Tuesday, May 2nd

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education (OCE), Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), Faith in the Future (FIF), and the Independence Mission Schools (IMS) will host the premiere BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education.

The event’s goal is to raise funds to augment existing financial aid and scholarship opportunity programs, enhance curriculum in the arts, sciences, and technology and to provide educational resources for students attending the four Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

7:00 p.m.
SugarHouse Event Center
1001 North Delaware Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19152

Media: Proceed to 2nd floor of SugarHouse parking garage.
The event space is adjacent to this level.

 Mr. Bob Kelly, Traffic Anchor for Fox 29 & Good Day Philadelphia, and proud Catholic school graduate of All Saints Elementary Schools in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia as well as Northeast Catholic High School for Boys in Northeast Philadelphia, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.; Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, the Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia who oversees Catholic education; Mr. Don Saleski, Board Chairman, BLOCS; Mr. H. Edward Hanway, Board Chairman, FIF; and Mr. Jack Donnelly, Founding Board Member, IMS; will be in attendance to represent the sponsoring entities. Bishop Fitzgerald and Archbishop Chaput will lead guests in the opening and closing prayers, respectively.

During the program J. Mark Baiada, Founder and President of BAYADA Home Health Care, and his wife, retired Director Ann Baiada, will be recognized with the 2017 Distinguished Graduate Award.

For further information regarding the BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education please visit

 Editor’s Notes:
Media are not permitted to film or take photos of/on the SugarHouse casino floor.

The BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education is a new venture hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education, Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, Faith in the Future, and the Independence Mission Schools.

It succeeds The Distinguished Graduate Awards Dinner previously hosted by the Office of Catholic Education, the BLOCS Dinner previously hosted by BLOCS, and the “Dancing for Our Future Stars” Gala for IMS.  The Distinguished Graduate Award is being retained as part of this new endeavor.

Past individuals and entities recognized for their exemplary commitment to the ideas of Catholic education include Mr. Daniel J. Hilferty, President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Mrs. Donna Crilley Farrell; Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015; Mr. Ray Didinger, Pro Football Hall of Fame Writer, sports and talk radio personality; The Connelly Foundation; Brother Richard Kestler, FSC, former President, West Catholic Preparatory High School; Mr. Gerard P. Cuddy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Beneficial Bancorp; Rosalie M. Mirenda, Ph.D., President, Neumann University; Mr. Tony Conti, Former Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers-Philadelphia; Cardinal John P. Foley; and Ms. Christine Rouse, Founder & Executive Director, Acting Without Boundaries.