Catholic Extension offers grant opportunity


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

Six parishes in the Diocese of Davenport recently received grants from Catholic Extension Society for its Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative – Formation for the Next Generation Program. During the conclusion of the Synodal Summit on Youth and Family Engagement last month, Trevor Pullinger announced that Catholic Extension Society has opened up another round of the grant program.

Pullinger, the diocesan director of faith formation and coordinator of catechesis, encouraged parishes to apply for the grants. He referred to The Catholic Messenger, which covered the process and the six parishes’ plans for their grants. The six are St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction, St. Joseph Parish in West Liberty, the parish cluster of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish and St. Patrick Parish in Ottumwa, St. Alphonsus Parish in Mount Pleasant and Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

Diocesan Stewardship Director Jennifer Praet said Catholic Extension chooses the grant recipients, not the diocese. “The diocese has applied for many grants and has been quite fortunate to receive several generous grants, many from Catholic Extension.”


Catholic Extension received a 5-year grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, subtitled Formation for the Next Generation. Catholic Extension hopes to have three cohorts throughout the five-year process and recently announced that all mission dioceses could apply for this particular grant. The Davenport Diocese qualifies as a mission diocese because of its need to serve the growing Hispanic population.

“Our internal process is to have the parishes apply and they will be considered on the merits of their applications,” Praet said. “We will submit three parishes’ (applications) to Catholic Extension as part of our application. The potential grantees will participate in an interview with Catholic Extension and then they will choose their next cohort.

Other parishes have expressed interest in the formation grants after the first cohort was in the process of applying for the grants, she said. Pullinger said interested parishes could contact him to discuss the opportunity. Praet and Pullinger provided support and encouragement throughout the process for the first cohort — from setting up Zoom meetings to an in-person listening session, to individual parish project design, grant writing, budget formation and paperwork. She submits the grants and manages them.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to augment current ministries or design new ‘dream projects,’” Praet said. “This particular grant provides the opportunity to invite all from the parish to engage in an expert-led listening session where the congregation has the opportunity to envision what family faith formation could look like in their parish.”

The deadline for the application and all paperwork is July 17. For more information, contact Pullinger at or Praet at

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