The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education 

mourns the passing of 

President Matthew H. McCloskey IV.

Mr. McCloskey went home to Our Lord on January 3, 2024.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all of the faithful departed
Rest in peace.
For obituary and funeral details, visit:  


Welcome to the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education, a charitable organization founded in November 1967 and operating as the Archdiocesan Educational Fund until February 2020.

We invite you to explore this website for information about funding opportunities for qualifying organizations whose missions match our priority giving interests. These pages share our history, mission, and goals as well as illustrations of our founding principles applied in the programs and projects we have funded.

As you move from our organizational history and timeline to our featured projects, you will observe an evolving transition to a competitive proposal process and an expanded scope of applying organizations.

Several featured projects illustrate the dimension of our most recent and current grant awards, including responses to acute challenges confronting our schools and their families from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We appreciate your interest in our charitable organization and its work in support of Catholic education and ministry. We are eager to hear from Catholic schools and organizations throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia interested in proposing projects or programs that are new, better, or different in addressing issues of quality education and faith formation and expression.

We urge all qualifying organizations that are considering a grant application to review the guidelines tab for details about our LOI and proposal application processes.


Since its founding in November 1967, the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education has provided more than $63 million in financial support to the general educational programs and activities conducted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia or its parishes.

What We Do


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The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education broadened its scope by welcoming proposals for programmatic initiatives that spur new thinking and new action in Catholic education.

The Fund board will also approach appropriate organizations with grant awards to explore solutions to various issues affecting Catholic education or youth, or to improve and raise the knowledge of our Catholic faith and make it a more meaningful part of our lives. 

Our History

The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education continues the mission and vision of Matthew H. McCloskey Jr. (1893-1973), whose three priorities were his family, his faith, and his friends. The building contractor and United States Ambassador to Ireland (1962-1964) believed deeply in Catholic education and in teaching people about the Catholic faith. Committed to this cause, this self-made millionaire launched this independent foundation in 1967 with a gift of $500,000 and with a primary focus on secondary education. Matt McCloskey died in 1973 at the age of 80, bequeathing more than $5 million to the philanthropic organization he founded to strengthen Catholic education across the Philadelphia region.

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