After being unable to hold its annual awards dinner for two years, the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich was elated to host this event the evening of June 27, 2022 at the Holiday Inn, Norwich. In its 22nd year of giving, the Catholic Foundation made its largest distribution in its history.
A grand total of $402,516.96 was distributed among grant applicants from the four counties comprising the Diocese – Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham. Monies were distributed to beneficiaries of the Catholic Foundation’s restricted endowments to assist schools, parishes and diocesan entities with their missions. In addition, diocesan ministries that serve those in need regardless of religious affiliation, such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown and St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich received much-needed monetary aid.
Of course, the most vocal attendees at the dinner were the many children who received tuition help from the Catholic Foundation for the upcoming school year. In its greatest tuition grant ever, the Foundation distributed $154,570 to 373 elementary students. This amounted to an increase of close to 100 student recipients compared with last year. Another $10,314.00 was distributed to the diocesan secondary schools.
Morgan Kuhn and Jelliam Martinez received the William F. Jr. and Flora L. O’Neil Scholarship. Lillian Watrous received the Eric B. Evans Scholarship and Jordin Bellinger was the Wronowski Family Scholarship winner. Kevin Kilcomons and Connor Crump each received $5,000 as Rev. Richard Roughan Scholarship recipients. Reverend Richard Roughan, former pastor of St. Paul Church, Waterford, established these scholarships through his will, providing tuition assistance to one incoming college freshman and one returning college student. Kevin will start his first year at Purdue University and Connor will return to Western New England as a junior this fall.
This year’s dinner was hosted, as always, by Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D., who thanked the ministry representatives, teachers and principals for their devotions to their ministries and schools. Bishop Cote also thanked the parents in attendance each of “who[m] have made a Catholic education a priority in their family and live as Christian role models for their children.” Last but not least, Bishop Cote expressed his appreciation to the children, “for working so hard in school and in your communities to live each day as Jesus asks.”
Mrs. Mary Ellen Mahoney, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation, oversaw the distribution of the checks, with Bishop Cote handing each recipient their checks and taking a photo with them. In her remarks, she thanked the board members for their dedication to the Foundation as well as the donors for their generous commitment to the Foundation. The following endowment sponsors were present at the dinner: Pam and Mike Lynch, Colin and Loretta Rice, Very Rev. Brian Converse and Seana Rafferty Hanson and Stuart Hanson, who traveled from West Virginia to attend.
The Catholic Foundation has continued to experience great growth as more people decide that they want to make a lasting commitment to the Diocese and help it to carry out its mission to help those in need of support, whether it be spiritual, physical, emotional or educational. Since its last dinner, the following 14 new endowments have been established:
John A. & Judith A. Converse Endowment, Jane Couture Endowment, Barbara Hvizdo Endowment, Thomas & Grace Harvey Endowment, Joseph & Frances Hvizdo Endowment, Edward G. Manning Endowment, Rev. Robert F. McNulty Endowment, Edward G. Moran Endowment, Very Rev. Michael O’Hara Endowment, Genevieve Rafferty Endowment, Theresa N. Reardon Endowment, Saint Mary Mother of the Redeemer Parish Endowment, Amber Grace Smith Scholarship Endowment and the Wronowski Family Scholarship Endowment.
The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich is a nonprofit corporation, established to provide endowments for the Diocese of Norwich and its parishes, schools, agencies and organizations. The Foundation encourages Catholics to be good stewards through gifts of assets, provides for the investment of those assets and distributes the income according to the Gospel and the wishes of the donors.
Endowments through the Foundation are a means to greater financial stability and growth for our Diocese and its entities. Since its inception, the Catholic Foundation has awarded more than $5.6 million in grant and scholarship assistance.
The Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, including Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, D.D., Rev. Msgr. Leszek T. Janik, J.C.L., Reverend Peter Langevin, Tom Kasprzak, Daniel Adams, Angela Arnold, Jean Barrasso, Shane Kuzel, Todd Postler, Robert Reed, Robert Ricca, Mother Mary David Riquier, S.C.M.C and Tara Whitehead.
Anyone interested in contributing to an endowment or establishing one may contact Mary Ellen Mahoney at 860-886-1928 ext. 113, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
By Mary Ellen Mahoney