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CCM Awards more than $18,000 in Grants to Parishes to fund Community-based Initiatives

March 16, 2016

Catholic Charities Maine Awards more than $18,000 in Grants to Parishes to fund Community-based Initiatives

Portland, ME – Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry is pleased to announce that six local parishes will receive grants totaling $18,550 from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

The mission of the parish CCHD grant is to support community-based initiatives that are strongly engaged by the local Catholic parish to solve community-wide problems. The grant funds will financially assist parish ministries that will empower people to make ongoing life changes to become more self-sufficient in meeting his or her basic human needs.

“The applications this year really show a growth in our Church’s ability to respond to not only the immediate needs of Mainers, such as food and clothing, but also to work on the education and transformative piece so that not everyone has to be in need in the future,” says Michael Smith, Director of Catholic Charities’ Parish Social Ministry program. “We received requests for six new ministries that will accomplish just that and complemented by the additional 150+ direct service ministries provided by parishes around the state, we can start to see a much larger collective impact,” Smith adds.

The parishes and ministries receiving funds are:

St. Brendan the Navigator in Camden will start a new educational ministry focused on self-sufficiency in conjunction with the population of people they serve at their soup kitchen. They will also offer financial assistance to help start/improve businesses to help people work toward self-sufficiency. (Awarded $4,000)

St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Calais will offer six seminars for 600 people to provide free meals in conjunction with educational sessions, which include: college education, early childhood development, survival skills, summer programs and meals, basic cooking skills and nutrition, trade it up, parks and recreation and hands on activities for children. (Awarded $3,550)

St. Mary of the Visitation in Houlton will utilize the food pantry to access people in need to work on budgeting, connecting with a financial mentor as well as healthy eating. (Awarded $4,000)

St. Michael’s in Augusta and St. Rose of Lima in Jay will each work with the Kennebec Valley Organization to work on systemic change in their communities through listening sessions, trainings and convening statewide groups to collectively work on a common issue. (Awarded $2,500 each)

St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor plans to build a house for a low-income family. The family will be required to give at least 200 in hours to assist in the project and partake in homeownership, maintenance and budgeting courses. (Awarded $2,000)

The mission of CCHD is made possible by the generous support of Catholics in the United States, especially through an annual collection taken up in most parishes the Sunday before Thanksgiving. From this collection 25% of the collection remains in Maine to support local efforts with significant parish engagement. The remaining 75% is collected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to distribute for larger national funding opportunities from which Maine agencies and organizations that address the systemic root of poverty can also apply.

About Catholic Charities Maine

Since 1966, Catholic Charities Maine has provided high-quality, community-based, social services to people of all faiths, beliefs, and economic backgrounds. As one of the largest human service agencies in the state, we are committed to helping children and adults overcome adversity and achieve self-sufficiency through our 25+ programs. To learn more, please visit


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