June Bayou Catholic CFSL Release

“Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

Spring time for the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana was one that brought about a new and exciting initiative where Catholic women were able to focus on making an impact on matters locally facing women, children and families. The 2019 inaugural Mother Teresa Women’s Giving Circle was launched in March by celebrating mass with Bishop Shelton Fabre and kicked off with a brunch following.

The Mother Teresa Women’s Giving Circle is an initiative dedicated to bringing together a group of women to learn about the needs in our diocese and community, and to raise awareness and funds for philanthropic giving. Designed as a giving circle, this group was able to bring about change through the power of grants that transform lives and build the body of Christ.
With over 100 members in our first year ranging from women in their 30’s to their 80’s, together the members were able to come together as one and make a huge impact in the lives of six nonprofits in their first year. On Tuesday, May 14th the members of the Women’s Giving Circle granted out $62,500 with the direct intent to make a difference in the lives of women, children and families within the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Grants were made to Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center, MacDonell Children’s Services, Catholic Charities for Individual and Family Assistance, Catholic Community Center, St. Lucy’s Day Care and Upside Downs.

Members were invited to listen to ten nonprofits at our recent Sip and Learn, where they learned about their mission and how they touch the lives of women, children and families within our community. After the Sip and Learn, members were invited to vote on the five nonprofits they would like to see receive a grant. The steering committee tallies all of the votes and deliberated on each nonprofit and how they would spend their funds.

“The Mother Teresa Women’s Giving Circle is a way that women of all ages, all wealth capacities, and all backgrounds are able to come together as one to learn about needs within the community, then make a direct impact in the lives of others. It was one of the hardest decisions, yet so incredibly rewarding, to determine with the committee how much each grant will be. One of the projects that the members were able to help fund was for Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center to help purchase a new ultrasound machine for their clinic. It is very exciting to be part of a pro-life movement locally and for over 100 women to come together and make this possible,” said Amy Ponson, executive director of the Catholic Foundation.
Now that grants have been made, our members will go one step further, and on the feast of Saint Teresa, September 5th, our members will be invited to come together to celebrate mass at St. Lucy Catholic Church then visit with several of the nonprofits who have received funds. The goal for our visits is to show the women of the giving circle how their funds are being used to locally. The Mother Teresa Women’s Giving Circle has opened the doors for women to learn about our community and gather together to take action. The members of the giving circle are truly living out Mother Teresa’s mission of spreading love.


For more information about the Mother Teresa Women’s Giving Circle, please visit https://www.catholicfoundationsl.org. If interested in joining, please contact Amy Ponson at 985-850-3116 or aponson@htdiocese.org.

Steering Committee Members include: Bonnie Brady Babin, Wanda Birdsall, Andree Casey, Ginny Corte, Rene Danos David, Charlotte Bollinger, Emelie Cheramie, Mary Duplantis, Susan David, Brenda Riviere, Kelly Thibodaux, and Amy Ponson.