STEWARDSHIP: Tending, taking care, preserving.
We often speak of stewardship in three areas: Time, Talent and Treasure. I would like to add TRADITION.
What is tradition? Simply, it’s something that is so enjoyable or meaningful that we want to do it over and over.
For my entire life, many of these traditions have revolved around our parish and the parish school. When I was growing up at Saint Justin Parish, 18 sacraments were celebrated in my family, as well as school functions and the Annual Fun Day.
We have been members of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish for 25 years. There our traditions have included: Sunday Mass, 4:00 Mass Christmas Eve, Easter Vigil, plays & concerts, outreach projects, blessing of the animals, Country Fair, Italian Catholic Federation polenta dinners, Sacraments celebrated with the community at Mass.
As a Catholic Community we have traditions of worship, witness, food and fun.
We also have a deep tradition of giving.
Our “young ones” save up pennies to help children in other communities. Our high schoolers conduct food drives and walk-a-thons, and participate in immersion trips. We donate regularly to our parish, our diocese, Catholic Charities and countless effective non-profits reaching out to our neighbors on our behalf.
This rich tradition of generosity stems from gratitude. We are grateful for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist, and for our own personal relationship with God. We are grateful for the Holy Spirit, filling us with hope and happiness, inspiring us with countless opportunities to strengthen our community and deepen our faith.
Here’s another definition of tradition: The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.
At the Catholic Community Foundation we work with families on innovative ways to perpetuate a tradition of giving. These include family endowments and Donor Advised Funds.
With the establishment of a Donor Advised Fund, a family creates a tool to enable philanthropy for three generations. This can be used as both an efficient tax vehicle and the center point for family discussions and decisions around giving.
We also support and encourage legacy giving, remembering your parish or other Catholic organization in your estate plan.
Sometimes we think an estate gift needs to be large to be meaningful. This is not true. Imagine if many parishioners contributed just 1% of their assets to the parish. This could provide an astounding amount of support.
The parish endowment can be an important and efficient element of our current and legacy giving. The endowment is a permanent fund that distributes a modest amount each year for the support of the parish.
By making a gift or planning a gift to your parish endowment, you contribute to the long-term financial strength of your faith community. You create a basis for your own tradition of giving to continue FOREVER.
From now through June 30, 2017, because of the generosity of one donor, the Foundation is offering a $1 Million match for donations to parish endowments. up to $20,000 per parish. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to continue our tradition of giving with added impact because of the match.
Along with our great faith and social traditions, we have the opportunity to provide FOREVER VALUE to these communities that helped form our families and care for our neighbors. I hope you will join us.
Mary Quilici Aumack is the Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County. Contact her to learn more at Aumack@cfoscc.org or