by Patrick Healey ’17
Students and faculty will have organized days which will be coordinated to meet the needs of each school, allowing them to volunteer their time to help Providence’s student population. This will serve to aid the schools and the children, but also to extend PC’s connection and strengthen its communication with its neighboring communities.
Kathryn Mazzucca ’17 stated, “As a future teacher and promoter of Catholic education, I feel as though the monetary and voluntary donations made by the College are extremely generous and will ultimately promote greater learning amongst the students in these schools.”
Jake Guglielmetti ’17 agreed, remarking, “I think it’s great PC is supporting local Catholic schools. It’s a good way to give back in honor of PC’s 100th anniversary.”
In a press release regarding the donation, Fr. Brian Shanley, O.P. ’80, wrote, “In this, our Centennial year, it is only fitting that Providence College recognize and support the efforts of Catholic education in Rhode Island. There is no better preparation for an education at Providence College than the academic rigor and spiritual formation provided at a Catholic elementary and secondary school.”
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin reacted graciously to the announcement of the donation, saying, “On behalf of the Diocese of Providence, I am very grateful to Father Shanley and Providence College for this outstanding gift to our Catholic schools. The financial support is itself very encouraging; it will make a significant difference for many of our students and their families.”
Steven Maurano ’78, associate vice president of public affairs, explained that, a century ago, Bishop Matthew D. Harkins organized a $25,000 gift to PC in addition to reaching out for donations in the surrounding parishes. Together, the people and families were able to raise an amount which totaled $217,000 by 1918. These donations were integral in making PC’s 1917 founding a reality, and they prove how fitting this gift to the Catholic community in Providence really is.
Maurano noted, “In announcing our gift to the Catholic School Office, I like to think that, one hundred years after these families gave of themselves to help start the College, PC is now acting to support the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of many of these families.”
Overall, while PC has done and is continuing to do so much to celebrate this historic year for the College, it may be comforting for many faculty and students to know that it is also using this year of celebration as motivation to reach out and kindly give to others, embodying the Catholic foundation on which PC has stood so strongly for the past 100 years.
When speaking about the generous donations of Rhode Island parish members a century ago, perhaps Maurano put it best, “It is our way of saying ‘thank you’ and that, 100 years later, we continue to remember and appreciate their sacrifice and support.”