HARTFORD – The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) and the Archdiocesan Catholic School Board have created a new academic scholarship fund, The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship Fund, to benefit Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
According to the president of the FACS board of trustees, Brian A. Giantonio, one of the most significant achievements that Archbishop Emeritus Mansell has made during his tenure is the implementation of a tuition assistance program through the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal to help Catholic school students pursue an exemplary academic education combined with faith-filled instruction.
“FACS and the Archdiocesan School Board wanted to honor Archbishop Mansell in his retirement with the creation of a scholarship fund in his name,” said Mr. Giantonio.
Hartford’s fourth archbishop officially retired Dec. 16, the day that Archbishop Leonard P. Blair was installed as the fifth archbishop.
“Archbishop Mansell strongly believes in Catholic school education; he believes in our students and in our community of fine educators in the schools. He has worked tirelessly to keep our schools as state-of-the-art, premier learning centers,” added Mr. Giantonio.
The chairman of the Archdiocesan School Board, Robert O’Hara, echoed these sentiments.
“Over the last 10 years of his leadership, Archbishop Mansell has put Catholic school education front and center. Through his tuition assistance program, many families who would not have been able to afford to send their children to Catholic school have been given the opportunity. The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship Fund will allow us to carry out his legacy for generations to come.”
According to Mr. Giantonio and Mr. O’Hara, Archbishop Mansell has graciously made a personal donation to the scholarship fund that bears his name.
FACS is a local, nonprofit corporation that has supported the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford since 1982. Its mission is to provide scholarships and fund special projects in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford. FACS raises money through donations from generous individuals and businesses, special events and planned gifts. For more information, visit www.facshartford.org.
The mission of the Archdiocesan School Board is to further the advancement of quality Catholic education for students in the Archdiocese of Hartford by providing leadership, direction and support to the archbishop and superintendent of Catholic schools.
Cindy Basil Howard, executive director of FACS, said the seed money for the new scholarship fund was provided by a donor. The scholarship will benefit both elementary and high school students and is in addition to existing scholarships provided through FACS and other archdiocesan sources, she said.
“Contributions have been coming in,” Mrs. Howard said. “We’re very excited that there is such interest in this fund.” Donations have come from FACS trustees, archdiocesan school board members, school administrators, friends of Archbishop Emeritus Mansell, priests and others, she said.
“Many people were trying to figure out, ‘How do we honor Archbishop Mansell? What do we do?’ FACS and the archdiocesan school board thought this would be a nice way to honor him, with something that’s so important to him,” she said. “He was very honored by that.”
An announcement will be made in the spring about criteria for the award, she added.
Mrs. Howard stressed that the Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship is separate from two similar-sounding scholarship funds sponsored by FACS: the Archbishop’s Scholarship and the Archbishop Daniel J. Cronin Scholarship.
Potential donors may send a check directly to the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (or just FACS) with a memo on the check that the money is for the Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship Fund, she said. Address the envelope to FACS, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002.