The Catholic Education Foundation is excited to announce the launch of our new ministry grant focus.  For many years, the Catholic Education Foundation awarded Ministry Grants to seeking to build, create, and develop initiatives within the parameters of Catholic education, educational faith formation or evangelization/outreach.  After consultation with the Offices of Adult and Youth Formation and the Ministry Discipleship Team, the CEF has strategically aligned the Ministry Grant Program with Pope Francis’ call to missionary discipleship and Bishop Conlon’s pastoral letter “Go, He Said.”

We encourage you to apply, if your initiative lies within the sphere of Catholic Education and within the parameters of these three areas:

I. Culture of Encounter – before becoming a missionary disciple, one must first be a disciple – and every disciple of Jesus has experienced a life-changing encounter with Him.  We desire that all parishes in the Diocese of Joliet be dynamic places of Encounter where all may come to know saving love of Jesus Christ.  How might your initiative best build a culture of encounter at your parish?

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to this unfailingly each day” (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).

II. Digital Reach – perhaps now more than ever, parishes should be present in the digital environment.  Many parishes have initiated live-stream Masses, website improvements, online giving and more; but how might your initiative help your parish to digitally reach into the lives and homes of those who cannot or will not step onto the parish campus?  A high priority for this grant parameter will be based on need and on lasting impact – all parishes need to enter the digital arena, but we must continue beyond the pandemic.

“It is no longer merely a question of ‘using’ instruments of communication, but of living in a highly digitalized culture that has had a profound impact on… our ability to communicate, learn, be informed and enter into relationship with others” (Christus Vivit, 86).

III. To the Peripheries - we don’t have to go far to reach the peripheries of our modern culture.  With a focus on the families, friends, and workplaces of missionary disciples, we quickly reach those who are lost, hurting, and in need.  The Church always stands for the poor and the marginalized – through pandemic, plague, or other otherwise.  What initiate could help your parish or ministry to “Go” to the peripheries, to invite, welcome, & draw all people to Jesus and His Church?

“Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium, 20).

The Ministry Grant Review Committee values initiatives that are bold and creative and beyond status quo.


Here's how to apply:

1.   Read through the information sheet with program details.

PDF icon Go Grants Guidelines.pdf

2.  Fill out and submit the application.

PDF icon Final Grant Application 2020.pdf



Before completing the application, save the application form (PDF format) to a drive or location on your computer (e.g., Local Disk (C:), My Documents folder). The Save button provided on the form will open a Save As dialog box, which will allow you to save the application to a desired location on your computer. If viewing the form in a built-in PDF viewer (e.g., Chrome, FireFox), right-click the PDF and select Save as or Save Page As. Make sure the Save as type is set to Adobe Acrobat Document (*.pdf).

Once completed, the application will need to be printed and signed by the applicant and the Pastor. A hard copy can then be mailed to the:

Catholic Education Foundation     ATTN:  MINISTRY GRANTS    16555 Weber Road     Crest Hill, IL  60403

For more information about these grants or for questions regarding
the development of a grant proposal, feel free to contact:

Shirley Roberson, CEF Office, 815/221-6127 or




The Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) distributes more than 1,600 need-based scholarships each year. Eligible families with students K-12 are encouraged to apply for financial assistance to help cover the cost of tuition. These tuition assistance grants are determined on an annual basis and families must apply each year in order to be considered.  In 2017-18, the CEF distributed $2,130,297to 1,648 students in our Catholic elementary and high schools. Read More Here