Our Mission

Our Mission


The Galileo Foundation seeks to strengthen the mission and the capacity of the Catholic Church, to support initiatives of the Holy See and the apostolic mission of His Holiness Pope Francis.

The foundation is committed to funding projects which advance key initiatives of the Holy Father, such as the global fight against human trafficking, assistance for migrants and refugees, the provision of education to those marginalized in society, the protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the promotion of dialogue and understanding between all faiths on Earth.

What We Do

We exist to support the mission of the Pope and strengthen the capacity of the Church to help the most vulnerable in our world.

The Galileo Foundation is committed to supporting the apostolic mission of His Holiness Pope Francis, in particular to find innovative ways to amplify his Gospel message on modern slavery, the environment, poverty, migration and education.

We support projects of the Church in these key areas, with a special emphasis on the work of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, such as their leadership for the Pope on human trafficking, organ trafficking, and the protection of children online.

In addition, we care deeply about the future of Christian communities in the Holy Land; we work to promote fraternity between Catholics, Christians and other Faiths; and we fund projects which assist and strengthen the capacity of the Church and its organization at the centre.

Some of our projects are discreet by their very nature, but others, like promoting the work of the sisters of Talitha Kum against trafficking, we are proud to celebrate.

Our boards in the UK and the US, like our valued supporters, come from all faiths. Whatever their belief, they are united in recognizing the unique moral leadership of Pope Francis in promoting justice and peace, and eradicating inequality in our world.

Join us at the Galileo Foundation in helping to make the world a better and a fairer place for all God’s children.

“As my predecessor Pope Benedict XVI stated, and I myself have repeated on several occasions, these are true crimes against humanity.”

POPE FRANCIS on Modern Slavery.

Our Board

The UK and US board members of the Galileo Foundation with Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, Casina Pius IV in the Vatican. Link to Pope’s speech at the audience.
The complete remarks of the Holy Father can be found here.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give….”

Winston S. Churchill

Lucy Doughty

Lucy Doughy

Chair of the Board

Lucy Doughty is one the leading Catholic philanthropists in the UK. She is Chair of her late husband Nigel’s Doughty Foundation, and is a keen supporter of education for young women and girls in the developing world, particularly her native Dominican Republic. She is a member of the Archbishops’ Development Forum of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and also a donor to the Office of Papal Liturgies, where she supported the purchase of liturgical silverware for HH Pope Benedict. In addition, Lucy works closely with the UN on education for young girls, and is a member of Gordon and Sarah Brown’s foundation which promotes work in this area. (Gordon Brown is a former British Prime Minister and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education).

Sean Power

UK Trustee

Sean Power has been Fellow and Director of Development of Oriel College, Oxford University, since 2011. He is responsible for the work of the Development Office which covers the College’s fundraising, alumni relations and communications. Sean is a trustee of Oriel College; St Chads College, Durham University; the Oxford Union; and the Newman Trust (Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy).

Julie Etchingham

UK Trustee

Julie Etchingham is a journalist and broadcaster who anchors ‘News at Ten’ and the ‘Tonight’ programme for ITV in the UK. Previous to this she anchored and reported for Sky News and for the BBC. She has covered every UK election in the past 25 years – as well as anchoring 5 US elections live from Washington DC and New York. She has interviewed the last 6 prime ministers – as well as leading figures such as Hillary Clinton, Pope Francis, and Princes William and Harry.

Julie is also patron of several charities, including Anti-Slavery International. She moderates conferences for the Santa Marta Group, formed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols to care for survivors of Modern Slavery worldwide. She is also a trustee of ‘The Tablet’.

She is a practising Roman Catholic who is married with two sons and lives in London.


Eric Siddall

US Trustee

Lillian Heidenberg

Lillian Heidenberg

US Trustee

Lillian is a graduate of Barnard College and the Masters program at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

John McCaffrey

President of Galileo Foundation

John McCaffrey founded the Galileo Foundation in 2017 as a result of his work for Pope Francis and the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences. As an international fundraiser for over 25 years, he has worked for some of the world’s finest universities, museums and cultural institutions, and with many of the world’s most notable benefactors and philanthropists.

John has been recognized for his work for the Catholic Church by two Popes: in 2006 Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the Order of Saint Gregory (Knight Commander) upon him, while in 2019 Pope Francis promoted John within the Order to the rank of Knight Grand Cross, the highest honor that a layperson can receive in the Church.

John was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was educated at Saint MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower and at Cambridge University.

First Papal Audience for the Galileo Foundation

On February 8th 2019, the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of victims of trafficking, Pope Francis received the trustees and benefactors of the Galileo Foundation in private audience in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. 

In his remarks to the foundation, Pope Francis conveyed his personal appreciation for the foundation’s ‘generous commitment to the Church’s pastoral mission. Your sponsorship of a wide variety of projects expresses something of the very universality of the Church herself.’

He continued: ‘I would like principally to emphasize your contribution to raising awareness of the plight of those who suffer from poverty and exploitation, especially those entrapped by the deadly crime of human trafficking.’ – Pope Francis to the Galileo Foundation, February 8th 2019.

Pope Francis concluded by encouraging the foundation to keep on generously giving this important witness and to undertake its work ‘with joy’.

Those participating in the 2019 Private Audience with Pope Francis also enjoyed private visits to the Pontifical Academy in the Vatican Gardens, the Swiss Guards and a gala private dinner and tour in the Vatican Museums after hours, including a visit to the Sistine and Pauline Chapels and the Apostolic Palace.

‘The internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and first Galileo Foundation
Ambassador, Joyce DiDonato, receiving the thanks of Pope Francis following her
performance of ‘Ave Maria’ at the conclusion of the papal audience.”