The Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Office for World Mission (Office for World Mission), part of World Mission Ministries, has received a $50,000 grant from The Catholic Community Foundation to support efforts in La Sagrada Familia Parish in the Dominican Republic.
La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family) Parish is the sister parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and the Office for World Mission has facilitated this relationship on behalf of the archdiocese since 1981. This year, the Office for World Mission and the archdiocese are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the partnership with La Sagrada Familia.
The Office for World Mission works with the staff of the parish, which includes two archdiocesan priests, a pastoral staff and dozens of volunteers from the region. The current pastors are Fr. Javier Guativa, of the Community of St. Paul, and Fr. Thomas Naidu. In addition to nurturing the spiritual needs of the parish through evangelization, catechesis, the celebration of the sacraments in every village, prayer groups, adult and youth formation, and leadership training, the priests and staff strive to address the various material needs of parishioners. These include providing access to healthcare, educational resources, job training, micro-loan programs, clean water and emergency support.
The grant from The Catholic Community Foundation will help the office to provide support in La Sagrada Familia to assist with caring for the elderly, educating and feeding the children of the parish, providing academic scholarships, and providing help and relief to the local Haitian immigrant community.
Since 2001, The Catholic Community Foundation has supported effective philanthropy in Southeastern Wisconsin. The Foundation is independent of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Their board of directors includes Catholic religious and community leaders. The Foundation was established to serve the needs of individuals and families who wish to provide lasting support to those Catholic causes they care most about. Donors can make a gift of at least $25,000 to establish a separate fund from which grants are awarded annually to support those causes that are dear to them — causes that ultimately advance the mission of the Church. The Foundation focuses on four priority areas: education; leadership development; health care for the under-served in Milwaukee; and community-building to strengthen families, parishes and those suffering from poverty, discrimination and violence.
Antoinette Mensah, Ph.D., director of the Office for World Mission, shared her thoughts about the grant, saying: “Our receipt of this grant for $50,000 from The Catholic Community Foundation allows us, as Pope Francis has stated in his encyclical ‘Lumen Fidei,’ to work toward a ‘sure future’ with faith and hope as our foundation. Additionally, we are able to work alongside our brothers and sisters of La Sagrada Familia, demonstrating by our actions that God’s concrete actions make ‘a public avowal that he is present in our midst and that he desires to solidify every human relationship.’ In the end, we serve as witnesses of faith and the goodness of faith for all, leading us collectively on our ‘journey towards a future of hope.’”
For more information about La Sagrada Familia or the Office for World Mission, visit www.archmil.org/offices/world-mission.htm.
For more information on The Catholic Community Foundation, visit legaciesoffaith.org.