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February 24, 2012


This independent foundation will be an affiliated partner of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its Office of Catholic Education (OCE). All 17 high schools will continue under this new model including, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast, Conwell-Egan Catholic, St. Hubert's and West Catholic, which were slated for closure in June 2012.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today the creation of the Faith in the Future Foundation, which will which will support and guide the system of 17 Archdiocesan high schools and eventually assist the parish elementary schools, regional schools and schools of special education across the five-county Philadelphia region. The foundation is a private and independent entity focused on creating a growing, innovative, best-in-class and fiscally sustainable Catholic secondary educational system. The Faith in the Future Foundation will be chaired by Edward Hanway, former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CIGNA Corporation, and its Board of Directors will be comprised of leaders from a multitude of vocations, professions, industries and philanthropic organizations. More, the Board of Directors will reflect the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity that is present within the region's Catholic high schools today.

As part of the creation of the Faith in the Future Foundation, the four Catholic secondary schools originally slated for closure in June 2012 - Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School- will now remain open. The foundation has agreed to guarantee funding for the secondary school system, through the next several years, as a concerted fundraising effort and a robust marketing initiative are undertaken to address the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

These efforts will be concurrent with renewed advocacy by the foundation for the immediate passage of legislation providing opportunity scholarships to students who wish to attend an Archdiocesan school.

"The grassroots efforts to save these schools, coupled with the advocacy of legislators and the generosity of many who wish to make our schools healthy again brought us to this innovative new model for Catholic secondary education," said Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. "The Archdiocese and the Faith in the Future Foundation have much to do in putting these four high schools - and our entire system - on a strong footing. However, to make this new model truly successful, I strongly believe that beyond the fundraising and recruitment initiatives that will be implemented by the foundation, it is critical that we expand EITC funds and pass legislation for opportunity scholarships. We need this to help all of our schools survive -- not 'maybe' and not sometime in the future; but urgently, in this legislative session, right now."

Through generous donations of several anonymous donors but also through the individual fundraising efforts of Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast, Conwell-Egan Catholic, St. Hubert's and West Catholic communities, the Faith in the Future Foundation has already secured two years of runway funding to address the cost of keeping the high schools open. To date, more than $12 million has been secured in cash and pledges, with a goal of $15 million by May 1, 2012. Additional funding will be necessary for this endeavor and the Faith in the Future Foundation, in concert with the 17 Archdiocesan high schools, has committed to raising an additional $15 million by June 2013 as well as a $70 million endowment for all schools by June 2017.

While a new executive management team will be created for the foundation, it is important to note that each of the 17 high schools within the system will maintain its President/Principal model, its own Board of Directors and its distinctive legacy identity including school colors, mascots and traditions. The Faith in the Future Foundation will offer strategic guidance as it relates to governance, fundraising, marketing and recruitment for the system and will work in close cooperation with the Office of Catholic Education.

"The Blue Ribbon Commission rightly identified many of the key issues facing our Catholic secondary schools and the report spoke to the need for a foundation to address those critical concerns," said Edward Hanway, a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission and Chairman of the Faith in the Future Foundation. "Although it wasn't anticipated that such a recommendation would come to fruition so quickly, this is the right time. Our Archdiocese is blessed with 17 Catholic high schools, all of which are outstanding and all of which serve their communities well. The creation of this independent foundation allows us to cultivate and share best practices in academics, extra-curricular activities, athletics, advancement and so many more areas. Further, we can now address - head on and across the entire system - the need for major funding, the need for stronger marketing and recruitment efforts and the need for legislation to provide opportunity scholarships to our students. We are committed to never traveling this path again and it starts today with the Faith in the Future Foundation."


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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