Who We Are

History of Hope

In 1983, a group of dedicated individuals with a shared vision created the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island (CFRI). Their goal was to establish a non-profit foundation that would serve to ensure long-term financial stability for charitable, religious, and educational institutions within the Catholic community of Rhode Island.

From its inception, CFRI has demonstrated its commitment to the values and principles of the Catholic faith. Recognizing the importance of responsible stewardship, CFRI has made significant decisions to invest its assets solely in socially and morally responsible funds, ensuring donors’ contributions are channeled into institutions that align with the teachings of the Catholic Church; this has enabled the foundation to grow steadily in size and scope.

Through disbursements from its endowed funds, some of the most notable first funds including the Anna B. Jalbert Memorial Endowment Fund, the Father Anthony I. Robinson Memorial Scholarship Fund, and the Frances Ward Endowment Fund, the foundation actively supports non-profit organizations that have made a lasting difference in local communities. These initiatives not only address immediate needs but also contribute to the corporal and spiritual work of the Catholic Church, ensuring that its mission continues to flourish throughout Rhode Island.

While CFRI has gained recognition for its commitment to Catholic philanthropy and ethical investment practices, it aspires to become a nationally recognized steward of Catholic giving. By maintaining strong business relationships and making investment decisions rooted in the principles of the faith, CFRI continues to serve as a model for responsible and impactful philanthropy.

Throughout its history, the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island has remained faithful to its founding principles while adapting to the changing needs of the community it serves. As it looks towards the future, CFRI has committed to maintaining its legacy as a driving force behind positive change in Rhode Island, fostering growth and making a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals through its charitable endeavors

Letter from the Chair

Michael M. Woody

Greetings, welcome to the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island’s website!

As Catholics, our faith compels us to be both charitable and hopeful for the future.  Because the Catholic Foundation perpetually funds the charities supported by Rhode Island’s Catholics, it is an enduring testament to our donors’ faith, hope and charity in action.

And while it is true that we are one of the largest Catholic Foundations in the country and that our funds are invested in a faith-consistent manner, the Foundation is far more than simply a funding vehicle.

For Rhode Island Catholics, the Foundation is a repository of our collective desire to build the Kingdom of God by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, educating young people in the Catholic faith, ensuring the vibrancy of our parishes, and encouraging vocations to the priesthood – not merely today, but for generations to come.

Established in a state whose motto is “Hope,” we call ourselves a Foundation of Hope. We witness our donors’ hope to better their community through philanthropy. And we witness grateful beneficiaries who are given hope through the Diocese of Providence’s ministries. We applaud the generosity of Rhode Island Catholics and are committed to helping fulfill their hopes and prayers for a better tomorrow.

May God bless you and your family!

Michael M. Woody
Chair, Board of Advisors
Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island

St. Katharine Drexel Society

The Saint Katharine Drexel Society honors donors who plan a future gift of any size to benefit a Catholic church, school, or other ministry in the Diocese of Providence. In addition to planned estate gifts, membership can also be gained by contributing a minimum of $10,000 in stock or cash to an existing endowed fund or creating one’s own endowed fund which enables charitable giving in perpetuity. The Foundation is grateful to donors whose planned giving does God’s work now and in the future. Membership in the Saint Katharine Drexel Society is one way the Foundation recognizes and thanks these donors for their generosity. Benefits of membership include:

•  Satisfaction of making a difference
•  Special invitations for prayer requests
•  An annual Mass for your intentions
•  Invitations to spiritual, educational, and community-building events
•  Recognition in our annual report (or anonymity if requested)
•  Occasional invitations to meet one-on-one with Foundation staff

If you have already planned a future gift to a Catholic cause in the Diocese of Providence, or would like to join the Saint Katharine Drexel Society, please contact us.

Born into one of America’s wealthiest families, Katharine Drexel was called by her faith to act on behalf of the marginalized, particularly Black and indigenous people. During an era of entrenched segregation, she gave much of her inheritance to found schools serving these communities, including an academy in New Orleans that soon became Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black Catholic university in the United States.

Canonized in 2000, Saint Katharine Drexel also founded a religious order that continues her ministries, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Corporation Officers

Most Reverend
Richard G. Henning, D.D., S.T.D.

Bishop of Providence
Diocese of Providence

Reverend Monsignor
Albert A. Kenney

Vicar General
Moderator of the Curia
Diocese of Providence

Reverend Timothy D. Reilly

Diocese of Providence

Reverend Monsignor
Raymond B. Bastia

Vicar for Planning and
Financial Services
Diocese of Providence

Michael F. Sabatino

Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of Providence

Board of Advisors

Reverend Monsignor
Raymond B. Bastia
ex officio

Vicar for Planning and Financial Services Diocese of Providence

Nicholas A. Denice, Esq., CPA
Board Vice-Chair

Corporate Attorney
Hinckley Allen

Michael Hogan

Managing Director
Cutler Capital Management

Kristin Kennedy, Ph.D

Chair of Mathematics
Bryant University

Paul Musarra, CFA, CAIA

Senior Vice President
Bank of America

Reverend Michael J. Najim

Pastor St. Pius X Parish

Michael F. Sabatino, CPA
ex officio

Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of Providence

Elizabeth P. Santilli, Esq.

Partner Cutcliffe Archetto & Santilli

Reverend John P. Soares

Pastor St. Thomas Parish

Michael J. Speidel, CFA
Board Treasurer

Managing Director-Retired
Brown University
Investment Office

Joanne Speroni-Woody, CTF
Board Secretary

Vice President and Principal Trust Officer
Washington Trust Company

Katherine S. Sullivan

Senior Paraplanner
SK Wealth Management

Michael M. Woody
Board Chair

Chief Executive Officer
Trans-Tex LLC

Leadership Council

Reverend Monsignor
John J. Darcy


Karen G. DelPonte, J.D.

Cameron & Mittleman LLP

James C. Forte

JForte Company

Lawrence P. Gillheeney (Larry)

Advocacy Manager
Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity

James M. Hagerty

Commercial Lending Credit Advisor
Washington Trust Company

Carol A. Peterson

Senior Vice President of Human Resources-Retired
FM Global

Henry S. Monti, J.D.

Gemma Law Associates


Richard Popovic

Executive Director

Ashleigh Jones

Assistant Director
Marketing and Communications

Natalie Mack

Information Specialist