A key part of FADICA's mission is to support collaborative efforts of member foundations and funders. Members’ collaborative work is often more intensive during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past, members have funded collaboratively in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Members also collaborate regularly on issues such as Catholic schools, human trafficking and church vitality.
The following member-driven FADICA initiatives and resources may be helpful as together we respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Sisters on the Frontlines
Catholic Sisters have a consistent track record of responding to the urgent needs of those on the margins. Sisters on the Frontlines is a collaborative project of various FADICA members, hosted by Catholic Extension. The initiative provides direct cash to Sisters working with vulnerable populations, to support urgent needs for help with rent, groceries, medical, or funeral expenses due to COVID’s impacts. The project’s goal is to provide $1,000 each to 1,000 Catholic Sisters to enable them to help families and individuals avoid eviction, hunger, medical crisis and other distresses.
Parish life has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic, as churches had to shut their physical doors and Catholics engaged in “virtual” worship opportunities. With change comes opportunity for innovation, which is the focus of FADICA’s recently released report, Open Wide the Doors to Christ: A Study of Catholic Social Innovation for Parish Vitality. The report features best practices and innovations that foster the vitality of parishes, with particular focus on the areas of Welcoming Parishes, Young Adults, Women and Women Religious in Leadership, and Hispanic Ministry.
Download the Report:
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
To emphasize the shared commitment and responsibility of Catholic funders to protect children and vulnerable adults, FADICA launched a capacity-building initiative in early 2020 to engage member-funders and their grantee partners in safeguarding awareness and actions.
The initiative, which includes a funder pledge that enables donors to promote safety through their philanthropy, encourages established policies and guidelines for safeguarding. The initiative provides education and training opportunities to help funders and grantees adopt and maintain best practices for protecting children and vulnerable adults in their respective contexts.
The pandemic has enunciated the priority of holistic safeguarding practice, as it has raised safety concerns for vulnerable children and adults. The “stay-at-home” orders that mandated remote learning for most of the nation’s students and prevented even regular doctor visits removed a critical safety net for at-risk children. Even children with safe and healthy home environments became increasingly at risk for cyber abuse.
Catholic Schools: Managing Governance Change
The current pandemic is placing significant strain on many Catholic schools, as they face the multiple challenges of unstable enrollment, families in economic distress, unplanned facilities costs, and curriculum changes. Many dioceses have discovered that a change in school governance may offset some of the sustainability challenges facing traditional parochial schools.
FADICA members sponsored this research study to provide a planning tool for use by school leaders when considering a change in school governance.
Download the Reports:
Catholic philanthropy is actively engaged in addressing the needs created by the pandemic. See how some of our members are responding to the issues:
Catholic Extension: Building Catholic Solidarity
Catholic Medical Mission Board: COVID-19 Resources and Emergency Plan
GHR Foundation: COVID-19 Blog Posts
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: COVID-19 Response
The Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities: COVID-19 Resources
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland: SOCF Blog
Global Church Resources
Vatican COVID-19 Commission: Podcasts, Resources, Reflections
International Union Superiors General: News Posts
How You Can Help
Pope Francis’ COVID-19 Emergency Solidarity Fund
The Pope has established an Emergency Solidarity Fund to come to the aid of those people and communities tragically impacted COVID-19 in the Pope’s missions. The Fund supports religious sisters and brothers, priests, and lay pastoral workers to aid those most in need through hospitals and small clinics, parishes and social ministries. The Fund supports vital health care and basic needs, including food and shelter. 100% of donations will be directed to efforts in the Pope’s missions.
Online Giving Portal - #iGiveCatholic Together
#iGiveCatholic Together was launched in March, 2020 to address the pandemic-related financial crisis facing our parishes, schools and ministries due to cancelled masses and fundraising events. The platform enables online donations on an ongoing basis to church ministries in 48 participating dioceses. The platform will remain activated indefinitely to accept donations from individuals and businesses in support of the Church across the country. Online donors may designate specific beneficiary organizations within the participating dioceses.
Learn more: https://together.igivecatholic.org/
† Prayers for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Written by Cameron Bellm