Most Reverend Robert J. Rose, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, was called home on March 2, 2022 at the age of 92. Please join us as we offer prayers for his eternal rest and thank God for Bishop Rose’s life and dedication to the mission of Catholic education.
More than a generation ago, Bishop Rose’s progressive vision and efforts to establish the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan (CFWM), and shortly after the Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education, was truly ahead of its time. To use an endowment at the diocesan level to support Catholic elementary and secondary education is a blessing that many dioceses still do not enjoy. The Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education has been the primary source of Bishop’s Scholarships for the last 20 years. Setting the example, the Bishop’s Fund has also inspired nearly all Catholic schools to establish their own school-specific endowment. In total, the Catholic Foundation manages 149 endowed funds benefiting Catholic schools through tuition assistance and funding for special projects.
Since its inception, the Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education, which is the largest of the Catholic school educational funds held within the CFWM has distributed $4,132,056 in tuition assistance and scholarships to 12,192 students. This fund is just one example of the profound impact these educational endowments have within our community and the impact they will continue to have into perpetuity. “We are forever grateful to Bishop Rose for this legacy of Catholic educational opportunity within our community,” said Dave Faber, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “His vision continues to make Catholic education accessible to all families that seek it.”
Catholic school families are encouraged to attend funeral events beginning on Thursday evening. Friday’s funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website and Facebook page and televised live locally on Antenna TV (channel finder).
At the wishes of Bishop Rose, memorial contributions can be directed to the Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education or the Jubilee Justice Fund, both funds within the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan.
- Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education: Bishop Rose’s hope in establishing the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan was to create a source of ongoing funding and long-term financial security for tuition assistance and school operating needs. He led the successful “In the Name of the Lord” capital campaign to help establish the Bishop’s Fund for Catholic Education with the ultimate goal of reaching a point where there was enough support for scholarships for every Catholic student and family that needed them. Each year this endowed fund provides the majority of the support for Bishop’s Scholarships.
- Jubilee Justice Fund: During his episcopacy, Bishop Rose sought to advance social justice programs in the diocese. He established the Secretariat for Social Justice, now Catholic Charities West Michigan. The Jubilee Justice Fund was established to strengthen the programs and initiatives that provide care and create hope for all our brothers and sisters. This fund continues to support his vision today.
To learn more about Bishop Rose’s life and contribution to the Catholic Church, click here.