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Leaders of U.S. Catholic Foundations Meet in Plymouth to Discuss Unique Role and Ministry – Detroit Catholic

A panel of donor-advised fund contacts with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan speaks at the Catholic Foundations Consortium 2024 CEO Symposium at St. John’s Resort in Plymouth on May 8. (Photos by Daniel Meloy | Detroit Catholic)

The 2024 Catholic Foundations Consortium CEO Symposium was held at St. John’s Resort to share ideas on lay-led Catholic stewardship.

PLYMOUTH — Catholic donors and philanthropists across the country rely on Catholic foundations to use their gifts and contributions wisely and prudently, supporting and maintaining the ministries they care about.

There are 187 Catholic foundations, lay-led organizations that manage planned giving, trust funds and Catholic mission gifts, since the first was established in the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth in 1955.

These organizations, distinct from the Catholic dioceses themselves, have become a hallmark of Catholic philanthropy in many parts of the country, including in the Archdiocese of Detroit with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, founded in 2017.

Catholic foundation leaders from across the country gathered at St. John’s Resort in Plymouth May 7-9 for the 12th Catholic Foundation Consortium CEO Symposium, hosted by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, hosted a roundtable discussion with Detroit-area fund donors and recipients on managing donor-advised funds, donor-created funds intermediary of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support a specific ministry, such as scholarships for a school or to promote music ministries in parishes.

Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, hosted a roundtable discussion with Detroit-area fund donors and recipients on managing donor-advised funds, donor-created funds intermediary of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support a specific ministry, such as scholarships for a school or to promote music ministries in parishes.

“We hold this gathering once a year to share information and best practices,” said Edward Larranaga, president of the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Sante Fe, New Mexico, and a member of the committee that organizes the symposium. . Detroit Catholic. “It provides current information for all members of Catholic foundations…it’s just about sharing best practices and what everyone is doing.” »

The gathering allowed CEOs of Catholic foundations to come together in prayer and discernment, sharing the successes and challenges they face in managing the financial assets left to them by donors who wish to support the ministries that serve them. are close to heart.

“The Catholic Foundations Consortium is a national community comprised solely of CEOs and leaders from Catholic foundations across the country,” said Colleen Mitchell, manager of member services for the Catholic Foundations Consortium.

This year’s symposium, titled “The Season of Abundance: A Grateful Way,” brought together 45 members learning from each other, exploring topics such as good board governance, maintaining healthy relationships and independent with dioceses and the impact of artificial intelligence on Catholic-inspired investment portfolios. .

The gathering allowed CEOs of Catholic foundations from across the country to come together in prayer and discernment, sharing the successes and challenges they face in managing the financial assets entrusted to them by donors who wish to support ministries that are important to them, said Colleen Mitchell of Member Services.  steward of the Consortium of Catholic Foundations.

The gathering allowed CEOs of Catholic foundations from across the country to come together in prayer and discernment, sharing the successes and challenges they face in managing the financial assets entrusted to them by donors who wish to support ministries that are important to them, said Colleen Mitchell of Member Services. steward of the Consortium of Catholic Foundations.

The idea is that each Catholic foundation leader returns to their home diocese or province better equipped with the know-how to manage philanthropic funds in the 21st century, Mitchell said.

Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, hosted a roundtable discussion with Detroit-area fund donors and recipients on managing donor-advised funds, donor-created funds intermediary of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan to support a specific ministry, such as scholarships for a school or to promote music ministries in parishes.

Moloney asked donors and an individual whose school receives money from donor-advised funds about their experience working with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, particularly how important it is to donors and recipients to tell their story and explain how a donor’s contributions specifically help a particular ministry.

Anita Sevier of Gesu School in Detroit explained how launching a donor-advised fund for the school has been a boost to the school's finances as it strives to serve a population of downtown Detroit which is not always Catholic and often lacks financial resources.  other schools appreciate it.

