Diocese distributes $123,000 for charitable outreach

Emily Booker News

Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund extended during pandemic

Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced extended distributions of the Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund to assist parishes in the Diocese of Knoxville with charitable community outreach during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund, parishes are offered matching grants to support charitable programs through a single annual distribution. Due to the 2020 global health crisis, Bishop Stika extended the grant program this year to include two waves of distributions.

Parishes received a total $123,000 this year.

“This has been a very unusual year and I felt like we needed to take unusual steps to meet the charitable needs of our communities by extending funding for programs that have historically benefited all East Tennesseans, not just those who are Catholic,” said Bishop Stika.

The diocese distributed $55,000 to parishes in May 2020.  Bishop Stika approved a second wave of distributions in June that totaled $68,000.

A total of 24 parishes requested the matching grants.

“These grants offer parishes an opportunity to increase their charitable outreach at the community level. They help fund bread pantries, offer direct assistance to help people and families in need pay for household and transportation expenses, clothing, school supplies, and in some cases even medication,” Bishop Stika said.

In 2019, the Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund distributed $51,500.

The Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund was created and is funded through the recent Home Campaign, a diocesan-wide capital campaign that benefited charity, education, priest retirement, parish projects, and the construction of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Pope Francis Charitable Trust Fund began offering matching grants to parishes in 2019.

Wave I ($55,000)

St. Albert the Great, Knoxville ($3,000): Continuation of the parish Corporal Works of Mercy committee to coordinate seasonal opportunities supporting children and families who participate in the Mountain Arts Program in Newcomb. Supplies are collected three times per year at Christmas, Easter, and Back to School.

St. Francis of Assisi, Townsend ($5,000): Support for the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. Their specific work in Townsend is to serve those with limited or no income to provide grocery assistance through the parish food pantry and holiday food baskets in addition to school supplies, and new shoes and socks for children in the local community.

All Saints, Knoxville ($5,000): Support the work of the new parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. This will provide financial help for utilities, food, transportation, and shelter, and health support.

St. John Neumann, Knoxville ($5,000): Support the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. Primary areas of assistance include housing and utilities, food, transportation, and life skills development. The parish also offers assistance to the CCETN Pregnancy Help Center.

Holy Spirit, Soddy-Daisy ($5,000): Support the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. While the conference assists with many local needs they place a specific focus on rent and mortgage assistance.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga ($5,000): Support the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. As the only St. Vincent de Paul conference currently serving Chattanooga a special request was made for additional funds.

St. Mary, Athens ($1,500): Parish-based direct charitable assistance to those in need in McMinn County.

Good Shepherd, Newport ($5,000): Support for the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference to continue assistance in support of those in need in Cocke County.

Holy Trinity, Jefferson City ($5,000): Support the work of parish charity. The church offers assistance to those who visit and request help. The parish has a specific focus on assistance with utilities, gas, groceries, food cards, etc.

St. Dominic, Kingsport ($5,000): Continue to support the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul which offers help with basic needs including rent, utility, gas, food, etc.

St. Henry, Rogersville/St. James the Apostle, Sneedville ($3,000): Funds will help revive the parish food pantry and ease the burden of families in the local area. Dedicated parish volunteers will assist. The parish plans to provide meats, milk, and vegetables as well as paper products, detergent, and toiletry items.

St. Mary, Johnson City ($2,500): Requested assistance for the parish food pantry. The St. Mary’s food pantry serves those in the Johnson City area who have limited to no income. The pantry offers great access to nutritious foods, including diary, fresh fruit and vegetables.

St. Patrick, Morristown ($5,000): Support for the parish St. Patrick Samaritans charitable group which offers help with basic needs to include rent, utility, gas, food, etc.

WAVE II ($68,000)

St. Francis of Assisi, Townsend ($5,000):  During COVID-19, the parish requested additional support to address increased need in the community through the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul conference. St. Francis of Assisi requested and received a PFCTF grant in Wave I of 2020.

St. Joseph the Worker, Madisonville ($3,000): The parish requested matching funds to support a long standing ministry called Feed My Sheep. It assists with utility bills, food, clothing, housing and other critical needs in Monroe County.

St. Teresa of Kolkata, Maynardville ($5,000): The parish plans to continue its mission to offer direct assistance to the poor, especially those who have been affected by COVID-19.

St. Thomas the Apostle, Lenoir City ($5,000): The parish requests matching funds to assist with food, shelter, fuel, and medical needs including hospitalizations and transportation.

St. John Neumann, Knoxville ($5,000): During COVID-19, the parish requested additional support to address an increased need in the community through the work of the parish St. Vincent de Paul. St. John Neumann requested and received a PFCTF grant in Wave I of 2020.

Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga ($5,000) The parish requested matching funds to provide direct assistance to families in need, particularly those in the Hispanic community who have experienced a job loss or job insecurity as a result of COVID-19.

St. Stephen, Chattanooga ($5,000): To assist families and individuals affected by COVID-19, the parish requested matching funds to help with prescriptions, rent, utilities, food and funeral expenses.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga ($5,000): The parish St. Vincent de Paul conference requested additional support for an increase in requests for help with food, utilities, housing, and other basic needs as a result of COVID-19. Our Lady of Perpetual Help requested and received a PFCTF grant in Wave I of 2020.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Cleveland ($5,000): The parish has seen people in their community struggle to purchase food and cover the costs of basic bills during COVID-19. The parish plans to use matching funds from the PFCTF to offer food baskets, assist with bills, help families this Christmas, and provide clothing when needed.

St. John Paul II Catholic Mission, Rutledge ($5,000): This mission church plans to continue its mission to offer direct assistance to the poor, especially those who have been affected by COVID-19.

Notre Dame, Greeneville ($5,000): The parish requests matching funds to assist the local community with utilities, rent, medication, groceries and other critical needs.

St. Mary, Johnson City ($5,000):  St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s helps pay for critical living expenses such as rent, mortgage or utilities, as well as diapers and food. St. Mary, Johnson City requested and received a PFCTF grant in Wave I of 2020 to support its parish ministry food pantry.

St. Anthony of Padua, Mountain City ($5,000): The St. Anthony Bread Food Pantry requested continued support for the parish children’s nutrition program.  The program has provided families with meat, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs and fresh vegetables. It has seen a 35 percent increase in client numbers since the program began in 2019.