It was a night to remember! Thank you to the more than 1,200 friends and Minnesota Catholics who came to celebrate the community impact made possible by collective, Catholic philanthropy! It was wonderful to recognize many beautiful and distinct ways our communities came together to celebrate the joy and power of giving. Here are just a few of the many highlights from the 30th anniversary celebration of the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF).

CCF President Anne Cullen Miller shared three stories of individual donors whose faith-filled legacies will live on through generosity. Through their gifts and those of the many donors who partner with CCF to achieve their charitable giving goals, CCF has grown to steward nearly $580 million in assets and have granted more than $240 million to Catholic and nonprofit causes. As Anne remarked, “We know giving is loving, and from our perch at the foundation, we see and feel your love in abundance.”

“Simply a great evening.  Faith-filled. Inspirational. Encouraging. Connectedness. Fostering hope.”

Emcee Kelly Wahlquist, Founder of WINE: Women in the New Evangelization and Director of the Catechetical Institute at the Saint Paul Seminary, brought warmth and humor to the stage.

Students and staff from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.

Father Ben Little, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Savage, with Linda Moriarty and Ann Schoenbauer.

Jan Gainor with her daughter, Mary Gainor Kirchner.

Rosa Garnica, Maria de la Luz Hernandez, Angela Rodriguez, and Sara Dircio.

Featured guest Fr. Mike Schmitz, chaplain of the UMD-Newman Center and host of the chart-topping podcasts The Bible in a Year, and The Catechism in a Year, talked through the seven virtues in just eight minutes. He shared that the theological virtue of love is closely linked to generosity. “And that’s one of the incredible things about the people who are involved here,” Fr. Mike said. “You are saying, ‘All right, God has blessed me. How can that blessing not end with me? How can it pass through me to the people around me?’”

“As we walked into the event, we were struck with the realization that our parents’ generation, along with their example of faith and generosity, has given way to our generation.


It is our turn to be the example for our children and grandchildren. CCF is the vehicle for sharing that example.”

Paul and Jenna Dwyer. Paul, of Punch Investments, is a community member serving on CCF’s Investment Committee.

CCF Senior Philanthropic Advisor Bethel Ruest and Bishop Daniel Felton (Diocese of Duluth).

Visitation Sister Suzanne Homeyer, Diane Lee, and Robert Briscoe.

CCF Vice President of Finance & Administration Casey Scott, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Izen, and Chorbishop sharbel Maroun (Maronite Church).Ten Minnesota bishops attended: Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Williams, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Izen, Chorbishop sharbel Maroun, Bishop emeritus John LeVoir, Bishop emeritus Richard Pates, Bishop Daniel Felton (Diocese of Duluth), Bishop Chad Zielinski (Diocese of New Ulm), Bishop Patrick Neary (Diocese of St. Cloud), and keynote speaker Bishop Robert Barron (Diocese of Winona-Rochester).

The Most Reverend Robert Barron, bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, delivered the keynote address. Bishop Barron encouraged guests to a universal call of holiness, bringing Christ into the world as “great Catholic lawyers, and great Catholic politicians, and great Catholic business leaders, and great Catholic educators, and great Catholic writers and parents,” urging all to direct our gifts “toward the praise of God.”

“What a great event! Your team put on a marvelous display of what is good and right in the Catholic Church.


It was inspiring to see so many Catholic people gathered for a common good.”

Once again, thank you to all who joined us or who were with us in spirit. Click here for a more in-depth look at our 30th anniversary celebration, including videos, photos and so much more.


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