News briefs for week of June 15

St. Jude Food Pantry open

The St. Jude  Parish Food Pantry is open and distributing food on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30-9:30 a.m. following all social distancing protocols. Please bring an ID and do not exit your vehicle. Volunteers will load cars.  Located at 3930 17th St., Sarasota, please call the food pantry at 941-955-3934 if you have any questions or visit https://www.stjudesarasota.com/info/st-jude-food-pantry-schedule, for updates.

Parish supports local charity

St. Agnes Parish in Naples has stepped up again to help the needy in the area. This time the Parish collected four pick-up truckloads of food and donated it to St. Matthew’s House, a program that provides innovative solutions to fight homelessness, hunger, substance abuse, and poverty in Collier County.

Food pantry open in Wauchula

St. Michael Parish in Wauchula is the home to a food pantry which has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 Pandemic response. To accommodate those who work, the food pantry is open each Saturday, 7–8:45 a.m., at the Parish 408 Heard Bridge Road, Wauchula. If you need food at a different time or would like to support the efforts to assist the community, please call the Parish at 863-773-4089.

Foundation life-planning seminars to resume June 24

Due to the coronavirus, many Parishes in the Diocese of Venice had to postpone the Life Planning Seminars that were originally scheduled for this past spring.  In response to numerous requests, the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. has scheduled three virtual seminars featuring a local Catholic estate attorney, a local Catholic Financial Advisor and Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Foundation. These free seminars are open to anyone wishing to attend, no matter where they are currently located, whether here in Florida or back up north. All attendees will need to register ahead of time in order to join the meeting. The following registration links are unique to each seminar at https://ccfdioceseofvenice.org/home/upcoming-events/. For more information, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.

Bradenton food pantry available

The St. Joseph Parish Food Pantry, 2704 33rd Ave. W., Bradenton, is open and distributing food from 9a.m. to noon Monday-Friday, and 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays, following all social distancing protocols. New clients are welcome to register during regular pantry hours. Call 941-756-3732 if you have any questions or wish to make a donation of money or food. For more information on the St. Joseph Food Pantry go to https://www.stjoepantry.com/

Dispensation

While the celebration of public Mass resumed May 18, 2020, Bishop Frank J. Dewane announced that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect until June 28, 2020 for those who are at greater risk or anxious about returning at this time. The Faithful ought not to worry about remaining home if they are concerned for their wellbeing or that of other parishioners. Of course, those who are sick or have symptoms associated with COVID-19 are to stay home.

Livestreaming

The Diocese of Venice Mass will continue livestream through the Diocese website and Facebook pages from the Catholic Center in Venice 9:15 a.m. daily so long as the dispensation to attend Mass remains.

Sunday Televised Mass

The Televised Mass for the Homebound is available throughout the Diocese each Sunday. In northern parts of the Diocese (Manatee, Highlands, Hardee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Charlotte counties) the Mass airs on television at 9:30 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry, Charlotte counties) the Mass airs at 10:30 a.m., on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). This same Mass can be found on the Diocese of Venice website at any time during the week, www.dioceseofvenice.org/tvmass. Please check local listings for channel information.

Parish donations

During this challenging time in the life and mission of the Diocese of Venice, our Parishes face increased risk of financial shortfalls due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects on everyday life. Parishes depend on weekly financial gifts to continue their ministries, especially in this critical time of crisis. The Diocese of Venice is providing an online platform and encourages the Faithful to support their Parish. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/ways-to-give/parish-donations-online/ to donate to your Parish. The Faithful may also contribute through their usual channels (e.g., envelopes, and through the Parish online giving option). Together we will navigate through this crisis, provide assistance to those in need, and secure the road ahead for the Parishes within the Diocese of Venice.

Online Resources

A special coronavirus webpage is located on the Diocese of Venice website homepage at www.dioceseofvenice.org. Resources include links to the Mass, the prayer for Act of the Spiritual Communion, videos of the Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Pray the Rosary. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website, www.usccb.org, also posts the daily Mass readings.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020, Bishop Frank J. Dewane consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of Saint Joseph in the context of the Coronavirus. The Bishop announced a “Year of Saint Joseph” beginning March 19, 2020 through March 19, 2021. Saint Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during this time of the pandemic. To pray a Novena to Saint Joseph please visit the Year of Saint Joseph webpage at www.dioceseofvenice.org.

