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Friday, April 28, 2023

Papal Foundation Visits Rome

This article is by  Hannah Brockhaus , Catholic News Agency


Rome, Italy - The Papal Foundation, a U.S.-based organization that provides funding for Catholic projects around the world, was in Rome, Italy last week for its annual pilgrimage and meeting with Pope Francis.

The foundation, founded 35 years ago in response to a wish from St. John Paul II, was in Rome, Italy with 40 stewards and their families.

Stewards donate their personal money to support projects specifically identified and requested by the pope, who is made aware of needs through his nuncios, or ambassadors, around the world.

The Papal Foundation examined the 141 requests for 2023 and will give the Vatican $9.5 million to fund 114 grants in 57 countries.

The foundation will also provide approximately $4.8 million in scholarships and humanitarian aid in 2023.

The group meet with Pope Francis on Friday April 21, 2023, to share with him the chosen projects and renew its commitment to supporting his desired charitable efforts.

“The foundation really looks for projects to fund in developing countries so that we can reach the most vulnerable and the poorest,” Dave Savage, the foundation’s executive director, told CNA in Rome.

The grants and scholarships support a variety of efforts, including many construction and renovation projects for schools, churches, seminaries, hospitals, pastoral centers, and orphanages in the developing world.

The president of the charity’s board of trustees, Eustace Mita, told CNA “This is the pope’s only pocket, if you will, that he can use as a resource for all these requests that he gets worldwide.”

On Tuesday April 18, 2023, members of the foundation were able to visit one of the grant recipients: the Casa Scalabrini.

The Casa Scalabrini, which has four centers across Italy, including in Rome, houses immigrants and refugees while helping them transition into integration in the country.

Another grant recipient is A Family of Families, an organization in Quito, Ecuador, that provides education, job training, food programs, and health care to about 400 struggling families.

EWTN News created a half-hour documentary about the work of A Family of Families that will be available to watch on the EWTN YouTube page later this week and will air on the “Vaticano” program starting the end of May.

Mita, the board president, said the Papal Foundation is partnering with media such as EWTN News to make the availability of the charity’s resources better known around the world.

“Probably the main reason,” Mita said, “is that even though we’re over 30 years old, the Papal Foundation has been very quiet in [its] philanthropy.”

“And the reason that we’d like to get it out now, and we partnered with media, is ... [so that] all the different countries that we serve know that the Papal Foundation exists, so that they can take advantage, we can get more grant requests, and really just get out to the people who need these grants the most all over the world.”

Executive director Savage said “sometimes people think maybe the foundation prioritizes what it wants to fund ... meaning our trustees or the laypeople [decide], but really, it’s what the pope wants. We don’t have an agenda.”

“The list comes from the pope every year and then we go through his list,” he added.

“Part of the reason why it’s called the Papal Foundation, in addition to the history, is it’s really the pope’s priority that we’re responding to.”

Topics: Papal Foundation, Rome, Italy, Rome, Italy, Pope