History of the Catholic Foundation

The Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma, Inc. was organized under the leadership of Bishop Victor J. Reed as a non-profit corporation in December of 1965 to serve the people of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Conceived to augment the work of The Bishop's Fund, it was formed for the purpose of procuring and building endowment funds and to serve as a permanent organization for the administration of funds given to benefit the work of the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Oklahoma. At the organizational meeting of the newly formed Foundation, Father Stephen A. MacAulay explained, "The Foundation assists in channeling charitable donations in a more effective and official manner to any diocesan institution designated by the donor or by the Foundation. Wishes of the donor are strictly observed in distribution of funds. The charitable donations are rigidly protected and safeguarded by the Foundation..." He went on to say that endowments and annuities will be invested by the Foundation's Investment Committee in solid securities, with income paid to designated causes.

In speaking of the Foundation, Bishop Reed said, "in planning ahead, it is felt that we can well emulate many of the great educational and charitable institutions of this country who owe so much of their greatness to benefactors. These institutions have established various financial plans that are now meeting a major share of the yearly financial needs. " A founding Director, Mr. John H. Kennedy said that the Foundation was basically patterned after the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma.

The Foundation's first officers were:

  • Mr. P.C. Lauinger, President
  • Mr. I.F. Rooney, First Vice President
  • Mr. W.F. Wulf, Second Vice President
  • Mr. John H. Kennedy, Third Vice President
  • Father Stephen A. MacAulay, Secretary Treasurer
  • And John T. Dobelbower, the Assistant Director of the Bishop's Fund Office, was selected as Executive Director.

The First Directors included the officers and Bishop Victor J. Reed, Raymond Albert, Johnnie Arney, O'Benton Browning, Al Boudreau, Jr., Mrs. Ruth Carey, Ed DeClerck, Jack Conroy, S.C. Criswell, Byron Dillon, Pat Donnelly, Billy Gowday, Monsignor Harkin, Robert Havlik, Richard Hutt, Pat Heneghan, Charles Kile, Gavin King, Joseph Kotarski, Robert Layden, James McRoberts, Paul McGuire, John C. Moran, Vernon Mueggenborg, Louis Panchot, Eldon Pickrell, Monsignor William Reid, Jacob Ronck, Joe Ross, Joe Schlosser, W.A. Slater, Neal Sullivan, R.J. Sullivan and F.W. Zaloudek.

The 2nd Annual Meeting Minutes noted that the Investment Committee "...was ready to invest upon receipt of funds; that a number of Wills naming the Foundation as beneficiary had increased; that no final decision had been made on the $40,000 cash gift received by Bishop Reed about turning over the funds to the Foundation; that two annuities, a $3,000 and a $1,000, in favor of the Foundation were pending, and that the Investment Committee would meet soon to reexamine the assets of the Foundation."

By April 1968, Father MacAulay had given 190 Foundation sermons throughout the state. And beginning in 1969, the first Scholarships were awarded. Sixteen $300 scholarships were awarded for the 1969-70 school year.

In 1976, two separate accounts were established, The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Account, covering central and western Oklahoma, and The Diocese of Tulsa Account, covering eastern Oklahoma. On February 22, 1980, the Diocese of Tulsa Account became The Catholic Foundation of Eastern Oklahoma, Inc. and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City retained the original name, The Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma, Inc.

The Foundation continues to the current day to promote and to receive gifts for the endowment, program and capital needs, to invest them wisely, and to distribute the income and/or principal to Catholic causes as specified by the donor. The Foundation continues to give Scholarships to Catholic college students, to give program grants to Parishes and Catholic Schools, to award the Educator of the Year Awards, to build and erect "The Ten Commandment" Monuments, to invest and grow funds held for Archdiocesan Programs, Parishes, Catholic Schools and other Catholic-related organizations. The Foundation continues Investing in the Future of our Faith.