More than $90,000 was recently donated to the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, reports BND.com. The money was raised at a birthday dinner in honor of Bishop Edward K.Braxton.
On June 27, 325 people attended the $100-per-plate dinner. Bishop Braxton asked guests to donate to diocesan Catholic education instead of giving him personal gifts.
Bishop Braxton, originally from Chicago, has reportedly made Catholic education a priority since his arrival in Belleville and has reportedly initiated a “diocesan-wide effort to strengthen Catholic education.” He reportedly conducts annual visits to every school in the diocese and habitually meets with teachers and staff members to review the schools’ curricula. In addition, he reportedly initiated new activities and special Masses held at the Cathedral of St. Peter for incoming freshman and graduating seniors in all three of the diocesan high schools.
According to BND.com, at the dinner Bishop Braxton spoke about his own experience in Catholic schools, stating:
I have profound admiration for and feel deep gratitude to [those] who imbued in me a love for learning, a desire for knowledge, a curiosity about the church and the world, an appreciation for beauty, and a disciplined approach to reading and study.
The money raised from the dinner will assist high school scholarships, parochial school tuition, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Cardinal Newman Catholic Center.
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