Focusing on Early Growth in the Foundation

Bishop Emeritus Dale J. Melczek makes a point during his presentation “The Gift of Our Merciful God’s Forgiveness” at St. Paul Church hall in Valparaiso on March 26. His lecture was the final weekly installation of the parish’s Lenten series on forgiveness. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

In 2008 Bishop Dale Melzcek and the Finance Council of the Diocese of Gary established the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana (originally named the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Gary).  Diocesan leadership brought their vision to reality, creating a permanent flow of income for our schools and parishes by establishing local endowment funds within a Catholic Foundation to serve the four counties of Northwest Indiana.   

The early growth of the Foundation was slow.  Several funds that had been established by Bishop Andrew Grutka, the first Bishop of the diocese, were transferred to the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana to provide assistance and scholarships for Catholic high school students and the seminarians of the Diocese. Bishop Melczek supported the Foundation by establishing additional endowment funds in his own name.

Bishop Emeritus Dale Melczek proudly reminisces, “I am a great believer in our Catholic Schools.  What we have in our Catholic schools, no one can duplicate.  I wanted to preserve that.”   Cal Bellamy who served on the Finance Council at that time emphasized that the Council promoted the Foundation “to provide sustainability and serve the mission of the Church through investment in our Catholic parishes.” 

Endowment funds now exist for Nativity School (Portage), Aquinas School (Merrillville), St. Joseph School (Dyer), St. Patrick School (Chesterton), St. Casimir School (Hammond), St. Paul School (Valparaiso), St. Stanislaus Kostka (Michigan City), St. Thomas More (Munster), in addition to scholarships for three Catholic High Schools, and multiple parishes and college scholarships. 

If your Catholic school is listed, you may contact the Foundation to make a donation to an existing account, or if you wish to create a new fund, contact Judy Holicky, Stewardship Coordinator for the Foundation, at 219-769-9292, ext. 268 or email to


Bishop Robert J. McClory will host the annual Red Mass at 8:30 AM, October 7, 2021 at Our Lady of Consolation in Merrillville IN.


Red Mass brings members of the bar, government officials, the judiciary, and all those who work for justice in our world together to reflect and pray for guidance in the coming year.

The “Red Mass” is an historical tradition within the Catholic Church dating back to the thirteenth century when it officially opened the term of the court.

Following the Mass, there will be a FREE breakfast sponsored by Horizon Bank/Trust and Wealth Management with a Continuing Education Seminar presented by Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura. This year’s topic is “Lessons Learned from a Legal Career in Public Service – Keeping your Faith while Having Faith in the System…A Balancing Act.”

Those attending the seminar can elect to receive 1 hour of CLE .

Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to network with other legal and financial professionals in the community.  This event is open to people of all faiths in the legal and finance community. Non-Catholics may attend just the breakfast and free continuing education seminar if they prefer.

Register Today!

For more information or details connect with the Foundation at, or call Judy Holicky, 219-769-9292 x 268.

New Endowment Funds

St Paul School_1

With the addition of six new endowment funds in the second half of 2020 and continued wise investments, the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana now manages over $13,000,000! We welcomed these new organizations to our list of funds: St. Casimir Parish in Hammond, Sacred Heart Parish in Whiting, St. Paul’s Parish in Valparaiso, the Staley Scholarship for Andrean High School, and two funds for St. Patrick’s in Chesterton, one for the Church and the second is the James & Barbara Thorstad Scholarship for St. Patrick’s School.

Foundation Achieves $13 Million in 13 Years

This year, 2021, marks the 13 year anniversary of the Foundation.  In the last year, the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana added six new accounts, bringing the total assets managed to over $13,000,000. The Foundation adds the following organizations to its growing list of funds and beneficiaries: St. Casimir Parish in Hammond, Sacred Heart Parish in Whiting, St. Patrick Church in Chesterton, St. Paul Parish in Valparaiso, Staley Scholarship for Andrean High School, and James & Barbara Thorstad Scholarship for St. Patrick’s School.

Anyone can donate to our existing endowment funds and support your local parish, school or ministry.  If your parish does not have an endowment account, it is easy to establish a new account. If you have 10 people who can contribute $500 each, or 5 donors at $1,000 (for a total of $5,000), you can establish an endowment that will fund your favorite ministry and generates income in perpetuity.  Through your financial discipleship, you help the Church in Northwest Indiana.  You can watch how your gift benefits the parish or agency while you are alive and the income from the endowment will continue to give after you are gone.  Contact Judy Holicky ( or 219-769-9292. ext. 268).

Live Streaming Friends of the Foundation Reception

Like many of our local Catholic Churches, the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana is going virtual! Join us remotely for the November 11th Friends of the Foundation Annual Event.

Click Here to Register!

We are blessed by our benefactors who have embraced the opportunity to help us continue the work of the Lord, despite the challenges our world has faced this year. We understand that due to the coronavirus, some of our friends may not be comfortable attending our annual gathering in person. The event starts at 5 p.m. and includes an update on 2020 Mercy Grant recipients and remarks from

Most Reverend Robert J. McClory, Bishop of Gary.