 

 

Online Directed Retreats

During the current health crisis, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice is offering online 3-day, 5-day, and 8-day retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In these online retreats, Father Mark Yavarone, OMV, or Father Lino Estradilla, OMV, trained spiritual directors, will meet with you for an hour each day via a link provided to you, to help you to pray and to recognize how God is speaking to you. A Bible and journal should be available for your use. Participants will be emailed any additional materials needed as the retreat unfolds. The cost is as follows: 3-day online retreat, $132.23; 5-day online retreat, $203.98; and 8-day online retreat, $306.48. All information will be confidential, and password protected. If you would like to participate in an online retreat, please email Denise Riley at riley@olph-retreat.org and a code will be provided for your online registration as well as an application. For planning purposes, please allow 7 days from your completed application until the beginning of your retreat.

Catholic Community Foundation presents new scholarship

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida is proud to provide the Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship to a graduating senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers who is interested in pursuing a career in neuroscience or a similar field.

Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D., the namesake of the Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship which is being adminsitered by the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc.

The Schaerf Scholarship provides one $4,000 one-time scholarship. The first recipient is Andrew Taikas, a parishioner at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral who will be attending Duke University in North Carolina in the fall with a double major using biology and chemistry to focus on a career in neuroscience.

“This scholarship will help me to alleviate the financial debt for my family and allow me to have more opportunities,” Taikas said. “I want to learn and understand genetics and the environment influences and how certain mental illnesses, and diseases come about.”

The scholarship was presented virtually during a May 20, 2020 awards ceremony which included recognition for 15 other Catholic Community Foundation scholars.

Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse said the late Dr. Schaerf and his wife Melissa Schaerf, M.S., A.R.N.P., founded and managed the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida, which has become a globally recognized clinical research site, specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders.

The family chose to create a scholarship with the Catholic Community Foundation to honor Dr. Schaerf and to reward and recognize a student interested in pursuing a career in the field that meant so much to them, Morse added.

“They chose the Catholic Community Foundation because they wanted to support a student graduating from their beloved Bishop Verot Catholic High School, and they wanted the scholarship to be managed by a Foundation dedicated to fulfilling the mission of Christ,” he said.

Andrew Taikas is the 2020 Frederick W. Schaerf M.D. Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship recipient from Bishop Verot Catholic High School.

During the virtual ceremony, Morse told all of the scholars that they are already winners in life in what they have shown and that the Foundation is very proud to award the Schaerf Scholarship, and others, to worthy students.

“It is our privilege to share these scholarships,” Morse said. “This is individuals and families that believe very much in education and supporting education for our youth. They established these scholarships years ago to provide these dollars going forward.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by members of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. Board, led the virtual presentation ceremony from the Catholic Center in Venice.

The recipients of the Schaerf, Mary Fran Carroll and Coseglia scholarships were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and for their commitment of continuing their education. The ceremony is typically held in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the virtual ceremony.

The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed applications before determining the worthiest applicant.

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. was established to provide philanthropic opportunities for individuals, such as Schaerf scholarship, to create lasting gifts in support of Catholic programs and ministries within the Diocese of Venice. Last year alone, the Foundation distributed $1.2 million in endowed support for Catholic Schools, Parishes, Seminarian education, programs for the needy, college scholarships and more.

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

Foundation life-planning seminars to resume virtually

Due to the coronavirus, many Parishes in the Diocese of Venice had to postpone the Life Planning Seminars that were originally scheduled for this past spring.  In response to numerous requests, the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. has scheduled three virtual seminars featuring a local Catholic estate attorney, a local Catholic Financial Advisor and Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Foundation.

These free seminars are open to anyone wishing to attend, no matter where they are currently located, whether here in Florida or back up north. All attendees will need to register ahead of time in order to join the meeting.

The following registration links are unique to each seminar:

For more information, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.

Coseglia Scholarships awarded

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. has awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic high school graduates with the 2020 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Mary Castillo of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Faith Giovine of Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria; Grant Wojcik of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; and Anna Kollmeyer of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic high school graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,117 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the ninth year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded.

Mary Castillo a graduating senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers.

Castillo was accepted to St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, where she will be pursuing a degree in nursing with a minor in Spanish. Through her voluntary work in missions while in high school she is dedicated to helping those in need in third world countries. She credits Bishop Verot with providing her an “amazing education.”

Faith Giovine is a graduate of Donahue Academy Catholic School of Ave Maria.

Giovine will be going to Ave Maria University to follow her passion for nursing and the sciences. “This scholarship will help me to achieve that goal.”

Grant Wojcik is a graduating senior at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples.

