New Fund to Support Religious Formation of Teachers, Coaches, Staff and Students

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced that the Paul and Jean Passafiume family has agreed to create a new fund at the Foundation that will promote the continuing religious formation of Catholic school teachers, coaches and staff, and provide funds for faith-based classroom materials throughout the Archdiocese of Louisville. While the aggregate amount of the gift was not disclosed, Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter noted that it represents one of the largest family gifts in the Foundation’s history.

Paul is the Founder and President of SportsLeader, Inc., a not-for-profit Catholic organization that provides virtue-based programs for coaches and sports ministries across the country. Understanding the significant role that coaches play in the lives of students and school environments, the Passafiume family wanted to create a fund that could reach all school influencers who work with children and students.
The fund will be entitled, “The Saint Thomas Aquinas Fund”, named for the patron saint of Catholic education, and will be administered by the Foundation. The Passafiume family will select and offer program-specific formation opportunities that will be approved by both the Foundation and the Superintendent of Catholic Schools.
The fund will be launched this summer and, for the initial year, it is expected that a select number of leading teachers, coaches and staff from across the Archdiocese will be able to receive grants to participate in the program.

Mr. Lechleiter remarked, “How lucky are we to have the Passafiume family offer such an innovative and inspired opportunity to our school leaders and students! This represents a giant step forward in the funding of religious education through the Catholic Education Foundation, and we are so God-blessed to be a part of this new venture! To Paul and Jean, we are truly thankful for your enormous generosity.”
The Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D. D., Archbishop of Louisville, also expressed his thanks. “Along with the great strides we’ve all made over the past few years in tuition assistance funding for our Catholic school families, we now have this great gift from the Passafiume family to accelerate our religious formation efforts across the Archdiocese. This is a huge lift for all of us who want to spread the Gospel message throughout our schools and parishes, and I am so grateful for this blessing!”