SALT LAKE CITY — The Diocese of Salt Lake City and the Catholic Foundation of Utah honored many of the diocese’s benefactors at two receptions Nov. 27 at The Gathering Place at This Is The Place Heritage Park. At what they called Gratitude Gatherings, Bishop Oscar A. Solis thanked those in attendance for their contributions.
“I extend to you the profoundest gratitude for what you have been doing in the Church and Diocese of Salt Lake City,” he said. … “Thank you for being wonderful partners in the mission and ministry of the Church. The Church needs you. … The Church right now is in dire need of people who have a big heart in order to support these ministries.”
As a mission diocese with limited resources, the Diocese of Salt Lake City must rely on outside funding to support its outlying parishes and missions, Bishop Solis said. “The value of the contribution of the laity is significant and critical in the life of the mission of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The love of God and presence of God is made available through you and your generosity.”
“Never forget: the people experience and see the face of Christ whenever the ministries of the Church are carried on in those outlying and poor areas,” he said. “They feel the love of God whenever something comes to their assistance. ... When they become the beneficiaries of such blessings, they come to realize that God exists, that God loves and that God cares – and you made it possible.”
Bishop Solis encouraged those in attendance to pray for unity and solidarity to overcome many challenges, to give as joyful givers and to serve during the Christmas season.
“We become the face of the angels and the face of Christ to the people we serve,” he said. “When you give, you do not only reap joy but you make yourself holy.”
CFU President Jenifer Gibbons added her appreciation and that of the Foundation’s 21 trustees, and thanked the donors for what they are doing for the future of the Church in Utah, for their support of future and current priests, the Catholic schools and missions and works of the bishop.
St. Joseph Catholic High School Principal Clay Jones and Judge Memorial Catholic High School Principal Patrick Lambert also spoke and thanked those in attendance for their contributions to the schools and gave a brief report of the schools’ accomplishments.
“Thank you for supporting Catholic education and for understanding the benefit of a good Catholic education. … We absolutely could not do what we do without you,” Jones said. “I don’t think enough people know that Catholic education does it right.”
“I think all of us (Catholic schools) do it right,” he said. “We provide an education that is head and shoulders above anything you can get outside of Catholic schools in Utah.”
“Your money is not being wasted,” he said. “Your investment is going to a good cause and to the children in our schools.”
The Catholic Foundation of Utah, a nonprofit corporation, was established in 1984 to enhance and provide for the future of the Catholic Church in Utah. The Foundation works to provide funding in four areas, known as the Four Pillars: the bishop’s Future Fund, youth ministry and education, seminarian and priest formation, rural church development and missionary outreach.
This past year the CFU’s endowments distributed close to $1 million to schools, parishes and Catholic Community Services of Utah. Those who wish to do so may contribute financially to their parish, the diocese and the Church’s work in Utah by establishing a family-named endowment, contributing to an existing endowment or naming the Church in their will and estate planning. There are currently 367 active endowments in the diocese representing more than $44.8 million in assets.