Who We Are

The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation is an autonomous and pious foundation formed under cannon law and whose tax exempt status and articles of incorporation were filed with the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Wyoming. Since its inception, the Foundation has promoted and supported the ministries and programs of the Diocese of Cheyenne. The Foundation is an independent 501c(3) organization, managed by its own Board of Directors, which includes the Bishop of Cheyenne as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

What We Do

The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation secures philanthropic support from members of the Faith community and promotes and supports the ministries of the Diocese of Cheyenne. This support comes in the form of grants for:

· Catholic Education
· Seminarian Education
· Technology upgrades for parishes and schools
· Clergy Education
· Youth Ministry
· Retired clergy Medicare supplement assistance
· Diocesan administration
· Elderly housing assistance
· Hispanic Ministry
· Continuing education for parish staff
· Parish loans for capital projects
· Religious Education programs
· Anti-bullying programs in Catholic schools
· Other Catholic ministries not originated in parishes

The WCMF also manages pooled investments for Catholic parishes and schools using sophisticated investment management tools and ensuring that investments meet the guidelines established by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for support of Catholic social doctrine.

Are you over 70?  Have you thought about directing some or all of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to a qualified charity?  Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation is a qualified charity.  Be assured of complete confidentiality  (and no obligation) when you talk to a WCMF board member.  The same assurance is promised if you want to talk about making the WCMF a beneficiary in your estate plans. 

The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation operates for the purpose of supporting the religious, charitable, ministerial, and educational programs of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Cheyenne, as expressed in the teachings, the canon law, and the customs and practices of the Catholic Church. The WCMF provides acceptance, investment management, and distribution of gifts and other assets entrusted to its care by the generous benefactors of the Church.

Board of Directors

The Most Reverend Steven Biegler, DD, STL  Bishop Steven attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and St. Mary College in Winona, Minn., from 1986-89 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. From 1989-1993, he attended the North American College in Rome where he received an STB or Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rapid City at Holy Cross Church in Timber Lake on July 9, 1993. In 2010-11, he served as Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Rapid City. He was ordained and installed as the ninth Bishop of Cheyenne in July 2017. Bishop Steven serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board.

Harry Flavin, CFA, MBA – Jackson, WY Harry was the top analyst for Merrill Lynch for more than 20 years. He left Merrill Lynch to start a mutual fund which he built to $1.5 billion in assets before he retired. He is currently a principal with Matterhorn Capital (www.matterhorncap.com), a money manager based in San Antonio.  Harry has an MBA from the Wharton School and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Esther McGann CFP, MBA – Laramie, WY Esther McGann is a Certified Financial Planner. An MBA and major and planned giving officer at the University of Wyoming Foundation for fifteen years. She opened her practice in 1999. She is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the Financial Planning Association, and the Southeast Wyoming Estate Planning Council. Her master of business administration degree is from the University of Wyoming.

Mike Lovelett, CPA – Casper, WY  Mike recently stepped down as the Managing Director of the Lovelett, Skogan & Associates (www.cpawyoming.com) Firm. He has completed both the AICPA’s CPA Ambassador Program and the Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Auditing Certificates of Educational Achievement Program. He currently is serving on the Board of the Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation. Mike is actively involved in the Kiwanis Club of Casper where he served for twelve years as Treasurer and Secretary Treasurer, and also served on various committees and the Board of Directors. He has been in leadership positions on many professional boards and commissions, giving freely of his time and talent.

Gay Woodhouse – Cheyenne, WY  Gay was licensed to practice law in 1978.   She is a graduate of University of Wyoming College of Law,  University of Wyoming (English) B.A. cum laude. She is a founding member of Gay Woodhouse Law Office, P.C. and Senior Partner in Woodhouse Roden, LLC. Gay is a member of the Wyoming State Bar; Wyoming Bar Commissioner; Wyoming State Bar Vice President; Wyoming State Bar President-Elect; Wyoming State Bar President; Laramie County Bar Association; Court Reorganization Committee; Domestic Violence Elimination Council; Southeast Wyoming Mental Health Center Board; Pathfinder, Inc. Board; Prevent Child Abuse Board of Directors; SAFE Harbor, a Children’s Justice Center Board of Directors; Laramie County Commissioner; Rotary of Cheyenne; High Noon Toastmasters. (http://www.woodhouseroden.com)

William N. Willingham – Cheyenne, WY  President and CEO of WYHY Federal Credit Union, a $160 million Credit Union, since 1992,  Bill is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the Credit Union as well as providing general control of all financial and operational activities of the Credit Union, all with the best interest of the members and the employees.   Bill has a BS in business /management from Chapman University, Orange, California and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Bill is very active in the local Knights of Columbus council, Boy Scouts Review Board and many national, regional and local credit union boards.

