Washington DC – Philip D. Lewis, former board chairman of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, a former State Senator and philanthropist, is being mourned by the Catholic foundation community across the country, following his death on September 4.
“We have lost a true servant leader,” said William F. Raskob, board chair of FADICA. “One who lived his faith through humble, personal service to the poor, and whose trademark was big-hearted, generous, loving encouragement to those who brought the message of Christ to a hurting world.”
Mr. Lewis served as chairman of the board of FADICA from 2002 until 2005. He also was active in FADICA for over three decades.
Raised in Chicago and Palm Beach, Mr. Lewis was the son of the late Frank J. Lewis, a founding member of Lewis University, and a Chicago roofing and paving materials manufacturer.
Philip Lewis was a Florida State Senator for a decade and served as its President of the Senate from 1978 until 1980.
A close friend of many church leaders, Mr. Lewis was in attendance for the Second Vatican Council as a lay advisor.
On the occasion of FADICA’s 30th anniversary in 2006, Mr. Lewis shared his reflections on church related philanthropy drawing from his life of service and positive, hopeful outlook.
“We are a people… we must always reflect that by encouraging one another and building up one another. Relationship building must always be of the utmost importance to us,” Mr. Lewis said.
A daily mass participant wherever he travelled, Mr. Lewis was a proponent of a strong life of prayer. He told his colleagues in the foundation community:
“When we acknowledge and deepen our relationship through prayer and worship, we go to the very heart of our philanthropy – the role that we play in answering God’s call to spread his love and mercy and his particular care for his people, the church.”
Mr. Lewis leaves his wife Mary Ellen, seven children, and 13 grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, September 10, at St. Juliana’s Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.