Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF)

Ministerial Excellence Fund is made possible by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis through a grant funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc.  The MEF allows us to offer grants to our pastoral leaders who are experiencing financial stress related to student debt or family-related medical expenses. These grants are made available to full and part-time employees (with at least 15 hours per week) in the following roles:

  • Parish Life Coordinators
  • Business Managers
  • Pastoral Associates
  • Youth Ministers
  • Religious Education Directors
  • Principals/Assist Principals

These funds also allow the archdiocese to retain and assist lay pastoral leaders.  Relief Amount Relief requests cannot exceed $5,000 and will be distributed in 12 monthly payments.

Funding Requirements & Information

  • Financial counseling is a required component for obtaining a grant since long-term financial well-being may be more greatly impacted by education than by a short-term grant.
  • Grant dollars are taxable. All taxes are to be paid by the grant recipient. In some cases, the amount of the grant may be increased over the actual need to help defray the cost of taxes.
  • Grants will be issued through the Office of Accounting Services as part of payroll.  Payments will cease immediately if employment is terminated.
  • The archdiocese reserves the right to obtain proof of loan and/or debt payments.

Program Timeline

  • June - September
    • Application process made available to qualified candidates
  • October
    • First deadline for participant applications (October 15)
  • November
    • Grant allocations to be determined
  • December
    • Grant awardees to be contacted; funds to be released

In addition to providing funding to assist lay ministry leaders of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis with student debt and family- related medical expenses, the Ministerial Excellence Fund will offer FREE financial education for employees and their spouses. Participation in financial education is a prerequisite for obtaining a grant since long-term financial well-being may be more greatly impacted by education than by a short-term grant. Peter Dunn (“Pete the Planner”) currently provides financial programming for our employees and will partner with us to provide the following offerings:

Faith and Money Video

This customized video will feature both clergy and lay employees discussing the relationship between finances and our Catholic faith. It will help people “connect faith and life” in this vital area and understand what our faith teaches about the use of money.

Pete’s Money School

There are courses available for employees and spouses in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s to address the major financial issues present at each stage of life. Each course includes an assessment to verify learning and to assist with application of the information provided.

Individual Financial Counseling

Each lay ministry leader and his/her spouse will be able to meet privately with Peter Dunn to discuss individual financial issues. These meetings are confidential and provide the opportunity for dialogue about areas of concern.

Financial stress can affect all aspects of an individual’s and a family’s well-being. The grants and financial education provided through the Ministerial Excellence Fund can alleviate this stress and promote the recruitment, retention, satisfaction, and effectiveness of lay ministry leaders in the archdiocese.

If you have questions or would like more information about the financial education offerings, contact the Human Resource Office at or 317.236.1594.

More details on the Ministerial Excellence Fund and its programs are available by contacting Dan Krodel at or 317-236-1562.

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