June 24, 2022

Leaders weigh in on how appeal, foundation donations help their ministries

Compiled by Natalie Hoefer

Donations to the annual United Catholic Appeal and the Catholic Community Foundation help the many ministries of the archdiocese serve the needs of brothers and sisters in Christ throughout central and southern Indiana. Here are comments from a few archdiocesan leaders on the impact of those contributions.

Brian Disney, archdiocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools

“The United Catholic Appeal really assists with our day-to-day operations of supporting our 68 Catholic schools in the archdiocese. We provide a lot of professional development for building leaders. We work with pastors, presidents, and principals on issues as they arise. We assist our schools with Choice Scholarships and other government programs and regulations.

“One of the great funds that we have through the Catholic Community Foundation is the Teacher Catechist Education [TCE] grant. Our teachers use this grant to help pay for advanced coursework to expand their expertise in areas like school administration, gifted and talented, special education, and to teach college credit classes in our high schools. Several of our Catholic school principals earned their master’s degree in educational leadership through the TCE grant.”

Ken Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis

“Our 120-plus parish catechetical leaders range from full-time professionals with master’s degrees to part-time volunteers with high school diplomas and day jobs. Each is entrusted with the mission-critical duty of running a vibrant, effective parish catechetical program—womb to tomb.

“United Catholic Appeal and Catholic Community Foundation dollars help our evangelization and catechetical offices support these leaders with professional and spiritual development, guidance for specific challenges and situations, and resources to keep these ecclesial ministers from reinventing the wheel.”

Ellen Sanders, director of mission advancement for archdiocesan education initiatives

“Donations to the United Catholic Appeal and the Catholic Community Foundation, along with individual donations, provide the funding so college-age men can live at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary [in Indianapolis] while discerning if they are being called to become a priest. Both of the men who were ordained as priests this year, Father Michael Clawson and Father Matthew Perronie, are alumni of Bishop Bruté.

“People who donate to the United Catholic Appeal and the Catholic Community Foundation are directly supporting vocations to the priesthood, which are so desperately needed so our children and grandchildren can experience the sacraments of our Catholic Church.”

Pearlette Springer, archdiocesan coordinator of Black Catholic Ministry

“These monies allow us to be present at the Indiana Black Expo and share our faith with people from across the U.S. They also allow for activities that bring Black Catholics together as a community, such as the annual Black Catholic Women Advent Reflection. They also help us gather Black Catholic men together for dialogue and prayer at the National Black Catholic Mens’ Conference, which will take place this year in October. Lastly, the United Catholic Appeal provides funding for the Fr. Boniface Hardin Practical Theology and Intercultural Competence Program. Through this, participants discuss the practical ways of living our faith.”

Father Michael Keucher, archdiocesan director of vocations

“The United Catholic Appeal and the Catholic Community Foundation benefit the work of the vocations office in helping to fund the formation of future priests and various promotional events across the archdiocese.

“Those events include Bishop Bruté Days, a retreat for young men who will be in grades 9-12 in the fall who are seeking to grow closer to Christ, and who may be open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood; our monthly Storm the Castle for high school age men to come see what life in seminary is like and spend time in prayer and fellowship with our college seminarians; the Climb the Hill retreat at Saint Meinrad [Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad] for men who’ve graduated from high school and older; and the annual St. Andrew Dinner for priests to bring young men they think would be interested in becoming a priest.

“We are deeply thankful to all donors who help make our efforts possible and fruitful.” †


Related story: Circle of Giving event celebrates ‘creating a culture of giving’

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