The Mercy Fund was established in 2016 within the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana as a conduit to provide funding for projects that embody spiritual and corporal works of mercy like providing care for the poor and marginalized, bringing hope to the hopeless, and protecting those too young or too old to advocate for themselves.

The Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana continues to help those in need by funding Catholic ministry programs that serve Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and Starke counties through Mercy Fund grants. 

Applications for 2023 Grant Cycle will run April 1, 2023 through August 1, 2023. The Mercy Fund is designed to support acts of mercy long beyond our lifetimes.  Our goal is to see this fund grow to $500,000 so that it can give impactful grant awards of up to $25,000, year after year.  Grant winners are listed below.

The mission of the Mercy Fund endowment is to distribute funds to eligible agencies that serve the poor and vulnerable in Northwest Indiana. Thousands of people have been touched by projects and ministries that received support from the Mercy Fund.  

Judy Holicky, development coordinator for the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana, encourages agencies to apply for the grant.  “We are looking for projects that embrace the spiritual and corporal works of mercy,” explained Holicky. “These could be new projects that meet a need in the community, or an existing program that an agency is ready to take to a new level.

Anytime is a good time to donate to the Mercy Fund.  We continue the mission of Jesus when we reach out one hand to receive God’s many blessings and reach out the other hand to help those in need.”

Donate to the Mercy Fund today!

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2022 Mercy Grant Winners:

Walking with Moms in Need is a national effort sponsored by the U.S. Catholic Bishops through which Catholic parishes and communities “walk in the shoes” of local pregnant and parenting women in need.  It’s about 1) Assistance, helping to connect moms in need with information and resources to help them meet the many needs that they have in this time of their lives.  They also provide 2) Accompaniment, “walking with her” and her family during this most critical part of her life. 

Joining Hands with Phil’s Friends is a mission of the children at St. John the Evangelist School (SJE) who got involved with Phil’s Friends Cancer Center in Crown Point through a fellow SJE student Blake Boswell, who is battling B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia lymphoma.  This ministry touches the hearts of all the students, parents, teachers, and parishioners at St. John, connecting with many families who are served by the Cancer Center with care packages, Cards of Hope, telephone calls and other forms of volunteering. 

Centers of Hope is a ministry of the Franciscan Health Emergency Rooms across Northwest Indiana that specifically serves those who are survivors of sexual abuse.  The hospitals provide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) nurses so that survivors are treated with compassionate care and dignity.  Survivors arrive at the Emergency Room in physical and emotional trauma and nothing but the clothes on their backs, which are often taken as evidence.  This ministry provides them with personal items, new clothing, undergarments, and other necessities.

Labors of Love Ministry at St. Michael’s is all about comforting those in need.  Hand-crocheted and knitted items: blankets, scarves, loveys, and rosaries are made with love and provide emotional support to victims of trafficking, residents of nursing homes, shelters for the Homeless, the Women’s Care Center and other ministries where help is greatly needed within our Gary diocese.  These anonymous angels provide their time and talents, also donating materials.  This grant will help them to provide more materials so they can continue to serve as needs grow.

2021 Mercy Grant Winners

Miscarriage, Mothers & Others

Their work recognizes the life of the unborn child and the validation of the parent’s, sibling’s, and grandparent’s grief when a miscarriage happens in the family.  Their activities include educational information and outreach to families who have lost a child through miscarriage.

Saint Elizabeth Seton Prison Ministry 

The ministry puts together bags with clothes and toiletries for prisoners who are reentering society.  Volunteers purchase and collect clothes and shoes from various churches in the diocese and assist with rent for newly released offenders. 

Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Student Center 

This Center provides missionaries to lead Catholic college students into a growing relationship with Christ.  FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) ministers help students put their relationship with Christ into action through mission and service.

Sojourner Truth House

They are a ministry of hope and help for homeless and at-risk women and their children sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Through hospitality, advocacy, integrative services and collaboration, participants improve their quality of life and that of the community in a safe, trusting environment assisting participants to improve their quality of life and become contributing members of their communities.

A short video presentation outlined the history of the Foundation and introduced this year’s 2021 Mercy Grant winners.

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

2019 Mercy Fund Grant Recipients:

Rebuilding Hope Mission Team

St. Michael the Archangel Church in Schererville acquires and installs AMRAMP metal wheelchair ramps on person-in-need residences with referral from reliable sources such as churches, hospitals, Catholic Charities, etc.

Nourish for Caregiver Ministry – Senior Respite Program

La Porte Catholic Peace and Justice Commission will provide respite to caregivers who need a break by employing certified, licensed caregivers from local hospice or caregiver organizations to sit with family members for several hours once each month. 

Community Garden Expansion

Sojourner Truth House day center ministry in Gary is sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and serves homeless and at-risk women and their children from four local homeless shelters.  The community garden provides a calm, peaceful environment for prayer and meditation.

Building Bridges

Andrean High School students are engaging in forming high school student leaders, who in return, can provide support in the Catholic grade schools as student leaders for retreats and service programs. This will strengthen faith life for both the Andrean students and the children in Catholic grade schools.   

Dignity of Life for Mission

PHYRE, the Youth Ministry Program for the Whiting Robertsdale Community, manages, stocks, and maintains a pantry of nutritious foods and personal hygiene items for the men and women who are most in need and who either live in or participate in the meals at the Hammond City Rescue Mission. 

Independent Living Education

St. Joseph Carmelite Home in East Chicago provides a program for residents who have been abused and neglected.  Through education, training, and experiential settings, the program will help lower truancy, substance abuse and crime allowing the children to expand their exposure to healthy cultural experiences. 

Blessing Box

Holy Trinity Croatian Church Outreach Team in East Chicago provides a Blessing Box with food, hygiene, and household products for anyone who may be struggling.  The phrase “Take what you need, give what you can” on the Blessing Box allows the community to donate or take needed items.

Boxes of Mercy

Queen of All Saints Catholic Parish in Michigan City engages parishioners in a year-round effort providing food, gifts, and fellowship with individuals in need.  Connecting with unchurched people and offer a support system and caring relationship, using a faith-based approach is integral to the program.