Skip to main content

To pay our blessings forward

Matt and Erin Ginnaty on a visit to Bellingham, Washington.

Matt and Erin Ginnaty on a visit to Bellingham, Washington.

Here at the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana, we love to hear the stories of why our donors decide to build (or, in some cases, create) permanent endowments for the Catholic Church in our diocese.

After Matt and Erin Ginnaty’s youngest son graduated from high school in 2012, they decided that the funds they once used to pay their children’s Catholic school tuition should help launch a scholarship for students at Our Lady of Lourdes in Great Falls to attend the local Catholic high school, Great Falls Central.

Their family bond to Our Lady of Lourdes (once their home parish) was strong, though they now live in Nebraska. Matt notes, “We had become so accustomed to paying Catholic tuition, and when we now had those funds available for us, we couldn’t think of another way to pay our blessings forward than to help other families afford the type of education we were blessed to be able to provide to our boys.”

But the story gets even better! Not only did they start the scholarship (which has now provided 25 students with $60,000 in scholarships to Great Falls Central), they also created the Ginnaty McArthur Family Legacy Scholarship Endowment at the Foundation. They hope, before they retire, to build this endowment to a level that sustains these scholarships for Our Lady of Lourdes students well into the future.

They aren’t alone in that hope. At “The Ball,” the recent annual fundraiser for Great Falls Catholic Schools, Bishop Jeffrey Fleming donated a special “Dinner with the Bishop” to the live auction event, and asked that the proceeds be designated for the Ginnaty McArthur Family Legacy Scholarship Endowment.

Matt and Erin, along with Bishop Fleming, have acted on what so many of us instinctively know: a Catholic education is a treasure. What a privilege to be able to help more families afford one for their children! If you would like to help, simply visit

To learn about the many other endowments that support Catholic schools in our diocese, from Havre to Miles City, visit Or, if you’re interested in creating your own legacy endowment to forever support what matters most to your family, reach out to the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana at [email protected] or 406-315-1765. Gifts or inquiries can be sent by mail to PO Box 1345, Great Falls, MT 59403.