Lisa Louis, Executive Director, & Ruthanne Beighley, Board Chair, join Bill Blum, Director of Finance, Katie Tiefenthal, Principal, and Saint John Paul II Elementary School students to celebrate their Education grant.
Lisa Louis, Executive Director, & Ruthanne Beighley, Board Chair, join Bill Blum, Director of Finance, Katie Tiefenthal, Principal, and Saint John Paul II Elementary School students to celebrate their Education grant.

The Catholic Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania is pleased to announce that fifteen grants totaling $44,511 have been awarded through our 2021 spring competitive grant program. The Foundation’s granting program directly impacts the Catholic community in northwest Pennsylvania awarding competitive grants in support of a variety of faith formation and Catholic education efforts. Grants awarded this spring covered a wide range of projects and new initiatives in our diocesan offices, Catholic schools, and parishes. All will have wide ranging impact in all three vicariates of the thirteen county Diocese of Erie.

Competitive grants are opportunities for parishes and Catholic schools to seek financial assistance with their outreach and educational initiatives for which they may not have adequate funding. The Catholic Foundation seeks to support these important and innovative efforts to catechize and instruct the faithful throughout northwest Pennsylvania.

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Education grant check delivery to Saint Catherine of Siena; (L to R) Ken Kane, Board Member, Msgr. Seifer, Pastor, Lisa Louis, and Mary Ann Nicholls, Pastoral Associate

Technology needs are ever-present in our Catholic schools, never more so than in the last year. In this grant cycle, the Foundation was happy to award a $15,000 grant to the Shenango Valley Catholic School System to support the purchase of new iPads for Kindergarten, first, and second grade students at Saint John Paul II Elementary School in Hermitage, PA. “Now more than ever, iPads are used in everyday learning through various curriculum programs, including STEM,” explains Katie Tiefenthal, principal at the school. New devices will operate much faster and support the many new education applications available for teaching that supplement in-class materials. Tiefenthal continues, “These iPads are just what our students need!”

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Faith Formation grant check delivery to Saint Joseph Parish, Oil City: (L to R) Jim Martin, Development Director, Fr. Miller, Pastor, & Daria Sockey, Faith Formation Coordinator

Technology needs are not only a concern in our Catholic schools but also in our parishes. Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in DuBois, PA, received a $2,671.00 grant to provide technology upgrades for faith formation programs and livestreaming. Using technology in faith formation and outreach efforts is just one way the staff at Saint Catherine and their partner parish, Saint Michael the Archangel, are making stronger connections within and for their faith community.

The five Faith Formation Grants awarded this year are unique in that each will support an effort to reach out to the faithful beyond the borders of churches, schools, and diocesan offices. Each project awarded a grant will support outreach into the community in new ways. For example, Saint Joseph Parish in Oil City, PA, received a grant to bring Saint Paul Street Evangelization ( to the parish. They will provide a one-day evangelization training workshop for their parishioners. Upon receiving notification of her grant award, Daria Sockey, Faith Formation Coordinator, responded with an email saying, “I just opened my mail and received notification that my grant for Lay Evangelization training came through! I'm so excited! Can't wait to start planning for this event with my pastor.”

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Education grant check delivery to Saint Michael School, Greenville; (L to R) Ruthanne Beighley, Board Chair, Emily Zgonc, Principal, Fr. Barnes, Pastor, & Jim Martin, Development Director

Other grantees include Saint Michael School in Greenville, PA, and Saint Francis Xavier Parish in McKean, PA. Saint Michael School will use their grant award to purchase Theology of the Body curriculum materials for students and faculty. When asked about her experience with this grant process, Emily Zgonc, principal of Saint Michael School, said, “For someone who has very limited experience applying for grants, I found the grant application process for the Catholic Foundation of Northwest PA to be very user friendly. It was not an intimidating process. Receiving the Education grant will allow Saint Michael School to promote truth, goodness, and beauty, and instill the values of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body from Kindergarten through 8th Grade!” Saint Francis Xavier Parish received both a Faith Formation Grant to assist with their family catechesis program and an Education Grant that will support the cost of sending two parish catechists to the Saint John Bosco Conference at Franciscan University.

Click the following link to read the complete list of spring grantees.

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Saint Francis Xavier Parish, McKean: (L to R) Irene Schneider, Director of Evangelization, Fr. Feigh, Pastor, & Kathy Grisier, Development Associate
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Saint Philip Parish, Linesville; (L to R) Jim Martin, Amanda Davis, Fr. Hamlett, Pastor
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Saint George Parish, Erie; (L to R) Bill Steger, Board Member, Fr. Vossler, Pastor, Jim Martin

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Our Lady of Peace Parish, Erie; (front) Fr. Toohey, Pastor, Lisa Louis; (back) Mary Beth Whitman, Business Manager, Kathy Grisier
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Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus Parish, North East: (L to R) Fr. Brooks, Pastor, Jennifer Humes, Faith Formation Leader, Jim Martin, Corey Hanson

Be the spark!

The Catholic Foundation has been blessed by generous donors who reflect their faith and values through gifts that create impact now and forever. Thanks to these committed Catholics, the Foundation manages over 80 funds that provide grants to parishes, schools, and Catholic ministries in northwest Pennsylvania. Education Grants and Faith Formation Grants are made possible specifically through funds donated in support of the Education Endowment and Evangelization Endowment. Donations in any amount designated for these funds increases our capacity to award grants for impactful Catholic education and faith formation needs today and for future generations.

Fall 2021 Education grant cycle opens August 16, 2021. Review the guidelines and criteria and consider applying. Online applications will be accepted through September 24, 2021.

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