Stuart Palmer – Jackson, WY Stuart and his wife Susie operated a camp for youths in Jackson Hole for many years.  He was the business manager for Our Lady of the Mountains parish in Jackson, serving at the time the new church was being built.  He is deeply involved in Rotary International and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole and as District Governor of District 5440.  He has served on the Board of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole where he was actively involved in the grants committee.  Stuart is active in the Knights of Columbus as well.

Jim Magagna – Rock Springs, WY  Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Jim is a native of Rock Springs and a lifelong sheep rancher in southwestern Wyoming. He has served as President of the American Sheep Industry Association and President of the National Public Lands Council. He has represented agriculture on numerous national, state and local councils and advisory boards. Prior to assuming the position of Executive Vice President of WSGA, he served as Director of the Wyoming Office of StateLands and Investments. Jim took over the reigns at WSGA in December of 1998. Jim is an attorney and has served on many non-profit boards, including the Wyoming Community Foundation.

Thomas M Botts Thomas M. Botts – Jackson, WY  Tom grew up on a ranch near Riverton, Wyoming and gained a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Wyoming.  He joined Royal Dutch Shell in the same year in Ventura, California, as a production engineer in the upstream. After various engineering and operations assignments in Texas and California, Tom moved up the corporate ladder including assignments as Division Production Manager, Manager of Corporate Planning, and Treasurer.

Tom moved to London in mid 1998, and then to Scotland in 2001, holding positions as UK Gas Director, UK Oil Director and UK Managing Director in Royal Dutch Shell. In 2003, Tom moved to The Netherlands and became Executive Vice President for EP Europe, leading Shell’s largest upstream unit with operations across Europe.  In 2009, Tom moved back to the U.S. and was appointed Executive Vice President for Shell’s Global Manufacturing portfolio, responsible for all of Shell’s refineries and petrochemical plants globally.  Tom retired from Royal Dutch Shell at the end of 2012.

Tom is currently on the Board of Directors for EnPro Industries based in the U.S. and Wood Plc based in Scotland.  He is Co-Chairman of the Wyoming Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force, Vice Chairman of the University of Wyoming Foundation, as well as a Director of the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming.

Tom and his wife, Shelley, live in Jackson, Wyoming.  They have two daughters (Jaime a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Michaela who is finishing up Vet school) and a son (Ryan who is an architect).  Tom’s interests include the Catholic Church and various charities, horses and wagons, playing the guitar and banjo, singing and fly fishing.

Bob Grady-Jackson, WY (bio coming soon)

Rev. Carl Beavers-Dayton, WY (bio coming soon)


Grant Application



The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation (WCMF), aims for accessibility, objectivity, fairness and professionalism in all of its dealings with its constituents. The Foundation can distribute grants only to parishes, or qualified 501(c)3 organizations that support the ministries of the Diocese of Cheyenne and serve to build up the kingdom of God. The foundation neither lends nor grants money to individuals or political organizations.

Grants are made in three areas: Educational, Charitable, and Religious. Foundation grants are to provide funding assistance only within the Diocese of Cheyenne. Projects or activities which are the focus of grant applications must be aligned with the mission and key initiatives of The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation and the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Cheyenne.

The Foundation looks for one or more of the following conditions in a proposal:

  • Foundation support would be vital to a proposed project’s success;
  • A collaborative network exists that multiplies the impact of the grant;
  • Sustainability – The proposed project is likely to continue and expand after the grant period on the way to becoming self-supporting;
  • The proposal is innovative and efficient in its use of funds;
  • Expenses are reduced by sharing resources with other agencies or groups;
  • The project is a well-planned approach to solving a problem and delivering services;
  • The project promotes better human relationships and a sense of community;
  • The project helps fulfill the mission of your organization.

Grants are not made for purposes of:

  • Annual fund-raising events or drives.
  • Debt reduction.
  • Organizations not supported or endorsed by the Catholic Church or not serving an identifiable Catholic population.
  • Endowments or Individuals.
  • Funding more than one year of a program’s costs.
  • Operating costs, unless related to a new initiative or program.
  • Reimbursement for programs or projects already begun.

The Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation considers grant requests four times each year.  Grant requests must be submitted by midnight on each respective deadline.

Here are the grant application deadlines for 2020:

  • February 5, 2020
  • May 6, 2020
  • August 5, 2020
  • November 4, 2020

Applications will be reviewed by the Grants Committee as follows:

  • February 26, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • August 26, 2020
  • November 25, 2020

The Board of Directors will review the Grant Committee report and make funding decisions as follows:

  • April 22, 2020
  • July 22, 2020
  • October 28, 2020
  • December – 2020/January -2021 TBD

All applicants will be notified of funding decisions, and disbursements will be made within 30 days.

Grant requests are to be made through our website only.  Paper copies will not be considered.

Final Grant Report