Arbol de la Vida 2019 Award Dinner stage backdrop
Art Plaza in Downtown Dallas photo

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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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Latest from the Foundation

The Catholic Foundation Awards $1.16 Million in Grants During Spring Ceremony

Twenty five North Texas churches, schools and community organizations received $1.16 million in grants and tuition assistance from The Catholic Foundation during its annual spring grant ceremony April 11 at Holy Trinity Seminary.

The grants help fund projects that will deliver food to the hungry, support various facility renovations, establish digital signage, introduce smart boards into the classroom, build a new chapel, relocate a historic church, offer hearing assistance and bolster safety and security at churches and schools. In addition, the grants provide tuition assistance to families who otherwise would not be able to afford a Catholic education for their children.

“The beneficiaries of these grants will be positively impacted for decades to come,” said Matt Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Our donor generosity helps make us a strong foundation and enables us to offer financial support that enhances our community by supporting programs and projects of substance and value.” 

Twice per year, The Catholic Foundation distributes community grants to local schools, parishes and nonprofit 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. 

In 2018, The Catholic Foundation distributed $1.54 million during its spring and fall grant cycles plus provided more than $22 million through more than 2,000 grants to more than 650 organizations.

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Entrepreneur and Community Builder Raul Estrada Receives 2019 Catholic Foundation Award at 37th Annual Award Dinner

 Nearly 1,200 people gathered Feb. 16 to honor entrepreneur and community builder Raul Estrada at The Catholic Foundation’s 37th Annual Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole.

 The annual dinner recognized the restaurateur, construction business owner and real estate developer for the significant impact he has made in the Catholic community through his selflessness and generosity.

 The Catholic Foundation Award, dating back to 1983, is an annual tradition that honors exemplary Catholic leaders in the community for their distinguished service and support in furthering local religious, charitable and educational needs throughout the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

 “Raul Estrada is a driven change-maker, invested community leader, selfless giver and worthy recipient of The Catholic Foundation Award,” said Matt Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Raul has played a critical role in strengthening our Catholic community by overseeing new school construction, supporting multiple charities and advocating for unity in the Dallas area.”

 In recognition of Estrada, The Catholic Foundation awarded $5,000 grants to Catholic Charities of Dallas and Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, two organizations at which Estrada has served in leadership roles. The Foundation also presented the Hal Tehan Scholar Award to Gerard Cardenas, a junior at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep.  

 Estrada, a successful entrepreneur, immigrated with his parents to Dallas from Mexico when he was a young child. With tuition assistance, he attended local Catholic schools, and before he turned 16, he had worked nine different jobs in the Dallas area. With dedicated mentors and Raul’s great attitude, he was working for himself by the age of 26.

 Raul utilizes all his skills and connections in business and to help those in need. Raul owns and runs multiple locations of his restaurants, Las Ranitas and Los Sapitos. He began his construction business building and finishing out new restaurants and by building and financing homes for his employees.

 Estrada has saved the Catholic Diocese of Dallas millions of dollars by participating in and managing construction projects at St. Mary of Carmel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Saint James Parish, Cristo Rey High School, Catholic Charities Dallas, St. Jude Center and more. He is also a founding board member of Cristo Rey Dallas and served as a trustee of The Catholic Foundation for six years. He currently serves as a board member of Catholic Charities and is a founding board member of #BeGolden, a social awareness campaign that seeks to deliver a message of unity, civility and empathy for our immigrant community by following the Golden Rule.


July 31, 2019

2018 Annual Report - Together, We Are The Foundation

We encourage you to view our 2018 annual report that explains what it takes to build a strong foundation, and how we have done that over the years with the support of many people in our Catholic community.
July 30, 2019

Summer’s Fading, But Keep Growing Your Non-Profit Management Skills

In the spirit of “never stop learning and networking,” we’re inviting Dallas-area non-profit professionals to our next quarterly Catholic Community Network panel on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at our offices.
July 23, 2019

Summer Reading - The Good Word

We received positive feedback about our larger tabloid format size of The Good Word introduced in the winter. Building upon the format change, we encourage you to take a look at the spring/summer edition that’s loaded with news about The Catholic Foundation and our supporters.

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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.