|The Catholic Foundation of Tennessee, Inc., which supports capital improvement projects at smaller parishes in the Diocese of Nashville, held its annual dinner and meeting on Thursday, May 7, at Richland Country Club. The Foundation approved two grants this year: $45,000 to St. Anthony Church in Fayetteville for the construction of new classrooms, and $25,000 to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Dover for construction of a rectory. Bishop David Choby is pictured with the grant recipients and members of the Foundation’s board. Photo by Andy Telli
The Catholic Foundation of Tennessee Inc. awarded grants totaling $70,000 for capital improvement projects in two parishes in the Diocese of Nashville.
At its annual Dinner and Meeting, held Thursday, May 7, at Richland Country Club in Nashville, the Foundation awarded a $45,000 grant to St. Anthony Church in Fayetteville to help pay for the renovation and expansion of the parish hall to add classrooms and $25,000 to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Dover to help pay for the construction of a rectory.
Both projects also have received grants from the Catholic Extension Society, which supports projects and programs in mission dioceses across the country. St. Anthony received a $50,000 grant from Catholic Extension that must be matched with $25,000 from the parish. St. Francis of Assisi received a $15,000 grant from Catholic Extension that must be matched with $7,500 from the parish.
“I want to express my appreciation for your sensitivity over the years for parishes that need projects but may be too small to make them happen,” Bishop David Choby told the Foundation members at the dinner. “These projects make the faith lives of the congregation richer.”
The Catholic Foundation of Tennessee has historically provided for the growth and expansion of the Diocese of Nashville by giving financial support to parishes building structures, expanding facilities and purchasing land. Typically, the Foundation’s grants are given to some of the diocese’s smaller parishes, often located in rural areas.
The Foundation raises money through contributions from its members. This year, the Foundation has received $72,000 in contributions, said Deacon Ron Deal, the diocese’s director of project development.
Grants totaling $200,000 were submitted for the Foundation’s review, and two totaling $70,000 were recommended by the board of directors and approved by the members at the meeting.
“We supported about one-third of the grants received,” said Dell Crosslin, a co-chair of the Foundation’s board with his wife Carroll Crosslin. “With more money we could support more projects.”
The projects not funded will be resubmitted along with new projects as parishes continue to grow, Deacon Deal said. “Everything you contribute is vital in supporting the Catholic mission,” he said. “The money is appreciated and vital for sharing the faith in the diocese.”
The Foundation has raised $1.67 million in donations since 1980, which has helped fund a variety of projects, such as the purchase of land and construction of a new church for Church of the Nativity in Spring Hill, construction of a parish social hall at St. Gregory Church in Smithville, the purchase of land for Holy Family Church in Lafayette and St. Mark Church in Manchester, and the construction of a parish center for Immaculate Conception Church in Pulaski.
As Middle Tennessee continues to grow, “the church will experience the impact of that growth,” Bishop Choby said. “That will mean new projects for the next 15 or 20 years.
“I’m convinced we can do a lot of things but those things that respond to the spiritual needs that people have are the most important,” the bishop added. “They give people a sense of hope, a sense of purpose, a sense of value. …
“Keep these projects in mind,” Bishop Choby asked the Foundation’s members. “These are wonderful opportunities.”
For more information about the Foundation, making a donation, or becoming a member, contact Sandra Jordan, director of grants and annual giving for the diocese, at (615) 783-0267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.