diofav 23

Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

CHARLOTTE — Thanks to the Diocese of Charlotte’s Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love campaign, families have another source of help to be able to afford the cost of a Catholic education for their children.

The $69 million FFHL campaign, which is funding capital needs and endowments for parishes and ministries across the diocese, among other initiatives, is expected to bring in $3.75 million to establish an endowment for tuition assistance to diocesan schools – and some of that help is available now.

The campaign has raised $69,994,560 in pledges, with $43,333,213 received in payments through Nov. 30, 2017. The pledge redemption period will continue through mid-2019.

The new tuition assistance endowment will be administered through the Foundation of the Diocese of Charlotte. Available income from the endowment will be distributed to qualifying diocesan schools each year for student financial aid.

An endowment is a permanent fund, the principal of which is never touched, but the income from which can be used according to the wishes of the donor organization or individual. Endowments provide a way to generate income and help sustain the long-term strength and viability of the recipient parish, school or ministry.

Although the program will not start officially until the 2019-’20 academic year, a limited amount of funds will be available to schools in need of funds to provide assistance to participating Catholic families with the most significant need in 2017-’18 and 2018-’19.

The per-school allotment is determined based on total funds available and the total qualifying need submitted by the schools.

To qualify for the tuition assistance funds, the school must receive local parish support of at least $500 per participating Catholic student and must have awarded all of its tuition assistance funds available for that school year. Qualifying schools may request funds from the FFHL endowment for participating Catholic students who have withdrawn, will have to withdraw, or have been unable to enroll because they could not afford the cost.

According to Bill Weldon, diocesan chief financial officer, $49,372 has been awarded to four diocesan schools for the 2017-’18 school year.

“As the endowment grows, we anticipate awarding approximately $200,000 annually,” he said.

The four diocesan schools receiving money this year are: St. Michael School in Gastonia, $30,236; Our Lady of Mercy School in Winston-Salem, $2,579; Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville, $6,915; and St. Leo School in Winston-Salem, $9,642.

The tuition assistance endowment is one of seven endowments being funded by the FFHL campaign.

“FFHL funds have already been going to the parishes, capital projects and endowments across the diocese, but this is the first distribution from any of the seven endowments,” said Jim Kelley, diocesan director of development. “FFHL has had a significant impact on the work being done in parishes and in ministries across the diocese that provide services to parishioners.”

Dr. Janice Ritter, diocesan superintendent of schools, expressed her appreciation for the endowment.

“I am deeply grateful that the diocesan administration realized the need for tuition assistance for our families and included a provision in the Forward in the Faith, Hope, and Love campaign for this endowment,” she said. “I know our principals are also appreciative of this additional assistance which can be made available to families with financial need.”
Since it was established in 1994, the Foundation of the Diocese of Charlotte has grown to encompass 255 endowments and more than $48 million in assets.
—SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter