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Help people in need through the Foley Legacy Fund

For more than 20 years, Sisters of Providence have had special support to serve people who are economically poor. They’ve had special support in working to change structures that oppress people who are disadvantaged, who have no other means of support.

The reason? The generosity of donors like you who, from 1988-1990, contributed $2.6 million to establish the Sister of Providence Ministry Fund. Interest from this substantial fund enables the Congregation every year to support sisters and co-laborers ministering with the poor. The 2016-2017 funding went to eight recipients for a total of $146,200. Funding grants in 2017-18 will total $110,000 and will support seven ministers.

How does this funding translate to daily practice? One example is Providence Family Services, a sponsored ministry on Chicago’s west side. It provides bilingual professional counseling, English as a Second Language classes, GED classes, after-school homework help, basic computer classes and citizenship classes. Sister Patty Fillenwarth has directed the ministry for more than 20 years. “We could never have started, nor sustained Providence Family Services without the Ministry Fund,” she said. “There were years when we did not require funding, but in the last 10 years, we have received funds to help with salaries for our counseling program and for our afterschool homework program. The Ministry Fund has always been Providential for us and a blessing for all those we have served over the years.”

Transitioning to something new

This year the SP leadership team saw a need to broaden the purpose of the fund to secure into the future. They will merge the current Ministry Fund into a newly established quasi-endowment. This will be called the Foley Legacy Fund. The fund will also incorporate an annual anonymous gift designated to be used for ministry.

The newly established Foley Legacy Fund will continue to financially support ministries that provide direct service to the economically poor and underserved. It will also support ministries that further the mission of the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or elsewhere. Funds may be used to provide financial support for personnel, programs, buildings and grounds needed by the ministry. Any Sister of Providence, Providence Associate or individual in a Sister of Providence ministry may apply for a grant by submitting a written proposal. The first funding applications are due March 1, 2018, for funding to be used during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, i.e., Sept. 1, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2019.

Can you help? The fund needs a firm and growing foundation to continue to support Sisters of Providence works of love, mercy and justice now and into the future. To learn more about how you can make an impact by donating to this fund, contact Sister Ann Casper at 812-535-2801 or acasper@spsmw.org.

(Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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