Thanks to the generous donations of many in the Catholic community throughout the Archdiocese of Denver, 14 Catholic schools have recently received teachers’ salary assistance grants totaling $665,000 from the Bridge Fund of The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado.
“One of the trustees of The Catholic Foundation delivered a check in person. It was exciting to meet him and see him interact with our students,” said Mary Gold, principal of Guardian Angels School, which was awarded one of the grants.
Foundation trustee Ed Routzon is the one who made the special delivery. Gold said she was especially pleased that he took the time to pay a visit and that it made a lasting impression on everyone involved.
“Making this presentation to Guardian Angels School was and is a heartwarming experience,” said Routzon.
During his visit, he met a student, Valentino Salas, who interviewed Routzon for a school newspaper article.
“Valentino asked me several questions about The Catholic Foundation, who we are and why we were gifting money to the school,” said Routzon.
The young man’s questions pointed to the heart of the Foundation’s vision: “To inspire and facilitate financial planning and giving that promotes the Gospel, transforms lives and glorifies God.”
Foundation Trustee Bob Zarlengo, who delivered grant checks to several of the other schools, summed up the vision from his personal perspective.
“My involvement gives me the opportunity to give back some of my gifts and talents to promote the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I try to make stewardship part of my life every day, and so The Catholic Foundation is a natural fit,” said Zarlengo. “We don’t get to pick the talents that we have, but we do get to pick how we use them.”
The spiritual motivation of the Foundation is matched by a practical objective, specifically in the Bridge Fund: it helps span the gap between resources and needs in Catholic ministries—and it does so by uniting the support of Catholic donors to meet a need greater than individuals would likely be able to fulfill on their own.
Teachers’ salary assistance grants demonstrate a case in point. Among the 14 schools selected to receive grants last year, nearly half of the students live at or below poverty level and therefore do not pay full tuition. Without the grants, the schools cannot pay what it takes to attract and retain quality educators.
“By making grants to our Catholic schools, we’re investing in teachers who teach and live the faith. They, in turn, are investing in the formation of students’ hearts and minds, not just in the hope of achieving graduation, but in the hope of eternity,” said Deacon Stemper, CEO and president of The Catholic Foundation.
“People think it’s The Catholic Foundation making these grants, but it’s really all of us as Catholics who have chosen the opportunity of giving through the Foundation,” Stemper emphasized. “I’m thankful to every donor who joins with us. The Foundation is simply a bridge between our gifts and the needs of our community.”