With the launch of the historic Christ Our Hope: Building a Vibrant Church campaign this year, the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation (VCCF) has created the Christ Our Hope Legacy Society to honor all those in the Diocese who have chosen to leave a legacy of faith for the next generation. The present generosity of our Catholic community coupled with planned gifts ensures that our Church can weather any storm and that the doors of our churches, schools, and social service agencies remain open to meet the spiritual and material needs of the community.

A legacy gift offers future support of the mission of the Catholic Church in Vermont and can be designated to meet the needs of a specific ministry, parish or school with the help of the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation. Legacy gifts comes in many different shapes and sizes from a simple bequest or Charitable Remainder Unitrust, to the designation of an IRA or life insurance policy, to the transfer of stock, real estate and much more. No matter the vehicle, each gift can have an enormous impact on a ministry of the donor’s choosing and provide opportunities to spread the faith.

Here are a few examples.

  • Recently, Angelo Pizzagalli established a Charitable Remainder Unitrust with the Diocese of Burlington to benefit Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington. The full remainder of the trust will provide financial aid to students seeking a Catholic education who could not otherwise afford to attend Rice. Angelo’s commitment to Catholic education, particularly Rice Memorial High School, inspired him to make this generous gift now. He stated, “Parochial schools consistently deliver excellent results. Even in the face of the pandemic, parochial schools in Vermont rolled up their sleeves and calmly went about their mission of producing the nation’s most precious product: capable, caring, and engaged citizens of all stripes, well-prepared to achieve anything.”
  • Brigette White, VCCF board member, decided to honor her parents with a legacy gift: “At first I thought this might not be the right time in my life to make a legacy gift given that I still have a child in high school. However, after giving this more thought, I realized that I could honor my parents and their faith, and their compassion for the most vulnerable, by designating the IRA I inherited from them to establish a fund in the foundation to feed the hungry.”
  • The impact of a bequest on a small parish can lift many financial burdens and allow the community to flourish. Father William Giroux, former pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Fairfield, said, upon receiving the Dr. Thomas G. Howrigan bequest: “We were excited to establish the Dr. Thomas G. Howrigan Fund for St. Patrick Parish because this enables our parish to continue the good work it has always done without having to worry as much about fundraising. This fund has already benefited our parish and we expect it will continue to do so in the years to come.”

The mission of the VCCF is to support and serve apostolic activities of the Church and make grants to nonprofit organizations in the statewide Diocese of Burlington that reflect the compassion of Christ in service to the community. Planned gifts are one way the foundation can support the larger Catholic community.

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne expressed his gratitude at the outpouring of support and commented, “Thanks to the generosity and faith of the Catholic community and the gifts of many, the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation has grown exponentially over the last five years to serve the apostolic ministries of the Diocese. As in all acts of charity and goodness, we acknowledge that all is of God and all comes from God in praise of His name and in service to our brothers and sisters. We thank the Lord for all His love.”

If you have already established a planned gift to support the work of the Church or if you would like to learn more about your giving options, for a confidential conversation please contact Brittany Czekaj, development and planned giving officer, Vermont Catholic Community Foundation, by email at bczekaj@vermontcatholic.org or by phone at 802-658- 6110, ext. 1102. You can also visit the website of the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation at vtcatholicfoundation.org/ legacy-society.

To learn more visit vtcatholicfoundation.org/legacy-society.

— Ellen Kane is the executive director of the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation.

—Originally published in the March 6-12, 2021, edition of The Inland See.