The event will be slightly different and will be held virtually.


RED MASS – October 7, 2021

Bishop McClory celebrates the Holy Mass

Save the date! October 7th at 8:30 AM, Bishop Robert J. McClory will celebrate the annual Red Mass at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Merrillville, Indiana. The event is sponsored by the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana.

The history of the Red Mass goes back to 1245 and was first celebrated in the Cathedral of Paris, spreading across Europe, with the first U.S. Red Mass taking place in 1877. The Red Mass traditionally opened the beginning of the Law Term and included all members of the Bench and Bar. The contemporary Red Mass includes blessings and prayers for the legal community.

The Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana hosts the Red Mass and gives those in the legal field a chance to celebrate the Mass with Bishop McClory, who is both a civil lawyer and a Canon lawyer.

The Mass is open to all faiths and will be followed by a continuing education seminar with guest speaker, Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura, including a light breakfast and social networking. Those attending can elect to receive 1 hour of CLE Credits.

Participants are encouraged to follow CDC recommendations for social distancing.

For information and details contact Judy Holicky at the Foundation at 219-769-9292 x 268 OR

NOTE: Mass time is 8:30 AM, not 8:00 AM! See you then!

Register Today!

2020 Mercy Fund Grants Feed the Hungry in NW Indiana

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink … The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  (Matthew 25: 35,40)

In response to the current need brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2020 Mercy Fund grant monies were awarded to support the immediate needs of the hungry within our Diocese of Gary.

The economic conditions created immense needs to feed the hungry, as the numbers of hungry multiply and our local food pantries and meal services report huge increases in demand for services.

For the 2020 grant cycle, the committee reviewed prior grant applicants and identified which programs are established to feed the hungry.  Following confirmation that the respective organizations were still engaging in programs to feed the hungry, each was awarded a pro rata share of the 2020 Grant funds.

2020 Mercy Fund Grant Recipients:

Good Samaritans, St. Michael Church – Schererville

St. Joseph Food Kitchen – Hammond

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Special Works Fund

St. Stanislaus Community Food Pantry – East Chicago

Sacred Heart Food Pantry – LaPorte

Pick 7 Food Distribution, St. Matthias Church – Crown Point

St. Mary of the Lake Food Pantry – Gary

Boxes of Mercy/Food for the Hungry, Queen of All Saints – Michigan City

We are living in an unprecedented time. Together, with Christ by our side, we will not only survive but we will thrive.

Mercy is strong. Mercy rises to all challenges. Mercy shall prevail.

For more information contact the Foundation at

Waiting For The New “Normal” With Prayers And Thanksgiving

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point celebrated Catholic Schools Week starting Feb. 1, when students honored hometown heroes by dressing up as health care workers, teachers, firefighters, and more. They also wrote thank-you letters to those folks to show their appreciation of service and support. (provided photo)

We are keeping everyone in prayer during this time of “social distancing.”  Bishop McClory is streaming inspiring messages and his Sunday Masses at the Cathedral through the diocesan website  This is an excellent opportunity to spend more quiet time in prayer and to deepen your relationship with Jesus, and to pray together as a family.

We have postponed our 2020 Mercy Grant cycle temporarily and will post more details as they become available.  Please continue to support the Mercy Fund with your gifts.  Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated.


*Please note that PayPal charges a fee to process online donations.

Welcome Bishop McClory!

Bishop Robert J. McClory
Most Reverend Robert J. McClory, Bishop of Gary

“My initial goals as your bishop are simple: to be an engaged and hope-filled presence throughout the diocese, to deepen my understanding of the needs of our local church and community and to build upon the foundation laid by the 2017 synod. 

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Bishop Hying’s Birthday Bash 2018

Bishop Hying's Birthday Bash 2018

August 14th is Bishop Hying’s Birthday Bash 2018 at U.S. Steel Yard, home of the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

Join us for an evening of fun for the whole family as we celebrate Bishop Hying’s birthday and raise money for the Mercy Fund established through the Catholic Foundation to provide funding for projects that embody spiritual and corporal works of mercy throughout our Diocese.

New this year: the Catholic Foundation will be honoring the Mercy Fund’s first grant recipients during the game.

2018 Ticket Packages

This year, we are offering three options for ticket packages:

$40 – admission to game + three hour BBQ + beer/wine wristband

$30 – admission to game + three hour BBQ

$10 – admission to game

Children three and younger are free

Pre-Order Ticket Sales

Parishes are invited to place ticket orders by completing and returning a ticket request form along with payment to the Catholic Foundation by July 24th. Tickets and wristbands will be distributed to parish offices, marked with names and grouped for seating preference, by July 27th.   No wait at will-call!  Please contact Liz Metts at to request the ticket request form.

Online Ticket Sales

Tickets will also be available for purchase online at after May 19th.  Individuals will be able to select their seat(s) and ticket packages, pay online, and print their tickets ahead of time.  Unprinted tickets will be available at the stadium will-call window on game day.  Please note that ALL BBQ and drink wristbands must be picked up at the stadium’s will-call window on game day.