Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fr. James Ries: Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Fullerton, California


St. Mary's was founded in 1912 and has existed for nearly 100 years. We have served the people of Fullerton and wish to do so for the next 100 years. Tens of thousands of people have called St. Mary's their spiritual home and we call you friends. Times have changed over the years. We've experienced the "Great Depression", two World Wars, numerous presidents and bishops. We've seen Fullerton change from an prospectors home, to an agricultural center, to a downtown destination. All the while St. Mary's has stood here, a Beacon of Love, calling others to God. We want to guarantee that this Beacon will be shining for the next 100 years as well.

To help make this come true we have opened an endowment named the "Friends of St. Mary's" endowment. Some may ask why does a church need an endowment? The same might have been asked of Fr. James Burns in the early 1920's. Fr. Burns was the president of the University of Notre Dame when he opened their endowment.

By 1952 the endowment had grown to $7 million when Father Hesburgh became president. By the 1980's it reached $150 million, and in 2000 it returned a record 57.9% investment. For the 2007 fiscal year, the endowment had grown to approximately $6.5 billion, putting the university in the top–15 largest endowments in the country. As of September, 2008, Notre Dame's endowment has grown to over $7 billion. (source Wikipedia)

Could we ever expect the "Friends of St. Mary's" endowment to be as successful as the endowment for the University of Notre Dame? This answer is left up to you, our friends. The Mustard Plant starts by planting a small seed in the ground. One day it grows to be the largest of plants, so much so that even the birds of the sky can build their nests in it and make it their home.

So we are starting today by planting seeds. For as little as $100 you could start the process. On our Friends recognition wall in the church we have the Seed Level for $100+; the Garden Level for $1,000+; the Field Level for $20,000+; and the Plantation Level for $100,000+. All donations will be recorded and are cumulative. This means if you give $2,000 a year for 10 years you will be moved from the Garden Level to the Field Level.

Some may think it would be impossible to ever reach the Plantation Level. You never know, there might be someone out there who could afford to give this type of money while they are still living, but it might be easier to see this level as a memorial for a life well lived. The only two certain things in life are death and taxes. We will all die sometime. Most of us will have something left over in our will or trust fund. We might have a life insurance policy, real property, or securities. Any and all of this can be donated to the "Friends of St. Mary's" endowment. In fact on several occasions in the past 100 years generous individuals have left their entire estates to St. Mary's. Could this be you?

By giving in this way you may be alleviating a tax burden on your loved ones as well. So, through your death you bring life to St. Mary's and you might actually beat the tax man. You will want to discuss your options with an accountant or financial planner, or you could also contact us to find out more.

We appreciate any help you could give. We have an on-line donation option (select us from the center list) or you could mail us a check made out to:

Friends of St. Mary's
400 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and thank you for being a friend of St. Mary's.

No comments: