If you desire to change your life, start with how you give

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By Todd Smith

We offer gifts to commemorate various milestones and personal achievements in the lives of others. Birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations immediately come to mind. Beyond recognition of special events, we also offer gifts to someone who has performed a special kindness or has given us something.

As the end of the year draws near, we instinctively reflect upon the many blessings we have received and consider ways of expressing our gratitude. Of all the gifts we have received, what gift can compare to the Catholic faith we share? The spiritual rewards of this gift will extend beyond our earthly lives and into life eternal. Yet, how do we express our gratitude for the gift of faith?

Mike and Tricia Jansen, parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley in Windsor, recently shared their experiences, joys, and confidence when partnering with The Catholic Foundation. More than 20 years ago, their pastor instilled in them the true meaning and purpose of tithing — stretching beyond what they felt was possible — knowing that when someone gives, God gives back tenfold.

“The Catholic Foundation provides an opportunity through which God’s gifts to us can be channeled where needs exist in the Church today,” the Jansens said. “We are comforted, knowing that our donation will be morally and responsibly invested in conformity with the teachings of the Church.”

The fact that The Catholic Foundation and its assets are a separate legal entity comforts the Jansens, who know their gifts will be safeguarded until the time when they decide to direct them to a needy ministry, parish, or apostolate of their choosing. In addition to potential year-end tax advantages, the Foundation also offers donors the option of contributing before the year’s end and deferring where they would like their donation distributed until next year via a donor advised fund.

“The Foundation team is accommodating, extremely knowledgeable, and eager to grow the faith,” the Jansens said. “Because of their commitment and mutual desire to spread God’s kingdom, we’re grateful to partner with such an amazing organization. They can assist with charitable planning, including investments, such as IRA rollovers, real estate, stocks, or bonds.

“The Catholic Foundation is not meant to be something you just leave in your will, but something you should start early — like a Catholic savings account — knowing you can distribute the assets from your account at any time to advance a specific Catholic ministry, parish or outreach service.”

The act of giving is a tangible and meaningful expression of our gratitude to others and in recognition of others’ achievements. Giving to and through The Catholic Foundation, however, expresses our gratitude for the gift of faith by passing it on to others for years to come, perhaps beyond our lifetimes. That’s what makes the Foundation unique and a blessing to the faithful of the archdiocese. As the Jansens reminded, “We are on this earth only a short time. The Catholic Foundation provides the opportunity to impact our Church, our faith, and our world for many years after our passing.”

Giving to future generations begins with a phone call. To learn more about Catholic-conscious investment opportunities that will give beyond your lifetime, contact The Catholic Foundation at 303.468.9885 or visit them at thecatholicfoundation.com.

COMING UP: “God, Sex and the Meaning of Life”: Come explore the beauty and power of the Theology of the Body

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The Archdiocese of Denver extends an invitation to explore the beauty and power of the Theology of the Body while bringing healing and sight to the blindness of our modern culture’s beliefs in sexuality at the Theology of the Body Conference, which will take place Saturday, March 14, at Light of the World Parish in Littleton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early registration ends Jan. 31 and includes lunch and workshop materials for $40.

“God, Sex and the Meaning of life” is a full introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body that will engage the audience with a complete understanding of God’s plan for humanity. The keynote speaker for this conference, Bill Donaghy, will be sharing his own experiences as husband, father, former high school teacher and child of God.

“If you have a pulse, if you’re human, if you’re alive, you should attend,” Donaghy told the Denver Catholic. “I’m giving an introduction. It’s the wide scope, 30,000-foot view of what the teaching [Theology of the Body] is. It’s literally for every man and woman, every vocation, single, married, celibate, divorced, wherever your state in life is, wherever you are right now, this is a day that zeroes in on human identity.”

Donaghy is the Senior Lecturer and Content Specialist for the Theology of the Body Institute, and a well-known international speaker. He worked for nearly a decade teaching theology while giving talks, retreats, and conferences for the institute. Since 1999, he has worked in the fields of mission and evangelization throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

Donaghy will encourage attendees to see the redemption of sexuality as the key to happiness, uncovering the truth behind the lies of lust and pornography and how they can be overcome.

“It’s about getting grounded again in my own incarnation, my masculinity, my femininity. Our culture right now is sort of cerebral, it’s kind of living in the head or maybe just living in the feelings, the outliers,” he said. “[The] theology of our body says, ‘come home to your body, your body is not an alien, it’s not an enemy that you manipulate or change.’ Theology of the Body helps us come home to our own bodies. It’s a beautiful homecoming.”

The conference will also feature a Spanish track with Evan Lemoine, Founder of “Amar al Máximo.” Lemoine is a recognized international speaker on the Theology of the Body, sexuality, courtship, and marriage. He is a graduate from the Master’s Program on Marriage and Family in the John Paul II Institute in Mexico City, where he was later a post-grad professor. He is also a graduate from the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia, where he has specialized on the vision and teachings of John Paul II. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University with a Minor in Psychology, and a Masters in Humanities from the Anahuac University in Mexico City.

This one-day conference is intended for all people college-aged and above. A study guide is included and may be used afterward for follow-up adult faith formation Theology of the Body studies.

“Sexuality is literally the image of God, man and woman,” Donaghy concluded. “He created us. Be not afraid. Come to a day that helps you answer fundamental questions: Who am I? How do I live?”

Theology of the Body Conference

Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m.
Light of the World Parish, Littleton
$40 Early bird thru Jan. 31
More information and registration: archden.org/TOB-CONFERENCE/