June 2001

Mission and Ministry Fund Presents Eleven Grants

Advisory committee emphasizes sustainability of grant programs

An urban street ministry, a program that provides healthy role models for obese children and a project that will use the techniques of improvisational theater to enhance the care of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease are just a few of the innovative programs that will be supported by new grants from Catholic Health Initiatives’ Mission and Ministry Fund.

On June 21, during Catholic Health Initiatives’ fifth anniversary celebration event in Denver, Colo., the Board of Stewardship Trustees announced the awarding of 11 grants recommended by the Mission and Ministry Fund Advisory Committee. The grants, which were presented to market-based organizations and organizations affiliated with Catholic Health Initiatives’ founding congregations, total $1,070,520.

“There is a wonderful variety of programs and communities served through this cycle of grants,” said Peggy Martin, OP, senior vice president of sponsorship and governance for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Several grants cover funding periods of two or three years, and we eagerly anticipate being able to watch their progress over time.” (See the descriptions of the funded programs in a related article in this issue.)

The advisory committee is placing renewed emphasis on the ability of the funded programs to sustain themselves after the grant period ends. “This spring, five of the committee members conducted site visits at five different grant program locations,” said Sister Peggy. “We want to find out more about challenges to the continuation of the programs supported by the Mission and Ministry Fund and how we can help them sustain themselves. The site visits were a very positive experience and we are look forward to doing more of them.”

The committee also reaffirmed the criteria that must be met by programs that apply for Mission and Ministry Fund grants. Generally, the programs must be innovative in the way that they address long-term or emerging community needs; invite collaboration with community partners; and be replicable in other communities. The committee also looks for applications intended to serve disadvantaged individuals or populations. “After five years, we felt it was appropriate to take a fresh look at the criteria for grant applications,” said Sister Peggy. “We reaffirmed the criteria and recommitted ourselves to upholding them.”

The total number of grants presented by the Mission and Ministry Fund during the past five years now stands at 102, with more than $9 million distributed or allocated. In November, Catholic Health Initiatives will announce the recipients of its 2001 Healthy Communities Planning Grants, which are Mission and Ministry Fund grants specifically for comprehensive and collaborative efforts to improve the health of a community.