Bishop announces Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund

Bishop announces Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund

September 21, 2017

As you may recall, a recent Capital Endowment Campaign was recently conducted in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau to meet the impending needs of three areas of concern: to augment existing endowments for seminarian education and retired priests, and to establish an endowment for youth formation. The people of the Church in Southern Missouri responded generously and the Capital Campaign realized pledges and cash gifts in the amount of $23,319,000, surpassing its original goal of $15 million.

Bishop Edward Rice is proud to announce the establishment of the Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund, which has been instituted from part of the investment interest accrued from that third prong of the Diocesan Capital Endowment Campaign. The purpose of this fund is to support the on-going and projected programs for adolescents and youth undertaken by the diocese in order to enable them to deepen their relationship with God, learn about themselves, and discover what it means to be a Catholic Christian.

“With great gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the generous gifts of his people, we have officially formed the Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund,” said Lynn Melendez, diocesan Director of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Youth Formation.

“Over the past two months, we have been meeting with youth leaders and listening to the joys and struggles of youth ministry within our diocese,” Melendez said.

“The new Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund will provide financial support for some of the existing ministry programs and activities within our diocese,” Melendez said. “Equally exciting, is that soon we will have the ability to expand those opportunities for sharing the Gospel and forming young disciples in our Church!”

Currently, the fund has provisions to provide grants to parishes with high school youth and adult youth ministry leaders in need of financial assistance to attend the following activities:

  • The Diocesan Youth Conference – March 23-25, 2018

  • Camp Re-NEW-All – Summer 2018

  • Steubenville StL Mid-America Youth Conferences, July 13-15 & July 20-22, 2018

In addition, a portion of the fund has been allocated for the following:

  • Implementation of a new diocesan program next summer, known as Totus Tuus, for some of the smaller parish communities within our diocese. (Totus Tuus [“Totally Yours”] was the apostolic motto of Pope St. John Paul II. Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship.

  • Retreat Leadership Training for retreat teams in the Catholic high schools

  • Special one-time parish grants for use in establishing a program, training activity, or special event that would benefit the youth within a parish with limited youth ministry/youth formation funding.

Presently, the budget is somewhat limited for the Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund. However, as the investment interest from the overall Capital Endowment Campaign accumulates, the possibilities for supporting the growth of existing ministries, as well as creating new and more effective ways of serving the youth within our diocese, will grow as well.

“We will continue to seek the input of ministry leaders throughout the year and continue together to pray for God’s wisdom in discerning his plans for the diocese,” Melendez said.

Each June, the committee will assemble with Bishop Rice and discern the current suggestions and needs of the youth and youth leaders to discern the next steps.

Grant Application

To apply for a grant for the Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund, a representative from the parish sould complete the form, with the pastor’s approval. It would then be sent for consideration to the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Youth Formation. A small committee will gather at designated times throughout the year to review and approve the applications. For those applying for assistance in attending one of the approved youth conferences or camps listed above, applications may be made on behalf of both youth and adult youth ministry leaders in need of financial assistance for attending these events. Registration fees will be considered first and then consideration for lodging, meals, and travel expenses will be secondary.

For more information, please contact the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Youth Formation at (417) 866-0841, or Email