PORTLAND — “I was shocked. I could not believe it. I’m still sort of speechless because it really helps a lot.”

The emotional reaction spoke volumes. A recent recipient of thousands of dollars from the Catholic Alumni Partnership of Maine was overjoyed that their child would still be able to attend a Catholic school thanks, in part, to the assistance.

“We love our Catholic school experience,” said the person, who wished to remain anonymous. “The faith, the prayer, the academics, it’s incredible.”

Ensuring the continuation of that experience for students in need is what the Catholic Alumni Partnership of Maine is all about.

“The Catholic Alumni Partnership of Maine began back in 2016 as an outreach to more than 30,000 alumni of Catholic schools in Maine,” said Dave DiNapoli, development director for the Diocese of Portland. “We wanted to provide former students with an opportunity to become re-engaged with schools that have given them so much.”

Through the partnership, alums can restore a line of contact with the school and fellow classmates while also having the chance to contribute to a fund for students who cannot afford to attend Catholic schools or students in financial need at their alma mater.

“We are able to award these funds to help pay tuition and give anyone who hopes to provide a Catholic education to their children a chance,” said Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools.

Over $60,000 have already been donated to the Catholic Alumni Partnership of Maine, all of which will be distributed to local students and families in need.

“Through reengaging our alumni, our schools will continue to be vibrant institutions with top-notch academics and faith formation where all students can flourish,” said DiNapoli.

“Receiving this ongoing support from the many alums who have continued on in life and achieved great success is a powerful message to current and future students at our schools,” said Pelletier. 

For more information about the Catholic Alumni Partnership in Maine, including ways in which to reconnect with your alma mater, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/CAP.