The first members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton

Catholic Foundation established to support spiritual, educational, and charitable needs of the Diocese of Scranton 

 In an effort to sustain and nurture its spiritual, educational, and service ministries, the Diocese of Scranton proudly announces the creation of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton. 

The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton will provide a trusted way for individuals to provide meaningful and lasting impact to sustain Diocesan parishes, schools, and agencies for years to come. Donors may contribute cash donations, estate gifts, IRA contributions, and gifts into endowment funds that will provide long-term support for the work of the Church in our 11-county Diocese. 

Unlike the Diocesan Annual Appeal that is used immediately to support the annual needs of our Diocesan ministries, the Catholic Foundation will offer everlasting support for Diocesan ministries parishes and schools through the development and growth of endowment funds. 

Endowment funds in the Catholic Foundation will be invested to earn revenue to fund Diocesan ministries. The principal value of an endowment fund is kept intact, while the investment earnings are distributed for charitable purposes as determined by donors. 

Abiding by Christian principles and a high ethical standard, the Foundation will invest in accordance with Catholic teachings using a morally responsible investment policy. 

“Foundations have become the preferred giving mechanism for many people who appreciate the transparent and professional way that resources are managed,” the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, said. “The formation of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton represents a significant milestone in ensuring our local Church remains a compassionate and caring leader in service to our brothers and sisters in Christ.” 

The Catholic Foundation operates in support of the Diocese and is managed by a Board of Directors, with its members consisting of Catholics throughout the Diocese from all walks of life and reflecting many professional fields of expertise. The Board of Directors will meet quarterly. 

The day-to-day management of the Foundation will be led by the Executive Director. Bishop Bambera is announcing today that James Bebla will serve as the first Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton. Bebla has served as Diocesan Secretary for Development for the past ten years. 

“I am honored to be appointed by Bishop Bambera to this new role as Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation. The vision of the Bishop, the wonderful generosity of our donors, and the dedicated commitment of our Board of Directors will serve as the foundation of this transformational effort in support of our Diocesan ministries, parishes, schools, kitchens, shelters, and food pantries,” Bebla said. 

The individuals invited by Bishop Bambera to serve on the first Board of Directors each bring exemplary leadership, wisdom, and dedication, with a vision that extends far beyond the charitable needs of the current moment. The first members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton are: 

Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.  
Bishop of Scranton
Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton

Marianne Chester
CEO/President, mEnterprise Solutions
Saint Luke Parish, Stroudsburg

Mary Erwine, RN, MSN
Founder/Owner, Erwine Home Health & Hospice, Inc.
Saint Therese Parish, Shavertown

John Graham
Private Investor
Saint Frances X. Cabrini Parish, Carverton

Nancy J. Marr
Founder/President Emerita, Marr Development Companies
Resurrection Parish, Muncy

Paula Minichello
President/Owner, Minichi, Inc.
Saint Barbara Parish, Exeter

Rev. Gerald W. Shantillo, V.G., S.T.L.
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton

Jonathan Spohrer
Attorney at Law
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Swoyersville

Michael W. Cavage
President, Pioneer Construction Company, Inc.
Saint Mary Parish, Waymart  

Christopher DiMattio
Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Moscow

Bryan J. Frantz, DMD, MS
Owner, Perio Health & Dental Implants
Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton

Kathleen Lambert
CFO, McCarthy Tire
SS Peter & Paul Parish, Plains

Ralph H. Meyer
Retired, Guthrie Healthcare System
Epiphany Parish, Sayre

Richard Mutchler
President, BioSpectra, Inc.
Saint Luke Parish, Stroudsburg

Mark J. Sobeck
President, Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting, Inc.
Our Lady of Victory Parish, Harveys Lake

The first members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton
Seated, from left to right, are Mark Sobeck, Kathleen Lambert, Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Rev. Gerald W. Shantillo, V.G., S.T.L., Nancy Marr and Michael Cavage. Standing, same order, are James Bebla, Richard Mutchler, Jonathan Spohrer, Esq., Ralph Meyer, Marianne Chester, Bryan Frantz, DMD, MS, Christopher DiMattio and John Graham. Absent from photo are Mary Erwine, RN, MS, and Paula Minichello.

“It’s certainly an honor to have been asked to serve and I look forward to working to support the Catholic mission of the Diocese of Scranton,” Chris DiMattio said. “Establishing endowments are vital to ensuring that the spiritual and material needs of individuals and those that serve our Diocese will be maintained.” 

“The work of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton will positively impact our community for decades to come,” Katie Lambert said. “Through the generosity of donors, we will be able to ensure that Catholic school children receive tuition assistance, assist our parishes in becoming more alive in the faith, and support Catholic ministries that give people a helping hand towards self-sufficiency.” 

“I am very honored and humbled to be on the first Board of Directors of the Foundation,” Michael Cavage stated. “It is so important that in our surrounding communities we keep the strength of the Christian dialogue active and alive.” 

“I was honored to be invited by Bishop Bambera to join the Diocese of Scranton Catholic Foundation Board. I find that our Diocese is alive with many ministries and educational opportunities, and the efforts of the Foundation to continue to grow the financial resources to sustain these activities is critically important,” Ralph Meyer explained. “I’m pleased that our Diocesan leadership has had the vision to create this Foundation in our Diocese.” 

“I am excited to serve the new Catholic Foundation because it will give people an opportunity to support our Catholic faith in action – not just today – but forever,” Nancy Marr added. “While the establishment of an endowment is a monumental task, it is historic! The Foundation will support the people of our Diocese for generations to come. I can’t think of a better way to help make a difference.” 

Bishop Bambera and the Foundation Board of Directors invite everyone within the Diocese of Scranton to consider participating in the spirit of charitable giving and realize the joy of helping others. Gifts of any size are welcome, and indeed, essential to the Foundation’s mission. 

Individuals can make a gift to the Foundation at any time. Gifts can be designated to several endowed funds that have been established or can be given to the Foundation to be used where needed most. There are endowment funds for seminarian formation, care of retired priests, Catholic Schools, Catholic Social Services, faith formation and historic preservation. 

The Foundation also welcomes the opportunity to meet with donors to design a gift that will suit their personal needs or charitable goals. By investing with the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton, gifts will be managed by professionals who have knowledge and experience to ensure that funds are used only for the purposes intended. 

The Foundation serves Diocesan Catholic missions and ministries located in the following Pennsylvania counties: Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming.