Catholic Foundation Raises $191,330 at 13th Annual Foundation of Faith Dinner with Matt Maher

September 21, 2019

The Catholic Foundation raised $191,330 during the 13th Annual Foundation of Faith Dinner: When We Sing, We Pray Twice with award winning Catholic singer songwriter Matt Maher through sponsorships, table and ticket sales, a live auction, and donations. This year's festivities included a VIP event for sponsors, Mass with Bishop Mark & Music by Matt Maher, and the annual dinner. The community was moved and inspired by Matt Maher's performances during Mass at St. Raphael Parish and the Dinner & Concert on Thursday, September 19, 2019. The positive response was overwhelming and provided healing and a renewed energy to evangelize. 

Nora & Ernie Herrera hosted a beautiful evening for sponsors on Wednesday, September 18 at The Herrera Group, a historic Trost home built in 1912 and located across from St. Patrick Cathedral. Dr. & Mrs. Carlos & Teresita Corral donated delicious food for the VIP event and guests mingled and took photos with Matt Maher throughout the night.

Our community was also treated to an inspiring Mass hosted by St. Raphael Parish. The church, which has a capacity of 1,200, was completely full. After the celebration, attendees enjoyed an impromptu performance of “Your Grace Is Enough” by Matt Maher and Peter Kolar on accordion. Peter is the Music Editor at GIA Publications, Director of the El Paso Diocesan Choir, and a composer. A very special thanks to Bishop Mark for presiding, Fr. Tony Celino, Pastor of St. Raphael Parish for hosting, and Peter Kolar and Nathan Stell for their musical and logistical support.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation whose only purpose is to serve the Catholic Church in the Diocese of El Paso. 100% of the proceeds from all needs packages—annual retreats for college students at UTEP and Sul Ross Newman Centers, fuel for priests serving seven parishes and 12 missions in West Texas, hymnals for children at El Buen Pastor Mission, scholarships for students attending St. Pius X Catholic School, and faith formation textbooks for Santa Teresa de Jesús in Presidio—benefit the designated school, need, parish, charity, or fund. Different needs are highlighted each year at the Foundation of Faith Dinner. It’s through the cooperative efforts of the churches, schools, parishioners, and diocesan ministries that the Foundation has flourished.

Father Anthony C. Celino, J.C.L., Judicial Vicar and Pastor of St. Raphael Parish, Father Marcus McFadin, D.Min., Director of the Office of Worship and Pastor of St. Luke Parish, and Father Mark N.P. Salas, Pastor of Our Lady of Assumption Parish, generously gave of themselves and raised $25,700 for the St. Raphael Catholic School Endowment Fund, St. Luke Parish Endowment Fund, and the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund, respectively. Two generous couples bid $10,000 for golf and lunch with Fr. Tony, two couples bid $7,000 for an Italian Dinner for 6 prepared and served by Fr. Marcus, and three couples bid $5,800 for an Edwardian Dinner for 6 prepared and served by Fr. Mark. The Foundation honored five priests from Pecos with "The Pecosos" auction package. This group of priests all have one thing in common: their vocation was born and bred in Pecos, Texas. Friar Andy Martinez, OFM, Conv., Reverend Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas, S.T.D., Father Pablo Matta, Father Pete García, and Father Trini Fuentez inspired guests to donate $9,775 to the Retired Priest Appreciation Fund. Thank you to live auctioneer, Victoria Pineda, for doing an outstanding job and congratulations on her 600th auction! 

The 5th Annual Dei Gratia Award was presented to Yazbik and Rosalie Daw by Foundation of Faith Dinner Committee Chair, Andi Meece. The Dei Gratia Award, Latin for “By the Grace of God”, recognizes an individual, couple, or organization for their servant leadership, outstanding contribution to the Diocese of El Paso and our Catholic community, and their dedication to being good stewards of God’s grace. Andi told a crowd of 1,000 guests, "God’s grace has never been taken for granted, or wasted on, tonight’s honorees. This special couple have been faithful and grateful stewards of God’s grace and it has become their legacy."

We give special thanks to all of our Foundation of Faith Dinner Sponsors. Without their support and generosity, this event would not have been possible. Our deepest gratitude to committee chair, Andi Meece, and to committee members, Cecilia Mesta, Karen Martino, Machelle Vanecek, and Rosario Licón for their hard work and prayers to ensure another successful, faith-filled, and inspiring Foundation of Faith Dinner. Thank you to everyone who generously helped us make this event come together to become a success. We are #ElPaSOSTRONG.

Photo Credit: Ale Saldaña
Video Credit: Fernie Ceniceros

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