We are in the process of setting up a new program called the Isidore Fund and want to provide some preliminary information to our parishioners. This page will be updated as the process is finalized and more information is developed.
Vision: Our Lady of Victory is blessed with parishioners with a myriad of nationalities that call our parish their spiritual home. Among the many nations and cultures represented here, the Burmese community is unique in its international situation and large size.
Mission: In order to assist Burmese families in their desire to provide Catholic education for their children, the Isidore Fund will provide financial assistance to Burmese parishioners of our parish to attend Our Lady of Victory School.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Will OLV Parish continue to provide financial assistance to non-Burmese students?
A: Yes. While the Isidore Fund will assist only Burmese families, our regular tuition assistance collection will go towards any other parish family at OLV school in need.
Q: Why is it called the Isidore Fund?
A: Blessed Isidore Ngei Ko Lat is the first Burmese person to be beatified. He was a lay catechist who was martyred in 1950 at age 31. He was declared “Blessed” in 2014.
Q: When there are so many other nationalities and races represented at OLV, why have a scholarship only for the Burmese?
A: The answer is twofold. First, the size of the Burmese community far surpasses any other minority in our parish. Second, most Burmese families here are international refugees, so their specific financial need is amplified by the fact that immigration was necessitated by turmoil and threat of violence in Myanmar.
Q: How does this fit into the mission of the parish?
A: First, supporting OLV school remains part of the mission of our parish, even after the school became an Archdiocesan Collaborative School. Second, Catholic Social Teaching demands we assist those who have specific, intense needs such as immigrants and refugees.
Q: Besides contributions, how else will the Isidore Fund grow?
A: The parish has decided to donate all funds from our hall rentals, outside of basic maintenance, to the Isidore Fund. In addition, we will be setting up a website dedicated to fundraising and will be researching Archdiocesan grants to boost the fund.
Q: Is the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools involved in this fund?
A: No, the Isidore Fund is parish-based and parish-run.
Q: How will the funds be distributed?
A: The parish will pay the school directly from our Isidore Fund account, specifying which student will benefit.
Q: How will it be decided which Burmese student benefits?
A: The funds at first will be divided equally among all Burmese students. The reason is that we don’t know how many Burmese students will enroll next Fall. If a Burmese family chooses to decline assistance from the Isidore Fund, that amount will simply be dispersed equally among the remaining recipients.
Q: Will receipt of assistance of the Isidore Fund hinder the Burmese families ability to receive other assistance, like the Maryland BOOST Scholarship Program?
A: No, the Isidore Fund is in addition to other financial assistance, government or otherwise.
Q: Will any of the procedures and guidelines about distribution and recipient choice change?
A: There are many good ways to distribute scholarship monies and decide who receives what. After the first year, we will re-evaluate these questions and keep/change the guidelines depending on the year’s experience.