A Message from Eustace W. Mita, President of The Papal Foundation
Dear Fellow Stewards,
We hope this finds you and your loved ones well.
We’re sure your thoughts, like ours, are with everyone around the world affected by the COVID19 crisis, and the worldwide protests. So, we want to share a prayer Cardinal O’Malley convened the last Trustee meeting with.
“Lord Jesus who promised to remain with us always: When information overwhelms us and fear overtakes us, speak to us again those comforting words, ‘Peace be with you’.
Though we cannot be physically close to others, give us the ability and courage to love as well as we can, since perfect love casts out all fear. Direct your caring gaze on doctors and nurses, researchers, and safety personnel and comfort those who are grief stricken.
And when this pandemic is past and the current crisis is resolved, teach us to know you more certainly as our dearest friend and only hope. We live and reign with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and God forever and ever. Amen
Our Lady, Seed of Mercy, pray for us.”
Your continued prayers, and your support for The Papal Foundation are deeply appreciated. It’s you who make the work of The Papal Foundation possible. So, we want to keep you updated. As such, you’ll find the latest news.
We are happy to say the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Steward of Saint Peter, James Towey, a Trustee. Jim was Mother Teresa’s lawyer and continues to work closely with the Missionaries of Charity. Please join us in welcoming Jim aboard!
In our most recent meeting, Cardinal O’Malley suggested we appoint an Executive Director. This new Executive Director would be responsible for implementing the strategic direction of The Papal Foundation and its vision. In addition to leading the Philadelphia team, he or she would work closely with the Trustees with a laser light focus on development and fundraising along with Jim Coffey. The search committee will approve a job description before beginning the search.
On our call, we thanked Tim Busch and Wayne Murdy with a telephonic ovation as they are retiring after a decade of service to the Board. Thanks to both for your incredible service and dedication.
Before retiring, Wayne Murdy, our Treasurer, reported that as of February 29, revenues were less than expenses and grants. But we received an extraordinary gift from the estate of Theodore Zeller, a Steward of Saint Peter, of approximately $14 million. God has his ways!
Niall Gannon, Chair of the Investment Committee reported that The Papal Foundation’s portfolio was valued at approximately $184 million as of April 9, 2020. For the calendar year 2020 through April 9, the decline was approximately 10%. Considering the 37% Dow Jones decline in that same period, by the grace of God, we have done well.
In furthering our important mission, Ward Fitzgerald, Chair of the Development Committee, commented that meeting with you and potential Stewards in person will be difficult for a while, but the planning continues. We are working on a referral program to engage potential Stewards and will look to schedule receptions in cities around the country. Even if we cannot meet now, please know that we think and pray for you all often!
The Grants Review Committee Chair Tammy Tenaglia and committee member Mike Sullivan reported on the progress of the Grants Management System that the committee has been working on that will standardize the grant application through reporting process. Several Papal Nuncios have already endorsed our grant guidelines. These guidelines include a remedy should the grantee fail to follow reporting requirements. Progress abounds!
Also, before retiring, Tim Busch, Chair of the Mission Fund Committee reported that ten years ago, the Flatley family contributed $50 million to establish the Mission Fund. Recently, the Mission Fund Committee unanimously approved a request from the Vatican for a $1 million grant to the Open Hospitals Project in Aleppo and Damascus that will be paid from the funds in the Mission Fund Account. These hospitals care for people living in terrible poverty in the war-torn area. The Mission Fund Committee has also communicated to the Vatican that they are open for allocations of funds from the Vatican account for COVID19 concerns expressed by the Holy Father. More on this later.
As you know, the need for generous hearts has never been greater. So, we are deeply grateful to you. Trusting in the Lord, together we can continue to heal the wounds of a suffering world. Thank you for all you do in Christ’s name. God Bless you all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
P.S. Please join me in remembering in your prayers the soul of Steward of St. Peter, Claire Foster. We keep Claire's husband John and the entire Foster family in our prayers.