The Foundation’s Mission Fund Committee, comprised of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Trustee Patricia Flatley and the committee chair Trustee Jim Towey, met in September and approved eight new grant requests from the Vatican totaling $1,002,034. This makes 32 grants approved by the Mission Fund Committee in 2022, with the grants totaling $2,809,742.

The grants approved most recently included four grants that help the Church in Ukraine, as well as resettling migrants and refugees who have fled the conflict in Ukraine:

  • $130,000 for humanitarian assistance and support of the archeparchy of Kviv-Halyc
  • $85,000 to provide for mental and psychological rehabilitation courses for priests and families in the Diocese of Chernivisti, Ukraine
  • $32,000 for the support of Ukrainian refugees in the diocese of Presov, Slovakia
  • $97,750 to the Scalabrini Fathers for the care of Ukrainian migrants in Rome, Milan, Turin and Trieste, Italy.

On our recent trip to Rome, Jane Schnatz and I had the opportunity to visit Casa Scalabrini 634, a main project of the Scalabrinian Agency for Cooperation and Development of the Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians that promote a culture of encounter, welcoming and integration between refugees, migrants and the local community. The home currently houses 30 on a regular basis, including families.

The home provides a place of refuge for displaced families

Beautiful murals from inside the Scalabrini compound depict the history of the immigrant

Jane and I with Brother Gioacchino Campese, C.S., General Director and Professor of Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome; and Marianna Occhiuto, Head of Partnerships, ASCS

Other grants approved last week included food and nutrition for families in the dioceses of San Miguel and Quilmes, Argentina, and support for the Joseph Project of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishop’s Conference. The Joseph Project works to address substance abuse and related violence in rural communities of South Africa.

Finally, $420,000 was approved for three hospitals that are part of the Open Hospitals Project in Syria. The Foundation has supported this project previously, and Pope Francis received representatives of the Open Hospital Project at the Vatican in early September. It was exciting to read that the Holy Father acknowledged The Papal Foundation’s previous support in his remarks:

“Dear friends, your project—“Open Hospitals” —is committed to supporting the three Catholic hospitals that have operated in Syria for a hundred years, as well as four walk-in clinics. This initiative came about with the patronage of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and is supported by the generosity of Church-related institutions —The Papal Foundation and several Bishops’ Conferences, and some government agencies —Hungarian and Italian—Catholic humanitarian institutions and a number of generous individuals.”

The Holy Father’s full comments can be read by clicking HERE.

Our great thanks to Cardinal Sean, Patricia and Jim for their review and approval of the grant requests. The monies will now be disbursed to the recipients from the funds that were previously allocated by the Board of Trustees to The Mission Fund and sent to the Vatican earlier this year.