Operation Understanding

Operation Understanding is our diocesan commitment to provide grants to parishes that are deeply involved in outreach ministries throughout our diocese that feed, clothe, and provide energy assistance to the needy.  We also fund programs for disadvantaged children. Grants are made possible through the generosity of churches and parishioners who contribute to Operation Understanding through the Alleluia Appeal which takes place during the Eastertide season.

There are three grant cycles each year, and the application deadline dates are April 30, August 31, and December 31, 2018.  Grant applications are evaluated based on the outreach ministry’s level of poverty, parish participation in volunteering, support of the Vestry, ecumenical participation, and financial support of the requesting parish.  Grants usually fall within the range of $500 to $2,500.  Priority is given to new ministries. Guidelines are found in the link at the bottom of this page.

Progress reports are required to be sent to the OU Committee six months after receipt of a grant.  Personal stories, photos, and financial statements contained in the reports give a broad view of the ministry and how effective our diocese is in helping people in need.

About Operation Understanding


• IMPORTANT: The link to Diocese grant application can be found below. If you have any questions regarding the application form or required documents, please call Canon Chad Linder at (717) 236-5959 Ext. 1107 or email at clinder@diocesecpa.org.

To download the Operation Understanding brochure, click here.

Read the list of 2016 grant recipients here.



“On behalf of Trinity Church in Tyrone and the Volunteer Church Meals Program, we praise God and thank the Operation Understanding Committee for this grant of $500.  This will provide approximately 350 meals to seniors and home-bound individuals.” Rev. Jack Hoffer

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope, I am delighted and appreciative of your generous consideration and award of $500 to fund our EKG machine.  It will be a constant reminder of your involvement and compassionate concern for those uninsured and undeserved persons in Harrisburg.” Dr. Ruth I. Stoll, DNSc, RN

“St. Luke’s, Altoona, is the home to The Beacon, a Christ-centered, faith-based organization that seeks to provide an alternative place for youth in a safe environment with structured activities where positive adult role models can build relationships with “at-risk” youth while encouraging them to make beneficial decisions in their lives.  Grant funding from Operation Understanding will enable The Beacon to purchase much-needed items to complete the tutoring program.” Jane Gable, Senior Warden

During this time of economic instability, we ask that you pray for all who are suffering great loss in any way within our diocese and beyond our borders:

Almighty God, giver of all gifts: We thank you for our many blessings, especially for your inclusion of us in your Holy Family through the Sacrament of Baptism, thereby bestowing on each of us the name “beloved.”  May we see this gift not as a call to privilege, but rather to responsibility.  May we always look through eyes which perceive our opportunities rather than our burdens, our resources to be shared rather than our shortages to be hoarded.  In times of affluence, may we be charitable; in times of scarcity, may we be just.  At all times, empower us with the virtues of patience, perception, and perseverance that we might better understand your will for your world and respond in ways that reflect the love of your Son, in whose Name we pray.  Amen.

2017 Operation Understanding grant information and forms (PDF format)


Grant applications are sent electronically to the Diocese by completing the Online Application and clicking “SUBMIT” at the bottom of the form. If you do not have internet access, simply send a paper copy of the form and supplemental documents to Gerry Garber at 550 Harvest Drive, Harrisburg, Pa. 17111-5659.  Call (717) 798-1301 if you have questions or need assistance when completing the application form.

Reference Materials

Guidelines for OU projects

Questions to address in your application

Resources for: Children | Youth | Young Adults