December 19, 2018

Investing with Faith / Elisa Smith

Share hope in New Year and beyond with endowment giving

Elisa SmithI begin this year, as I do every year, with a renewed sense of hope. However, after attending the inaugural “An Evening of Lights,” sponsored by the archdiocesan Catholic Community Foundation in December, I find my meaning of hope has deepened.

During last month’s tree lighting, Nativity reflection and evening of remembering loved ones who have passed away, I was surrounded by hope. Not the kind that is wishful thinking.

The kind that, as Archbishop Charles C. Thompson said during the event, is a firm conviction God is with us on Earth, and we will be with him and reunited with our loved ones someday in heaven.

Nothing brought this closer to home than my conversation with a widow at the event. For people who have recently lost a loved one, the holidays can be an emotionally difficult time. This lady had recently lost her husband and told me that she wasn’t sure she felt up to attending, but she did.

She also dedicated a luminaria in memory of her late husband. During the event, for a $10 donation, which went to the Archdiocesan Growth and Expansion Fund, an individual or family could dedicate a luminaria in memory of a loved one and see it blessed by the archbishop.

She was so comforted by the evening’s events, the fellowship and the archbishop’s reflection about hope, that she decided to take the luminaria home and place it on her mantle.

Just as “An Evening of Lights” gave hope to many Catholics in our archdiocese suffering from the pain of loss, memorial endowment funds can do the same.

The hope they provide is twofold. First, they provide hope that our loved one’s legacy impacts the lives of others forever.

Secondly, because these endowments last forever, the parishes, schools and Catholic agencies they fund often provide a source of perpetual hope here on Earth. The beneficiaries of the endowments are reassured that God is indeed watching over them.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use an endowment fund to instill hope, please contact us at or by phone at 1-800-382-9836, ext. 1482 or 317-236-1482. You can also visit our website at

May the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with hope throughout the New Year.

(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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