Read: Raising up saintly scholars | Diocese of Lansing considers major new education fundraising campaign

The Diocese of Lansing is considering embarking upon a major new fundraising campaign in support of Catholic education – all with the aim of fostering a new generation of missionary disciples capable of bringing the light, and warmth, of Christ’s Gospel into contemporary society.

“Culturally we live in endarkened times with both faith and reason under ongoing assault with the result being a public square increasingly dominated by impiety, impurity, intemperance and, indeed, ignorance – our world needs Jesus and Jesus needs saints,” explains Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing.

“A major part of delivering upon that bold apostolic ambition lies with Catholic education and, especially, our Catholic schools as the world needs them to be places where the next generation is formed in virtue, learning and holiness.”

Over the past two years Catholic schools within the Diocese of Lansing have experienced a historically significant increase in enrollment. Any new fundraising campaign seeks to build upon that success in order to make Catholic schools ever more accessible, affordable, available and, most importantly, on-mission.

With this in mind, the Diocese of Lansing recently partnered with consultants from the Steier Group, a Catholic fundraising and development firm, to test the feasibility and potential support for a capital campaign for Catholic schools within the diocese.

The study was conducted from January through March 2023, with a total of 941 participants. This sample group included pastors, parish staff, diocesan officials, as well as school presidents and principals. Two themes consistently emerged from respondents:

* First, support for a capital campaign for Catholic schools was consistently strong across all respondents regardless of their region, deanery, or whether they belong to parishes with or without schools.

* Second, many respondents also commented that the focus of any potential fundraising initiative should be broadened to allow for support of religious education and/or faith formation initiatives.

Based upon this feedback, the Steier Group broadened the scope of the potential campaign from Catholic schools to Catholic education while keeping the primary focus on strengthening our Catholic schools.

Last month, the Steier Group presented its findings and recommendations to Bishop Boyea and the key bodies he consults with: The Bishop’s Cabinet; the Diocesan Finance Council; the Diocesan College of Consultors; and members of the Presbyteral Council.

Having taken on board the constructive comments and suggestions voiced during the study, the Diocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors voted to move forward with a major fundraising initiative in support of Catholic education as recommended by the Steier Group. That decision was then endorsed by Bishop Boyea.

“There is still much prayer, work and study to be done before any campaign is launched,” concludes Bishop Boyea.

“We will, of course, keep our clergy and lay faithful fully informed at every stage, especially through the pages of FAITH Magazine.”