Area Catholic students will use the gift of music to thank Catholic Education Foundation donors for their gift of education during the eighth annual Sounds of Sacred Music event.
This year’s concert will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle, and feature the student choirs of Joliet Catholic Academy and St. Mary of Gostyn, Downers Grove. A private VIP reception for all current Catholic Education Foundation benefactors will be held prior to the event at 6 p.m.
The CEF began in 1996 to help provide the financial means for qualified students to attend elementary and secondary Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Joliet. Now, more than 20 years later, the Foundation has been able to award more than $22 million in need-based scholarships to 17,100 students.
“Twenty-five percent of all students in our diocesan schools receive support through the CEF. Statistically, there will be about 10 student performers at our event that are CEF Scholars and we’re very proud of them,” said Joe Langenderfer, the Foundation’s chief executive officer. “The free concert is a wonderful way of showcasing the talent of the students, some of whom might have not even attended the school were it not for a CEF benefactor.”
It’s also just one of many ways the students celebrate the impact of the donors.
Throughout the school year, for instance, hundreds of students send in thank you notes in gratitude for their scholarships, Langenderfer said.
For instance, one fourth-grader wrote, ‘I am thankful for your gift. My favorite part is music and science. I also love my teachers.’ Another fourth-grader noted, ‘My favorite part about school is learning religion because it reminds me about doing the right thing every day.’
All CEF donors are encouraged to attend the upcoming Sounds of Sacred Music celebration and meet some of the students who are being transformed by the gift of Catholic education.