In their pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, the U.S. Catholic Bishops remind us that good disciples and stewards do the following:

“As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.”

As we move forward with our Stewardship efforts to fund the annual operation of the parish and school, fund special capital projects, and continue to grow our endowment, our Finance Council and Development Committee want to raise awareness about the need to develop planned giving for our parish. Planned Giving offers the all of us unique opportunities to carry on the Lord’s work.

As Catholic Christians, we believe that our assets and our ability to acquire them are gifts from a loving, generous God. We have a responsibility to use these gifts wisely and prudently – as well as to share them with others – our family certainly, but also with those institutions devoted to spreading God’s reign on earth.

What is a “Planned Gift”?

It is a gift given to the Church through a will, contract or trust. Planned Giving is charitable giving that is planned, often deferred, and usually spread out over an extended period of time.

Types and Terminology

Popular examples include bequests of money, stocks, or tangible possessions; as well as life insurance policies and charitable gift annuities. Additionally, there are the more complex trust entities – charitable remainder trusts and lead trusts.

  • Will - legal document stating the disposition of a person’s property upon his/her death.
  • Bequest - specific gift of property or assets included in a will.
  • Life Benefit - proceeds from a life insurance policy’s face value payable to the beneficiary.
  • Gift Annuity - contract by which a donor transfers cash or property in exchange for income payments for life.
  • Life Estate - donor gives home or land and retains rights to occupy or benefit from the property for life.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust - a trust which returns income, fixed or variable, to the donor or others for life, or a period not to exceed 20 years.
  • Charitable Lead Trust – a trust whereby the donor transfers assets/funds to a trust which, in turn, pays the charity for a certain period of time.

Each generation of Catholics is given an important mission: how do we pass on the faith to the next generation? Foremost is evangelization – knowing our faith well and sharing it with others. Planned Giving provides a wonderful opportunity to pass on the faith and to show spiritual gratitude for our God-given gifts of treasure.

Please Remember St. Mary Parish and School in your Planned Giving.