Tuscarawas Central Catholic JSHS School Percussion Club

Tuscarawas Central Catholic JSHS is home to about 160 students who pride themselves on a faith-based education, community involvement, and extracurricular activities that expand their horizons in and out of the classroom.  A small group of passionate musicians are making some noise (pun intended) and hoping to revive instrumental music at their school. 

Parent volunteers Michelle Angelini and Jessica Makepeace got the ball rolling to expand the Saints Percussion. The first initiative started with expanding from steel drums to a drumline to increase participation, transition from a club to an organized class, and give the musicians more opportunities to perform at school, church, and community events. Michelle and Jessica are thrilled to welcome Jay Jenkins, a former high school drummer, to assist in teaching the kids.

The Catholic Foundation helped TCC JSHS purchase additional instruments through a responsive grant. When the percussion program started three years ago, ten students participated. In March 2024, they gained another student, and more will surely follow.  Hearing the kids filling the school hallways, church, sporting, and community events with uplifting, inspiring beats is music is a joy!

St. Matthias School Improved Security System

A school’s security system plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of its students and staff. It provides a secure learning environment and enables students to participate in extracurricular activities. A well-functioning security system allows the staff to perform their duties without interruption and gives parents peace of mind, knowing their children are safe. St. Matthias School has a diverse student body of almost 270 students representing every continent except Antarctica and Australia. Carey Wrigley, the school’s principal, graduated from St. Matthias in 1989 and understands the importance of creating a safe and welcoming environment for her students. She believes every student should feel comfortable entering the school building, just like she did when she was a student.

St. Matthias received a responsive grant from The Catholic Foundation to invest in updated doors, security cameras, and keypad/key cards. The primary objective of this investment is to eliminate incidents of doors being propped open, lack of security camera footage due to outdated technology, and to prevent staff from being locked out of the building due to a malfunctioning keypad.

Proper safety measures are crucial for St. Matthias to continue operating as a Catholic presence in the Northland area. This will also enable the school to safely host student and athletic events on weeknights and weekends outside school hours. Catholic schools play a vital role in fostering evangelization, and St. Matthias is proud to serve as a school and faith home to a diverse population of students.

Knox-Licking Vocations Club

Through mindful prayer and thoughtful outreach, the Knox-Licking County Vocation Club seeks to promote awareness among parishioners at Catholic churches in Knox and Licking counties to foster and support vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. The club also offers prayers of gratitude and support to priests, deacons, and sisters serving in our diocese.

The group meets monthly for lunch in St. Leonard’s Parish Hall.  During the gathering, an invited speaker shares their vocational journey or gives insight into a vocational program happening within the diocese. During exam time, the group sends seminarians food items and small Christmas gifts to remind them they are being prayed for as they dedicate their lives to the Lord.  

A responsive grant from The Catholic Foundation helps increase guest speakers’ stipends and supports the group’s ongoing work to raise awareness of a calling to religious life. The Know-Licking County Vocations Club believes in the power of prayer—the Diocese of Columbus is expected to welcome twelve young men to the seminary in 2024. 

Membership is open to any Catholic in Knox and Licking counties. To join the Knox-Licking County Vocation Club, contact the church office at 740-522-5270.

St. John Neumann Life Groups Ministry

Missionary discipleship involves helping the baptized realize that they are called to a life of mission, not maintenance. St. John Neumann Parish (SJN) offers various programs that center on bringing the faithful closer to Christ and then sharing this encounter with others. Applying the same philosophy as a missionary disciple, the parish spearheads a new Life Groups Ministry that helps the faithful transform relationships through connection, study, prayer, and service.  

Kate Giddens, Life Group Director at SJN, has worked extensively with Jim Beckman from the Augustine Institute to help define the vision and scope of implementing Life Group Mentor training.  “Although we were a parish that had life groups, changing to a parish of Life Groups means a shift in culture from consumerism to discipleship, where parishioners take ownership of their walk with Christ.” 

The Catholic Foundation granted St. John Neumann a responsive grant to help with the initial implementation of Life Group Ministry.  The goal is to have all adult parishioners connected to the parish by participating in a life group.  In September 2022, SJN had approximately twenty Life Groups. After utilizing The Rescue Project as an onramp to evangelization, the parish launched twenty-five more life groups in early 2023.  At the end of the year, they had over five hundred individuals participating in sixty-two life groups.

Giddens points out that each life group is in a different spot and says, “It’s important to meet people where they are in their faith journey.”   The important part is that no participant is just going through the motions. They’re connected to their faith in ways they never knew possible, and this is the meaning behind this way of living: In taking ownership of your discipleship, you desire to help others do the same.

Sacred Heart (Columbus) Stained Glass Restoration Project

Through truth, unity, goodness, and beauty, we encounter the Divine with a sense of awe that moves the heart and stirs the mind. A symbol of this wonderment lies within Sacred Heart Church, located in the Italian Village, and its breathtaking display of hand-crafted stained glass windows created to model the windows of the famous French Cathedral of Chartres. 

Upon celebrating its 100th Anniversary, Sacred Heart begins an intricate restoration project to stabilize and preserve the windows created a hundred years ago in Chicago by a German stained glass manufacturer.  Modern stained glass is colored, whereas vintage glass is traditionally hand-painted and fired.  The windows were last serviced in 1962 and are valued at well over $1 million.  They represent a priceless collection of beauty that will indefinitely impact the cultural and artistic life of the Diocese of Columbus.

We are reminded that the Creator continually seeks to reveal Himself to His creation. Monsignor Frank Lane, administrator of Sacred Heart, says, “These windows are witness to the role beauty plays in worship and the importance of the four transcendentals in our spiritual lives.”  The Catholic Foundation is honored to help preserve this local art treasure through a responsive grant. 

St. Dominic Neighborhood Café

Bernadine “Bunny” Neal and her niece, Sheila Jones, have a long-standing connection with St. Dominic Parish. Bunny’s father started providing Thanksgiving meals to the underprivileged in the 1970s, and this service has become an essential part of Bunny and Sheila’s life.

In November 2023, St. Dominic distributed almost 450 meal baskets to those in need, thanks to the parish’s and external organizations’ generosity.

In July 2023, the initiative to provide food for the hungry in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood expanded into the St. Dominic Neighborhood Café. This parish ministry serves breakfast and lunch three times a week to people seeking a hot meal and a friendly atmosphere. “We see many of the same faces each week, and so they start to feel like family,” says Bunny. On average, the café serves around 375 people every week, and it hopes to expand its capacity. 

There became a need for a commercial dishwasher to ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing of dishes and cooking utensils to serve more people in the community.  St. Dominic Neighborhood Café was awarded a responsive grant from The Catholic Foundation to purchase a new dishwasher. 

St. Dominic Parish is committed to this ministry and has pledged to provide meals if people keep coming to the door.  Operating the café takes countless hours of coordination and volunteer work.  When asked how she does it all, Bunny replied, “It’s a true labor of love. But at the end of each day, we receive way more than we give.”

Child being handed a book from a woman in a classroom setting.
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“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7