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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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Lydia and Dan Novakov Named 2022 Catholic Foundation Award Honoree

Lifetime Catholic philanthropists, supporters of charitable organizations to be honored next February

Lydia and Dan Novakov, long-time Dallas philanthropists with a passion for giving people a chance in life while dedicating their time, talent and treasure to serving others in areas including healthcare, Catholic education, children’s charities, the Catholic community as a whole including preservation of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe downtown, have been named the 39th Catholic Foundation Award honorees.

Married 43 years, the Novakovs are members of Christ the King Catholic Church. The couple will be recognized for their example of continually volunteering to make the local community a better place to live, work, learn and play for all. 

On February 19, 2022, the Novakovs will be honored during The Catholic Foundation Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Sara and David Martineau will serve as the 2022 Award Dinner Committee Chairs.

For nearly four decades, The Catholic Foundation Award has recognized an individual, couple or family for their distinguished service and support to further the religious, charitable and educational needs throughout the local Catholic community.

“Lydia and Dan represent the very best in living a life of service from a Catholic perspective. As individuals, and as a couple, they’ve humbly and graciously taken on some of the region’s highest profile leadership roles for charitable causes,” said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Throughout Lydia’s and Dan’s life, thousands of people have benefitted from the funds they’ve help raise, programs they’ve enhanced, and impossible dreams turned into realities. We’re honored to recognize Lydia and Dan with the 39th annual Catholic Foundation Award for a lifetime of doing their very best to serve others.”

The Novakovs met in college as Lydia earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., and a master’s degree from The University of Notre Dame while Dan earned a bachelor’s degree and J.D. degree from The University of Notre Dame. Dan also earned his LL.M., Tax, from the Southern Methodist University.

A Dallas native, Lydia returned to North Texas after college and taught government at Ursuline Academy of Dallas where she graduated. A native of Cincinnati, Dan was a Moeller High School standout and played on the Notre Dame football team for four years, earning the honor of offensive MVP in 1971.

Today, Dan is a member of Frost Brown Todd where he provides legal and tax advice on federal, state and international transactional tax matters.

Lydia and Dan have two children, Isabell and Daniel, and three granddaughters.

Living a Life of Service

The charitable organizations that Lydia and Dan have served as trustees, campaign or committee chairs or advisory council members are numerous.

Among those Lydia currently serves include the Catholic Diocese of Dallas Finance Council, Hoblitzelle Foundation, UT Southwestern Medical Center, The Catholic Foundation as Advisory Council chair, Town of Highland Park, Junior League of Dallas, Fair Park First and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. She previously served on the boards of Crystal Charity Ball Committee, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Senior Source and Ursuline Academy.

Dan currently serves on the AT&T Cotton Bowl Board of Directors, The Catholic Foundation Advisory Council, Catholic Diocese of Dallas involving strategic planning for Catholic schools and co-chair of the Our Faith Our Future capital campaign, Communities Foundation of Texas Advisory Council and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. He also has served on the boards of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Dallas Schools, The Baylor Care System Foundation, SMU Athletic Forum, and the University of Notre Dame Law Association Board of Directors.

They both value their lifelong Catholic schools experience, referring to it as a “total education of body, mind and spirit.” Growing up in devout Catholic households, the Novakovs say their formative years cast a large impression on the faith and family-oriented life they created as young parents and how they still interact with their children and family today.

“We grew up knowing you should be grateful for what you had, and do what you could for others,” says Lydia. “We are humbled and honored to receive the Catholic Foundation Award. This is a celebration of our Catholic community.  We have pitched in with many others to help people overcome hunger, to help people have clothes to wear and open up the Catholic education process so that children can obtain a Catholic education if they want one.”

“The Catholic Church extends a helping hand to the less fortunate and provides a path to a life of hope and dignity, and that’s what we attempt to do in serving others,” says Dan. They often call upon the Gospel of Matthew to embody a mindset that helps them to strive to do their best each day. “For the Son of man himself came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. We have been given life to serve others rather than to be served.”

Table and individual reservations for the 2022 Catholic Foundation Award Dinner can be purchased in the near future. Visit, call 972-661-9792 or email for more information.

Aileen Pratt

The Catholic Foundation Welcomes Four New Trustees To Board

Aileen Pratt Begins Two-year Term as Board Chair

Fernando Blanco, Dr. Mauricio Delgado, John Dziminski and Jeff Schiefelbein have been elected to The Catholic Foundation Board of Trustees and Aileen Pratt has been elected board chair, succeeding G. Marc Lyons who served as board chair the past two years. Pratt will serve a two-year term and the new trustees will serve a three-year term through 2023.

