In 1997, Bishop Emeritus Robert N. Lynch, desired to create an organization that could serve as the fiscal resource to segregate long-term assets on behalf of the parishes, schools and ministries of our diocese. With this vision, the Catholic Foundation was formed. Since that time, the Foundation has focused on supporting the work of Christ in the Diocese of St. Petersburg by securing gifts, providing donor services and managing financial resources to benefit people assisted by all parish and diocesan ministries through gift planning, legacy gifts, endowments, charitable gift annuities and more.
Through these efforts, donors have made an incredible impact for their parishes, schools and favorite ministries. The total assets under management has grown to $43 million, with annual distributions of almost $2,000,000 to our 75 beneficiaries.
In addition to managed funds, since 2004 Bishop Lynch asked the Foundation to maintain an extra focus on tuition assistance for our Catholic schools. With that directive, the annual Catholic Foundation Gala event was launched, establishing the Match Grant and Bridge Scholarship Programs. For more than 15 years, the generous support of our event sponsors and attendees helps 250 students and their families access a Catholic school education. Click here to learn more about the Catholic Foundation Gala.
Our diocese joined together in 2019 to embrace a new vision, Courageously Living The Gospel. Through the vision, Bishop Gregory Parkes challenged the Foundation to step forward and courageously push further in serving the poor through affordable housing projects, supporting youth and young adults through regional programming, and to help strengthen our parishes and people as evangelizers bringing others to Christ. The Board of Trustees accepted the challenge, and in 2020 has been able to offer new annual funding opportunities through Gala proceeds and new products for parishes, ministries and donors.