Bellarmine Chapel’s Transformation Fund was created prior to the pandemic and funded through the generosity of several donors along with a fundraising campaign. The funds were designated for distribution in the local community. Bellarmine Chapel was asked to find ways to offer significant seed money to nonprofit organizations. In late 2022, the $100,000 in the fund was presented to three local nonprofits. Bellarmine’s Advisory Committee chose the organizations for their prophetic witness to justice and liberation, and their ability to remove barriers to physical and spiritual human thriving.
Xavier Jesuit Academy – $50k
Xavier Jesuit Academy will use the gift from the Bellarmine Chapel Transformational Fund towards creating a faith-filled learning environment for their students. The gift will provide a library of religious texts and learning materials for students and families, culturally uplifting religious artwork, contemporary and historical inspirational Christian images and artifacts, materials for prayer and meditation, student liturgical vestments and materials for worship services, and Catholic religion education curriculum texts and materials. Any use of the gift will focus on building up the Catholic, Jesuit, and Christian environment of the school reflecting the students and community.
Lydia’s House – $25k
Lydia’s House provides safe, stable, and supportive housing for women and children in crisis. The donation will go towards an upcoming shelter expansion, which will add an apartment for live-in staff and a dining/multipurpose room large enough for community gatherings. New playground equipment will be added for resident children as well. The gift will help build and sustain the work of Lydia’s House, changing the lives of guests and volunteers alike.
Merici Readiness Academy – $25k
The Merici Readiness Academy is a partnership between St. Ursula Academy and CISE. The program, designed and executed by SUA staff, invites high performing female students from 3 CISE schools to participate in a weeklong, selective high school readiness program in the summer between 6th and 7th and 7th and 8th grade. The focus of the program is on enrichment activities that will develop the necessary skills to be successful in a college prep environment.
Rubric for Receiving Funds
Bellarmine Chapel’s Advisory Committee created a rubric to determine which organizations would receive a part of the Transformation Fund based on factors such as an organization’s connection to the Catholic faith, ability to transform lives, financial sustainability, proximity to Bellarmine Chapel, and opportunities for parish engagement. Several non-profits were given scores based on these criteria, and three were selected to receive funds.