Catholic Foundation to Grant Nearly $1 Million to Tucson Area Programs | Local News

The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Tucson is awarding nearly $1 million to social service agencies, institutions, parishes and schools during a luncheon Tuesday, April 5 at the Downtown Pastoral Center in the Plaza de la cathedral.





The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Tucson donated $7,000 to the patronato for the preservation of the statue of Saint Francis Xavier from the 1700s. It sits on the high altar of the Mission San Xavier del Bac. It needs cleaning and other work.


Courtesy of San Xavier Patronage


The foundation is a charitable organization governed by an independent board of directors. It is an official fundraising entity for the diocese, which covers nine counties in southern Arizona. The foundation administers campaign funds from the Annual Catholic Appeal and Restricted Endowments.

Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson said $950,533 will be split among 64 grants at the April 5 event at 192 S. Stone Ave., next to St. Augustine’s Cathedral.

Among the recipients are:

Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona Inc. will receive $100,000 for a medical respite center for homeless men and women who need to recover from illness or injury after being discharged from the hospital. This is the third pledge from the foundation, which has pledged $500,000 over five years to build the center. CCS is continuing a fundraising campaign to raise $6.8 million for the construction and plans to open the Center of Opportunity at 4550 S. Palo Verde Road in May.

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The Tucson Fire Department is receiving $100,000 to use in its Safety and Wellness Program which teaches individuals and families about fire safety, burn and injury prevention. Certified educators teach students, young adults and parents how to use a fire extinguisher and how to prevent and treat burns. The funds will be used to purchase educational materials and equipment for use in preschool through high school classrooms, and for families attending sessions at community centers across the city.

Pima Community College will receive $50,000 in scholarships for seven nursing students. The nursing program lasts more than two years. Upon completion of the program, a student can take an exam and, if eligible, can become a registered nurse in Arizona. Or, a student has the option of transferring to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Burn Critical Care Program is receiving more than $87,000 for its needs, including helping secure equipment and supplies for burn victims, launching a a year-long burn prevention campaign, training to improve the quality of burn care, and the purchase of electronic devices to help patients communicate with their families.

The Patronato San Xavier will receive $7,000 for the conservation of a statue of St. Francis Xavier from the 1700s. The life-size statue, which sits on the high altar of Mission San Xavier del Bac, needs to be cleaned and restorers will see how much original artwork can be revealed. The statue was painted at the beginning of the 20th century and the position of the eyes and hands were changed.

Parish schools and parishes receive more than $400,000 for school supplies, equipment, heating and air conditioning, flooring, and general improvements and repairs.

“I am deeply touched and grateful for the outpouring of donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal and donations to endowments and other planned giving opportunities,” Weisenburger said in a statement. “These donations have enabled the Catholic Foundation to make grants to Catholic and non-Catholic entities…so that we can offer life-changing generosity to those who are served,” the Bishop said.

Elizabeth Bollinger, Executive Director of the foundation, said, “Careful consideration is taken in the grant evaluation and selection process, and we are honored to provide these funds that are making a difference in the communities served by these parishes, schools and organizations”.

Contact journalist Carmen Duarte at [email protected] or on Twitter: @cduartestar

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