Wojcik was accepted to Florida State University to obtain degrees in finance and pre-law, with plans to go to law school to become a wills and trust attorney. Grant has a passion to help and protect those who need it, something he credits to the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco who run St. John Neumann. “They helped me to build a connection with my whole community.”

Anna Kollmeyer is a graduate of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota.

Kollmeyer was born in China and adopted by a family in the United States.  She will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she will be living in the St. John Paul II Newman Center. In high school she worked with the Miracle Aid Club and will seek a degree in helping children with special needs.

The Coseglia Scholars were recognized during a May 20, 2020, virtual awards presentation. Bishop Frank J. Dewane joined Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse and Diocese Chancellor Dr. Volodymyr Smeyrk on a Zoom conference call from the Catholic Center.

Bishop Dewane said he was impressed by each scholar’s achievements in their respective Catholic high schools and expected great things from them going forward.

Morse said the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church by investing in the education of our youth.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124, by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

Catholic Community Foundation presents 16 scholarships

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by members of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. Board, led a virtual presentation ceremony on May 20, 2020 from the Catholic Center in Venice to honor 16 Foundation scholarship winners.

The recipients of the Mary Fran Carroll, Coseglia and Schaerf scholarships were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and for their commitment of continuing their education in pursuit of wide-ranging career paths such as nursing, pediatrician, veterinarian, engineering and more. The ceremony is typically held in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the virtual ceremony.

Bishop Dewane opened the presentation with prayer and said he was impressed with the new Foundation Scholars adding that many are interested in going into the medical field, where there is a great need. “God has blessed you each with different gifts. Enjoy what you are going to do but keep an eye on that goal.”

Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation, congratulated the new scholars, saying the young men and women are worthy to forever be known as Foundation Scholars. “Every one of you, from what we learned, is unique, special, strong and smart; embrace that.”

The Mary Fran Carroll Scholarship provides a total of 11 academic scholarships, each valued at $3,000, to residents of Sarasota County and is available for tuition, books and fees. This year there were 10 traditional scholarship winners (high school graduates pursuing an undergraduate degree) and one non-traditional winner (an adult learner seeking an advanced education after being away from school for a number of years). Scholarship applicants were asked to complete an online application and financial needs assessment in addition to submitting a clearly articulated career plan describing their chosen course of study. Traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college or university and non-traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college, university or vocational program. Scholarships may also be renewed annually up to a total of five academic years for students maintaining a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.2 or greater, while also making progress toward their career goal.

The Frank and Florence Coseglia Scholarship provides a one-time scholarship of $1,117.00 to one graduating senior from each of the four Catholic High Schools within the Diocese of Venice. The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Foundation Board.

The newest award offered through the Foundation is the Frederick W. Schaerf M.D. Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship, which provides one $4,000 one-time scholarship to a graduating senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers interested in pursuing a career in neuroscience.

The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed applications before determining the worthiest applicants.

During the virtual scholarship ceremony, the recipients shared their personal experiences as well as college and career goals. Each expressed their appreciation for the scholarship from the Foundation. Many specifically explained how the scholarship money will assist in lessening the financial burden of attending college and pursuing their career goals.

Mary Fran Carroll Scholar Elizabeth Steindorf graduated from Riverview High School and is a parishioner at Christ the King Parish in Sarasota, who will be attending the Louisiana State University Ogden Honors College to study chemistry on a pre-med track in hopes of becoming either a general pediatrician or pediatric surgeon. “Thank you. This scholarship will help pay for my undergrad so I can focus my funds toward medical school in the future.”

Board President Dominick Cavuato summed up the sentiments of the Board when he noted how the new Foundation Scholars are an impressive group of young women and men.

“We congratulate you on the journey you have taken so far, and we look forward to hearing great things in the future,” Cavuato said.

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. was established to provide philanthropic opportunities for individuals, such as Mary Fran Carroll, to create lasting gifts in support of Catholic programs and ministries within the Diocese of Venice. Last year alone, the Foundation distributed $1.2 million in endowed support for Catholic Schools, Parishes, Seminarian education, programs for the needy, college scholarships and more.

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

CARES Act Provides Benefits to Donors

Throughout the Diocese of Venice and around the world, we are witnessing incredible acts of kindness, faith and generosity.  Faithful Catholics are helping one another, praying for each other and supporting those in need during these unprecedented times.

According to Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation, “We are so grateful that even in the midst of an economic crisis, individuals and families continue to support the Parishes, schools, programs and ministries of the Diocese of Venice.”

