CEF centered Contributors

New disciples for Jesus are the dividends of CEF’s investment

Vince Anch is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

by Vince Anch

The CEF staff and board of directors hosted a special appreciation Mass for Catholic Education Foundation supporters who fund scholarships each year for youth in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

The Mass was held at the Church of the Nativity on Jan. 25 and was celebrated by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann with the assistance of Father Mike Hawken. Father Hawken is a product of Catholic schools himself and a former CEF board member.

CEF wanted to find a special way to thank its donors and volunteers who help provide hundreds of scholarships to children in need.

“What better way can we thank our supporters than by offering a Mass in their honor and praying for them?” asked board chair RJ Gildea.

The Mass included participation from CEF board members: Lisa Connor, Andy Eilert and Toby Cook as readers; Courtney Raupp as cantor; and gift bearers Craig Gaffney and his wife Karen.

CEF students from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas, also helped with the gifts. A reception was held after the Mass.

I was so inspired to hear the passion in the archbishop’s homily and his support for providing scholarships for families who struggle financially. This year, CEF will provide over 1,800 scholarships totaling approximately $4.5 million. All the students receiving scholarships come from families who qualify for some level of federal poverty assistance.

Without these scholarships, these children would not be able to attend Catholic schools. This is only made possible by the generosity of supporters of CEF in the archdiocese. Prayers were offered for all CEF supporters, including those who couldn’t attend.

We will never be able to thank our donors enough for providing the gift of Catholic education to so many of our children. Prayer is the perfect gift that CEF can offer. It is what differentiates faith-based charities from other nonprofit organizations.

In addition to this special Mass, CEF staff, board members and students also pray for CEF supporters. Teaching children about the power of prayer is what makes Catholic schools so different from public schools.

Our schools do a tremendous job in faith formation in addition to providing top-notch academics. Creating new disciples of Jesus is the best gift that our schools give to our community. This is perhaps the best return on investment that a CEF donor can get from the nonprofit world.

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Vincent Anch

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