The New Year’s celebrations continue with another Seminarian Scholarship fundraising challenge achieved!
The people of the Diocese of Bismarck were given the largest matching gift challenge ever by the Catholic Extension Service and the Catholic Foundation for the People of the Diocese of Bismarck. The goal was to raise $300,000 and receive another $150,000 in matching funds, with all the proceeds to go to the Seminarian Scholarship Endowment Funds within the Catholic Foundation.
Not only did you achieve the goal, you crushed it! Nearly $800,000 was raised in total.
As the Director of Development and Planned Giving, I am pretty sure I have the best job in the world. In the last two and a half years, I have gotten to know so many of you, the faithful Catholics of our diocese, and it is my honor. Every time I spend some time with one of you, I feel uplifted and am assured that the Catholic faith is alive and well in western North Dakota. If it wasn’t evident enough by your interest in and prayerful support of our large number of seminarians and other ministries, it becomes crystal clear when a matching gift challenge garners this kind of support.
There are so many people to thank for this year’s results and the recent growth in vocations. First, to Bishop Kagan, for creating an environment in which young men can flourish when discerning their call to the priesthood and Fr. Josh Waltz for his faith and great passion in his work as the diocese’s Director of Vocations.
The Catholic Extension Society awarded our diocese a $50,000 grant. Combined with $100,000 from some very generous families, these became the matching dollars and the fuel, which propelled this year’s program forward. So, a special thank you to those families and the Catholic Extension Society for their participation in this year’s program.
Many of you attended the Seminarian Summer Celebrations this past year. I hope everyone enjoyed these gatherings as much as I did. These events are a wonderful time to meet many of our seminarians, show your support for their calling, and for them to meet so many of you—the folks behind the prayers for vocations.
The Summer Celebrations are a big part of what my department does. Making these events happen with a limited budget, but very talented staff, wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors like Challenger Industries who sponsored our entire Bismarck event. In Williston, the input and support of Tom and Cheryl Powers was instrumental in having that party come together. Look for your invitations in June this year for the parties in July. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of these events please try, I think you will be glad you did.
It’s been another good year here at the Catholic Foundation for the People of the Diocese of Bismarck and all the ministries we represent. More families decided to start a named family endowment, and more parishes benefited from donations to their endowment funds held within the Foundation. Catholic schools and religious education, priests’ care and more, are all growing. Why do you suppose that is? It’s because of all of you and your faith and willingness to share your time, talent and treasure. So, thank you all for everything you do.
For more information about the Catholic Foundation, please visit our website at
. You can also find us on Facebook and follow our upcoming events. I would also be happy to speak with you personally. You may reach me at 701-204-7206 or 701-226-2047.