Donor Generosity Helps Create $7.5 Million Permanent Endowment

IRVING, TX – The Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas has reached its goal of
establishing a $7.5 million permanent endowment, a key need in the effort to improve
preaching in the Catholic Church. This endowment, held as a designated fund at The Catholic
Foundation in Dallas, will contribute funds in support of the Institute’s annual operating budget.

“The generosity of our donors can never be underestimated. Their financial support has made
this Institute possible,” said Dr. Karla Bellinger, Executive Director of the Institute. “Parishioners
are already giving us feedback about our first ongoing formation program. They are excited
about the improved preaching of their clergy; ‘Pretty good homilies’ are becoming
“inspirational and motivational!’”

The first cohort of preachers will finish the Preaching for Encounter program this summer. Jim
Moroney, who led the fundraising for the permanent endowment, values all donors and
appreciates the immense support of clergy leadership.

“I am grateful to Bishop Burns in Dallas for his enthusiastic endorsement of this initiative when
it was first discussed with him,” said Moroney. “I also want to thank Bishop Kelly for his ongoing
work in support of the Institute. Bishop Kelly’s help has been invaluable and his participation in
the first cohort is a wonderful example of servant leadership.

“The fundraising effort and work would not have been successful without the steady hand and
boots on the ground work of Kris Kramer, who accompanied me on almost every meeting with
prospective donors,” added Moroney.

“Every donor showed faith in the work when there was nothing yet to see. They knew how
important it was to our Church’s future that we improve preaching in the Catholic Church,” said
Moroney. “Donors know in their hearts that if the Institute can help priests and deacons preach
homilies that give people in the pews a genuine encounter with the living God then our
churches will be vibrant and on fire with the Holy Spirit.”

Bishop Edward J. Burns said the early fruits of the Institute are fueling the desire of people to
be drawn closer to Jesus Christ through hearing inspiring words of faith, hope and love.
“How blessed we are to hear from people in the pews who say the liturgies they’ve attended
that involve clergy who are members of the first cohort are helping them draw nearer to
Christ,” said Bishop Burns. “I am ever so grateful to the donors who have enabled the Institute
to become a light of hope for our Church.”

Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation said donors can continue to make
contributions to the designated fund at any time and from anywhere.

“The Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas is a blessing to the Church and her
people. Finding more effective ways to share the word of God is at the heart of the new
evangelization, and the success of the program is already bearing tremendous fruit,” said
University of Dallas President Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD. “The University of Dallas is incredibly
grateful to Jim Moroney for leading the charge to reach this milestone in fundraising, and for
the tremendous support of the Diocese of Dallas and The Catholic Foundation.”

The Institute currently has priests and deacons from the Dioceses of Dallas, the Diocese of
Victoria, Texas and Diocese of Green Bay, Wis. enrolled in its first two-year “Preaching for
Encounter” program.

The second cohort of priests and deacons begin with their introductory summer retreat in June.
They come from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., the Archdiocese of San
Antonio and the Diocese of Dallas.

In 2022, the Lily Endowment granted the Institute a total of 1.3 million dollars over the next five
years. The five-year grant will enable the Institute to implement the “Into Deeper Waters:
Renewing Liturgical Preaching to Reach Young Catholics” initiative. That project supports
research and resources for improving liturgical preaching with young Catholics.