When my friends Paul and Colleen Lum Lung retired, they shared with me their decision to welcome a “fifth child” into their family just like Cathy and I had done. They wanted to pour out love and financial support on this “fifth child,” which they named the Church.
It may seem like a dramatic decision to give to the Church as one would their own child. Yet, when I serve as deacon at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial, I often seen Paul and Colleen praying at Mass, leading a class, and volunteering at events. They’re already so generous, but their decision followed a prayerful discernment of God’s call to support the Church both now and after their death. They discovered that generosity bears witness to their beliefs today and leaves a legacy of faith for years to come.
At The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado, we helped the Lum Lungs with their planned gift. Our staff drafted documents that designate their assets according to their wishes—20 percent for each of their four children and the Church—and committed to ensuring their gifts will benefit the ministries close to their hearts.
A planned gift through The Catholic Foundation allows the faithful to use assets such as real estate, life insurance policies, IRAs, and savings and investments accounts to help impact the souls of future generations. They feel confident their giving is protected by The Catholic Foundation, which safeguards assets through morally responsible investment strategies to advance the mission of the Church and build the body of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 8, we are called to be generous: “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in the grace of giving.”
Excelling in giving is easier than some may think. There are many options for donors to make a gift that will significantly impact the Church without affecting their current lifestyle or income. Confidential planning services are available at the Catholic Foundation, which offers a kind of one-stop shopping for charitable giving to the Church in the Archdiocese of Denver and virtually any nonprofit in the Catholic community.
Donors find many benefits in giving through The Catholic Foundation. There is no start-up cost or obligation. Planned gift agreements begin by filling out a simple form that doesn’t require the cost of an attorney. Any assets documented for beneficiaries fall outside of the estate process, greatly reducing the administrative cost and tax burden for families and beneficiaries. The Catholic Foundation also offers legal protection of gifts until they are delivered to the selected nonprofit.
Best of all, a planned gift carries on the Catholic faith and its teachings. The generosity of donors permits the Church to make morally-responsible investments that continue its mission.
At first it was difficult for Colleen and Paul to support the Church as they raised a family. As their faith grew over time, so did their desire to give. A life of generosity—for all who know Christ—means the opportunity to draw closer to God, now, and in eternity.
In November 2013, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Exhortation and wrote, “Piety… makes people capable of generosity and sacrifice even to the point of heroism, when it is a question of bearing witness to belief.” Does our giving bear witness to our beliefs?
Planned giving is that opportunity to bear witness to the treasure of our faith to be shared and passed on to others. We work with donors to ensure they leave a legacy for future generations, whether it’s their children, grandchildren, or other brothers and sisters in Christ. It means a chance to make sure our faith is manifested in how we live and how we give. The future of the Church will be eternally grateful.
To learn more about Planned Giving through The Catholic Foundation, call Jean Finegan at 303-867-0613 or visit theCatholicFoundation.com.
What The Catholic Foundation can do for you:
• Confidential gift planning services with no start-up cost or obligation
• Morally-responsible investments in line with the Church’s mission and teaching
• Planned giving options to support the Church for generations
• Flexible giving to virtually any nonprofit in the Catholic community and beyond
• Planned gift agreements that greatly reduce administration of estate
• Ensured management of giving according to donor’s wishes
• Interactive planning calculator and wills planner online
• Legal protection of donations until delivered to nonprofit
Deacon Steve Stemper is president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado. He has more than 30 years of corporate financial experience and is assigned a deacon at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial. He and his wife, Cathy, have three daughters and one son. To learn more, visit http://TheCatholicFoundation.com.