Pope John Paul II High School students will experience an enhanced science, technology, engineering and math curriculum through a grant from the Archdiocesan Educational Fund.

The Archdiocesan Educational Fund has announced several funding “firsts” spanning elementary, secondary and higher education as well as parish life and religious vocations among its 30 awardees of grants for the 2019-20 academic year, announced earlier this month.

It is the highest number of awardees, totaling more than 1.4 million in grants, for the Wayne-based charitable organization since its founding in 1967.

The grants will fund projects ranging from education — in particular, STEM, STEAM and STREAM curricula that integrate science, technology, engineering, math, arts and religion — to parish revitalization, Hispanic ministry, vocation awareness.

A few examples of new concepts among the 30 that will be funded include:

* A grant to the Sophia Institute for Teachers will produce a one-day team-taught workshop of content and teaching strategies for middle school social studies teachers that integrates Catholic teaching, intellectual foundations and analysis of historical primary sources into middle school social studies instruction. The professional development program will be the first of its kind in the United States and a model for potential replication across the nation.

* A grant to Manor College to expand a student chaplaincy program is the fund’s first in support of a religious education/evangelization program with a Catholic college.

* A grant to the Catholic Leadership Institute will launch the Next Generation Parish program in the archdiocese by providing coaching, priority-setting, strategies formation and other training for several parishes.

* A grant to the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary funds the first vocation education proposal submitted by a community of women religious and one that is unique for its use of virtual reality, augmented reality and other state-of-the-art technologies.

* A grant to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Buckingham is the fund’s first parish-based Hispanic outreach ministry program to meet the needs of growing Hispanic populations in the suburbs. It is expected to provide a model for replication in other parishes.

(See the full list of grantees below.)

Commonly referred to as Arch-Ed, the organization was created and funded by the late Matthew H. McCloskey Jr., building contractor and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, to advance Catholic education and evangelization throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


For more than 40 years, the Arch-Ed Fund awarded its annual funding primarily to the archdiocese and to the Office of Catholic Education (OCE) for their discretionary purposes.

The process changed in November 2014 with the introduction of competitive proposals submitted by OCE and a limited number of applicants.

Last fall, Arch-Ed expanded its applicant pool by notifying numerous Catholic schools and universities in the area of their eligibility for funding consideration. That outreach generated a broader dimension to the proposed programs as well as additional inquiries and proposals.

(See last year’s grantees here.)

The Arch-Ed Fund invites proposals for innovative and creative programs and projects, especially for pilot programs. It does not support annual operations, other than for the four special education schools through a grant to Faith in the Future Foundation, nor does it fund capital campaigns, scholarships, or financial aid.

The fund now operates its proposal timeline on a biannual basis of two deadlines, November 1 and May 1. A Grant Review Committee evaluates all proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Board of Directors. Eligible organizations are encouraged to visit the website (www.archedfund.org) for application instructions and guidelines. Questions can be directed to Patricia Canning, director of grants management, at grantadministrator@archedfund.org, or at 215-870-0794.



Grants awarded by the Archdiocesan Educational Fund for the 2019-2020 academic year include:

Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap.
$50,000: “Annual Discretionary Grant”
The West Chester University Newman Center has been designated for this grant.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Pontifical Mission Societies
$21,650: “Extraordinary Year of Mission (EYM)”
Year 2 of the observance of the Extraordinary Month of Mission (October 2019), expanded within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP) to an Extraordinary Year of Mission through June 2020.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Office for Catholic Formation
$18,000: “FORMED.org Subscriptions for Secondary Schools (Year 2)”
Provide teachers, students, and parents with quality, trusted, orthodox Catholic sources for e-books, videos, teacher guides, and student worksheets in a revolutionary digital platform – often referred to as the Catholic Netflix – for 17 archdiocesan high schools and Martin Saints Classical High School.

Bishop McDevitt High School
$10,020: “McDevitt Media Lab”
Build market-sensitive technology skills in students by integrating new technology into a curriculum reshaped with the assistance of a consultant from Catholic School Management (Christian Brother Services) and incorporation of applicable equipment.

Catholic Leadership Institute
$150,000: “Envisioning & Equipping the Church of the Next Generation in Philadelphia”
Year 1 of two years supporting the participation of six Philadelphia parishes in Next Generation parish services.

Catholic Social Services (for Casa del Carmen Preschool Academy)
$20,539: “Enhancing PreK Curriculum: Building a Two-Generation Approach to Literacy”
Support the PreK program with the Teaching Strategies Gold Curriculum, including lesson planning tools and workbooks, available to students, parents, and caregivers at home.

Drexel Neumann Academy
$5,000: “HMH Into Math”
Seed funding to introduce a new math curriculum, “Into Math,” published by Houghton Mifflin as a specific companion to the earlier-funded LabLearner science curriculum and test its effectiveness at improving math scores with targeted grades.


Faith in the Future Foundation
$200,000: “Schools of Special Education Operating Budget”
Ongoing operational funding for the four AOP Special Education schools managed by Faith in the Future Foundation.

The Friends of Father Judge High School, Inc.
$150,000: “Career & Technical Education (CTE) — Welding Lab”
Launch a CTE Academy, one of three main pillars of the school’s new five-year Academic Plan, aligned with rigorous industry and academic standards that equips graduates with a high school diploma coupled with NOCTI Certification in their respective field.

Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
$20,000: “Finding Peace in Prayer: Holistically Building a Daily Catholic Prayer Practice Into Students’ Lives”
Build out a student-requested prayer and meditation program, which extends to student families and is driven by the school’s strategic plan.

Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls
$100,000: “The New Teacher Project”
Introduce TNTP, a school transformation program to increase student engagement through more effective teaching and the creation of successful learning environments.

Manor College
$7,800: “Student & Lay Person Chaplaincy Program”
Build out a student and lay campus chaplaincy program that strengthens student knowledge and application of the tenets of the Catholic faith at this primarily commuter Catholic college with 25 percent of the students identifying as Catholic.

Martin Saints Classical High School
$28,000: “Introducing a Catholic-Integrated Spanish Curriculum”
Create a new curriculum for Spanish I and Spanish II that integrates language instruction with other liberal arts subjects, especially with aspects of Catholic thought.

Nazareth Academy
$99,300: “STREAM: 21st Century Teaching and Learning”
Broaden a strong science core into a fully developed STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Math) program with curriculum transformation, faculty development, applicable software, makerspace consulting services, and lab equipment.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church
$60,050: “Our Lady of Guadalupe Hispanic Ministry Program”
Year 1 of a three-year program to build and grow a Catholic ministry with the increasing Latino population in the Buckingham area of Bucks County.

Our Mother of Consolation Parish School
$25,700: “OMC Parish School Rosetta Stone Language Program”
First of two years of a pilot program that offers grades PreK3-8 an immersive, self-guided interactive program for second language acquisition that differs from the traditional model used in the AOP elementary schools. A research team led by a Temple University faculty member/OMC school board member will track and analyze this alternative method of language instruction as a potential scalable option for other schools.

Pope John Paul II High School
$73,000: “STEM Pathways for PJP Student Success”
Transform PJP’s existing collection of STEM courses into a comprehensive STEM program consisting of increased course offerings, enhanced faculty professional development, and program-related student internships in industry and non-profits, along with a potential college dual-enrollment opportunity.

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
$81,300: “IHM 175th Anniversary Vocation Education Program”
Support an enhanced Vocation Education Program that applies contemporary tools and resource materials to vocation outreach and instruction, establishes a culture of vocation education for target populations that addresses the communications preferences of those populations, and assists young women in vocation discernment through increased personal engagement and mentorship. Year 1 focuses on the concept development and professional design of vocation education materials, with the second year anticipated as launching the program with the IHM 175th anniversary.

Sophia Institute for Teachers (Year #2)
$49,200: “Catechizing Elementary Teachers in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia”
Year 2 of a full day of intensive catechetical, theological, and pedagogical training to the second half of AOP elementary school teachers, approximately 600 distributed across six sessions.

Sophia Institute for Teachers (Year #2)
$10,000: “Catechizing High School Theology Teachers in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia”
Year 2 of a program to offer intensive catechetical training to every Catholic high school religion teacher.

Sophia Institute for Teachers
$11,000: “Training Teachers on the Catholic Principles of America’s Founding”
Integrate Catholic teaching, intellectual foundations, and analysis of historical primary sources into middle school social studies instruction through a rigorous one-day team-taught workshop for 25 to 30 social studies teachers.

St. Agnes School (West Chester)
$50,000: “Flexible Seating for All Students at St. Agnes School”
Incorporate alternative seating to support concentration in students with attention difficulties, primarily in the lower grades, and demonstrate a flexible classroom environment that also supports high-achieving students in the middle and upper grades.

St. Francis De Sales School
$75,000: “Creation of Pre-Kindergarten for St. Frances de Sales School”
Launch a PreK program by converting the library to a PreK4 classroom and renovating other needed space to accommodate young children.                                                  

St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls
$3,800: “STEAM Faculty Professional Development”
Present four half-day training workshops, led by contracted STEAM instructors, to help faculty devise STEAM content and projects in launching the school’s STEAM curriculum in the 2019-20 year

SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School
$6,400: “Catholicism for Entering Non-Catholic Students”
Present a one-week mandatory summer course for students entering Neumann-Goretti without a basic understanding of the Catholic faith and Catholic education.

St. Mary Interparochial School
$33,000: “A Sustainable K-8 STREAM Program”
Transform and upgrade weekly after-school technology instruction into a fully-developed STREAM program marked by project-based learning that taps educational partnerships unique to St. Mary Interparochial, which include Greener Partners, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University/Dragons Teach Program. Students will apply the “R” of STREAM in religious-based service projects that also teach financial literacy.

St. Patrick School (Malvern)
$19,000: “Inclusion at St. Patrick School”
Seed funding of faculty professional development in support of the school’s expansion of educational opportunities to students with disabilities, specifically to those with autism and Down syndrome, in addition to increased enrollment of students who attend with IEPs and/or 504 Plans. Grant draws heavily from the University of Notre Dame Program for Inclusive Education.

St. Veronica, an Independence Mission School
$11,650: “Summer Reading Program”
Introduce a summer reading program to reduce the degree of “summer slide” in students.

Villanova University Center for Church Management
$23,811: “Villanova Certificate in Catholic School Management”
Create an online Certificate in Catholic School Management program to improve the management competencies of Catholic school presidents, principals, vice principals, and rising leaders.

Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood
$16,165: “Philadelphia Catholic Scholars Program”
Second year of a 10-day summer residential program for high-aspirational, high-achieving juniors and seniors to study the luminaries of Catholic thought and to open the possibility of the priesthood to young men at a crucial time for discernment.