Bishop’s Education Fund to benefit Catholic education
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
“Bishop Nickless strongly supports Catholic education in all forms,” said Heather Marreel, assistant director of stewardship and marketing. “Providing financial assistance where we can will hopefully open the doors for many more people to participate.”
Kristie Arlt, director of stewardship and marketing, pointed out that the fund is for families who do not qualify for Msgr. Lafferty tuition grants but who still need assistance.
“The criteria is that they have to be a registered parishioner at a Catholic church within the Diocese of Sioux City,” she said. “It is all in one. If you are applying for Msgr. Lafferty, you are applying for the Bishop’s Education Fund.”
Over 2,200 families received assistance from the Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation for the 2012-2013 school year, mentioned Marreel.
“It’s encouraging that so many families received financial assistance. With another resource such as the Bishop’s Education Fund we should see that number go up quite a bit for the 2013-2014 school year,” she said.
A portion of the money for the Bishop’s Education Fund will come from DAA and a portion will also come from private donations and the cathedraticum, said Marilyn Wellman, staff accountant for the diocese.
“It is not only for tuition assistance for the kids that go to the Catholic schools, but it is also for the religious education programs that the parishes have,” she explained.
“It was a group of priests representing different size parishes, parishes that had Catholic schools or no Catholic school and parishes that are on the fringe of a neighboring Catholic school,” he said. The priests were also of different ages and experiences. “While it was a small group of priests with some people from the Chancery who worked the details out, it was something that was shared with all of the pastors of the diocese as well as the bishop. Their feedback and approval was gained.”
The group was looking for a method of collecting, raising money that included all parishes, not just the parishes with Catholic schools. They were looking for a way to raise money without “reinventing the wheel,” said Father Roder.
“We utilized DAA. The machinery is there,” said the priest, who added that they wanted to include all parishes in the mission to pass on the Catholic faith “in the best way we can.”
The Bishop’s Education Fund has components for both Catholic schools and for religious education programs at the parishes. Both will have access to the funds to improve their programs, said Father Roder.
“We saw using DAA as something people are familiar with already, something that is part of their thinking and part of their experience, so we didn’t have to create a new means of doing this,” said Father Roder. “It is a way of us participating in the mission of our church across the diocese for each other’s needs and for the whole mission of passing on the faith in the best way we can manage.”
“This first year for the Bishop’s Education Fund, we are looking to award $150,000,” said Wellman. “Hopefully that grows every year.”
To put this in perspective, the Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation, the diocese’s school tuition organization (STO), raised over $2.1 million.
Wellman pointed out that the application will include a short description of the qualifications for each of the tuition assistance programs.
“Having one third party provider, PSAS, process all of these is helpful because they will find who qualifies for Msgr. Lafferty, then they will go on,” she said. “Bishop’s Education Fund will be outside of Lafferty. They have all the information there and the parents only have one application to fill out with potentially four different ways of getting assistance.”
Paper and online applications will be available at the diocesan and school levels.
Applications must be postmarked no later than April 2 to be considered. For more information or to make a contribution to the Bishop’s Education Fund, contact the Stewardship Office at the Diocese of Sioux City at (712) 255-7933 or go to the diocese’s website at www. scdiocese.org.
The application process, which helps determine how Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation dollars as well as other fund dollars are distributed in the form of tuition grants for Catholic school students, will begin soon with a deadline of April 2.
This is the seventh year that families seeking tuition assistance are asked to complete an application through a third party administrator and is the third year the diocese is using the company Private School Aid Service (PSAS).
Cost of the application will be $22 this year and the deadline is April 2. The diocese recommends that everyone apply.
Applications may be submitted online or can be filed through traditional mail. If you opt to complete the application online, tax returns and other documentation must still be sent to the PSAS office. Applications forms will soon be available at the Catholic schools.
When PSAS calculates the grants several factors such as family income, family size, number of students in Catholic schools and the cost of tuition are taken into consideration.
Through this one form, application is made for tuition grants from Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation, the Catherine Birzle Education Trust, Bishop’s Education Fund and even some of the local school assistance programs. In the case of the Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation, the state sets specific income criteria for qualification of the grants.
In the case of Catherine Birzle money, it is awarded to high school students with financial needs who do not receive awards from Msgr. Lafferty. These dollars typically are awarded to students at each high school, with dollars divided up based on school enrollment.
Those interested can contact local Catholic schools for more information about the application process.
|Back to top|
|Headlines | Home|