From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Catholic Foundation celebrates 20 years of funding ministry and service in the Diocese of Spokane

the Inland Register

(From the May 24, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Since Bishop Lawrence Welsh established the Catholic Foundation in 1981, it has been successfully supporting the parishes, schools and other religious programs in the Diocese of Spokane. Through its grant program and income distributions the Foundation has returned more than $6.4 million to the Catholic community over the past 20 years, according to Richard J. Umbdenstock, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

The Foundation will commemorate its 20th anniversary at a luncheon June 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Spokane. During the luncheon, grant checks will be given to successful applicants. Recipients of this yearís Catholic Community Service Award also will be named. In addition there will be a special activity in honor of the Foundationís 20 years of serving the Diocese.

The Foundation was started as a permanent endowment for the diocese and its parishes, schools, agencies and programs. Only a portion of the earnings from the various endowments is distributed; the principal remains untouched as a permanent investment.

At the end of its first year of operation the Foundation had $574,000 under its care in 6 separate endowment funds: for the support of Catholic Charities; diocesan schools; Sacred Heart and St. Patrick parishes in Spokane; education of seminarians; and an unrestricted fund.

Umbdenstock said that today there are 113 separate endowment funds with a value of more than $14.4 million. Sixteen of the 18 Catholic schools in the diocese have endowments in the Foundation, as do 17 of the 75 parishes. In addition, donors have established over 25 more endowments to be sure that programs, services and agencies in which they have a special interest continue to receive annual funding.

Each endowment fund is recorded separately and administered individually to be certain the donorís and contributorís wishes are met.

Over the past 20 years the Foundation has successfully conducted two major gift campaigns. The first raised over $2 million to help the Diocese of Spokane care for its retired priests, easing some of the pressure on the diocesan budget.

The second campaign raised more that $2.5 million for Catholic education, including Catholic schools and parish religious education programs. Money also was raised for parish co-campaigns through the Bishopís Campaign for Catholic Education. In addition, St. Thomas More Parish in Spokane and St. Patrick Parish in Pasco raised funds for their building and renovation programs.

During the past 20 years gift annuities to the Foundation have become the preferred way for many people to make contributions that will benefit a specific parish, school or program while they retain an income for their lifetime. The annuity pays income to them for as long as they live. What is left in the annuity after they die becomes an endowment and the income from the endowment is annually distributed to the recipient they choose. Three donors recently died and endowments named for them are already making distributions.

The Foundation also helps people who want to establish charitable trusts, through which they receive a lifetime income and the trust principal, at their death, becomes an endowment. Sometimes, however, people donít want to wait until their death to help. Instead, they set up their endowment while they are still alive and may even partially fund it so they can see what effect their contributions are having.

A board of laywomen and men governs the Catholic Foundation. There are currently 19 Trustees from various parts of the diocese, including Deer Park, Liberty Lake, Spokane and Walla Walla. Individuals from Brewster, Colville, Chewelah, Clarkston, Colton, Creston, Lind, Pasco, St. John, and Sprague have served on the Board of Trustees. The Trustees determine the policies and procedures for administering the various endowments and other Foundation assets.

Past Chairs of the Foundation include Bettie Groetsema of Walla Walla; Robert Hailey, Deer Park; Wes Nuxoll of Colfax; and Michael Doohan, Robert Lamp, Dan W. Murphy, Robert K. Powers, Paul Russell, and Charles Van Marter, all from Spokane.

For information about the 20th anniversary luncheon or the Foundation contact the Foundation Office: (509) 358-4280.

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