CATHOLIC EDUCATION COLLECTION TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 14-15
Sheila Grove and Michelle Basista
ERIE --The Catholic Education Collection will take place during the second collection at Mass the weekend of September 14-15. This annual collection raises funds to support faith formation programs throughout the diocese. Half of the monies raised each year remains in the parishes to support local youth and adult faith formation and Catholic education activities. The remaining half partially funds the education endowments of the diocese and the Catholic Foundation which helps laypersons deepen their faith and ministerial competence, provides financial support for children to attend Catholic school, and funds training for catechists and pastoral ministers. Additionally, a small portion supports The Catholic University of America. Gifts can also be made online anytime at www.ErieRCD.org/Catholic-Education-Collection.html.
The generosity of Catholics over the years has helped facilitate the goal of faith formation across the life span at individual parishes and in joint community programming. Here are just a few examples of projects the Catholic Education Collection has helped to make possible:
A grant from the Catholic Foundation helped pay for five music ministers from St. Catherine and St. Michael parishes to attend the National Association of Pastoral Musicians Convention. One participant said, “We cannot begin to tell you how prayerful and inspirational these days together were for us. We came back to our parish family full of renewed enthusiasm for the music ministry.”
A grant from the Religious Education Endowment Fund was awarded to Catholic Rural Ministry of Oil City for their creative project in Faith Formation Enrichment. Sister Marian Wehler says, “It is a joy to serve the youth and adults in our deanery and your assistance makes it easier as we search out funding to support the work.”
In Fall of 2018 the faith formation programs for four parishes in Warren County joined together to offer religious education for all children in pre-school through confirmation, directed by the Warren Community Faith Formation Group. The RCIA programs for all four parishes as well as additional adult formation opportunities were also combined. A grant from the Religious Education Endowment Fund was approved for the purchase and installation of SmartBoards in order to engage faith formation participants. Jennifer Wortman, director of Faith Formation for the Warren County Catholic Community, says “Your generosity is instrumental in our efforts to create one county wide formation program and bring our youth a multifaceted approach to education and formation in their Catholic faith.”
Last year 5th – 8th grade St. Gregory School students were able to visit Saint Anthony Padua’s Chapel in Pittsburgh because of a grant received through the Religious Education Endowment fund. Amy Amann, St. Gregory teacher, says, “We at Saint Gregory School sincerely appreciate support for special programs through grant money and were thrilled that we were awarded a grant and able to participate in this special experience.”. A St. Gregory school student says “When I attended St. Anthony’s chapel in Pittsburgh, I learned a lot more about saints. This trip was wonderful and was a great experience. Thank you for providing us with this experience.”