By Anne LeClair
Each quarter, pastors from around the Diocese gather with the Catholic Community Foundation to discuss their shared vision for Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions throughout Santa Clara County.
“The work of the parish through every stage of a person’s life and faith journey is familiar to most,” said Father Mark Arnzen, pastor of Saint Lucy Parish, “the work of the Foundation is less so. This is why we are here, to educate ourselves and our parishes, by extension, about the value of endowments, legacy plans, and planned-giving programs that can sustain our vibrant communities for generations.”
The Catholic Community Foundation exists to promote and secure the long-term financial health of Catholic ministry in the Diocese of San Jose and Santa Clara Valley. Among other things, it establishes and develops parish and school endowment funds and acts as a partner in legacy planning.
When it was formed in conjunction with the Rooted in Faith Capital Campaign in 2004, the Foundation’s primary duties were to manage and disperse the funds generated by the campaign. Over the years, the work of the Foundation has evolved into that of a full functioning community foundation, focused on building financial strength for Catholic organizations, together with generous donors.
“As we work to fulfill our mission, we know that there are no greater stakeholders in our work than the parishes,” explained Mary Q. Aumack, the Executive Director of the Foundation. “With Bishop McGrath’s support, a group of influential leaders was formed. This group is known as the Parish Leadership Group and provides a direct connection to parishes and their work. Through this group, the Foundation receives the necessary feedback, suggestions and support to best serve our communities.”
Monsignor Patrick Browne, retired pastor of the Cathedral Basilica, offered his wisdom in forming the group. He continues to provide guidance and inspiration, and is always a part of the conversation.
“No one person can know all the needs and nuances of each and every parish,” said Monsignor Browne. “This collaboration allows us to engage in a dialogue that provides the Foundation with a better understanding of those needs so that it may respond appropriately.”
Dorothy Carlson most recently joined the group of primarily clergy members. Dorothy is well known for her role in leading Saint Justin parish as Minister of Parish Life from 2011-14.
The other members of the group have been a part since it first convened in early 2015. They have all made an impact on the parishes they serve and on the Diocese as a whole: Rev. Mark Arnzen, pastor, Saint Lucy Parish; Rev. Joseph Benedict, pastor, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph; Rev. Christopher Bennett, pastor, Saint Christopher Parish; Rev. Warwick James, pastor, Saint Simon Parish; Rev. Justin Le, pastor, Saint Elizabeth Parish; Rev. Sergio Ovando, pastor, Saint Martin of Tours Parish; and Rev. Jon Pedigo, pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
The Foundation is grateful for the support and guidance of its Parish Leadership Group. This kind of collaboration is invaluable for ensuring the future financial health of Catholic ministry.
For more information regarding the Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County, visit, cfoscc.org.
Anne LeClair is the Development and Marketing Program Manager at the Catholic Community Foundation.