Cardinal O'Malley elected chairman of the Papal Foundation

WASHINGTON, DC -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Papal Foundation during a meeting held Oct. 30. He succeeds Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who held the position for eight years. The Board also voted to approve $13 million in scholarships and grants for 127 projects worldwide.

Cardinal O'Malley has served on the board of Trustees of the Papal Foundation for 12 years.

"Families and individuals in underserved areas around the world have experienced profound improvements in their lives through grants from the Papal Foundation," he said in a statement released by the foundation.

"Churches, education and health care programs, evangelization and vocation efforts all have been made possible through the extraordinary generosity of the women and men who work closely with the Holy See in providing funding for our brothers and sisters in need," he said.

The grants approved by the board include assistance to seven nations in South America responding to an immigration crisis from Venezuela; hospital and health care programs across several African and eastern European nations; and educational buildings and programs to help children in Africa, Central America, eastern Europe and Asia.

Papal Foundation grant requests are submitted to the local bishop or superior and on to the country's Apostolic Nuncio, who in turn forwards supported requests to the Holy See. Projects are selected based on need as well as available grant funding. Grants have provided support following natural disasters, care for immigrants, the building and repair of churches, schools, seminaries, medical buildings and evangelization centers, and programs for children, formation, communications, and more in service to the Church.