As members of the St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church celebrated the parish's silver anniversary, Msgr. Joseph Hendricks announced an effort that is expected to gather a lot of green.

As members of the St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church celebrated the parish's silver anniversary, Msgr. Joseph Hendricks announced an effort that is expected to gather a lot of green.

During a 25th-anniversary mass Aug. 12 , Hendricks launched a $50 million endowment campaign for St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic School.

The endowment, called "Our Faith. Our Children. Our Future. Sustaining St. Brigid of Kildare School," will work to provide high-quality education at the school and make sure it is accessible.

"This endowment fund is intended to immediately help make a Catholic education more affordable to those families in need of tuition assistance," Hendricks said in a news release from the parish.

"In the future, as the endowment grows, our expectation is that the endowment will benefit the families of all students who wish to pursue a Catholic education here at St. Brigid of Kildare School," Hendricks said.

The school currently provides tuition assistance, but the endowment fund will help expand it as educational costs increase, said Sarah Moore, parish development director.

"Right now anyone who needs tuition assistance can get it, More said.

"We have several endowments that provide (funding) and a couple of programs ... that provide tuition assistance," she said, noting the school gave out $230,000 in tuition assistance last year.

"This will help in the future. Right now tuition is $5,250 per student," Moore said. "Our goal is, in the future, to help all the students to be able to afford tuition."

As fewer clergy members teach at Catholic schools throughout the country, Moore said, educational costs are rising as teachers are hired to replace them.

"Right now we offer (tuition assistance) because 86 percent of our costs are for salaries and benefits," she said.

"It will continue to increase every year and we have to raise tuition," Moore said. "Our hope is to offer assistance that will have a lower tuition for those who need it."

The endowment fund will also work to provide a good educational environment by helping the school keep up with technology, providing professional development for teachers and more.

"We want to continue the quality of education we have now in the future," Moore said.

To raise money for the $50 million endowment fund, planned and deferred giving is planned in addition to gifts solicited from the community.

"Most will be in planned gifts, trusts and estates," Moore said.

"We have the first million someone has given us, but this won't happen overnight. This is something we'll work towards in the future."

St. Brigid of Kildare was established in 1987 and the school opened in 1996. The church currently ministers to about 3,000 families and expects that number to grow to 5,000 in the next 10 years.

At the school, enrollment has also increased from 328 students to more than 1,100 today.

Moore said Hendricks has always been a champion for Catholic education and the announcement of the endowment fund falls in line with his vision for the future.

"Monsignor always has a way of giving back," she said. "He's a strong supporter of Catholic education ... . This is kind of his legacy to leave."

The 25th anniversary mass was presided over by the Most Rev. Frederick F. Campell, bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, along with several others. After the mass the parish celebrated with a picnic lunch, games, music and other activities.