Nicholas Y. Chubenko
The Catholic Foundation of Manitoba continues to support organizations and causes that promote and strengthen the Catholic community in religion, education, and social services throughout Manitoba. As part of its’ work, the Foundation has been committed in providing annual grants to support the valuable work of these many organizations and agencies. Details of the dispersal of grants have been outlined in the Foundation’s financial summary report.
It remains the goal of the Foundation Board to reach out and assist as many organizations having applied for grants from the Dioceses and Archeparchy in Manitoba. Efforts are made to equitably distribute funds based on severity of need and circumstance. A higher percentage of grants have been earmarked this year for the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay- Nunavut and the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas. There was also a special donation made to the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (Manitoba Branch) to assist individuals arriving in Winnipeg after being displaced by the war in Ukraine. We strongly encourage organizations to apply again to be considered for the following years’ dispersal of grants.
The Foundation Board has undertaken the important exercise of Strategic Planning to establish operational and governance priorities for CFM moving forward in the next 3-5 years. The goal of addressing these priorities is to help ensure the sustainability and relevance of the Foundation during these increasingly changing and competitive times. We are proud to announce that in the past two years, the Foundation Board has been successful in recruiting several individuals of diverse backgrounds and skills from the Dioceses in Winnipeg, Keewatin-The Pas and Churchill-Hudson Bay-Nunavut. This recruitment has brought a renewed perspective to the Board while also strengthening partnerships in Catholic communities from across the entire Province. We will be attentive moving forward to seek out and mentor new Foundation members from a group of younger adults.
We are excited to be planning the upcoming Caritas Awards Banquet and returning to an in-person format as compared to the previous two years when our annual dinner was held virtually due to the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. The Caritas event will be recognizing the outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations in Manitoba who are ardent supporters and advocates of social justice and the reconciliation process with Indigenous Peoples. The theme of the dinner is “A Path to Healing and Reconciliation. Creating Healthy Relationships, One Conversation at a Time.” I want to take this opportunity to thank the Caritas Committee Chair, Julie Turenne-Maynard, and the other committee members for all their hard work in planning the event and to the entire Board for their support in striving to make this fundraising dinner a success.
The Foundation Board remains grateful to the entire Catholic community including the Archbishops, Metropolitan, clergy, sisters, parishes, schools, health care facilities, social service agencies and businesses for their support. We are also thankful to members of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Women’s League, and Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League for partnering with CFM in performing the charitable work that we do. The Foundation Board is committed towards revitalizing the relationships between our organizations to further benefit our work with mutual stakeholders and community. We also give thanks to our donors, organizations, and sponsors in continuing to support the Foundation’s efforts in serving our youth, elderly, vulnerable and needy.
In closing, I am honored to have served as President of the Catholic Foundation for the past four years. Each year has brought me a greater appreciation of the talents and contributions of my Board colleagues and their dedication of time and energy in representing the interests of the Foundation. Serving as volunteers, they epitomize the true meaning of what one can contribute to our faith community. I am also very grateful for the diligent and dependable work of our Foundation’s long serving and experienced administrative secretary, Suzanne Molinski. Finally, there are three Board members who will be leaving the Foundation after reaching the end of their respective terms and who deserve acknowledgment for their personal contributions. Irka Semaniuk is the longest serving Board member and has been involved in a variety of important roles and responsibilities during her tenure. Damir Stipanovic departs after fulfilling a full term and injecting a fresh perspective by often challenging the “status quo” in efforts to improve and strengthen the profile of the Foundation. Deacon Rodney Suclan, representing the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay-Nunavut, completed his tenure as Foundation chaplain and has agreed to remain as a newly elected Board member. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am grateful for the diversity of experiences and talents these three individuals have provided in contributing to the success of the Catholic Foundation of Manitoba and they will be missed. Given this opportunity, I would also like to welcome our new incoming chaplain, Deacon Clarence Fisher, from the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas and look forward to his contributions and fellowship.
We, at the Foundation, ask for God’s blessings for all those who continue to suffer from the effects of war, the pandemic and the many challenges posed by life circumstances such as declining health, poverty, and social injustices. May we all be sustained in our faith and hope in one another and as one strong Catholic family and community.