Furthering the Mission

30 Years… 30,000 Students: The Gift of a Catholic Education

By Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello

SPONSORED CONTENT — That astonishing number elicits a great sense of pride from all who have been involved in Futures in Education over the last 30 years – donors, board members, staff, pastors, principals and students. It’s so significant to us all because we believe so strongly in the mission of Catholic education and in the mantra of Futures: Changing Lives through the Gift of Education.

Back in 1989, at the inception of Futures in Education, the business and education leaders who came together had a very clear vision of what success would mean. The external forces at play then were similar to what we are facing today. Rising costs of tuition, pressure on family income and rising household expenses created a great burden for families choosing Catholic education for their children.

Those leaders saw committed parents, willing to sacrifice, with a deep desire to pass on their faith, while putting their children into an environment they felt would best allow them to flourish.

Joseph M. Mattone, Sr., longtime board member and one of the organization founders recalls the plan he and his colleagues set forth knowing, “education is the most direct method of enabling a child to elevate his future prospects.” By giving families some financial assistance, it would keep open the opportunity for them to provide Catholic education to their children regardless of their financial situation.

Mr. Mattone reflects on the organization’s many successes, “Being part of Futures in Education for the past 30 years has provided me with a deep satisfaction of … providing opportunities to others to advance their education and elevate their wishes from dreams to reality.”

Achieving those dreams faces greater challenges each year. Imagine trying to raise a family in New York City, earning $34,000/year – the reality for many of those we help. Even those families who have better means, struggle as gentrification and rising home costs continue in many of our neighborhoods.

I remind those I speak to regarding Futures about what it was like for them growing up and how the Catholic Church was there for them when tuition cost little to nothing.

As we prepare for the next 30 years, we are each called to remember how the faith was passed to us and we must help make that opportunity available for the next generation. In the next article, you will hear about some special people who will help us on this journey.

Are you a product of Catholic education? We would love to hear from you.

If you’d like to share the following information:

  •  School name/location
  • Year you graduated
  • What Catholic education has
    meant to you

Please email us at info@cfbq.org.

Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello is the Vicar for Development, Diocese of Brooklyn