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The Catholic Foundation was established in 1955 by a group of visionary Catholic business and professional leaders in the midst of a period of remarkable growth and prosperity in the Dallas area to ensure that the physical and spiritual needs of those in the community who were less fortunate would never be overlooked.

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Joe Dingman

Joe Dingman named 2020 Catholic Foundation Award honoree / Affordable housing advocate honored during Feb. 1 dinner for his leadership and service to assist elderly and homeless

Joe Dingman, a successful Dallas-based real estate investment manager, was named the 38th Catholic Foundation Award honoree. Joe was recognized for his Christian example and significant impact made during the past three decades to provide access to affordable housing in the Dallas area.

On February 1, 2020, Joe was honored during The Catholic Foundation Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. 

Sister Mary Anne Owens, School Sisters of Notre Dame, served as the 2019 Award Dinner chair. She previously served as executive director of Catholic Charities Dallas, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Catholic Housing Initiative and Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep.

The Catholic Foundation Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service and support to further the religious, charitable and educational needs throughout the local Catholic community.

“Most people have no idea about the tremendous impact Joe has made through many housing initiatives. Joe co-founded and continues to be a leader at the Catholic Housing Initiative, and his faith and diligence has provided homes for so many of our families, senior citizens, and homeless,” said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Joe is a man of humility, strength, vision and service, and we are proud to recognize him with The Catholic Foundation Award.”

A CPA, Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Benedictine College in Kansas and a Master of Business Administration degree from Marquette University in Wisconsin. After college graduation, he worked in Milwaukee where he met the love of his life, Carol. The two married in 1968 and moved to New Jersey before relocating to Dallas in 1970 where they raised two daughters, Chris and Ann.

From college to 1982, he worked in a series of progressively responsible corporate finance and planning roles and took a position with a real estate investment management firm that year.

Joe founded Orion Realty Advisors in 1998, providing advisory and property management services to German commercial real estate investors to this day. He co-founded the Catholic Housing Initiative in 1991, and currently serves as treasurer with responsibility for development, refinancing and acquisitions.

Joe’s commitment, vision and hard work in this purely volunteer capacity has created affordable housing for seniors and families at six sites in the Dallas community with 768 apartment units, the 104-unit St. Jude Center for persons experiencing homelessness and another new project in the works to benefit the homeless. Joe was also an instrumental force in the creation of St. Joseph Village in Coppell (now CHRISTUS St. Joseph Village).

In addition to his work with the Catholic Housing Initiative, he has served as a board member for Catholic Charities Dallas, a budget committee member of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, director of Uptown, Inc. and past finance committee chair for St. Rita Catholic Community in Dallas. Joe and Carol are members of Mary Immaculate Parish.

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected as The Catholic Foundation Award honoree, said Joe. “I hope this recognition shines a light on the importance of helping those around you, especially those less fortunate.”


The Catholic Foundation Awards More Than $1.1 Million in Spring Grants

The Catholic Foundation awarded $1,186,250 in grants to 28 Dallas-area Catholic churches and schools and non-profit community organizations as part of its spring grants distribution this spring. Approved prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grants are funded through The Catholic Foundation’s unrestricted Philanthropy Fund and other legacy field of interest funds.

“Our mission of serving the Dallas-area Catholic community continues as we support the year-round needs and new ones that have emerged from the pandemic,” said Matt Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “With the help of our board of trustees and generous donors, we’re pleased to provide these grants to so many organizations in our community.

“Our board of trustees and donors are instrumental in the process of evaluating spring grant requests, and we’re grateful for their support that helps make a meaningful difference to the recipients,” Kramer added.

Twice per year, The Catholic Foundation distributes community grants to local Catholic churches and schools and non-profit organizations. Grant requests are reviewed by the Board of Trustees’ Distribution Committee, followed by documented site visits through which the recipients and funding amounts are determined.

>Over time, The Catholic Foundation has provided more than $203 million in grants to religious, charitable and educational organizations. In 2019, The Catholic Foundation awarded over 2,100 grants totaling over $33 million.

The 2020 spring grant recipients are as follows:

BELLA HOUSE(partially funded by Bernard Bradley Endowment Fund)
CATHOLIC CHARITIES DALLAS(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
GOOD SHEPHERD CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC ACADEMY(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC CHURCH(partially funded by the Jaspersen Fund)
HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP SCHOOL(partially funded by John Uhl Fund)
SANTA CLARA OF ASSISI CATHOLIC ACADEMY(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
ST. CECILIA CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund)
ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by Louise Emma Buhrer Fund and Dorothy Irving Memorial Fund)
ST. MARY OF CARMEL CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by the Dorothy Irving Memorial Fund)
ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC SCHOOL(partially funded by the Fechtel Fund)
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL(funding provided by the Dorothy Irving Memorial Fund)
ST. PHILIP & ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC ACADEMY(funding provided by the Dorothy Irving Memorial Fund)


June 9, 2020

Calling All Texas Artists: 15th Annual Catholic Foundation Art On The Plaza Competition Opens

Last year, Texas artist Kimberley Peterson had a vision. In it, Kimberley visualized she could help remind people through art that they can be both physically present, as well as spiritually present, which is “where the miracles happen.” Taking her vision to heart, her masterpiece has since greeted tens of thousands of visitors at The Catholic Foundation Plaza in the Dallas Arts District as the 2019 winner of the Catholic Foundation Art On The Plaza competition.
June 9, 2020

"Battle Tested" Panel With Nonprofit & Catholic School Leaders Delivers Hope

Our quarterly Catholic Community Network panel involved a blue-ribbon panel of nonprofit and Catholic school leaders who shared their insights about ways to thrive, not just survive, from lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 2, 2020

Being Prepared Ensures Your Final Wishes Are Followed

Conversations about illness, death and dying are never easy. Whether death comes suddenly or after prolonged illness, most of us are not comfortable discussing our medical wishes or end-of-life plans with our loved ones. However, being prepared ensures that your final wishes are followed.

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The vision of The Catholic Foundation is to be the primary philanthropic leader whose trusted stewardship satisfies our donors' intentions while meeting the needs of our Catholic community.