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Parish Life

Oregon Catholic Press announces open application for annual Grants Program for Parish and Campus Ministry Communities

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Parishes such as Our Lady of Hope can benefit from Oregon Catholic Press Parish Grants Program.

At a time when Catholic parishes are still experiencing financial hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Oregon Catholic Press has opened the application process for its annual Parish Grants Program. Created by OCP’s board of directors, the Parish Grants Program provides financial assistance to parishes and campus ministry programs seeking to enhance the worship experience of their communities, develop and reinforce liturgical and music ministries, create and strengthen multicultural ministries, and expand educational and charitable outreach.

“The primary purpose when our board of directors approved the grants back in 2001 was to serve Roman Catholic parishes in their liturgical ministry,” explained Wade Wisler, publisher for OCP. “It was to support the efforts of our parishes to provide a place of worship for their local communities.”

Campus ministry programs may also apply for grants this year. OCP noticed that many campus’ now serve a consistent congregation with a regular liturgy schedule, not just students during the academic year.

“Since they are serving their local communities like a parish and have the same needs as a parish, we thought they should be eligible to receive a grant,” said Wisler.

The grants are commonly used for purchasing worship materials, such as hymnals and missals, as well as pay for the upkeep, repair and replacement of musical instruments. The grants may also be used for improving multicultural ministries with additional training and purchasing of bilingual worship materials, and attending or hosting musical or liturgical conferences or workshops. A guest speaker or multilingual minster could also be brought into the parish.

“We know that many parishes are struggling to meet the needs of communities that are worshiping in other languages, so we really do want to support that,” said Wisler.

Parishes and campus ministry programs may submit applications (online only) by filling out a questionnaire. OCP wants to know the size of the parish congregation and collection. The review committee will look at all the applications, with a focus on who has most need. The review committee will also look at the applicant’s outreach programs to see how they are helping the wider community. Applications are due May 30.

“These grants are supposed to support parishes that truly have a need,” said Wisler. “So, a parish that is struggling financially, a parish that relative to other parishes has less resources to purchase an instrument or to provide a beautiful new hymnal, they would be considered ahead of a parish that has more resources financially. That’s why we ask about the collection.”

OCP typically give out $200,000 in grants to about 100 parishes.

Any Roman Catholic parish in the United States that did not receive an OCP Parish Grant the prior year may apply. Starting in 2021, college and university campus ministries such as Newman Centers (demonstrating a consistent Mass schedule throughout the liturgical year) can also apply. Awarded grants must be used for liturgical and/or musical purposes. Applicants do not have to use an OCP worship program to qualify. All applicants will receive a letter from OCP in August, addressed to the pastor or parish administrator, letting them know whether or not they were selected to receive a grant.

For more information and to apply visit http://www.ocp.org/en-us/parish-grants.

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