In 2017 Donald Provasi decided to establish a fund, now the Pittsley-Provasi St. Monica Fund, in the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation to support his former parish, even though he has been living in Florida for more than 40 years.

“I have fond memories growing up in Barre, Vermont,” Provasi said. “I walked year round from home on 107 South Main St. to attend early morning Mass at St. Monica [Church] on Sunday before opening the family grocery store, the South End Market, at 9 a.m.”

After graduating from Spaulding High School in Barre and Northeastern University in Boston, Provasi received a regular army commission in 1960. He served for 21 years, including three tours with the 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His tours included two with NATO; Izmir, Turkey; and two in Vietnam. He retired from Fort Hood, Texas in 1981, and moved to Orange Park, Florida, where he attends St. Catherine of Siena Church.

“However, my heart remains in Barre, although I was last there in 2006, when my mother died,” Provasi said. “I made all my sacraments at St. Monica, and I was married there. My mother’s family (Pittsley) and my family are buried in Barre. That is why when I learned about the foundation and the opportunity to leave a legacy to support my former church in perpetuity, I decided to move forward.”

The Vermont Catholic Community Foundation was established in 2015 as a mechanism for Catholics to support ministries that matter most to them. Today, there are 104 designated funds benefiting specific ministries identified by the donor: 20 cemetery or perpetual care; 30 parish; nine Diocese; 34 schools; five Vermont Catholic Charities, two Knights of Columbus funds and four to serve the most vulnerable as determined by the foundation.

“Gifts like Don’s — which he adds to each year — make an enormous difference for a parish’s bottom line,” said Ellen Kane, executive director of Vermont Catholic Community Foundation. “Unexpected circumstances, such as Covid, can significantly impact parish operations, and knowing that they can rely on an annual distribution now and in perpetuity is a godsend.”

To learn more about the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation and how to establish a fund contact Ellen Kane ag or visit

—Originally published in the Spring 2023 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.