Share this story


‘Saints and Scholars’ Campaign Builds Steam ‘to carry on our faith’

Bishop Earl Boyea knows that living a life of faith has never been easy — and that the challenge will be even greater for our young.

The shepherd of the Diocese of Lansing wants to do what he can to help the Catholic families of south-central Michigan meet that challenge.  

“I want to make sure that we are preparing the next generation, and I’m really conscious that it’s going to be the younger people who are going to have to carry on our faith,” Bishop Boyea said. “We need the resources to make sure that can happen, or to at least have the possibility of it happening.” 

The diocese’s $70 million Stewardship for Saints and Scholars campaign is one way the diocese aims to build up those resources for schools, teachers, parishes and families. The campaign is in its preparation phase after a feasibility study in 2023 showed strong support for an effort to further build up Catholic education.  

The prep phase includes developing communication materials, recruiting a volunteer leadership team and reaching out for early gifts. A public kickoff is planned for late summer, with up to 19 parishes planning to undertake the campaign this fall as part of the first of three “waves” of parish campaigns. The active campaign will run through 2025. 

“We know that the next generation is going to be facing even more cultural winds and damaging forces than we are today. So we’ve got to build up that resource for the next generation,” Bishop Boyea said. 

“The odds are much better, much better, for those who pursue a Catholic education to persist in their faith, to persevere in their faith. That’s what I really want to do — to prepare that next generation.” 

Tom Maloney, superintendent of schools, said the diocese plans to use the Stewardship for Saints and Scholars funds “to get our schools ever more ‘on-mission,’ more affordable and more accessible — to continue the great work that has begun across our diocese.” 

“We’re forming the next generation of saints and scholars,” Maloney said, “There is a sense of urgency that our Catholic schools can be a safe haven for families and a way to maintain the fullness of our Church.” 

The areas mentioned by Maloney form the heart of the campaign: 

On-mission: Attract, form, train and retain excellent, faithful teachers and administrators at parish elementary and diocesan high schools. This effort will include signing and retention bonuses for teachers, as well as training programs and formation grants for them. 

Affordable: Substantially grow financial assistance available to current and new families. The Witness to Hope campaign helped the diocese establish an endowment fund for financial aid. The Stewardship for Saints and Scholars campaign will elevate that assistance as the cost to educate each student continues to rise sharply.  

Accessible: Improve assistance for children with special needs while also providing funds to enhance regional services through the four diocesan high schools. “We’re striving to serve all families with children of all differing abilities,” Maloney said. “This is going to be a step in the right direction.” High schools’ needs will also be addressed through campaign funds. 

Local Initiatives: Invest in parish school, religious education/faith formation, parish-sponsored homeschool initiatives or other urgent, local needs. Twenty percent of each dollar raised up to a parish’s target amount will go back to the parish. Once a parish reaches its target in payments, 100 percent of anything additional raised will go to the parish. 

“I have long wanted to have a campaign to support our Catholic schools, our Catholic education,” Bishop Boyea said. 

“Now, before I sail into the sunset, before I retire, I really want to have a capital campaign that would fundamentally support our Catholic schools.” That vision is “what’s in my heart.” 

“I know it’s not a panacea,” he said, “but we can do what we can do and give it our best shot and the rest is up to the Lord.” 

Bishop Boyea said he’s proud of the work that school leadership in the diocese has done during his 16 years as bishop. “We’ve ‘Catholic-ed up’ our schools. We’ve got good Catholics running our schools. They’re very solid in their faith, and they really want the kids to share the faith that they have. Thanks be to God.” 

He added, “We’re not trying to create something that doesn’t exist. We’re trying to strengthen something that exists and hopefully expand it, to help it reach many more people. 

“Let’s be a shining star out there in the firmament for those who need us. With God’s grace we can do that.” 

Maloney echoed the bishop’s optimism. “This will be a game-changer for our diocese,” he said. “It will allow us to continue to attract, train and retain those on-fire disciples who hear the call to teach in our Catholic schools.”   

Diocese of Lansing Stewardship for Saints and Scholars

How you can help – With the public kickoff of the Stewardship for Saints and Scholars campaign a few months away, how can you help now?

  • Start praying for the success of the campaign. – that’s a witness to the stewardship of your time that is crucially important!
  • Consider serving as a volunteer when the campaign comes to your parish. There will be orientation and training sessions that will explain the campaign and volunteer roles. Stay tuned!