2020 Grant Program Submission Deadline

The Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana is happy to announce applications will soon be available for the second year of its grant program. More information will follow in the May/June issue of The Harvest. The grant program will be moved up earlier this year for a variety of reasons. The deadline for 2020 grant submissions is June 1, 2020. Foundation staff will be in contact with Catholic parishes, schools, and entities, but if you have questions, please contact them at (406) 315-1765 or [email protected]

Please revisit this page for updates. Thank you!

Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana Announces
$45,000 Awarded with Help from Donors

Before 2020 dawned, 12 parishes, 2 Catholic schools, and 2 Catholic organizations in our diocese received a wonderful gift to start the new decade – a financial gift of needed money from the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. Announced in mid-2019, the grant money was applied for by several Catholic organizations for special needs projects and funds that fell outside of their daily operating budgets. The total amount awarded to the sixteen entities was $45,000.

This new grant program at the Catholic Foundation is funded through the generosity of donors who give charitable contributions for permanent endowments. Specifically, the grant funds came from the following donor-supported sources:

  1. Annual distribution from the Greatest Needs Endowment
  2. Annual distribution from the Parish Assistance Endowment (see inset)
  3. Annual distribution from the Steffen Endowment (named after Mr. John Steffen, who made a generous gift upon his passing in 2010)
  4. Gifts not endowed, but given for the Greatest Needs

The Foundation Board took into great consideration all applications. Awards were made for many different purposes; technology to enhance youth ministry programs, building repairs for churches, liturgy needs, lighting and security improvements, sound systems, and kitchen needs for serving meals to the poor. The Foundation received several additional worthy requests that, sadly, had to be declined because of the limitation of available funds. As more Catholics give to support the endowments listed above, the grant amounts will continue to grow each year and more Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations will be able to receive grant assistance – a welcome gift to support any Catholic budget!

Following are those who were awarded the $45,000 in grant awards:

Catholic Churches:

  • Immaculate Conception, Fort Benton
  • Mary Queen of Peace, Billings
  • Our Lady of Lourdes, Poplar
  • St. Agnes, Red Lodge
  • St. Anthony, Laurel
  • St. Gabriel, Chinook
  • St. John the Evangelist, Baker
  • St. Leo the Great, Lewistown
  • St. Mark, Belt
  • St. Mary, Malta
  • St. Raphael, Glasgow
  • St. Thomas the Apostle, Billings

Catholic organizations serving the needy:

  • St. Ann’s Kitchen (St. Ann Cathedral), Great Falls
  • St. Vincent de Paul, Billings

Catholic Schools:

  • Sacred Heart School, Miles City
  • St. Jude Thaddeus School, Havre

About the Parish Assistance Endowment

Allie Russell of Holy Family Parish, Glentana, launched the Parish Assistance Endowment in 2015 with her first gift. In an article published in The Harvest in 2015, Allie said, “It is an honor to be able to help the churches. Some of them are really in need and I am glad to do what I can.” She said that coming from Glentana, which is a very small, rural parish, she understands how difficult it is for some small parishes to make ends meet. She thought it would be nice to begin an endowment where the distribution each year could help any parish in need. And she hopes others in our diocese, who may come from more financially secure parishes, would join her in giving to the Parish Assistance Endowment to help out other folks in our own diocese.

“As a long-time member of the Board of the Foundation, it is very exciting and rewarding to see how the Foundation is helping parishes, schools, and other Catholic organizations in our diocese through the new grant program. For many years, through generous gifts of many donors, the Foundation has steadily grown larger and is now able to give back to many of the same parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations which helped to grow the Foundation to where it is today.”
Gale Kreitzberg, Board Chair, St. Pius X Parish, Billings

“As a new member to the Board for the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana I’m really excited about the awards given to our Grant recipients. It’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond in much of Eastern Montana but the Foundation’s new grant program allows for great work to be completed throughout our diocese, no matter how big or small a Catholic organization may be. ”
~ Rachel Howard, Board Member, St. Joseph Parish, Plentywood


“This grant makes all the difference in the world to our very small parish in Red Lodge. Because of the grant, we are able to bring the amazing ministry of Casting Nets to our area. We all understand that our young people are leaving the church at an alarming rate. We are called to be disciples, and we have to act. This conference is geared toward our young people and parish mission. Without this financial assistance, we could never have accomplished this great work that God calls us to do.”
~ Kathy Serrat, Youth Minister, St. Agnes Parish, Red Lodge


“Mary Queen of Peace Parish is very grateful for the grant from the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. It allowed our parish to purchase permanent liturgical books for our parishioners. In this Glory & Praise publication we recall Pope Francis’ desire for making the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time as ‘Word of God Sunday.’  These permanent liturgical books will bring into focus the Word of God and our parishioners will truly benefit!”
~ Fr. José Marquez, Pastor of Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Billings 

You Are Invited To Help Build This Important Grant Program

Your gift (of any amount) for either of the following permanent endowments at the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana will help greatly to ensure the continuance and growth of this new grant program to perpetually benefit the Catholic Church in our diocese:

  • Greatest Needs Endowment
  • Parish Assistance Endowment

Depending upon the amount of your gift, it may also qualify you to receive the 40% Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit in 2020. For more information about utilizing this substantial tax credit in your gift planning, please contact Judy Held, Foundation President, at (406) 315-1765 or [email protected].

To make an online gift, visit our DONATE page or mail to:

Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana
PO Box 1345
Great Falls, MT 59403

Non-cash gifts are also always welcome (i.e. appreciated stock and mutual funds, land, real and personal property, etc.).