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On a Firm Foundation: Gratitude, Hope, Legacy


By Mary Quilici Aumack
Executive Director
The Catholic Community Foundation

Bishop Daly once suggested to me that if I start each day with gratitude, EACH DAY would be more joy filled. So, that is my intention. Mind you, I don’t always succeed.

GRATITUDE: The virtue by which a person acknowledges, interiorly and exteriorly, gifts received and seeks to make at least some return for the gift conferred.

This past weekend we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. So, finding something for which to be grateful this week; not so difficult. I am grateful for Doug, for his strong, even and loving presence in my life. I am deeply grateful for our daughter Kacey, now 33, and making her own big way in the world, with work, play and advocacy. I am grateful for my community, friends from throughout my life, my neighborhood, my parish, and my diocese. I am grateful that through my job I am able to get to know all of the parishes, each a strong caring presence for its neighbors. I am grateful for all of this, and acknowledge the source.

Every day, I choose gratitude.

My gratitude gives me hope. When you are surrounded by goodness, it’s easy to have hope. I don’t write about politics in this column. However, I want to point out that even when I disagree with the “prevailing winds,” I have hope. If/when I carry a sign, it’s not with a sense of despair, but rather with huge hope.

Last year I had the privilege of “presiding” at an hour presentation before the Good Friday liturgy at the Cathedral. My theme was “Compassion, Mercy, Peace and Hope.” In preparation I spent time discussing the whole notion of hope with my good friend, Monsignor Patrick Browne. He said “hope is not knowledge, but a positive disposition of openness to the future in a CONVICTION that the end, like the origin, will be grounded in GOD.” Life is full of signs of peace, justice and well being that hold out a note of promise to our human imagination.

In this Easter season, we recognize that faith in the risen Jesus gives us hope for the future.

I have hope for the results of evangelization, for the revitalization of Catholic schools, for working families and struggling clergy. I will never lose hope for my family, my circle, my country, my faith.

Every day, I choose hope.

The greatest gift that one generation can pass on to another is HOPE. We pass on our positive spirit and true and certain belief in a future filled with God’s promise.

When I think about legacy, it is with the underpinnings of gratitude and hope. One clear and simple demonstration of this is a “planned” gift to our parish. Doug and I choose to provide FOREVER VALUE to our parish with a fully endowed gift that will provide income each year, FOREVER. We do this with gratitude, and with a joy-filled hope in the growth and future of our cherished faith community.

Every day, I continue to write my story, taking steps toward establishing my legacy, filled with gratitude. When I’m gone, my hope will remain.

Contact me at (408) 995-5219 or Aumack@cfoscc.org to learn more about remembering your parish with a gift to endowment.