Anita Sevier of Gesu School in Detroit explained how launching a donor-advised fund for the school has been a boost to the school’s finances as it strives to serve a population of downtown Detroit which is not always Catholic and often lacks financial resources. other schools appreciate it.

The panel of donors and donor recipients answered questions from Catholic foundations across the country about their experience working with donor-advised funds and the impact they have had.

Anita Sevier of Gesu School in Detroit explained how launching a donor-advised fund for the school has increased the school’s finances as it strives to serve an inner-city population of Detroit which is not always Catholic and often lacks financial resources.

“I know sometimes it only costs $100 or $200, but every time we get that check, that’s one less major school supply purchase we have to make, and we write a thank you note for every check that we receive ; that’s something we learned from Angela (Moloney) and her team,” Sevier said.

Beyond learning best practices and sharing success stories, the symposium was a time of faith and camaraderie.

“I like being around peers who feel the same way I do,” Larranaga said. “You don’t feel like an island when you go to an event like this. Often in a Catholic foundation you’re an island, you feel like there’s no one else you can relate to.

Catholic foundations across the country all have the same goal — to be a vehicle for Catholic philanthropy by supporting the missions of the Church — and each has its own challenges, said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Dallas.

Matt Kramer said Catholic foundations have been a game-changer since the first was established in the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth in the 1950s, the first time a U.S. bishop entrusted financial governance to a lay-led organization .

Matt Kramer said Catholic foundations have been a game-changer since the first was established in the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth in the 1950s, the first time a U.S. bishop entrusted financial governance to a lay-led organization .

“You can say ‘Catholic foundation,’ but when you’ve seen one, then all you’ve seen is one, since they’re all different and organized differently,” Kramer said. “That’s why this is a great opportunity to share knowledge and experiences to avoid mistakes.”

Kramer said Catholic foundations have been a game-changer since the first was established in his diocese in the 1950s, the first time a U.S. bishop entrusted financial governance to a lay-led organization.

“It was a historic event in the Catholic Church because it had never happened before,” Kramer said. “We are a lay-led organization that is not part of the diocese. My bosses change every two years.

“We have built some trust with donors because we are independent, and it is our duty to maintain that trust,” Kramer added. “Our first obligation is to donors. If you don’t have the donor’s intention in mind, you would be bankrupt. Our job as presidents and CEOs of Catholic foundations is to ensure that gifts and donations are used for their intended purposes, verifying that the ministries we support are carrying out the wishes of our clients.

Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Gerard W. Battersby, Bishop-elect of La Crosse, Wisconsin, celebrates Mass at the 2024 Catholic Foundations Consortium CEO Symposium, reminding Catholic foundation CEOs that the work they do is closely linked to the saving mission that God has planned.  for all humanity.

Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Gerard W. Battersby, Bishop-elect of La Crosse, Wisconsin, celebrates Mass at the 2024 Catholic Foundations Consortium CEO Symposium, reminding Catholic foundation CEOs that the work they do is closely linked to the saving mission that God has planned. for all humanity.

Each day of the conference concluded with a Mass in the Saints Mary and Joseph Chapel, where CEOs were able to reflect on the mission and kingdom they supported through their work managing financial assets and donations to the ‘Church.

Masses were celebrated by Mgr. Chuck Kosanke of the Basilica of Ste. Anne in Detroit, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Gerard Battersby and Fr. John McKenzie of Christ the King Parish in Detroit.

During his homily, Bishop Battersby asked those gathered to never take the importance of their work for granted.

“The mission of the Church is to instill and proclaim the truth about God and the human person,” said Bishop Battersby. “That God is love and that the object of his love is humanity, you and me. It is God’s plan to restore all creation to His son, Jesus – to restore you and me to Jesus. Thus, the very trajectory of our lives aims to reproduce the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Your involvement is a very important task for the Church,” continued Bishop Battersby. “We can spiritualize everything, but the truth is that the children still need shoes, the roof still needs to be repaired, and the mission of Christ must move forward. So do not doubt what you are doing, offered to Christ, in union with his mission, which is a path of sanctification.

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