The Catholic Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania has announced its largest gift received from an individual in its history: a $1.27 million dollar bequest from the estate of Msgr. Salvatore Mitchell to enhance the education endowment he established during his lifetime. Funds exclusively support tuition assistance for Kennedy Catholic High School students with priority given to the youth of Church of the Good Shepherd in West Middlesex.
“This is wonderful news for Kennedy Catholic and a lasting legacy for Msgr. Mitchell,” said Lisa Louis, executive director of the Foundation. The Catholic Foundation works with donors like Msgr. Mitchell to establish endowments -- permanent charitable funds -- to create long-lasting support for the causes they care about. Through the Catholic Foundation, Msgr. Mitchell’s endowment will generate scholarship funding annually."
Those who knew him say the Monsignor Salvatore Mitchell Education Endowment captures his personality in its generosity and simplicity.
Msgr. Robert Smith, retired vicar general of the Diocese of Erie, served as an altar boy at St. Joseph Parish in Oil City when Msgr. Mitchell was an assistant pastor there. He later offered the homily at Msgr. Mitchell’s funeral.
Msgr. Mitchell lived out his priesthood joyfully, faithfully and tirelessly — for 74 of his 99 years of life, according to Msgr. Smith. “He was always an integral part of people’s lives. He had unshakable belief that good people, working together, could do great things,” Msgr. Smith said in his homily.
Regarding the extraordinary nature of the gift, Msgr. Smith said many could bear witness to the fact that Msgr. Mitchell was notoriously frugal.
“He was very conservative when it came to spending money,” Msgr. Smith said. “It doesn’t surprise me he was able to leave such a large gift. He also was very sharp when it came to investing his money.”
“Msgr. Mitchell spent many years as pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd,” Msgr. Smith said. “He was well-known in the area and deeply connected to the people in the Shenango Valley.”
Catholic Foundation board member, John Matune, of Sharon, reflected on his personal experience with Msgr. Mitchell. "As a graduate of Kennedy I was glad to get to know Msgr. Mitchell after graduation. Now involved on the board of the Foundation I am honored to play an active role in stewarding his generous gift.”
Students will begin benefiting from the additional scholarship funds in 2021.
To learn more about how you can leave your Catholic legacy contact Lisa Louis at (814) 824-1237 or by email.