Diocesan News

Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens’ Promise at 25: Build on Youth Initiatives

From Left: Bishop Robert Brennan, Distinguished Honoree Msgr. John Bracken, Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello. (Photo: Alicia Venter)

CORONA — For 25 years, the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens (CFBQ) has worked to financially support the Diocese of Brooklyn. At an Oct. 24 luncheon marking the nonprofit’s anniversary, an audience of 250 gathered to honor the people who cultivated its success and look toward its future.

CFBQ works to help the diocese by procuring and building endowment funds. Samuel Romanzo, chairman of the board, said the luncheon, held at Terrace on the Park, served a dual purpose: to revisit the foundation’s history and outline a “strategic vision” for how best to support Bishop Robert Brennan and his flock.

In his invocation, Bishop Brennan thanked CFBQ for all it does “to give life to many activities of this Church here in Brooklyn and Queens.” 

There are three areas of focus for the future of CFBQ, said executive director John Notaro: evangelization, diversifying revenue, and formation. 

In recent years, the foundation’s leadership has concentrated on youth ministry, which Notaro called a crucial aspect of the evangelization efforts that will grow the leadership of the future in the diocese. This includes raising the funds that allowed a group of young people to attend World Youth Day.

In a continuation of their youth ministry initiative, CFBQ announced a  fundraising effort called “Generations,” which provides individual giving opportunities for those who wish to fund programs designed to empower young people. 

Msgr. John Bracken, one of the distinguished awardees honored at the luncheon, was there at the beginning when CFBQ, then known as the Alive in Hope Foundation, was formed in 1998. He told the luncheon attendees that since then, $100 million has been distributed to different parishes and organizations across the diocese. 

He proudly boasted that the only money the organization has spent has been from the income from the endowment funds, and there is currently $87 million in the endowment fund. 

“If a person gave a single dollar more than 25 years ago, that dollar is still here,” Msgr. Bracken said.

To recognize some of the individuals whose contributions were instrumental to their success, CFBQ’s officials also announced the founding of the Seton Leadership Society. 

In addition, distinguished honorees Joseph Geoghan, posthumously, and Mary Jane McCartney were among more than two dozen others who were cited.

Guest speaker Queens Borough President Donovan Richards awarded a proclamation issued by his office lauding the work of the foundation to Bishop Brennan and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, who, as vicar for development for the diocese, oversees the CFBQ.

“I believe everyone in this room has worked tirelessly to make sure that spiritual and social support for the Catholic community and beyond could be envisioned,” Richards said.