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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

CHARLOTTE — Feeding the hungry, helping people in a financial emergency, funding faith formation programs and supporting evangelization efforts are just some of the ways recipients of this year’s Diocese of Charlotte Foundation grant award winners will help others across the diocese.

The annual awards are given out based on need and the impact the funds are expected to have on their local communities.

This year $73,211 was awarded to 21 parishes and missions, six diocesan outreach ministries and six food pantries. Three direct assistance grants were also awarded to diocesan ministries. Four faith formation initiatives and a parish-sponsored pro-life outreach to local families also received grants.

The foundation grants ranged from $2,000 to $5,000. Since 2001, the foundation has awarded 335 grants totaling $838,489.

Some of the recipients of this year’s grants are the diocesan African Affairs Ministry office; Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Charlotte; Our Lady of the Mountains Mission in Highlands; and Catholic Charities’ Respect Life office.

“It is my immense pleasure to express our gratitude to the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte for granting funding for two projects to our church and to support a social service organization close to our hearts – the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center,” said Father Francis Arockiasamy, parochial administrator of Our Lady of the Mountains Mission in Highlands.

The Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center provides free pre- and post-natal care and education for individuals and families in a two-plus county area in western North Carolina. Its mission is to advocate for life, and to make the choice to bear a child the reasonable, moral and attractive choice for those who otherwise are considering abortion.

“This grant, for $4,883, will significantly enhance the important educational support available for those who come to the Pregnancy Care Center. We are pleased to have a part in the fulfillment of its mission for life,” he said.

Father Arockiasamy expressed that the Highlands faith community is small, primarily fulfilling the spiritual needs of retired families. “Ours is a summer mountain resort town, and the majority of our congregation consists of seasonal parishioners and visitors. Balancing our uneven income with the requirements to maintain a year-round church is sometimes challenging.”

“This (second) grant, $4,428 for repairs and additions to our church-wide lighting system, will make a significant difference to our older communicants, enabling a more active participation in the liturgy. In addition, our ongoing expenses for lighting should be reduced to a more manageable level due to the efficiencies in the improved system,” he explained.

Joseph Purello, director of Social Concerns and Advocacy for Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, also expressed thankfulness for the grants the agency received, especially the $2,500 award for the Respect Life office to offer a Spanish language program.

“Catholic Charities is very grateful to the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte for this grant,” Purello said. “With these funds, Catholic Charities will work in the coming year with the diocesan Hispanic Ministry Vicariates to expand access to Respect Life related educational events and resources. The grant-funded project ‘Evangelizing for Life – Evangelizar Para Toda la Vida’ will assist Catholic Charities as it witnesses to the sanctity of human life and proclaims that all human life is to be respected.”

For more information about Diocese of Charlotte Foundation grants, contact Ray Correia, diocesan director of planned giving, at 704-370-3364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

2017 Diocese of Charlotte Foundation grant recipients

African American Affairs Ministry $5,000
Black history, cultural awareness and educational programs

Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte $2,500
Respect Life education program, Spanish language program

Catholic Charities Central Regional Office $3,500
Provide baby clothes, diapers and equipment for eligible families

Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office $2,500
Provide interpreters for the Refugee Cultural Orientation Program

Charlotte Vicariate Hispanic Ministry $2,500
Faith formation program

Greensboro Vicariate Hispanic Ministry $2,500
Fund formation programs for laity, update office equipment

Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews $4,900
Replace front entry doors

Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Albemarle $2,500
Food for Stanly Community Christian Ministry food pantry

Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte $5,000
St. Martin de Porres food pantry

Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro $2,500
Thanksgiving Baskets program to feed hungry in Greensboro

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Charlotte $2,500
Emergency aid for families separated from a deported parent

Our Lady of the Mountains Mission in Highlands $4,428
Lighting repairs and additional lighting

Our Lady of the Mountains Mission in Highlands $4,883
Funding for life-affirming local outreach to empower pregnant families

Queen of the Apostles Church in Belmont $3,000
In-home Bible study program

St. Aloysius Church in Hickory $2,500
Hickory Soup Kitchen

St. Barnabas Church in Arden $2,500
St. Vincent de Paul ministry, provide emergency rent money to those in critical need

St. Eugene Church/St. Lawrence Basilica/St. Joan of Arc Church in Asheville $5,000
Financial assistance for those in crisis

St. Francis of Assisi Church in Jefferson $2,500
Food for mobile food pantry

St. Helen Mission in Spencer Mountain $5,000
Parish evangelization program

St. Lucien Church in Spruce Pine $3,500
Ave Maria food pantry, update facility

St. Joseph Church in Kannapolis $2,000
Update equipment/purchase food for two local food pantries

St. Thérèse Church in Mooresville $2,000
Provide Thanksgiving Day community meal for those in need