As many people are aware, the Federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, most people are not aware that the new law provides some additional tax benefits to those who donate to churches and other charitable organizations in 2020.

One of the new tax benefits will make it possible to take an above-the-line deduction for qualified charitable contributions up to $300 for the 90 percent of taxpayers who do not claim itemized deductions on their federal income tax returns.

The CARES Act also relaxes some of the limits on charitable contributions. There are not many people with the ability to donate most of their income to charities, but for those that do, they can now get an increased Federal income tax deduction for qualified charitable contributions. The deduction limit has been increased from 60 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income to 100 percent for 2020. In addition, the limitation on corporate donors has been increased from 10 percent to 25 percent of taxable income.  Corporations can also increase their food donations from 15 percent to 25 percent of taxable income.

These income tax changes were included by the Federal government to help individuals and families continue their support during this pandemic for the charitable organizations about which they care most, including the Church. As stated in a recent letter from Bishop Frank J Dewane to the Faithful about the coronavirus, “As your Bishop, I am always edified and grateful for the generosity of the Faithful, particularly at difficult times…be confident that Christ is with us always and that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph are interceding for us. Take courage and trust in God during this time of many challenges.”

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

Finance Councils learn from Diocese leaders

Each year the Diocese of Venice provides certificates and continuing development opportunities for staff and volunteers to update them on Diocesan, local and potentially federal policies related to their specific area of responsibility.

With this in mind, the Diocese offered a series of seminars in January and early February for members of Parish/School Finance Councils. Members of the Finance Councils are volunteers who generously provide their time and expertise while serving a critical role in support of their Pastor/Administrator. This work is done to ensure all pastoral needs are met, which includes financial stability, charitable work as well as planning for the future.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane welcomed the gathering on Jan. 21 at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota, thanking the laity for sharing their experiences and expertise with their Parish/School and their Pastor/Administrator, as well as other members of their respective Finance Councils.

“We are blessed to have such volunteers who so passionately participate in the life of the parish and/or school,” Bishop Dewane added. “We’d be lost without people like yourselves. You are giving the advice and life experience in your respective areas and we are most grateful. Your contributions make a big difference for the priests of the Diocese who might not have the same experience in managing finances.”

The response to the seminars was overwhelmingly positive. One participant in the seminar said the information offered provided clarity to many questions while also providing context and a greater appreciation for the vastness and complexities of the Diocese.

The seminars, one held in each Deanery, helped to provide updates and a broad overview of Diocesan policies and procedures, future planning, and Diocesan growth related to finances. This was also an opportunity for Council members to understand the structure of the Diocese and to put a face to the names of Diocesan staff with whom they may interact and seek information. Topics addressed included the challenges inherent with rapid growth and seasonal nature of many of the parishioners as well as the fact that each Parish/School is unique and has its own issues.

This partnership between the Finance Council and the Pastor/Administrator is vital to the stable finances of any entity. Finance Councils assist the Pastor/Administrator in budgeting; review of quarterly financial statements; developing a long-term Parish/School capital improvement plan, including implementation and funding sources; developing a program for the care and maintenance of all facilities; development and maintenance of position descriptions for the Parish Business Manager/Accountant (bookkeeper) and other staff/personnel engaged in the management, operation or administration of the Parish; and to serve as a resource to advise the Pastor/Administrator on significant expenditures before making a purchase or lease commitment in accordance with Diocesan policies.

Each Parish/School undergoes a financial review every three years by an independent CPA firm, with which the Finance Council is an integral part. Parishes also participate in safety and security programs which must also be budgeted. One of the most challenging aspect of Parish/School finances is the maintenance and operation of the various buildings. As in a household, the Council must ensure that all expenses, such as electricity, water, security, and maintenance, as well as any salaries, are part of current future budgeting processes.

Long-term planning (three-month, one year, five years) is one of the more important aspects of the Finance Councils responsibilities. This is to ensure that the Parish/School is being a good steward of the money, in support of the Pastor/Administrator

Seminar presentations were from the Diocesan Director of Finance Peter McPartland; Risk Management Director Donna Foti; Director of Internal Finance Lorraine VanLede-Brown, Director of the Office of Stewardship and Development Carla Repollet, as well as the Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Michael Morse.

Because of the complex nature of the Diocese, where each parish/school has its own unique identity and challenges, the gathering about finances was necessarily more of a general overview than a presentation on specific issues. This is because of the great diversity of the Diocese, with unique clusters of population and income ranges.  However, each speaker addressed the most common topics relating to finances. Each seminar also concluded with a question and answer session.

