Two U.S. Catholic Churches Receive Grant Money to Help Preserve Their History
WASHINGTON — Two Catholic Churches are among 35 black religious sites around the country receiving grant money to help with renovations and building preservation.
St. Rita Catholic Church in Indianapolis and the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, Virginia, are both receiving grants from the “Preserving Black Churches” program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
Black churches in nearly every region of the U.S. are part of the fund’s first round of recipients receiving grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 of the $4 million that will be distributed over the next two years. The fund is backed by the Lilly Endowment, which supports religious, educational, and charitable causes.
St. Rita’s, founded in 1919 as the first designated Black Catholic parish in Indiana, will receive $100,000 to fix its bell tower and repair the main structure’s brickwork from the 1950s.
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, built in the mid-1800s and described as one of the few basilicas in the U.S. with a predominantly black congregation, is receiving $150,000 to support hiring preservation staff members to develop and implement a preservation plan for the church.