The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia Presents Grants Totaling $60,000 to Live Vertical, Roman Catholic High School

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PHILADELPHIA, PAThe Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP), an independent nonprofit community foundation and Philadelphia’s leading resource for Catholic philanthropy, recently hosted its first-ever Angel Award ceremony, a dynamic live pitch-style grant competition. This inaugural event, which took place on Thursday, October 19, at Union League Liberty Hill, showcased the vibrant spirit of innovation within the local Catholic community as organizations vied for an opportunity to receive crucial funding for their impactful initiatives.

The winners, Live Vertical, a team of Catholic missionaries who facilitate adoration and accompaniment programs at local Catholic schools across Greater Philadelphia, and Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia, an all-boys Catholic high school, took home a total of $60,000 for their respective organizations.

The funds awarded to Live Vertical will be dedicated to fostering personal encounters with Jesus Christ through guided adoration sessions, retreats, and campus minister accompaniment at local Catholic high schools throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. Simultaneously, the funds awarded to The Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia will be dedicated to expanding its campus ministry programs, enabling more students to integrate faith into their daily lives through personal and communal prayer, retreats, spiritual programs, and activities throughout the school year and beyond.

“The inspiring presentations at this year’s Angel Awards are a true testament to the vitality and innovation within our local Catholic community,” said Dr. Tammy Tenaglia, Vice Chair of CFGP’s Board of Trustees and Chair of CFGP’s Grant Committee. “We’re excited to witness the positive impact the awarded funds will have on Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia and Live Vertical as they work to champion Catholic evangelization among students and inspire the next generation of faithful leaders.”

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“What an incredible honor it was to be part of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia’s inaugural Angel Award program,” said Live Vertical Founder Rob Longo. “With the help of this grant, we’re able to expand our mission to help create cultures of evangelization and foster encounters with Jesus in our Catholic high schools.”

Three remarkable Philadelphia-based Catholic organizations, chosen from a competitive selection process, had the unique opportunity to pitch their faith-driven proposals to CFGP’s Board of Trustees alongside local philanthropists and community members, culminating in a live vote to determine the recipient of the 2023 Angel Award:

Live Vertical

Their mission is to take religion from a subject learned to a faith that is vibrantly lived. They help to foster personal encounters with Jesus Christ through guided adoration sessions, retreats, and campus minister accompaniment. Live Vertical Founders Rob Longo and Luke LeTourneau, proposed to expand the reach and depth of campus ministry beyond the campus minister through the creation of evangelization teams in high schools composed of students and adults. These teams would work with the campus minister to be catalysts for encounters with Jesus within their school community. The focus is a mission for one.

Roman Catholic High School

Roman Catholic High School strives to bring the Gospel values of Jesus Christ to its students while forming a Catholic community that embodies the Christian spirit of service to all. Jeffrey Shields, director of school ministry, along with a group of the school’s student leaders, talked about addressing the gap between knowing “about” Jesus and entering into a relationship “with” Jesus. They plan to establish a relational model of ministry and evangelization where teenagers are invited into a personal relationship with Jesus.

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Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary

The Seminary forms missionary disciples who are shepherds after the heart of Jesus Christ — Catholic priests and permanent deacons, religious and lay, men and women — for various forms of ministry and service. Rev. Thomas Dailey, O.S.F.S., shared how the organization planned to engage individuals throughout the five-county area of Greater Philadelphia through the integration of email marketing and podcast presentations. The project consists of weekly messaging about the lives of saints whose experience is particularly relevant to the life of faith in the contemporary world.

Following the inspiring presentations, investors in attendance contributed over $12,000 in additional donations. Although not every organization could receive the Angel Award, the generosity of those in attendance ensured that every project received a level of financial support.

“On behalf of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all participating organizations and their presenters, including St. Charles Borromeo Seminary’s Father Dailey, Live Vertical’s Co-Founders Rob Longo and Luke LeTourneau, and Roman Catholic High School’s Director of School Ministry, Jeffery Shields, along with the school ministry’s student leaders, for their invaluable contributions to this event,” added Tammy. “We are deeply appreciative of their dedication and commitment to Catholic evangelization.”

To learn more about CFGP and its initiatives, please visit www.thecfgp.org. Those interested in investing in the Angel Award can make donations by visiting www.thecfgp.org/donate/angelaward.

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