On a Firm Foundation: Facing Death, He Gave Us Hope

On a Firm Foundation: Facing Death, He Gave Us Hope


Mary Quilici Aumack
Executive Director
Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County


When I was 19, I had the great privilege of spending my sophomore year of college in Florence, Italy, with the Gonzaga-in-Florence program. In addition to the ineffable opportunity to be that close to my heritage, we ventured out throughout the year. At Christmastime we had a trip to the Holy Land. During that visit, I felt the most visceral, tangible presence of God. I have not experienced that before or since.

We were at Gethsemane. This is where Jesus wrestled mightily with what was to come. In this instance, I believe, he demonstrated in a profound way that he was fully man and fully God.

For some reason I was alone. This was atypical when traveling with 120 college kids. I remember sitting in a corner of the garden, praying and eventually crying. I was reminded of a song from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “I only want to say.” If you haven’t heard it, please find it. He was frightened, inspired and determined all at the same time.

Decades later, last summer, I had my silent retreat (you all remember chuckling over the concept of my being silent for 8 days). At that session I had a spiritual director who opened my mind and heart in profound ways. One thing he explained was that in that moment, at Gethsemane, Jesus CHOSE the cross. He didn’t have to die in that way, He simply had to die.

He knew it, and he chose it, and it changed the world forever. He gave us the great gift of hope. This in turn is the greatest gift we can give to the next generation.
This is also our link to legacy giving. We give because we have hope for the future of ministry, and we want to remain a part of that FOREVER.

When you plan a gift, to your parish for example, this is a hope-filled act. You believe in the power and effectiveness of this faith community. It has contributed in material ways to you and your family. You have hope for a long and important life for the parish, and you want to be a part of that future.

Legacy gifts, those to endowment and directly to ministry, provide hope to a community, easing the burden of constant fundraising.

This is what we call Forever Value.

I ask you to consider a planned gift for your parish, or another Catholic ministry that you feel has been formative in your life, or that you believe is making an important difference in the community.

A gift of just 1 percent of your assets upon your death can be material for that organization. The Foundation can help in this process, and make it simple.
We give because God gave first. We have the hope that was embodied in Jesus and is manifest in His great gift of HIMSELF in the Eucharist.

Because of these gifts, we not only have hope, but a strong desire to ACT, to reach out to neighbors, welcome new community members, to BE the body of Christ.

Hope and Legacy are so intertwined. It’s because of our hope that we choose to make a lasting gift, and the gift in turn sustains the hope.

Through the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus the Christ gave us unending Hope.

So, buoyed by this hope, in gratitude and certitude, in anticipation of our eternal life, we lay the foundation of FOREVER VALUE for the ministries that sustain us.

Isaiah (6:8) heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send? Who will go for me?” He answered, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”

Let us respond as well, in permanent and meaningful ways, becoming part of an integrated message of Hope.

Contact the Foundation today to contribute HOPE at (408) 995-5219 or visit cfoscc.org.