WATERTOWN — An increase in members of the Sacred Heart Foundation and donors to the nonprofit organization has resulted in a record amount of monetary awards for its seminarian scholarship program.
This year, the foundation awarded $95,000 to 84 seminarians from eight countries.
“This is the most that has ever been awarded, and we hope to increase it every year,” Sabrina Rizzo-Moots, business manager of the Sacred Heart Foundation, wrote in an email.
Ms. Rizzo-Moots also attributed “an excellent return on our investments as well as operating on a conservative budget, leaving a majority of our annual budget for scholarships,” for the record donations.
The Sacred Heart Foundation, established in 1967, supports the formation of priests for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. It’s run by a team of volunteers and has been giving its scholarships since 1968.
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart is an order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers founded by Father Jules Chevalier in 1854 in Issoudun, France. Its order is based on the “spirituality of the Sacred Heart,” focusing on building healthy relationships with God, self and others.
Since its origin, the foundation has granted more than $2 million dollars in scholarships to more than 2,000 seminarians.
The eight countries where this year’s grant recipients reside: Colombia (13 applications), Brazil (eight applications), Cameroon (19 applications), Dominican Republic (19 applications), Fiji (four applications), India, (seven applications), Indonesia (five applications) and Philippines (nine applications).
“The foundation tries to give priority to anyone applying from the U.S. or provinces that the U.S.A. Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are responsible for, but we actually don’t get very many U.S. applicants,” Ms. Rizzo-Moots said.
However, Father Frank T. Natale, current Our Lady of the Sacred Heart priest and missionary of the Sacred Heart, has received several awards from the foundation. The native of Canton, Ohio, was ordained in 2013.
Also, Father Corneille Boyeye of the Missionaries of the Sacred heart USA Province has also received multiple scholarships from the foundation. According to the foundation’s USA directory, he resides at Sacred Heart Monastery in Watertown and works as a chaplain at St. Lawrence Psychiatric Hospital in Ogdensburg. He was ordained in 2002.
Technically, one scholarship is $1,000.
“However, if the seminarian requires more or less, we try our hardest to award that amount or exceed it depending on the level of poverty and need of the country they are applying from,” Ms. Rizzo-Moots said.
For more information on the foundation, go to sacredheartfoundation.com.