“The Catholic Foundation is honored to have Aileen as our new board chair given her strong leadership and service to The Catholic Foundation over the years. This past year demonstrated that goals can be accomplished, and dreams can be realized even in the most difficult circumstances,” said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “With great confidence and gratitude, I welcome Aileen and our four new trustees to continue the outstanding legacy of The Catholic Foundation in the years ahead.”

Fernando Blanco, vice president and chief information security officer of CHRISTUS Health, has been committed to health and service through both his career and his faith. CHRISTUS Health embraces Catholic health principles and includes 60 hospitals and 350 clinics in the United States and Latin America. In addition to serving the homeless, Fernando is a Knight of the Order of Malta and the Hospitaller for the Dallas area. He also serves as a Knight commander of the Vatican Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a spiritual director, guiding retreatants in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fernando graduated cum laude from the University of the State of New York with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M University. Fernando, his wife Angela, and his son Gabriel attend Prince of Peace Catholic Church and reside in Plano. Gabriel is a student at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.


Dr. Mauricio Delgado is a professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center and retired pediatric neurologist who spent much of his career caring for children at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Dr. Delgado earned his medical degree at the University of Monterrey in Mexico and continued post-graduate studies at the Mexican Institute of Social Security and the University of Ottawa in Canada. Along with his medical expertise, Dr. Delgado has a heart for education and the Latino community. He established The Jethsuby Scholarship Fund of The Catholic Foundation to provide financial assistance to Latino families so their children can attend Catholic schools.His leadership has included serving as a trustee to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Notre Dame School of Dallas board member and president of the Mary Immaculate Catholic School board. Dr. Delgado has also been a member of the University of Dallas Board of Councilors, the Diocesan school board of Dallas and the advisory board for Special Camps for Special Kids.Dr. Delgado and his family are parishioners at St. Monica Catholic Church.


John Dziminski is the president and CEO of The Rosewood Corporation, the holding company of the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate, which owns and operates Rosewood Resources, Inc., Rosewood Property Company and Rosewood Private Investments. He also serves as president of the Rosewood Trust Company, LTA, and the family office Rosewood Management Corporation. In addition, he is president of Rosewood Ranches and MultiCam, Inc. and currently serves on the boards of RF Installations and MultiCam, Inc. Along with his business expertise and financial leadership, John brings a strong commitment to community service, having served as a past trustee of Catholic Charities Dallas and past chairman of the Ursuline Academy of Dallas Foundation Board. He is currently on the board of The Fairhill School. A University of Notre Dame graduate, John grew up in upstate New York and has lived in Texas for 40 years. John and his wife Katie reside in Dallas and are members at St. Monica Catholic Church. They have four children – Emma, Alex, Alec and Anna.


Jeff Schiefelbein is the chief cultural officer for 5, an energy advisory firm that sets the standards in the industry. As an innovative leader, he has extensive experience in sales, company start-ups, technology development, personal coaching, motivational speaking and strategic management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University and has been nationally recognized for the creation and implementation of CARPOOL at his alma mater. He is the recipient of the national Daily Points of Light Award and the Texas Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. He serves as chairman of the board for In My Shoes and as vice chair of the national board for Young Catholic Professionals. Jeff is a parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.


With the addition of four new trustees, The Catholic Foundation Board is comprised of 19 trustees. The 2021 Board of Trustees are listed below.

  • Aileen Pratt, Board Chair
  • Victor Arias, Jr.
  • Fernando Blanco
  • Matthew Bowen
  • Most Rev. Edward J. Burns
  • Lois S. Cartwright
  • Javier Creixell
  • Dr. Mauricio Delgado
  • John Dziminski
  • Kara Gehan
  • Michael J. Marz
  • Dan Odom
  • Jeff Schiefelbein
  • Mary D. Terry
  • Michelle Vopni
  • Wm. Kim Wade
  • Ana Esteve Yoder
  • David A. Yost, CFP
  • Thomas G. Yoxall


June 15, 2021

Submissions Open For 16th Annual Art On The Plaza Competition

It’s not every day your artistic masterpiece adorns a 28 x 9 foot public wall in the middle of the arts district of America’s 9th largest city. But that high profile honor, plus $2,500, awaits one talented Texas artist who wins this year’s 16th annual Catholic Foundation Art on the Plaza competition. Honorable mention winners will receive $250.
June 8, 2021

Lydia and Dan Novakov Named 2022 Catholic Foundation Award Honoree

Lydia and Dan Novakov, long-time Dallas philanthropists with a passion for giving people a chance in life while dedicating their time, talent and treasure to serving others in areas including healthcare, Catholic education, children’s charities, the Catholic community as a whole including preservation of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe downtown, have been named the 39th Catholic Foundation Award honorees.
February 22, 2021

Change the World Like Our March 3 Guest Panelists

Our next free, quarterly Catholic Community Network on Wednesday, March, 3, features three highly talented professionals. With very different backgrounds, each are change agents who make our community and society as a whole better.

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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.