OLV Charities receives a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to develop the Catholic Parenting Initiative

This five-year program, funded through Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, will work collaboratively with the Diocese of Buffalo and engage directly with families of parishes throughout the Diocese’s new Road to Renewal Parish Family Model.

The Catholic Parenting Initiative will provide resources, programs, and formational experiences that will strengthen ministries and supports, and give parish faith communities confidence to walk alongside parents and caregivers as they share their faith and values with their children.

“This generous grant from Lilly Endowment comes at an inflection point within the Diocese of Buffalo,” said David J. Kersten, CEO of OLV Charities. “It gives us an opportunity to prioritize meaningful and continuous engagement with our parishes and families in the development of family faith formation ministries. We hope to implement a program that will provide support and guidance to interested parents and caregivers as they navigate their faith and the challenges of raising children today.”

OLV Charities is one of 125 congregations and organizations across the nation that have received grants through the Christian Parenting initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic and Asian Christian traditions.

“We’ve heard from many parents who are seeking to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, especially in their daily activities, and looking to churches and other faith-based organizations for support,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These thoughtful, creative and collaborative organizations embrace the important role that families have in shaping the religious development of children and are launching programs to assist parents and caregivers with this task.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

  • To support the development and implementation of this exciting new program, OLV Charities is seeking a Director of the Catholic Parent Initiative. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.  A full job description follows:

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr., and his sons, Eli and J.K., Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.