BRIDGEPORT—The Diocese of Bridgeport has announced the application process for the Saint John Paul II Fund for Religious Education and Youth Ministry.
Lay ministers, priests and religious in parishes throughout the diocese may apply for grants between $500 and $10,000. Those who are awarded grants will receive funding in August 2018.
“For the past several months, Bishop Caggiano has spoken about the possibility of grants for reimagining faith formation. That goal has now been realized through the generosity of donors and we’re encouraging all to apply,” said Patrick Donovan, Executive Director of the Leadership Institute.
He said the grants are designed to help serve those populations who may not have been able to serve before and to fund significant changes in the very fabric of outreach to the faithful in parishes and other settings.
Grant amounts range from $500 up to $10,000 depending on the proposed project, he said.
The deadline for the St. John Paul II Fund for Youth Ministry and Faith Formation is April 1. Final decisions will be announced on May 15, 2018 with monies distributed beginning August 1, 2018.
The grants cover proposals for lifelong formation and are open to those who work with adults, seniors, very young children, and others. The following list offers basic suggestions:
- Vacation Bible School (programs that engage younger children and their families)
- Subscription for Pflaum Gospel Weekly
- Room dividers for large room that is used for multiple classes
- Furniture for youth room
- Transportation to diocesan or regional event
- Scholarship for adults to attend National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry
- Dinner for all those families who baptized children in the last year
- Parish dinner for World Marriage Day
- Digital content development for website
- Personalized message from the pastor to couples preparing for marriage
- Record Sunday’s homilies and post them as a podcast for those who are unable to make Mass
- Flocknotes subscription
- Bible study for adults
- Ministry to/with seniors
- Retreat for parents of first communicants
- Retreat for men/women/seniors/young adults
- Parish mission
- Family night (kids vs. parents)
- Family movie night and discussion
- Lenten Food Fast
- Feast to Famine (Shrove Tuesday event)
- Resources that connect parents of newly baptized to the parish community
Donovan said that applicants should also think about programs or events that could be a “pilot” and whose cost could be absorbed by the parish in year two or beyond.
“For instance, one parish is thinking of innovative ways to engage high school students. A grant could help get the program off the ground and then become a budgeted item down the road.”