Applications being accepted for scholarship

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida is once again proudly offering “Mary Fran Carroll Scholarships” to residents of Sarasota County, for the 2020-21 academic year. A total of 11 scholarships, each valued at $3,000, are being offered for both traditional and non-traditional students. Scholarships can be used for tuition, books and fees at an accredited college, university or vocational program (housing expenses are not eligible).

This scholarship which was made possible through the Catholic legacy of Mary Fran Carroll and her generous gift to the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida. Mary Fran Carroll was a woman of deep Catholic faith, who wanted those receiving her scholarships to benefit from her legacy by being better prepared to face the challenges of the world today and the ages to come, in addition to using their education for the betterment of the entire community.

Through Ms. Carroll’s generous gift to the Foundation, traditional academic scholarships of $3,000 each will be available to residents of Sarasota County. These traditional educational opportunities will be open to graduating seniors and recent high school graduates (within the last two years) from Catholic, private or public high schools in Sarasota County who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree at any accredited college or university.

In addition, non-traditional academic scholarships of $3,000 each will be available to residents of Sarasota County. These non-traditional educational opportunities will be open to adult learners who are returning to school to obtain a college degree or vocational certification after being out of high school for three or more years.

Previous Traditional and Non-traditional “Mary Fran Carroll Scholarship” winners can apply to renew their scholarships for up to a total of five academic years for students maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 (unweighted) scale.

All applications and supporting documents must be submitted electronically at www.ccfdioceseofvenice.org  by 11:59 p.m. March 1, 2020.

Turning Your Annual Support into Forever Support

By Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc.

Throughout the Diocese of Venice, generous parishioners provide ongoing annual support for their Parish by way of their offertory gifts and for the Diocese by way of the Catholic Faith Appeal. This annual support is so appreciated and so critical to the Catholic Church’s mission of spreading the Gospel, educating the faithful and serving those in need.

However, on multiple occasions, devoted Catholics have expressed concern about what would happen to their Parish, school or favorite Diocesan program after they have passed away. They have worried about whether or not the next generation will be as devoted to their Catholic Faith, whether they will attend Mass, send their children to Catholic School or be willing to support the programs and ministries of the Church.

Unfortunately, this concern may be well-founded. According to the Pew Research Religious Landscape Study, 35% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Generation X identify as Catholics, however, only 11% of Millennials identify as Catholics. This trend is not unique to the Catholic Church. Every major religion included in the Pew Research Study showed similar declines in religious participation by subsequent generations.

To help address their concerns as they look to the future of the Church, Catholic families and individuals are now looking to blend their current annual giving with a future gift in their will or trust to establish an endowment. An endowment fund provides a perpetual source of revenue to the Catholic organization of their choice. This helps ensure the long-term sustainability of their Parish, school or Diocesan program about which they care most.

For example, Susan donates $1,000 per year to her Parish through the offertory and would like to continue this support after she is gone. Susan works with her estate planning attorney to include a provision in her will to fund an endowment with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida with a gift of $25,000.

When Susan passes away and the endowment is funded, the Foundation will use a portion of the endowment each year to replace her $1,000 annual support to her Parish. The remainder is invested in Catholic-screened investments, which allows it to grow and support annual payouts to the Parish forever. By establishing her endowment, Susan has helped ensure that her Parish can serve as the hands and feet of Christ to those in need for generations to come.

In addition to endowment funds, the Catholic Community Foundation offers a wide range of gifting options for Catholics including scholarship funds, donor advised funds, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and more. The Foundation works with each donor individually to first understand what they want to accomplish and then determine how best to accomplish it.

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org. You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

 

Coseglia Scholarships awarded

Staff Report

6/18/19

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic high school graduates with the 2019 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Samuel Berjarano of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Scholastica Egwakhide of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; Christopher Twargoski of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and Olivia Burke of Donahue Academy in Ave Maria.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic high school graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,117 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the eighth year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded.

Egwakhide, who will be studying to become a nurse at Regis College, wrote in her essay that: “I believe that a Catholic education changed my life for the better and helped me to come to a better understanding of myself. This scholarship will enable me to continue my search in life and give me the opportunity to continue my Catholic education at Regis College in the fall.”

With plans to study computer science at the University of Central Florida, Berjarano wrote: “I have been blessed to be raised in a Catholic family where faith plays an important role in our lives. By receiving the Coseglia Scholarship, I would be given a ticket to my own future; a way to attend university without worrying about needing to get into debt just to pursue my goals.”

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse said the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church by investing in the education of our youth.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

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