Lay Continuing Education and Formation Grants

Submission Deadline noon July 19, 2021

Each year, the Diocese of Portland makes available application packets for grants from the Lay Continuing Education and Formation Endowment Fund held by the Catholic Foundation of Maine.*

PurposePhoto by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Grants support employees and volunteers (such as pastoral life coordinators and associates; business coordinators; catechetical leaders, teachers and youth ministers) to further their education and training related to adult faith formation and professional service within the Church.  Grants also provide parishes, schools and diocesan offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland with funds to support education, training, and the start-up of new initiatives related to faith formation and professional service to the Church.  The fund is not intended for ongoing or perennial programs or programs primarily involving children or youth. A sample of past grant awards is available below.


Who: Individuals (employees and volunteers), parishes, Catholic schools, and diocesan offices in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

What: Funding awarded for adult faith formation activity taking place from August 2021 through July 2022

Applications accepted for:

  • Tuition for college and university courses from approved and/or accredited institutions/programs in areas such as catechetics, theology, and religious studies that help form the faith of Catholics (Individuals in degree granting or ongoing programs, may reapply for funding; however, multiple year funding is not guaranteed.)
  • Registration fees for seminars and conferences related to an individual's work as an employee or volunteer in the church from approved and/or accredited institutions/programs
  • Start-up expenses for new initiatives related to parish-based adult faith formation activities
  • Training and education programs for parishes, schools, and diocesan offices that enhance evangelization and catechesis

Expenses not typically covered by grant funds:

  • Books and materials for such seminars and classes identified above
  • Travel to and from seminar/class sites
  • Application or other fees associated with a college program
  • Catechetical texts and series
  • Equipment or other capital expenses

How to apply

Review the Grant Request Announcement for instructions for submitting the appropriate grant application. Only completed applications received by noon July 19, 2021, will be considered. Award decisions will be communicated by August 31, 2021.

2021-2022 Grant Request Announcement with full details

2021-2022 Individual Application printable pdf    fillable Word doc

2021-2022 Parish/School Application  printable pdf   fillable Word doc

Need ideas for training or new programs? Contact a member of the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation staff or scroll down to see a sampling of past awards

Food for thought whenever applying for a grant "10 Most Common Grant Writing Mistakes"

Sampling of past awards

For Individuals

  • Registration fees for online courses through programs like Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation or St Joseph College
  • Tuition for college courses toward certificates or degrees in areas such as religious education, pastoral theology, spiritual direction, youth ministry, and marriage/family life
  • Registration fee for one-time events like retreats, sacred music training, and evangelization conferences

New initiatives in Parishes/Schools/Diocesan Offices

  • Choice Wine marriage enrichment program at Parish of the Precious Blood, Caribou area (description on page 4)
  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd leader training program hosted by All Saints Parish, Mid-coast region
  • Stephen Ministers training program for grief support organized for St Anne Parish, Gorham
  • Catholic Faith and Life adult mini-courses for Cluster 22 parishes (now St John Paul II Parish in Scarborough area)
  • Inaugural year of Advent by Candlelight for St John Vianney Parish, Fort Kent area
  • Echoes of Faith diocesan catechist training program
  • Magnify online deep-dive into the new Directory for Catechesis for catechetical leaders
  • Aging Friendly Parishes program

back to How to apply

*The Lay Continuing Education & Formation Endowment Fund was established through the Strengthening the Heartbeat of the Church Campaign in 2008 which is held in trust and invested by the Catholic Foundation of Maine. The purpose of the campaign is to build resources to support the present and future ministry of the Catholic Church in Maine, particularly for adult faith formation.