Sister Marguerite Bartz Fund

Catholic Extension to distribute more than $1.5 Million in 2010 to support work of nuns.
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Catholic Extension President announces fund, named in honor of murdered sister, which will support essential work created and inspired by women religious who serve in poor and isolated regions of America

Chicago, Ill. – Father Jack Wall, President of Catholic Extension, today announced the creation of the Sister Marguerite Bartz Fund to support the work of women religious and the ministries they have created and inspired.  The fund, named in honor of Sister Marguerite Bartz, SBS, whose life of passionate service was tragically cut short in November 2009, will supplement the $1,664,289 Catholic Extension already is committed to distributing in 2010 to women religious and their ministries in our country’s poorest and most isolated dioceses.

As a spiritual leader, educator, mentor, activist and community builder for more than 40 years, Sister Marguerite dedicated her life to serving the poor, and was working on the Navajo Reservation when she was killed during a robbery in her home. She epitomized the critical role that women religious play in nurturing the vibrant faith lives and serving the needs of people in the most forgotten corners of our country.  

“Sr. Marguerite’s life is an invitation to all of us to support the work of selfless women religious dedicated to doing God’s work in the world,” said Father Wall.  “So many of us have wonderful memories of a sister who was a favorite teacher, a devoted nurse or community leader. This fund is for the women who are following in their footsteps.”

Contributions to the Sister Marguerite Bartz Fund will help women religious provide services and establish programs in America’s mission dioceses, geographic regions where the Catholic Church is growing and the needs are great. Catholic Extension has been supporting the ministries of women religious in the mission dioceses since its inception in 1905.  In 2010, Catholic Extension will provide a total of $1,664,289 to support the work of hundreds of sisters in 33 dioceses across the country.  Sr. Marguerite Bartz was one of the sisters receiving funding from Catholic Extension, in the form of a salary subsidy, to support her presence in one of the poorest areas of our country. 

Women religious have a storied history in the United States dating back to the 1800s.  They have been pioneers in all fields of service on behalf of those in need – not only establishing schools, healthcare systems and social service organizations across the country, but cultivating strong lay leaders to carry them forward.

“Women religious have been and continue to be instrumental in developing innovative ways to serve the poor while nurturing faith – by their deep commitment to spreading God’s word and Christ’s presence,” said Joseph Boland, Grants Director for Catholic Extension.  “While we have always financially supported their work and celebrated their remarkable selflessness, we now invite the public to contribute to a fund that will honor a beloved sister by continuing her legacy.”

Sr. Marguerite entered the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1966, an order founded in 1891 by St. Katharine Drexel a dedicated educator committed to the material and spiritual well-being of African-Americans and Native Americans. Sr. Marguerite took her final vows in 1974.  She graduated from Xavier University in 1975, and earned a master’s degree in religious education from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1979.  She ministered in African-American and Native American communities in Massachusetts, Louisiana and throughout New Mexico, leading classes and conducting trainings in various forms of religious education.

If you are interested in contributing to the Sister Marguerite Bartz Fund, please contact the Development Office of Catholic Extension at or 800-842-7804. 

Catholic Extension will award more than 1000 grant requests this year to poor and isolated communities across the U.S. and its territories.  Last year, the organization invested $14 million in America’s 84 “mission dioceses,” geographic regions of the U.S. where the Catholic Church is growing and needs are great. Catholic Extension was able to do so through contributions from 47,000 individual donors who share its commitment to strengthen communities and sustain the Catholic faith throughout the country.

About Catholic Church Extension Society
Since 1905, the Chicago-based Catholic Church Extension Society has been empowering Catholic communities by providing them funds to establish themselves; become self-sustaining; provide religious education and outreach ministries; build and renovate church buildings; and train the next generation of lay, religious and ordained Catholic leaders. Catholic Extension has distributed nearly $500 million to communities across America throughout its history.

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Published by: Lawrence Reeve
Date: 2010-05-24 18:53:48
I am interested n applying for grants or funding to implement a self-sustaining pastoral program for the Diocese of Brownsville. Please contact me at 956-365-1844. Blessings, Chaplain Lawrence///

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