Organization names first lay President of the Board of Trustees – Funds support more than 100 programs and projects on five continents, and 95 students from 35 countries
The Papal Foundation, whose mission is to serve the Holy Father and the Roman Catholic Church through
faith, energy and financial resources, has announced a new leadership structure, along with its most recent
grants and scholarships totaling $12,640,000.
Eustace W. Mita has been named the first lay President of the organization founded in 1988 as a collaboration
of laity and clergy within the Church. In addition, the Board of Trustees, which manages The Papal
Foundation funds, is now comprised of six American Cardinals who reside in the United States and serve as
ex-officio members, two lay trustees who also serve as ex-officio members, three Archbishops, two
Bishops, and 21 elected lay people from across the country.
“The laity is playing an increasingly important role in the Church, including at The Papal Foundation, where
we collaborate with clergy and Church leadership to extend charity to those in need,” said Mita. “In union
with the Holy Father, our entire Board of Trustees is committed to openness and accountability as we focus
on what’s most important – educating, feeding, housing, and healing people around the globe. ”
Since its founding and through the deep generosity of benefactors known as the Stewards of St. Peter, The
Papal Foundation has awarded over 1,900 grants in 121 countries. The organization’s most recent grants
have been used to help people suffering from trauma and food insecurity; build Churches and retreat centers
for youth development; save the lives of newborns in need of urgent medical care; minister to individuals
with disabilities; and promote human rights around the globe.
“The Papal Foundation’s grants uplift people all over the world,” Mita added, “in particular the needs of the
Church that are of significance to the Holy Father.”
Grant requests are made to the Secretary of State Office of the Holy See through Apostolic Nuncios and
local Bishops from around the globe. Once these are processed and reviewed, the Holy Father requests
funding for grants from The Papal Foundation. The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees then considers
these requests and offers final approval.
In addition to grants, The Papal Foundation funds the Saint John Paul II Scholarship Program, which was
the vision of St. John Paul II to ensure seminarians, priests, religious sisters and brothers, and laity from
developing countries have the opportunity to study at Pontifical Universities in Rome. To date, the Fund has
provided more than $11 million in scholarships to more than 1400 individuals, known as Saeman Scholars.
This past year, 95 students from 35 countries earned this opportunity.