Skip to main content

Billings Catholic Schools benefits from Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana grant program

Father John blesses children

Father John Pankratz visited St. Francis Preschool to bless the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary that were purchased with grant funding from the Foundation.

Billings Catholic Schools (BCS) has received three grants from the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana in the past two years. Last year, they received funding to purchase statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary for all their preschool classrooms. Michelle Trafton, director at Saint Francis Preschool, told us:

“Catholic identity is very important to the teachers and staff at Saint Francis. Crucifixes, statues of the saints, and pictures of Jesus were in place, but the building was missing Mary.

Now these statues of Our Lady of Grace are in each classroom and will be a lasting reminder of how important the Blessed Mother is in forming the 170 preschoolers we serve.”

This year, the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana also awarded BCS another two grants: one to help purchase a new tabernacle for Our Lord as part of the chapel renovations at St. Francis School (K- 8)—and another to replace their high school theology curriculum.

Billings Central’s principal Nolan Trafton said, “One major challenge our high school faces is helping teenagers see the relevance of the Catholic faith to the world today. In addition to that, we have a large non-Catholic population—a unique opportunity to evangelize!

Meeting the needs of these students as well as devout, practicing Catholics in the same classes has been a challenge, but with the help of this Foundation grant, we’re going to be able to continue our tradition of academic excellence in the most important field of all: forming young Catholics who are well-versed in their Faith.”

BCS is one of many organizations supported by the Foundation’s grant program. Every year, the annual distribution from our Greatest Needs Endowment helps award tens of thousands of dollars to Catholic parishes, schools, and ministries throughout Eastern Montana, making it easier for them accomplish special projects outside their normal budgets. Thank you to all our donors who support the Greatest Needs Endowment and make these grants possible!