March 23, 2018

Investing with Faith / Elisa Smith

Spiritual counselors are just as important as financial ones

Elisa SmithWith the approach of the deadline for filing your income taxes next month, this is a busy time of year for certified public accountants, certified financial planners and other financial advisors. You probably are not able to schedule an appointment with your financial advisor until after April 17 to discuss your tax planning and charitable giving for 2018. That’s OK, because really, he or she may not be the first person to whom you should talk.

Charitable giving is as much a spiritual decision as it is a financial one, particularly when it comes to legacy giving. So when seeking advice about making a legacy gift, a natural place to start is with your parish priest.

As an intermediary between you and God, and a person whose purpose is assisting you with your spiritual journey, your parish priest is the ideal sounding board for discussing your intentions and calling to do more for the Church financially.

What is your heart telling you to do? What are your personal spiritual values? And how does creating a legacy of generosity fit into the Catholic faith? These are all questions to which your priest can help you find the answers.

In addition, as someone who interacts daily with various parts of the Church, your priest is in a position to help you identify areas where your help can do the most good.

Through your conversation, you may discover that there are critical needs that you may not have considered. Furthermore, he can help you get in touch with those who may need your financial support, so you can see firsthand their needs. Take a tour of a school. Work in a soup kitchen. Meet a seminarian. Your priest can help you make it happen.

Finally, your parish priest may be able to help you connect with others who have already made this journey so you can learn from their experiences in legacy giving. Your parish priest may also be familiar with the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) and have some of our resources that he can share with you.

Of course, you are also welcome to contact us directly at or by phone at 1-800-382-9836, ext. 1482 or 317-236-1482. You can also visit our website at

After you have that important first conversation about legacy giving with your parish priest, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your financial advisor.

(Elisa Smith is director of the archdiocesan Catholic Community Foundation. Tax information or legal information provided herein is not intended as tax or legal advice and cannot be relied on to avoid statutory penalties. Always check with your legal, tax and financial advisors before implementing any gift plan.)

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