Sheen Endowment awards 60 grants for faith formation

Bible studies for teens and adults, parish missions, a pioneering preschool religious education venture and a fall retreat for parish catechetical leaders are among the projects receiving grants from the Diocese of Peoria’s Fulton Sheen Endowment for Religious Education and Adult Faith Formation this fall.

Sixty grants to 29 parishes totaling $26,973 were approved by the Sheen Endowment Board at its Aug. 20 meeting, according to Father Douglas Grandon, board chairman.

The Fulton Sheen Endowment is one of three major endowments created as part of the “Rooted in Faith” capital campaign conducted throughout the diocese beginning in 2004.

In addition to funding projects for faith formation on all levels, the Fulton Sheen Endowment Board supports activities and resources that enhance the parish’s programming for evangelization and family life. As the endowment’s principal and interest income increase, so does the amount available to parishes for the continued spiritual development of their members.

One program that the diocesan Office of Catechetics is watching with interest is “The Atrium Project,” an educational curriculum geared for preschool children being piloted by St. Mary’s Parish in Metamora.

Several parishes are beginning or continuing to use “The Great Adventure: The Bible Timeline,” a group of Bible studies developed by Jeff Cavins to help immerse adult and teen Catholics in Scripture.

The Sheen Endowment is also underwriting the registration fees for a fall catechetical leaders’ retreat, to be held from Friday, Nov. 14, to Sunday, Nov. 16, at King’s House in Henry.

Those who have identified a religious education need in their parish and are looking for programs or resources to meet those needs are encouraged to contact the Office of Catechetics at (309) 682-5823 for suggestions.

Help with the applications is available from the diocesan Office of Development and Stewardship at (309) 671-1550.

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