Coming together to give hope – Catholic Philly


Sarah Hanley

The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) is thrilled to host the Women in Philanthropy Forum again in October. I really look forward to being part of this event, which empowers women in the philanthropic sector of our community.

There are many things for us to be grateful for as we prepare for this important meeting, especially the fact that we will be meeting in person after our last two years of virtual forums. Although we are fortunate to live in an age where technology allows us to stay connected, nothing compares to coming together as a community, looking each other in the eye, and knowing that we continue to learn and share ways to do good in the world.

As Catholics, we have so many role models for philanthropy, starting with Christ himself. The scriptures tell us that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power”, and that “he went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Our Lord Jesus Christ is preeminent among those who embody the work of doing good in the world. His ministry has inspired so many people to dedicate their fortunes to helping others.

Alongside Mary, two saints – a laywoman, a nun – particularly embodied a spirit of charity. About eight centuries ago, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary led a life of charity and prayer in the midst of her duties as a noblewoman. “How can I,” she asked, “wretched creature, continue to wear a crown of earthly dignity when I see my King Jesus Christ crowned with thorns? In her short 24 years, St. Elizabeth established a hospital and tirelessly cared for the sick. In 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI described Saint Elizabeth as “a true example for all those in leadership roles: the exercise of authority, at all levels, must be experienced as a service to justice and to charity, in the constant search for the common good”. good.”

Closer to home in time and space is St. Katharine Drexel. A Philadelphia native and heiress to a family banking fortune, Katharine learned from her father that “wealth was meant to be shared with those in need,” and that’s exactly what she did as a laywoman. and religious. In 1891, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and, for the next 44 years, led them in their mission to live in community with Blacks and Natives while helping them learn and grow in faith. Saint Katharine Drexel is considered the patron saint of philanthropists.

Here in Philadelphia, we have a community of women where the value of philanthropy continues to grow – and some of them will be joining us as panelists at our 2022 Women in Philanthropy Forum, which will take take place on October 26 from 8:30 a.m. at 10:45 a.m. in the Brandywine Ballroom at the Drexelbrook Catering and Event Center (4700 Drexelbrook Drive, Drexel Hill).

Patricia Holloway, Chair of the Board of the Paoli Hospital Foundation, has dedicated her career to non-profit organizations including St. Edmond’s Home for Children, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and St. Mary’s School Magdalene. She is a benefactor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and several other Catholic organizations. Pope Francis named her Dame of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great, the highest honor the pope can bestow on an individual.

marisally santiago, director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is a passionate ministry leader whose mission dates back to her teenage years. Prior to her arrival in Philadelphia, Santiago served as Associate Director in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Newark. She enjoys sharing the saving joy of the Gospel, while instilling leadership training in adolescents and adults, and advocating for the full integration of the voices and gifts of young people into the work of the church.

Kasey Brown is president of Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) of Philadelphia. Through YCP, Kasey helps empower and equip young professionals to live their Catholic faith through daily work and to perform all work with excellence for the glory of God.

Sister of Saint Joseph Meaghan V. Patterson is the executive director of Dawn’s Place, a residential care program for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking. In addition to a master’s degree in social work, Sister Meaghan has extensive teaching and educational administration experience in the Philadelphia area and over the years has worked with a variety of school stakeholders, participating in development and fundraising opportunities and coordinating community partnerships. We are pleased to announce that our 2022 Women in Philanthropy Leadership Fund grant recipient has been awarded to Dawn’s Place.

As President and CEO of CFGP, I am also honored to be a panelist this year. At the foundation, I am responsible for the growth and strategic oversight of CFGP and leading a team of dedicated employees who support our philanthropic mission. My commitment to philanthropy stems from my lifelong dedication to my faith and to my hometown of Philadelphia.

Join us in October as we dive into the world of women in philanthropy, with conversations exploring questions such as:

  • What challenges do you think women face in the nonprofit industry?
  • What advice would you give to women who want to get involved in philanthropy or organizational leadership?
  • How has the pandemic changed the nonprofit industry? What effect has this had on the philanthropic landscape and how will it affect philanthropy in the future?

We hope to see and hear you at the forum, so that we can advance the great tradition of Catholic women in philanthropy. Register now at and help us build a hopeful future.


Sarah Hanley is President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.

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