(SNR) – The first annual “Good Shepherd Scholarship Gala” was held March 30 at the Lincoln Station Great Hall in Lincoln.
Bishop Conley used the event as an opportunity to thank the numerous volunteers and pastors involved in the creation and establishment of the Good Shepherd Scholarship Program.
The bishop also announced a commitment from a school supporter to match all new gifts to the Good Shepherd Scholarship fund up to $250,000. These funds will be added to nearly $15 million in gifts designated for Catholic education raised through the “Joy of the Gospel” campaign.
The Diocese of Lincoln formally announced the formation of the scholarship Jan. 29. It will offer tuition assistance of $900 to $1,300 per year to students who attend Catholic schools in the Lincoln Diocese. The fund anticipates issuing $1 million in scholarship funds in its first year of operations, the 2019-2020 school year. The scholarships are available for families that are within 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and also to families with more than three children attending any of the Lincoln Diocese K-12 schools.
Msgr. John Perkinton, as the pastoral leader of the Good Shepherd Scholarship fund, was the master of ceremonies. Bishop Conley addressed attendees and stressed the importance of Catholic education in the diocese both in the past and into the future.
Albert Maribaga, a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Lincoln and an immigrant from Sudan, talked of the blessings he has seen through both his children and grandchildren attending Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lincoln. The event also included a keynote address by Kloee Sander, a senior at Pius X High School in Lincoln.
“Catholic Schools provide an environment for students to grow in many ways,” Sander said. “When teachers can bring God into everyday lessons, it creates a new dimension to the classroom and fosters the faith one step farther. Throughout my nearly 13 years of Catholic education, my prayer life and knowledge of the faith has grown and expanded because of the teachers in the schools.”
Bishop Conley concluded the event with a prayer from St. John Bosco, the patron saint of the Good Shepherd Scholarship, including the quote, “Help me to work for a better world, where the young are given the chance to flourish, where the poor’s dream for justice can come true, and where God’s compassion is shown to be real.”