In 2019, Kelly came to Foundations in Faith. She is energized by Bishop Caggiano’s comprehensive vision for pastoral care, the leadership of the Board of Directors, and the creativity of the committees that guide the strategy and grant making processes.

She noted, “The greatest inspiration comes from the people in the funded programs. They are missionaries for Christ, salvation and justice."

ROSE BRENNAN
Program Associate, Foundations in Faith

BIO

Rose is a proud Diocese of Bridgeport school alumna, graduating from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield in 2016. She had many fond memories there, including her AP U.S. government classes with the late Fr. Bill Sangiovanni and her yearly service trips to Neon, Kentucky with the school’s Appalachia program.

She also had a few not-so-fond memories there, including when a photographer snapped a photo of her and her friends half-awake outside the school one morning, the result of which is hanging in the school’s hallway to this day. Nevertheless, she wears her class ring faithfully every day.

Rose then attended Manhattan College, a Lasallian college in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. There, she was a proud, four-year member of both the college’s music ministry and the school newspaper, The Quadrangle, of which she was both the arts editor and managing editor for two years.

Rose was also a member of the college’s Women Inspiring Successful Enterprise (WISE) program, which paired 20 young women per year with eight-week paid internships in their desired career field. Rose’s landed her at Regal Hoffmann and Associates, a literary agency in midtown Manhattan. The program also included professional development workshops running the gamut from intergroup dialogue, imposter syndrome, resume bootcamp and salary negotiation.

Rose graduated summa cum laude with a double major in English and communication with a concentration in journalism in 2020, just two months after the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, meaning she finished her undergraduate career in her living room. She was a finalist for both Manhattan’s valedictory medal and alumni medal, both of which are among the highest honors a graduating senior can receive from the college.

Following her graduation, Rose worked just over a year for The Riverdale Press, a small weekly newspaper covering the northwest Bronx. Rose’s first assignment was to profile local essential workers; she interviewed bus drivers, doctors, nurses, grocery store workers and others standing on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Soon after, Rose took over The Press’ education and transportation news desks, where she covered big stories – like the nation’s largest public school system’s return to the classroom during a public health crisis – and not-so-big stories – like speed bump installation on a main northwest Bronx thoroughfare. However, it was Rose’s story on a local photographer that garnered her a shared first place award for arts coverage from the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

But Rose is very excited to make the shift back to a familiar entity closer to home. While she’ll be assisting with just about everything with Foundations in Faith, she’ll primarily be focused on the St. John Paul II Fund for Religious Education and Faith Formation and the Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs Fund – both of which have missions near and dear to her heart.

Most of all, Rose is excited to grow with this new organization and help it spread its wings to positively impact as many lives and ministries as possible.