Loving God, we come to You,
standing together in faith,
ready to realize the freshness of a bold endeavor,
as we look to the future of our Church.
Building up the Kingdom of God on earth
is Your will and our privilege.
Bless our efforts with the energy and enthusiasm we need.
Jesus, our Redeemer, encourage and guide us.
Open our hearts to be good stewards
because of our love for You.
Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, empower us
to carry out Your will for the Upon This Rock campaign.
May Your Goodness be upon us,
And give us success to the work of our hands and hearts.
We ask Your blessing now and always
through Christ Our Lord.
Upon This Rock will also support the
works of Catholic Charities and increase the availability of high quality,
Catholic Education. Read more below to
discover how your generosity can benefit these organizations.
Every year, Catholic Charities puts the Gospel message into action by providing vital social services to more than 142,000 Western New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds. The programs of Catholic Charities bring hope to the hopeless and provide support to those in need while empowering them to move forward and succeed.
Since 1923, Catholic Charities has engaged in life-sustaining work and life-changing work. Some important "Matthew 25" work serves to support the most vulnerable among us and those without a voice, offering assistance which other agencies are unable to offer. Its efforts include about 70 services to individuals, children, and families, including food pantries; comprehensive individual, family and marriage counseling for all ages; mental health and substance abuse treatment; assistance to those experiencing domestic violence and children experiencing abuse or neglect; high school equivalency and job readiness training; school-based services to remove social and emotional barriers to learning; services to support older adults and caregivers; and immigration and refugee resettlement services to those UN-designated individuals and families forced to flee their homeland for their lives.
The organization delivers these and many other services so well, and with such efficiency and transparency, that it is one of the most successful agencies of its type. In recent years, it has been awarded the highest rating possible from Charity Navigator; it meets the Better Business Bureau's 20 Standards for Charity Accountability; and their services are recognized for their quality by the National Council on Accreditation.
Upon This Rock will allocate $10 million to support
the work of Catholic Charities. These funds will be placed in a distinct
endowment and will provide additional revenue to sustain and expand the
essential programs of this organization and allow Catholic Charities to
address unmet needs and underserved populations.
Catholic schools are deeply rooted in the history of Western New York. Our schools form and support well-rounded individuals, who are grounded in faith and have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Every year, thousands of students from our Catholic schools spend countless hours volunteering for various charities, programs, and ministries. The education provided by Catholic schools enables our students to excel in leadership and ministry so that they are prepared to fulfill their responsibilities, ultimately leading others to know, love, and practice values of the Gospel in everyday life.
Quality education is only possible with a commitment to offer the best. Dating back to the formation of the Diocese, the mission of Catholic schools has been to offer that quality to all who are interested. However, many families are unable to choose Catholic education because of tuition rates that reflect the cost of providing a superior, faith-based education. The average diocesan elementary school tuition has risen to $3,535 from $2,927 in 2010, increasing by 17% in five years. While the BISON Fund currently provides 1,449 Catholic elementary school students in our diocese with tuition assistance, an average of 500 students remain on the waiting list each year. Additionally, the average diocesan high school tuition is currently $9,432, and there are limited diocesan resources in place to provide financial aid at the high school level.
Upon This Rock will increase the Tuition Assistance
Endowment by $12 million and allow us to provide assistance to 40% more
students each year. This financial support will expand the assistance we are
able to provide elementary school students, establish new programs to support
students at the high school level, and enable more families to choose
The STREAM Education Initiative is a diocesan investment to enhance the already excellent education provided by our Catholic schools and support the future of Catholic education. This program provides 21st century learning experiences and focuses on science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts, and math. Through hands-on experiences, it promotes a higher level of critical thinking and a deeper understanding of content.
The idea of emphasizing STEM subject areas has been driven by the business community over the past several years in order to prepare a more agile and well-equipped workforce for our country's future. However, it has been increasingly evident that there is a need for innovation and creativity that is nurtured through the arts as well. Embedded in our faith as Catholic schools, religion is woven throughout all subjects and completes a holistic education. STREAM is the necessary evolution of STEM education, providing a philosophical framework for delivering excellence in Catholic education for the future.
The Diocese of Buffalo has
experienced tremendous success with the initial implementation of the STREAM Program and will continue to partner with schools to fund this initiative. Upon This Rock will allocate $3 million to fund
leadership and professional development, as well as essential technology
Campus ministry programs offer opportunities for college students to engage in a warm and welcoming environment of prayer and cultivation of the Catholic faith. These programs provide support during a transitional and often challenging time and invite students to deepen their relationship with God through participation in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church, community outreach and service, leadership training, and prayerful retreats.
While the Catholic colleges and universities in Western New York fund and operate their own vibrant campus ministry programs, the Diocese provides financial support to the campus ministry programs offered at area non-Catholic colleges. These programs are essential in the development of our young adults for future roles in Catholic service, leadership, and evangelization. By fostering the Catholic faith and values of discipleship in these communities of young people, the Diocese of Buffalo ensures that the next generation of faithful will be able to continue building upon the strong foundation of our Church. Upon This Rock will establish a $2 million endowment to provide funding and resources for our campus ministry programs, enabling them to continue providing essential services and support to the next generation of Catholics in Western New York.