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Stories of Giving

A Grandmother's Love for Catholic Education Lives On


When Ralph Arnold was three years old, his mother died. He, his younger brother and his father moved in with his father's parents. The entire family was a tightknit one. As Ralph tells it, "My grandmother, Nellie Agnes Arnold, was instrumental in my going to St. John's School in Westminster, MD. Catholic education was very important to her ... her whole family felt that way. At one point, along with my brother, we had 28 cousins in grades 1 through 12 at St. John's." Ralph believes that Catholic education shaped who he is today. To honor and celebrate its importance in his life, and the influence of his grandmother, he established The Nellie Agnes Arnold Endowment Fund For Catholic Education, which provides tuition assistance to children whose families are unable to afford a Catholic education. "I treasured my experience at St. John's and would like others to have that same joy. I created this fund because there are folks in our parish today who cannot afford to pay for a Catholic education ... it's a way to give back a little and help others."

Ralph chose to place his endowment with the Catholic Community Foundation because he knew he could designate the funds specifically for St. John's. Also, he was more comfortable knowing his endowment would be managed at "a bigger level, a broader level" than could be done by a parish. "I see Catholic education as integral in the Church today. There is no better way to pass the faith along to our children," Ralph says with commitment. Through his endowment, he is doing his part to bring this to reality

-Ralph Arnold

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