Immaculate Conception BVM Church, Douglassville is among the parishes that have education endowments to support their schools. Pictured, Immaculate Conception Academy celebrated 100 days of school Feb. 9 by dressing in silly, clashing clothing and collecting nonperishable food items for the local food bank. The Student Council Executive Board set a goal of at least 100 items, and by Feb. 14 students had collected 282. For information on how to help, visit website www.icaberks.org or Facebook www.facebook.com/icaknights. Student Council Executive Board and mission representatives are, from left: front, Briana Devine, Brandon Longo, Gabriella Clemente, Makenzie Hine, Matthew Leininger, Whitney Femino, Violet Dolena; middle, John Mullin, Sabrina Knipe, Delaney Hyer, Gabriella Fontana, Abby Wolf, Charlotte Dolena, Sean Reilly, Aubrey Hunt; back, Molly McFadden, Maggie McFadden, John Battistelli and Anna Schlegel.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Allentown joined with other schools throughout the country as they participated in the 2018 Catholic Schools Week Jan. 28-Feb. 3.
Organized around this year’s theme of “Learn, Serve, Lead and Succeed,” faculty and administrators, together with parents and students, celebrated the many gifts and blessings offered by our schools.
Catholic schools have a stabilizing influence for families, as well as the communities where they are located. Keeping our schools strong today and ensuring their future are two of the main reasons individuals and parishes have made the decision to invest in an endowment fund in the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania.
“Education endowment funds generate future income for our schools and provide the children in our parishes access to a premier Catholic education and a chance to succeed,” said Pete Waldron, executive director of the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania.
“Scholarships, teacher excellence efforts and STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math) educational programs are top funding needs, and the Catholic Foundation will work with parishes, schools and their individual donors to create endowments that will fund these educational priorities.”
The Catholic Foundation, a charitable organization independent from the Diocese of Allentown, began organizing four years ago. It was designed to manage assets, generate perpetual income and provide financial stability for Catholic parishes, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations in the five-county footprint of the Diocese. Currently it is managing almost $5 million in assets in 21 separate endowment funds.
From its beginnings, the Catholic Foundation has helped individual donors, educational institutions, organizations and parishes to recognize endowments as a means to support their causes, not only today, but for future generations. A school or scholarship endowment means that funds will be available year after year, and often bridges the gap between tuition revenue and other contributed revenue, such as special events and annual fund.
There are 16 education endowment funds managed by the Catholic Foundation. In addition to diocesan parish and regional elementary schools, endowments also support special learning centers and Catholic high schools.
The Reverend Stephen J. Halabura Endowment goes toward the education of Diocesan seminarians. The endowment fund established for John Paul II Center for Special Learning, Shillington provides for the education of students with developmental and intellectual disabilities attending that school.
Since the Catholic Foundation’s inception, it has paid out an estimated $172,000 in annual distributions to schools or institutions designated from each educational endowment. It expects to pay out an estimated $160,000 this year.
Three of the endowments provide an annual disbursement to the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation, which then provides scholarship funding to offset the tuition for students who qualify for financial aid. These are the Catholic School Scholarship Endowment Fund, Berks County Catholic School Endowment Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Nina Arant, program manager-scholarships for the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation, has seen the impact these endowments have had on families in the Diocese.
“Having the annual distributions from these three endowments held by the Catholic Foundation is immensely important to our schools,” said Arant.
“This funding provides scholarship aid to students and their families, and often makes the difference in allowing them to continue their education in our Catholic schools. The endowments create scholarships that our schools can count on each year to distribute to those with the greatest financial need.”
Other Catholic Foundation endowments have named specific schools as the recipients of their annual disbursements. Most endowments were started with either a bequest or existing funds from individual parishes or school-related organizations. These donors recognized their money would go farther and last longer with the professional fund management offered through the Catholic Foundation.
Allentown Central Catholic High School’s Green and Gold (G&G) Fund is an example. Bob Buck, G&G treasurer and CPA with Buckno Lisicky and Company, saw the value immediately.
“It made sense to move the Green and Gold Fund into the Catholic Foundation,” Buck said. “With access to a broader investment portfolio, our fund will earn a better rate of return, grow faster and work harder to support educational programs at Allentown Central Catholic High School.”
The Scalici Family Fund, donated by Tom and Amy Scalici, was created in October 2017 and supports three worthy causes important to the Scalici family: St. John Vianney Regional School, Allentown; Mercy School for Special Learning, Allentown; and Catholic Charities.
“An endowment fund with the Catholic Foundation provides consistent annual funding that will support an organization perpetually,” said Scalici. “Over time the gift will grow, which means the annual amount distributed to them will grow accordingly.”
Five Diocesan parishes also have education endowments to support their schools: Assumption BVM, Pottsville; St. Anne, Bethlehem; Immaculate Conception BVM,
Douglassville; St, Jane Frances de Chantal, Easton; St. Joseph the Worker, Orefield; and St. Theresa, Hellertown.
Those funds provide financial aid for families or support for educational programing. Education endowment funds at the Catholic Foundation include:
- ACCHS Green and Gold Education Endowment Fund
- Assumption BVM School Endowment Fund
- Reverend Joseph A. Barnes Scholarship Endowment Fund
- Berks County Catholic School Scholarship Endowment Fund
- Bishop Thompson Scholarship Endowment Fund
- Catholic School Scholarship Endowment Fund
- Rev. Stephen J. Halabura Seminary Endowment Fund
- Hispanic Scholarship Endowment Fund
- John Paul II Center for Special Learning Endowment Fund
- Albert J. Neupauper Education Endowment Fund
- St. Anne (Bethlehem) Education Endowment Fund
- St. Jane Frances de Chantal Education Endowment Fund
- St. Joseph the Worker Angel Scholarship Endowment Fund
- St. Theresa School Endowment Fund
- Scalici Family Endowment Fund
- Charles A. Wagner Scholarship Endowment Fund