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Donor Generosity Helps Institute for Homiletics Create $7.5 Million Permanent Endowment

IRVING, Texas (April 23, 2024) — The Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas has reached its goal of establishing a $7.5 million permanent endowment, a key need in the effort to improve preaching in the Catholic Church. This endowment, held as a designated fund at The Catholic Foundation in Dallas, will contribute funds in support of the Institute’s annual operating budget.

“The generosity of our donors can never be underestimated. Their financial support has made this Institute possible,” said Dr. Karla Bellinger, Executive Director of the Institute. “Parishioners are already giving us feedback about our first ongoing formation program. They are excited about the improved preaching of their clergy; ‘Pretty good homilies’ are becoming ‘inspirational and motivational!’”

The first cohort of preachers will finish the Preaching for Encounter program this summer. Jim Moroney, who led the fundraising for the permanent endowment, values all donors and appreciates the immense support of clergy leadership.

“I am grateful to Bishop Edward J. Burns in Dallas for his enthusiastic endorsement of this initiative when it was first discussed with him,” said Moroney. "I also want to thank Bishop Kelly for his ongoing work in support of the Institute. Bishop Kelly’s help has been invaluable, and his participation in the first cohort is a wonderful example of servant leadership.

“The fundraising effort and work would not have been successful without the steady hand and boots on the ground work of Kris Kramer, who accompanied me on almost every meeting with prospective donors,” added Moroney.

“Every donor showed faith in the work when there was nothing yet to see. They knew how important it was to our Church’s future that we improve preaching in the Catholic Church,” said Moroney. “Donors know in their hearts that if the Institute can help priests and deacons preach homilies that give people in the pews a genuine encounter with the living God then our churches will be vibrant and on fire with the Holy Spirit.”

Bishop Edward J. Burns said the early fruits of the Institute are fueling the desire of people to be drawn closer to Jesus Christ through hearing inspiring words of faith, hope and love.

“How blessed we are to hear from people in the pews who say the liturgies they’ve attended that involve clergy who are members of the first cohort are helping them draw nearer to Christ,” said Bishop Burns. “I am ever so grateful to the donors who have enabled the Institute to become a light of hope for our Church.”

Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation, said donors can continue to make contributions to the designated fund at any time and from anywhere.

"The Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas is a blessing to the Church and her people. Finding more effective ways to share the word of God is at the heart of the new evangelization, and the success of the program is already bearing tremendous fruit,” said University of Dallas President Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD. “The University of Dallas is incredibly grateful to Jim Moroney for leading the charge to reach this milestone in fundraising, and for the tremendous support of the Diocese of Dallas and The Catholic Foundation."

The Institute currently has priests and deacons from the Diocese of Dallas, the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, and Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, enrolled in its first two-year Preaching for Encounter program.

The second cohort of priests and deacons will begin with their introductory summer retreat in June. They come from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, the Diocese of San Antonio and the Diocese of Dallas.

In 2022, the Lily Endowment granted the Institute a total of 1.3 million dollars over the next five years. The five-year grant will enable the Institute to implement the “Into Deeper Waters: Renewing Liturgical Preaching to Reach Young Catholics” initiative. That project supports research and resources for improving liturgical preaching with young Catholics.

About the Institute for Homiletics

The Institute for Homiletics works to strengthen the preaching of Catholic clergy so that they flourish in their ministry of the Word. Beginning with the Diocese of Dallas and then moving outward to the broader Church, the Institute builds a vision of preaching whose purpose is to bring the people of God into an encounter with the living God. The Institute pairs homiletics and evangelization, believing that incremental growth in the improvement of liturgical preaching can yield exponential growth in the renewal of the Church. Visit www.instituteforhomiletics.org.

About University of Dallas

The University of Dallas is the premier Catholic liberal arts university in the country, known for its interdisciplinary undergraduate Core Curriculum and robust graduate programs. With campuses in Texas and Italy, UD stands apart as a thriving community of learners committed to education for a life well-lived. For more information, visit udallas.edu.

About the Catholic Foundation

The Catholic Foundation is a trusted giving vehicle for the Catholic community. Chartered in 1955, the Foundation was founded by a group of dedicated Catholic laymen with a vision that extended far beyond the charitable needs of the moment. The Foundation has spent decades building a strong community, helping donors fulfill their charitable goals, and preserving the founders’ vision and philanthropic legacy. Over time, the Foundation has provided more than $287 million in grants to religious, educational and charitable organizations. In 2023, The Catholic Foundation gave $20.9 million through more than 2,700 grants impacting more than 880 organizations. The Foundation houses more than 570 charitable funds and trusts. For additional information about The Catholic Foundation, call 972-661-9792 or visit www.catholicfoundation.com.

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