Minnesota Catholic Relief Fund
A philanthropic response to community crises
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, our parishes and schools faced unprecedented challenges both financially and operationally. And while some parishes were financially positioned to endure the COVID‑19 crisis, others were not as fortunate.
Our parish and school staff have worked to creatively adapt ministries and thoughtfully develop safety protocols.
Grantmaking from this emergency relief fund contributed to operational stability for Catholic parishes and schools during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
Neighbors in Need
In response to recent turmoil and unrest in our community initiated by the unjust death of George Floyd, the Minnesota Catholic Relief Fund (MCRF) provided an opportunity to support our neighbors in need.
Many people experienced displacement and distress, having lost their homes and sense of security. And, many lost access to pharmacies and grocery stores with few alternatives.
Grantmaking from this fund went to parishes and nonprofits providing direct support to those in need.
In Partnership With
Archbishop Bernard Hebda
“I urge you to continue tithing regularly to your parishes. Then, if you are able, please consider making a contribution to the Minnesota Catholic Relief Fund.
The MCRF provides a beautiful opportunity for us all to be like the Good Samaritan, tending to our neighbors most in need. Through the MCRF, we can steward our charitable resources prudently, collaboratively, and efficiently, helping our parishes, schools, and communities endure this time of crisis.”
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Great, Urgent, and Varied
The needs that arose from this crisis were great indeed. They were urgent and varied. They included, but were not limited to …
online streaming services and video conferencing to minister to the lay faithful
deep cleaning services and new technology to enable remote work
relief funding to mitigate furloughs and loss of pay or benefits
Decreased Plate Giving
supplemental support to compensate for the decline in parish collections
Neighbors In Need
secure and stable shelter for those displaced by property destruction
Groceries and Basic Supplies
food, diapers, personal hygiene, and over-the-counter medicines
access to pharmacies for prescription medications and clinics for healthcare
Gifts Into the Fund
Grants Out of the
Pandemic Relief Fund
Grants Out of the
Neighbors in Need Fund
The MCRF Advisory Committee includes religious and lay leaders within our Minnesota Catholic community who have significant insight into the challenges our parishes and schools are facing during the COVID-19 crisis. All advisory committee members also hold considerable financial and grantmaking expertise.
Anne Cullen Miller
Advisory Committee Chair
Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota
Consultant for Education Policy
Former SVP, Community Impact
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Minnesota Council on Foundations
Former Chairman and CEO
G&K Services, Inc
Economic Task Force Member
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Meg Payne Nelson
Vice President of Impact
Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota
Parish Business Administrator
Catholic Community of St. Odilia
Reverend Ralph Talbot
St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, White Bear Lake
Frassati Catholic Academy
Archdiocesan Comprehensive Assignment Board
Estela Villagrán Manancero
Office of Latino Ministry, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry
Why was the Minnesota Catholic Relief Fund (MCRF) created?
Our parishes and schools make up the vital fabric of our Minnesota Catholic community. In 2020, they faced unprecedented challenges both financially and operationally. And, many of our parishes helped the individuals and families in their communities to meet their basic needs: housing, food, transportation, and medical costs.
The Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota serves at the intersection of philanthropy and need. Since its founding, CCF has worked closely with Catholic individuals and institutions to financially support the spiritual, educational, and social needs of our Catholic community.
Why was the MCRF held at CCF?
The Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF) is a veritable leader in Catholic philanthropy and an insightful community partner with proven financial expertise and a mature oversight structure. CCF was founded in 1992 to support financially the spiritual, educational, and social needs of our Catholic community. As a perpetual steward of charitable assets, CCF is not just prepared for challenging times like these, it was designed for them.
Where did the money go?
CCF worked closely with diocesan, parish, and school leadership, as well as other Catholic funders, to provide an agile response that enabled effective impact as needs have evolved during our community’s recovery.
Did parishes and schools take advantage of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
After seeking legal counsel, the Archdiocese encouraged all parishes to apply to the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
We believe the support provided by the PPP filled a large portion of the gap faced by our parishes and schools. However, funding from the PPP wasn’t able to be used for all expenses and the MCRF was an important part of addressing remaining needs in the short term. The committee awarded grants of approximately $5,000-15,000 to qualifying parishes and schools, beginning with those with the most need.
Who decided where the money went?
Funding decisions were made by the MCRF Advisory Committee. The advisory committee included religious and lay leaders within the Catholic community who have significant insight into the challenges our parishes, schools, and communities faced. Additionally, advisory committee members hold financial and grantmaking expertise.
How did CCF benefit from the MCRF?
We didn’t. CCF waived all fees for the MCRF and provided all fundraising support free of charge. CCF’s mission is to support financially the spiritual, educational, and social needs of our Catholic community. Through this fund, we simply fulfilled our role as an important community partner.