November 8, 2013

New endowments help CCF continue its mission of stewardship

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin speaks with Teresa Horan, a member of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg, at the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) annual meeting on Oct. 30 at the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center in Indianapolis. Her son, Donald Horan, a past CCF board of trustees’ member, died in a plane crash last December with his wife, Barbara, and their friends Stephen and Denise Butz. All were members of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin speaks with Teresa Horan, a member of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg, at the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) annual meeting on Oct. 30 at the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center in Indianapolis. Her son, Donald Horan, a past CCF board of trustees’ member, died in a plane crash last December with his wife, Barbara, and their friends Stephen and Denise Butz. All were members of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

Brooke Lahr, a member of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Indianapolis, was 25 and in her third year of serving as a volunteer missionary when she was struck by a car and killed in Mexico on April 21.

As they worked through their grief, her parents, Mark and Colleen Lahr, paid tribute to Brooke’s love for mission work by establishing a fund in her memory through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Catholic Community Foundation (CCF).

“The week before her death, Brooke was very touched by the tragedy that happened in Boston with the marathon,” said Mark. “She wrote about the idea that a small sapling will find its way through the charred ground and grow anew. It’s very symbolic of what we’re trying to do now.”

“It’s not just for Brooke,” Colleen added. “It’s for her age group. It’s reinforcing [the decision] for anyone who follows this path [of international mission work].”

The Brooke Nicole Lahr Memorial Donor-Advised Fund for International Mission Work was one of 31 new endowments and funds created during the 2012-13 fiscal year through CCF.

The foundation serves as a resource for ensuring the long-term financial health of parishes, schools and ministry agencies in central and southern Indiana through endowments and planned gifts. (Related: Foundation offers ways for people from all walks of life to give)

During the Catholic Community Foundation annual meeting held on Oct. 30 at the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center in Indianapolis, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin recalled his first official meeting with the group a year ago.

“I could not get my head around the reports,” he said. “But I recognized I was in the room with very competent people.

“Today I understand what the CCF is about, and what it’s supposed to do. I’ve grown in admiration of the real reverential care [the CCF] takes as stewards of the generosity of people who believe in the mission of the Church and want to do something about it.”

The yearly meeting, which was preceded by Mass celebrated by Archbishop Tobin at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, provides an opportunity to review the state of the endowments that the CCF manages—all 437 of them as of June 30, totaling more than $147 million.

In addition to establishing 31 new endowments and funds, the Catholic Community Foundation distributed more than $6.7 million to parishes, schools and ministry agencies during the 2012-13 fiscal year.

John and Melissa Duffy are among those who started a “donor-advised fund” this fiscal year under the CCF umbrella.

John, an investment advisor by profession, explained the term “donor-advised fund.”

“With endowments, a certain amount is given out each year. But with a donor-advised fund, we [have chosen not to] have any limitation on how much we can give out. It’s like a checking account. We can add money to [the fund] at any time, and we have [chosen] the flexibility to make unrestricted donations from it to meet archdiocesan needs, whatever they are.”

The Duffys prefer giving to the Church because “we can see our money at work in the archdiocese,” said John.

“We can go to Holy Family Shelter and see families getting cared for and kids getting medical attention.”

In addition to discussing CCF progress over the last fiscal year, the meeting also provided an opportunity for a report on the financial state of the archdiocese.

“We completed our eighth consecutive year with a break-even or small surplus in our operating budget,” said Brian Burkert, archdiocesan chief financial officer. “For fiscal year 2013, we ended just $1.8 million ahead of our almost $32 million operating budget.

“The surplus was generated mostly from an unexpected bequest donated during the fiscal year.”

But “just enough” is what Archbishop Tobin said God would provide for the archdiocese to fulfill its mission.

“What we’re trying to do is not simply amass resources,” he said. “We need to be looking at where God is inviting us to enter in central and southern Indiana. Once we’ve identified that, we’ll have what we need to do it. We may not have much more, but God will see we have enough.”

CCF president Patrick Byrne, a member of St. Mary-of-the-Knobs Parish in Floyd County, reinforced the importance of the foundation’s emphasis of charity rather than simply building up funds.

He shared a saying of Donald Horan, a past CCF board of trustees’ member, who died in a plane crash last December with his wife, Barbara, and their friends Stephen and Denise Butz. All were members of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg.

“To use Don’s own words from his remarks as co-chair,” said Byrne, “ ‘A pessimist sees a glass of water as being half empty. An optimist sees the same glass as half full.

‘A giving person sees a glass of water, and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty.’ ”
 

(For more information on the Catholic Community Foundation, contact Ellen Brunner, CCF director, at ebrunner@archindy.org, call 317-236-1427 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1427 or log on to www.archindy.org/ccf.)

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