Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


The Nazareth Guild: Supporting Catholic schools, now and in the future

the Inland Register

(From the July 19, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Inaugural celebration of Light Gala
Saturday, September 15, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center on Gonzaga’s Campus
Cocktail Attire
$125 per ticket / $1,000 per table
The Nazareth Guild, along with Bishop Blase Cupich
and Dr. Thayne McCulloh, President of Gonzaga University,
will be hosting a celebration of all Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Spokane
this fall. We know there are many of you in our community
that have been positively influenced by a Catholic education.
We want to make sure that this education will continue to thrive and grow
in our region for many generations to come.
For reservations or more information please call: (509) 951-0019

What is The Nazareth Guild?

The Nazareth Guild is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3, independent corporation, managed by a lay Board of Directors. The Nazareth Guild exists solely to leverage support for Catholic elementary schools and high schools in the Diocese of Spokane through annual fundraising and income from endowments.

What support does The Nazareth Guild provide to schools?

The Nazareth Guild’s mission is to provide tuition assistance for children whose families cannot afford the full cost of tuition to a Catholic school; to provide assistance to schools in need; to support programs that promote excellence in teaching and faith formation; and one day, to provide seed money to start new schools. How much support does The Nazareth Guild provide?

In its first year of operations, the Nazareth Guild hopes to begin its efforts to raise significant dollars for the schools starting in September with its Celebration of Light Gala on Saturday, Sept. 15, Gonzaga’s McCarthey Center. In academic year 2012-13, the Nazareth Guild hopes to be able to disperse a small amount of tuition assistance grants and/or Assistance to Schools in Need grants. Although the Nazareth Guild is only now just beginning, the hope is to create a multi-million dollar endowment whose interest income becomes a primary funding source for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane.

How was tuition assistance provided in the past?

In the past, it was up to each school to individually decide how much tuition assistance it could afford to give out each year, knowing that each dollar or tuition assistance or fair share assistance ultimately came from the school’s own bottom line. The Nazareth Guild hopes to become the primary funding source for tuition assistance in schools. The ultimate hope is that one day, all of the students who are currently attending Catholic schools at a reduced rate (write-offs, fair share, tuition breaks, etc.) will be funded by The Nazareth Guild.

What happened to The Catholic Foundation?

The Catholic Foundation of Eastern Washington still exists and does wonderful work to support many facets of Catholic life in the Diocese of Spokane. For many years The Catholic Foundation of Eastern Washington has assisted many Catholic entities, including parishes, organizations, the seminary, retreat center, and cemeteries. The Catholic Foundation has also spent many years providing financial assistance to many Catholic schools in the diocese. The Catholic Foundation will continue to exist and thrive as an essential element of our Catholic philanthropic and stewardship life here in the diocese. The hope, however, is that the Nazareth Guild will slowly begin to take the reigns as the primary philanthropic and funding arm for Catholic schools in the diocese.

Is The Nazareth Guild a cause designated by the bishop?

Yes. Contributions to The Nazareth Guild are encouraged by the bishop. Bishop Cupich has made the Catholic schools one of his three main focus areas in the diocese in his first years as bishop of Spokane.

How does The Nazareth Guild plan to fund its mission?

The Nazareth Guild will sponsor annual fundraising events, especially the Celebration of Light, in order to begin to raise significant funds throughout the diocese. The Nazareth Guild will also begin to cultivate and secure major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation grants, and other sources of charitable contributions. The concept is that interest from all of the donations and assets of The Nazareth Guild will provide a stream of annual income that can then be disbursed to schools via tuition assistance or direct grants to schools in need.

Can donations to The Nazareth Guild be restricted?

Yes. Donations may be restricted by the donor to a specific Catholic School. Donations for the minimum amount of $25,000 may be used to establish named scholarships or memorial funds within the central endowments of The Nazareth Guild.

How will funds in The Nazareth Guild be invested?

Investments will be managed by a professional financial management firm or other appropriate entity selected by the Board of Directors. The Board will oversee investments and returns to ensure that they are managed wisely and follow all guidelines as set forth by the USCCB and their Socially Responsible Investing Directives.

What assurance do donors have that The Nazareth Guild will honor stipulations on gift restrictions?

The terms of incorporation with the State of Washington obligates the Bishop and the Board of Directors to publish an independently audited annual report that details income, expenses, and distributions.

Why should I donate to The Nazareth Guild in addition to my local school?

The Nazareth Guild oversees the needs of all schools and Catholic school families in the Diocese of Spokane. The Nazareth Guild encourages donors to continue contributing to their local school while, at the same time, consider contributing to needs that go beyond their own school community. The Nazareth Guild is the ideal vehicle for ensuring the success of the entire Catholic school system in Eastern Washington.


Catholic schools have played a significant role in the Diocese of Spokane for many years. Thousands of students in eastern Washington have benefited from a Catholic school education. Many of our community, organizational, and Church leaders are products of our excellent Catholic schools.

Unfortunately, Catholic schools in the State of Washington do not receive any state financial support for operation. These schools are supported by tuition, parish subsidies, and fundraising efforts. They rely on the sacrifice of the parents and the generosity of the parishioners and other donors.

Today our Catholic schools are facing several significant challenges: escalating costs and tuitions, declining enrollments, and the need for facility maintenance and upgrades. Many families who want to send their children to a Catholic school simply believe that they can no longer afford to do so. Although these parents desire for their children the same Catholic school experience that they had, many believe that this choice is now beyond their reach. It is for these children and families that I am so excited about the establishment of the Nazareth Guild. The Nazareth Guild will bring new hope to families who wish to choose a Catholic school for their children and new opportunities to make our excellent Catholic schools even better, as they continue to educate and form the next generation of children in the Diocese of Spokane.

— Dr. Duane Schafer, Superintendent of Schools
The Nazareth Guild Board of Directors


Board of Directors of The Nazareth Guild

Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich
Rob McCann, Executive Director, Catholic Charities
Duane Schafer, Superintendent Catholic Schools, Diocese of Spokane
Tim Welsh, President, Garco Construction
John Luger
Mike Patterson
Don Herak, Herak Enterprises
Susan Bloom
Carmella Garabedian
Steve Helmbrecht, CFO, ITRON
Nada Stockton
Dan Murphy
Nancy Roach
Art Griff


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