Foundation’s forum series to address education, millennials, women’s poverty

| November 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota is launching a three-part forum series to address societal issues that align with its educational, spiritual and social mission areas in hopes that participants will learn about local needs and get involved.

Anne Cullen Miller

The first forum of “Giving Insights” will look at how urban Catholic elementary schools can close the achievement gap and be self-sustaining. The Nov. 14 panel includes representatives from the Healey Education Foundation, AIM Higher Foundation and GHR Foundation, and the principal of Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis. Barry Lieske, president of DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, will moderate.

“Urban Catholic elementary education is a huge way that we can share our faith and grow our Church community,” said Anne Cullen Miller, CCF president. “And there are such extreme needs. … It’s also an area of great interest to donors.”

In devising the series, Miller said CCF took insights from its donors, who often ask about the community’s greatest needs and how they can respond to them with their time, talent and treasure.

With each of the panels, CCF — which Miller noted is the largest Catholic community foundation in the U.S. — hopes to connect people in the Catholic community with similar interests who can help bring about systemic changes.

“We’re a community foundation; we’re not just an investor of charitable assets, [and] we’re not just a grant maker,” Miller said. “We consider ourselves a convener. One of our strong assets is our network and our ability to help [people] understand what the needs are in the Catholic community and then introduce people who might be able to help and support and meet those needs.”

The second forum will address how Catholic millennials engage in their faith, and the third forum will explore how to support young mothers and their children in crisis. Citing donors’ high interest in the topics, Miller said the organization wants to provide an opportunity for people to listen, learn and support.

The series leads up to CCF’s 25th anniversary and will culminate with an April 26 celebration featuring Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who’s presented across the country. Ultimately, Miller hopes the series will increase awareness of CCF’s work and mission, and bring people together to achieve common goals.

“We want to celebrate the good things that are going on in our Catholic community, despite some of the distractions, and show people there are good reasons to be hopeful for our future as a local Church,” Miller said.

The first forum will take place 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Our Lady of Grace in Edina. Registration is required for the forums, which are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information and to register, visit

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Category: Local News