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The Bishop Joseph A. Francis Scholarship Fund, named after the legendary Bishop Joseph Abel Francis, SVD, was established to provide scholarship assistance, leadership development and spiritual enrichment to embolden student-leaders from the Archdiocese of Newark. Applicants need to be of African descent who are high school seniors or attending vocational school.  Applicants should also be active members of an Archdiocesan parish and have demonstrated an appreciation for academic excellence and a commitment to social justice--reflective of the lived values of the program's namesake.

Bishop Joseph A. Francis, SVD (1923-1997) was an extraordinary educator and spiritual leader, with a deep and abiding commitment to social justice. He was appointed the first African American Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark in 1976, while remaining a well-respected national leader in the Church and in the African American community. He was the founder and principal of Verbum Dei High School in the Watts section of Los Angeles. He was provincial of two provinces of the Society of the Divine Word, and played a major role in authoring important social justice & evangelization documents of the Church. It is this great legacy of excellence, service and justice that the Bishop Joseph A. Francis Scholarship Fund is committed to passing on to our bold, young student-leaders of the Archdiocese of Newark, through this special Scholarship Program. Supporters of the Fund and program are supporters of our young people and supporters of social justice--for All!


To be eligible for a 2022 Bishop Francis Scholarship Award, an applicant must:

A. Be a member of a Roman Catholic Archdiocesan parish, active in parish/community affairs and submit a letter of recommendation from his Pastor or Parish priest;

B. Be a graduating senior from a Catholic, private or public high school in the Archdiocese (during the 2021-22 school year);

C. Show high academic achievement/promise, supported by a transcript and letter of recommendation from a teacher and/or guidance counselor;

D. Submit a 2022 Bishop Francis Scholarship Application Form, by the required deadline on July 31, 2022

E. Submit an essay (typed) of approximately 250-350 words on the life of Bishop Joseph Abel Francis, SVD 

F. Demonstrate good character and leadership abilities, both in school and in the community;

G. Be available for a personal interview during the selection process should such an interview be deemed necessary by the committee.

The completed application form, together with transcript, letters of recommendation and essay, should be sent to the following address or emailed to

Bishop Francis Scholarship Fund
Attention: Rev. Emeka Okwuosa, SDV
Archdiocese of Newark 
171 Clifton Avenue 
Newark, NJ 07104 

Click here to view the Bishop Francis Scholarship Fund 2022 Application Form

Contact Us

Rev. Emeka Okwuosa, SDV
Phone: 973-497-4304
Fax: 973-497-4317
Yves Fabien
Liaison Associate
Phone: 973-497-4304
Fax: 973-497-4317
Rahsaan Garlin
Liaison Associate
Phone: 973-497-4304
Fax: 973-497-4317
Sufiyanu Mathias Ahmed
Liaison Associate
Phone: 973-497-4304
Fax: 973-497-4317