Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

Peace Be With You

"A Game Changer"

by Bishop Blase J. Cupich

(From the August 15, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

This week marks just five months since Cardinal Jorge Bergolio SJ was elected Bishop of Rome. As a reporter noted after World Youth Day in Brazil, the Holy Father has totally changed the story about the Catholic Church in the media. Instead of stories about Vatileaks and banking problems, people are talking about a Church unafraid to go out into the world and make a difference. Like a great new athlete added to the line-up, Pope Francis is a game changer.

That sports term also applies to the Nazareth Guild. In just one short year, the effort to create a new source of income for our Catholic schools has inspired new hope and enthusiasm for our schools. It is like a new team coming into the league and winning the Super Bowl or the World Series in its first year.

Consider the record of success. Just a year ago a group of leaders invited the entire Catholic community in Eastern Washington to step up and take notice of the very real challenges facing our Catholic schools. Each year, too many of them were just getting by, with some even accumulating dangerous levels of deficit spending.

And step up we did. Parents and grandparents of current and former students, parishioners, business leaders, community leaders and current administrators and staff joined together to launch the Guild at last September’s Celebration of Light Gala. The funds raised on that occasion and throughout the year, along with the resources of the Catholic Foundation, provided over $780,000 of new money to our schools. These grants allowed our schools to fund additional tuition assistance to families in need, teacher enrichment, technology upgrades and special projects.

The Nazareth Guild’s Board is also working towards establishing a permanent endowment with the Father Coughlin Scholarship as the lead-off fund. Indeed, the Nazareth Guild has been a game-changer for our schools.

While we are just getting started, it is a testament to the power and strength of the wonderful communities that make up our diocese and the fierce loyalty they have for our Catholic schools that we have accomplished so much, so soon. On Sept. 14, 2013 we will be hosting our second annual Celebration of Light Gala at Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center. We got off to a great game-changing start last year, and I hope that pastors, principals, alumni and parishioners will once again join in supporting this effort that has the promise of making a difference in the lives of the teachers, staff and children so close to our hearts. If you would like to attend the Gala or just make a gift to make it a success, please contact Andy Robideaux: 509-358-4283.

It is a whole new ball game because of your help.



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